I’ve often found that religious people, especially the ones who have tunnel vision about their belief, are depriving themselves of so much more than they could possible realize. No, moral thought does NOT begin and end with Western monotheism. Anyone who thinks so should look into the writings of Confucious and Buddha, and check out the philosophies of Stoicism and Epicureanism. Western monotheism itself was influenced by the philosophies of the Ancient World.
Someone once said that religion is philosophy without the questions. That’s the key. Philosophy is more enriching, more open, more Democratic (if I may) than religious doctrine. It makes us smart. It opens our minds to new ideas. It’s tolerant. It doesn’t require that we believe in magic or believe that the creator of the universe is going to send gay people to hell. Here’s another quote: “Philosophy doesn’t have the arrogance of religion.”