Your Questions About Morality And Law Uk

Robert asks…

Is morality (or ethical behavior) the product of religion?

I am talking about absolute issues like murder and rape. If you believe that the only real prohibition that is internal for a human is the fear of divine punishment, would you commit those crimes if they weren’t specifically enumerated and prohibited in your scripture? Do you believe the majority of Muslims, Christians and Jews (to name a few) only abstain from raping and murdering because it is specific to their religious texts? Or do you believe that there is some innate feature of humans that generally shies away from atrocity? Do you believe religion acts as more of a guide on morality? If you do, do you then also concede that secular law might also act as the same type of guide?

I am really interested in peoples’ opinions, as I have seen many in this forum state that they believe without religion people would not abstain from rape and murder.

Pip answers:

Surely this is a question we can answer by looking at Kolhberg’s theory of morality*

Kolhberg interviewed male children at different stages in their lives and give them moral dilemmas to ‘solve’.

He found that people will provide six generic responses each reflecting increasingly complex moral thought from deciding based on fear of punishment to deciding based on universal ethical and abstract reasoning. Check out the weblinks provided below.*

I personally believe that moral decisions ae human decisions and no God or religion is necessary to act in a moral way.
In religion people may choose to lead a moral life for fear of torture in hell or for the hope of achieving entrance into heaven (punishments or rewards is stage 1 of Kolhbergs theory). Likewise religion may help people to understand an think in principles, ‘what would Jesus do?’ which are higher levels in Kohlbergs theory and finally the values of turning the other cheek, Love thy enemy, charity and living a good life may be the centrestone of a post-conventional thinker.

Do we need religion to teach us these things? No.
For proof check out Humanism

However should we be looking after our moral development? Yes!
Religion taught by highly moral people is one way of doing this.
Religion taught by small minded bigots can do equal harm however!

Setting a good example to others through your deeds and actions. Bringing up your children well to value and acceot others, and having respect for your fellow man, without exception is in my mind leading a moral life independently of God or religion. Human rights take the place of scripture, just as a good holy man can draw out the key principles from the dogma.

Paul asks…

should we tolerate christians trying to enforce laws we secularists find immoral?

abortion, gay weddings, womans rights, teaching of bullshit in schools, being tax free, influencing parliament e.g. turn around on faith schools admissions, etc. etc.

Pip answers:

I know what you mean.
The issue that bugs me the most right now is how christian zealots are trying to infiltrate science classes with theology namely ID. ID is not a science and has been declared as such by US courts, science bodies and UK science bodies. This is because it doesnt meet basic scientific criteria. This isn’t stopping creationists and christian zealots from trying to make it law to be taught and at the same time trying to stop evolution (which is a valid scientific theory) from being taught.

It makes my blood boil because they are using lies and obfuscation of science to do it. They seem to be forgetting the commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness”. So much for religious morality, they can’t even stick to their own rules.

Finally, no we shouldn’t tolerate christians trying enforce theology as laws, unless such laws are of benefit to society and the planet.

Mark asks…

Just a general question on foreign opinion of Americans?

Now, this question is asked out of pure curiosity. Please don’t get mad that an American is posting on the UK site, I’m just curious as to what others generally think of Americans. Now I know that the general population of foreigners don’t look down upon us (or I hope they don’t), so I’m just wondering. Because not all of us are like the stupid, fat, rude, stereotypical Americans.
Also, while I’m asking, what do you guys think of the former Bush administration? The new Obama administration? American politics (which can be screwed up, I know), the WTC attacks, general American pop culture?
I know this question is so random, I’m just honestly curious about these kinds of things. Thank you so much.
And yes, I am American, and I will probably be offended at any truly rude answers.
Thanks for the answers so far. However–
Link, not all of us look to President Obama as our “messiah”. I, for one, do support him and am very hopeful about his administration. And just because he has some socialist ideas (some of which may work, by the way) doesn’t mean he’s a socialist. And just because he’s willing to actually *talk* to other countries and deal with problems diplomatically (not just send in the troops to take care of the “problem”, like our former president was partial to doing) doesn’t make him a “love all, hippie president”. He’s been in office for only almost two months now; I say we give him a little time and then judge how he’s doing.
And of course there’s going to be a climate of insecurity in Iraq. We’ve been at war with them for about six years now; and for what obvious purpose? None that many people can see.
Vic–thank you for your answer. I am sorry if I offended you because I had absolutely no intent of that. I was not trying to pretend that I know more than you. I am sorry that it seemed that way. HOWEVER: I was voicing my opinions. And last time I checked, people can still understand things they aren’t tangibly, directly involved with. Maybe I don’t understand the war to the extent that you do; I will give you that; but it doesn’t mean I don’t know anything. I’m not positive that Obama’s going to be a great president and that everything will work out, I’m *optimistic*. I’m truly sorry if I offended you. But I’m offended that you’d assume I don’t know anything because I haven’t served active duty. I didn’t want to go too much into politics in this question, so I wasn’t entirely specific with what I was saying.

Pip answers:

I know that not all Americans fit the stereotype of being stupid, fat and rude. However, I do think that some Americans really lack in any sort of world knowledge. Many that I have met are completely uncultured and are surprised to find that not everyone in the world holds America on a pedestal and and looks at is as a pillar of morality and freedom. However, I have also met some very educated, interesting Americans that have been wonderful to talk to and know. For example, I had an American boyfriend for some time and he was just so fantastic…..there are no words so I won’t go into it! Lol!

Ahem, more to the point. I think possibly the education system in America fails some people (especially in geography) as some Americans really don’t seem to know ANYTHING outside of America and genuinely can’t believe the rest world doens’t think like them. It’s kind of soul crushing to meet people like this and in fairness the majority of them do come from America. I would blame the education system for this lack of world knowledge though.

As far as Bush, well….he is not seen positvely at all where I live. He’s seen as being imperialistic, inarticulate, unintelligent, uncultured, uneducated and proud of it. His invading of the Middle East has been seen as him just trying to impose American democracy on a culture that isn’t ready for that. You can’t go round trying to make people think like you and do what you do, just because you think it’s right. What’s right for you may not be right for someone else, especially when it comes to the major cultural differences between the Middle East and America. People did feel very shocked by the 9/11 attacks, but sympathy where I live began to slowly drift away after the Iraq invasion. We all became a bit funny about America then. It just came across as being a very cynically motivated war or simple act of revenge.

Where I live Obama is seen as being a really great prospect. There is a lot of hope that he can change things. He’s a very intelligent man who seems to know what he’s talking about and he marks a huge turning point in history. He is seen as being someone who is willing to negotiate and work things out and I think the majority of world leaders are looking forward to meeting him.

Finally, the media and pop culture. From the outside the media comes across as being utterly ridiculous. The constant accusations of communism/socialism against liberals, the paranoid discrimination against anyone from the Middle East, the fundamentalist Christianity all come across as just being over the top. The media, however, seems to control people in America and a lot of people seem to believe what they’d told by networks like Fox News, who just seem to spout right-wing propaganda all the time. Celebrities are put on a pedestal to the point where they’re above the law, politicians are either too liberal or too conservative (there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground), muderers are glorified (you can name all these people who have shot up their schools, but could you name any of their victims?) and the media are constantly telling people what the acceptable way to live your life is. It seems like people don’t really have much freedom of thought over there. It’s like America is still stuck in the Cold War/Vietnam mentality.

It’s harsh, but often the spectator sees more of the game.

Edit – can I just add, having read the comment below me referring to America solving problems thorugh wars – waging wars and winning them. Another annoying thing about some Americans is their taking credit for everything. “We won WW2”, “we are the liberators”, “we practice democracy as it should be practiced”, “we are the best country in the world”, etc… Note: If anyone should be thanked for the WW2 victory it should be Russia. If they hadn’t gotten involved, we would surely be talking German.

John asks…

Living together unmarried in Dubai 2010?


I am just trying to find out a little about the legality of unmarried couples living together in Dubai. I believe that it is technically illegal, but I also understand that it is not enforced that strongly, especially within Dubai. Is this the case?

It is just that my girlfriend currently works in Dubai and I am considering moving there too. We are both from the UK. She has accommodation included with her job, which would be plenty big enough for the two of us.

I am just a little concerned about the ins and outs of living together, unmarried in Dubai.

Just things like:

If I move out there on a visit visa to look for work, would I have to tell authorities where I am staying when I enter the country, if so, what would be best to say? Should I just say with a friend?

Then if I was there for longer than 30 days before finding work and had to do a visa run across the border to renew my visit visa, would I be asked where I am staying in Dubai and if so, what would be best to say?

How about if I am applying for jobs? Would they ask where I am staying or would they turn a blind eye?

Is it an idea to allow people to believe we are married?

I’d just basically like a little info on this situation and how best to keep a low profile and enjoy living together and being in Dubai :o)

Any advice, especially from people with experience of this situation would be greatly appreciated.

Pip answers:

In the UAE and Dubai, it is against the law to live together, in the western sense, with someone you are not married to. You can only live together with a member of the opposite sex if you are married to them, or they are a family member. So the western expression about “living in sin” is taken more literally in the UAE.
Dubai police do not spend their time walking through apartment complexes and hotels knocking on doors and asking for marriage certificates (although in Sharjah they do according to news reports in April 2010), and there are no morality police as is the case with the Mutawwa in Saudi Arabia. However, if someone makes a complaint about illegal activity, then the police are obliged to investigate, and if the complainer has more wasta than the police and/or the alleged criminals, then the police will naturally investigate the complaint even more thoroughly.
Strictly speaking, it is illegal to be in a private room, or even in a car, with an unrelated member of the opposite sex. This applies to rooms in Dubai hotels also. The rule is referred to as the Tawajed clause.
In reality, the situation is not quite so harsh.

Nationality and/or culture can make a difference – Asians seem to appear in newspaper reports more often than western nationalities as getting into strife especially unmarried mothers. A Muslim woman living with a non-Muslim boyfriend, or 2 unmarried Muslims living together, are more at risk of legal problems than a Muslim man living with a non-Muslim girlfriend.
Your place of employment can make a difference also, since usually your employer is also your sponsor and might be held responsible if you step out of line. A conservative employer, or government employer, is unlikely to view a couple living together very favorably, especially if they’re in company provided accommodation.

Just keep being unmarried as a private matter and don’t move into a building having a Muslim watchman.

Nobody at the border will ask where you’ll stay. You also don’t have to go on a visa run every 30 days. You can extend your visa for 30 days against AED 500 once before going on the run.

Sandra asks…

I want to be Positive ..I just got broken into pieces..mentally and physically..?

Tell me the positives out of this situation.. I need to comeout strong and succed in life..Give your valid comments.. Thanks in advance.

I just had a terrible breakup.. for me its terrible ..may b for others its ok..My first luv broke up (2+yrs of relation) with me in the name of religion, friends and parents. Her roommate didnt like me and played nice game in changin her mind.. i got angry and that it.. she moved out.. shes goin to get married.. she jus cries and says live me alone when ever i try to talk with her.. initially when her sis used to call me ‘brother-in-law‘ before she gettin married.. once after her marriage she turned completly and so my girl lost all her support.. i used to get angry when ever she says shes not sure of future and all. finally she moved out with me cryin all day like a child and all.. believe me break of trust is the worst you can ever get.. she at the end told me that her ex frnd (who proposed her ) was far far better than me and she said good guys never get angry.. now i dnt av any place in her heart.. i used to fast and do all sort of stupid stuff for her ..

I always av bad dreams and its well over 6 months now i had a good sleep. she said she didnt luv me for last one year( i knw its just a lie.. ).. i feel like loosin out in life .. everywhere coz all my friends are gettin married to there luv and all.. hmm.. shes a nice girl. innocent girl.. good girl .. too good so that she didnt botherd tellin to her parents that she infact loved a guy frm a different religion.. she said she cant see her dad having chest pain ( Oo god thats too tough to digest.. belive me i had pain in chest so much that i fell ill and got admitted.. blood relation matters a alot sometimes ).. Watever… I believe that she lost that true feelin for me and thats the reason shes sayin all this.. i just learnt girls used to say all this things when they lose real luv.. hehe.. Actually i tried for a job change and got good jobs in my home town .. i thought of running away to my home town where i have good friend.. but decided otherwise.. do you knw the reason???….. i still believe she will come back oneday .. then i should be there.. haha.. stupid right??..i knw..cant move out.. likes her a lot.. watever.. May be coz we were physically too close and its holding me back.. Lets stop this story here.. i jus want to take the positives out of this.. i could able to figure out so many -v’es about me with this incident.. Please tell me some positives.. and i wanna move out and at the end i wanna make her one realise that she indeed lose out on a good guy.. hmmm i would have been more successfull if she was with me..

Pip answers:

A breakup like this can be emotionally painful but you have to remember that people are free to pick and choose who they wish to have as friends or a relationship with. There is no escaping this fact.

Friendships and relationships are underpinned by principles of trust, honesty, loyalty, integrity and respect amongst other criteria in equal measure by each party to that friendship. Of these trust is not a God given right but needs to be earned over a period of time.

Whilst we may make friends with people for one or more reasons, we have to start with the assumption that their values, ethics and code of morality are pretty much in keeping with our own. After all if you are anti-drugs you’d hardly want a drug addict as a bosom friend. Similarly we have to take for granted that the principles I’ve mentioned are in place. Just as it takes time to build up trust, so too time will enable you to evaluate whether the principles I’ve mentioned are characteristic of the person.

A friendship is a two way traffic system with give and take on both sides. Compromise may be called for on occasions.

You just need to let go and leave the past where it belongs – in the past. She is the loser don’t forget – not you.

The breakup may have dented your self esteem and in which event go to;_ylt=As4evAp9zblV2aGvRl8CzmwhBgx.;_ylv=3?qid=20080323010910AAhcHYO&show=7#profile-info-ogh8iD2Xaa

You will find it very useful.

People have suffered a lot worse than you. For example go to;_ylt=Avilc2BaW2G7yDJ850xt4O0gBgx.;_ylv=3?qid=20081126020554AAjunEs

Please feel free to email me if you consider I can be of further assistance.

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