1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Is there universal morality beyond culture and religion? July 25, 2007

 photo by axinia

I was invited by Chatherine Morgan to write a guest post to her Blog “Be the change you want to see in yourself” – thanks for the oppotunity, Catherine! I decide on a topic that can be of intreset for many, I hope.

Is there universal morality beyond culture and religion?

Today the talks of intercultural/cross-cultural communication are getting more and more popular: East and West, South and North are facing each other closer, trying to check out the differences for better understanding. What comes out of it has mostly the following leitmotive: “We are so much different; culture has impact on everything; always watch out the culture factor; religious background explaines everything; religions are so different, no wonder there are missunderstandings…” And so on…

Some time ago I was very keen on such topics and used to find my pleasure in revealing astonishing cultural differences to my friends or clients. However at some point I realised that it all leads only to separation and not to understanding and collaboration!

Further I relised that there must be some universal values, common for every human being. Some universal values going beyond culture or religion. 

And I was more than happy to run into a highly intersting book of Harvard Professor Marc D. Hauser “Moral minds” describing one of these values – morality – as a universal human quality, kind of an instinct. That was very suportive!

Let me quotate a bit just to give you an idea:

“Our expressed languages differ, but we generate each one on the basis of a universal set of principles.

Our artistic expressions vary wildly, but the biology that underpins our aesthetics, generates universal preferences for symmetry in the visual arts and consonance in music.

The idea I have developed in this book is that we should think morality in the same way.

Underlying the extensive cross-cultural variation we observe in our expressed social norms is a universal moral grammar that enables each child to grow a narrow range of moral expressions.

When we judge an action as morally right oder wrong, we do so instinctively, tapping a system of unconsciously operative and inaccessible moral knowledge.

Though equating mortality with religion is commonplace, it is wrong in at least two ways: It falsely assumes that people without religious faith lack an understanding of moral rights and wrongs, and that people of religious faith are more virtuous than atheists and agnostics.

Based on studies of moral judgements in a wide range of cultures, atheists and agnostics are perfectly capable of distinguishing between morally permissible and forbidden actions.

More important, across a suite of moral dilemmas and testing situations, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Sikhs, Muslims, atheists and agnostics deliver the same judgements – and with the same level of incoherence orders insufficiency when it comes to their justification.  … These observations suggest that the system that unconsciously generates morale judgements is immune to religious doctrine.”

It seems very logical and true to me. However the modern people have drifted away from the innocence of a child and therefore can hardly feel the universal moral.

Based on my long-term spiritual expereinces I noticed the following: as soon as spiritual powers are awakened, one goes beyond culture or religion. At that state the morality comes up naturally, without any commandments or scriptures.  

More and more the scientists will be discovering the universal nature of human beings with the universal value centres at the core of it. They will.

And one day people will understand: we are all one and the same. Then why do we fight?

LOVE, axinia


10 Responses to “Is there universal morality beyond culture and religion?”

  1. “…as soon as spiritual powers are awakened, one goes beyond culture or religion. At that state the morality comes up naturally, without any commandments or scriptures.”

    Beautiful point! I think spiritual experiences transcend one’s culture and background, and so they transform us into something that is not merely the limited product of our culture and background. But what I like best about what you said there, Axinia, is the way you point out that “At that state the morality comes up naturally, without any commandments or scriptures.” I think spiritual experiences make morality authentic.

    By the way, on moral and spiritual issues, I sometimes find myself more in agreement with someone on the other side of the world than I do with my upstairs neighbor. Isn’t that funny?

  2. axinia Says:

    Dear Paul, thanks for your generous commenting!

    I hope one day the time will come when we will not need even to discuss these moral/ethical issues. For we will all feel the right thing.

    I see your point about neighbourhood, yes, it is often the case 😦 Especially for such advanced personalities as you are.

    I prefer watching it all as a play and to contiribute my part 🙂
    Life is too beautiful to take all that seriously!!!

  3. yes universal values I know are awareness, Love , compassion, Song and a dance!

    Lovely post Axinia!

  4. […] Is there universal morality beyond culture and religion? […]

  5. Scietech Says:

    Axinia, you seem to be an eternal optimist with regard to human nature 😉

    The tragedy of humans is that they will never change. They can advance technologically as a species but they are not capable of ethical evolution 😦

  6. axinia Says:

    you seem to be an eternal pessimist 🙂

  7. Sahaja Says:

    Hmmm……Different post……..
    Somehow, i did not get the thought of morality being a issue of culture and religion….

    Even now I am not able to comprehend the title!

    Is religion/culture a lifestyle of people rather than nature? Are they not guidelines framed by our ancestors just to let their offsprings lead a better life?? Ofcourse they are mis-interpreted and mis-used……but still, are they not part of lifestyle??

    To me, morale is something that’s instinct nature of human beings!! It comes coz of the thinking power in the process of evolution and its there in all humans whether they realize or not…..sort of unconscious awareness!! You just know it…..
    People who get to become conscious of it tend to attribute it to experiences since the circumstances/experiences make them aware of that instinct within them!

  8. axinia Says:

    that is an interesting view, Sahaja…but basically I think it is all the same.

  9. pooyan Says:

    “And one day people will understand: we are all one and the same …” , I liked your post very much Axinia, and I must the conclusion is very true … although you had lots of different comments on this post contrasting each other.

  10. kush Says:

    good post .
    Fully agree with you, Axinia

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