It is only the Buddhist monks who have really followed the speculative teaching of their master on this point and have dissociated the moral law from belief in God. Yet even the monks, while denying the existence of a personal God, regarded as a heretic any who disputed the existence of heaven and hell.
And, finally, his actions even if in accordance with the moral law, will be based not on the obligation imposed by the Divine will, but on considerations of human dignity and on the good of human society.
Such motives, however, cannot present themselves as, strictly speaking, obligatory.
But where the motive of obligation is wanting, acting lacks an element essential to true morality.
Moreover, in this connection the Church insists upon the doctrine of original sin.
Though there is wide divergence as to theories of ethics, there is a fundamental agreement among men regarding the general lines of conduct desirable in public and private life. Hobhouse has well said: "The comparative study of ethics, which is apt in its earlier stages to impress the student with a bewildering sense of the diversity of moral judgments, ends rather by impressing them with a more fundamental and far-reaching uniformity.