The relationship between religious rules and the moral judgments of more religious and less religious Turkish Muslims
MetadataShow full item record
Nucci and Turiel (1993) have demonstrated that conservative Christians and Jews judge moral issues in terms of justice, rights, and human welfare considerations, and do not solely rely on religious precepts in their moral reasoning. The purpose of this study was to examine whether Turkish Muslims' moral reasoning is also relatively independent of religious prescriptions. Using Turiel's (1983) Domain Theory, the study investigated similarities and differences in the reasoning of more religious and less religious Turks on a variety of moral issues addressed by the Qur'an (a father forcing his daughter to marry someone without her express approval, abortion, homosexuality, adultery, testifying falsely in court, polygamy). The study also investigated whether Turkish Muslims associate harmful and unjust behaviors [e.g., violating others' rights, hurting others (physically or psychologically)], which are considered grave sins in Islam (5:8) (Hashmi, 2002), with God's most severe punishment. The study included 49 less religious Turkish students (20 males 29 females) and 49 more religious Turkish students (23 males 26 females), 18 years of age or older. Participants completed a self-report questionnaire containing six stories. Results were analyzed using a combination of Chi-Square and ANOVA techniques. Findings largely supported the proposition of Domain Theory (Turiel, 1983) that all individuals use moral reasoning that is in part based on justice and rights concerns, even highly religious individuals. The reasoning of more religious participants was mixed between moral and religious concerns. Moral concerns dominated their reasoning when considering forcing a daughter to marry or polygamy, while religious considerations dominated their reasoning for the issue of homosexuality only. The majority of less religious participants judged the issues in terms of justice, rights, and human welfare considerations, rather than on religious precepts. Also, the majority of all participants indicated that God punishes most those who violate others' rights and who harm others. This suggests that Turkish Muslims consistently value principles of justice, rights and welfare when considering moral issues, regardless of religious orientation.