You hear a lot of people talking about morals and ethics today. Some will claim that if you're not a member of a religion (usually their religion, specifically) then you can't possibly be an ethical or moral person. Others claim that it doesn't matter which religion, so long as you belong to one, in order to be ethical. There's another group that says ethics and morals have nothing whatsoever to do with religion, and claiming so is just plain wrong.
There are people that belong to no religion who are very ethical, and people who belong to strict religions that are incredibly unethical. There does not seem to be a requirement to belong to religion to be ethical. Belonging to a religion does not guarantee you will be ethical.
What, then, is the origin of ethics and of morals? I don't know that the question really has an answer. Ethics and morals come from within, inside a person. There are definitely different levels of ethics. The person who would never allow a child to suffer might pick up a stray $20 bill without looking to see who lost it. Ethics and morals are sticky, with no clear answers, no definitive responses. Taken too far they can become an unhealthy obsession, mental masturbation as it were. Not taken far enough, they can encourage negative and destructive behaviors. Neither is a good thing. Finding the balance between the two extremes is, perhaps, the point of having morals and ethics.
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