Morals of Abstinence

Term used to describe the moral basis of the majority of monotheistic religions. Said morals arise from the social conditions existing at the time the religions originated, as described by Thomas Hobbes; "In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

Accordingly, most religions saw abstinence and sacrifice as being virtues. However, as society has become increasingly affluent said morals have become increasingly irrelevant and more permissive morals have arisen from secular sources (typified in what could be termed the 'laissez faire' morals of JohnStuartMill).

The notion of morals of abstinence also relates to the Virian distinction between morals (as a set of inherited prejudices) and ethics (as a rationally considered attempt to determine how individuals should interact with one another).

Last edited on Sunday, August 31, 2003 3:53:43 am.