OK - here is Dershowitz on morality - I don't always agree with him - but this sums up how I feel on the relationship between morality and religion as well - What do you all think of this? - Naturally I respect other viewpoints as well - I was just interested that Dershowitz articulated what I have always felt was my personal compass on this.

IDEAS: Are you an observant Jew?

DERSHOWITZ: I'm a secular Jew. I have a nostalgic taste for tradition, partly a result of growing up in Brooklyn. But I live my life as if there were no God. The existence of God would interfere with my morality.

IDEAS: You'd be bothered if there were a God?


IDEAS: Obviously, you don't think religion necessary for morality.

DERSHOWITZ: Quite the opposite. You need not to have religion to have morality. Morality based on religion is often no morality at all. If you do it because of heaven or hell, or because an instruction book told you to, it's not morality. It's morality when you have decided yourself, without benefits or threats, that this is the right thing to do.