Several texts testify that the Buddha himself seems to have recognized that morality can be established on the basis of self-reflection and ethical reasoning, without requiring a belief in personal survival of death.
. . .
Thus, while recognizing the law of kamma [karma] serves as an incentive for moral behavior, acceptance of karmic causation is not necessary as a justification for ethics. The need for ethical behavior can be established on other grounds that do not presuppose a belief in postmortem survival. These grounds can be reached through personal reflection.
~Bhikkhu Bodhi, in The Buddha's Teaching on Social and Communal Harmony
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