Whenever I come out Atheist .. they assume I must have no ethics or morals whatsoever and that I am willing to do just about anything --- like lie, cheat and steal.

Anyone else have this happen to them?

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Great quote!

I get that a lot.  There seems to be some perception that religious people are at least more honest than atheists.  I wonder if there is not some small truth to it.  It's been shown that people act more "honestly" if they are being watched.  Just the presence of a video camera will make people act more honestly even if the camera is clearly disconnect or powered down.  Could religious people in general act more honestly because they think they are being watched by some deity?  I like to think the emotional maturity demonstrated by atheists might counter the "watched" phenomenon but I really don't know.      

I find it funny. I dated a girl that broke up w/ me because I am an atheist. Yet not only did she sleep with me very quickly but she and I were still having sex when 2wks after we broke she was sleeping with her new boyfriend who is Xian like she is. Yes great moral views. I had to tell him. She asked me y. I told her because it was the right thing to do

Believers in a higher power have produced many child molestors, murderers, theives, the list goes on and on.  I am an Atheist and not afraid to say it to anyone.  I have morals, give to those in need, don't kick Puppies, and am generally a nice person unless you are a dick.  I can live with that.  Yes I have experienced the negativity, especially from my own family.  In fact my morals are so high that I refuse to lie that I believe in something I know is not real.

You may not be wimpy, but rather prudent in a toxic environment. For me, it came down to do I want to have toxic relationships or do I want to healthy and with healthy people. When I made that decision, it became clear to me that some people just aren't worth the poison they spew. When/if you are ready, you will talk from your heart and be able to protect yourself from assaults that may, or may not, come. Once the family gossip knew, they all knew. Some were supportive from the start, others were cautious and curious, others revealed enough information to know I wanted to not be around them. 

Also, if you are comfortable with what you think, you will transmit that information along with your statement. If you doubt yourself, perhaps you should hold off for a while. 

In any event, I wish you well, and that you end up with much deeper and more meaningful relationships, even with those who do not agree. 

In the meantime, there are a cloud of witnesses on this site that support you. 

Glen, being positive about being an atheist, or whatever label you chose, is the best tool for being authentic and in the long run has positive outcomes. For those who question your morals or condemn you to wherever it is they think you will go, they simply give you evidence of why you prefer not to be with them. 

I have a few dearly beloved family members who do not impose their beliefs on me, even as they are curious about my values and we have great conversations. We have no animosity between us. Others are hostile and I consider them toxic. Even a one celled amoeba moves away from and protects itself from toxic environments. 

started a series of blog posts reflecting on this topic, and Steph S. kindly pointed me over here. I am interested in finding reasoned responses to the "morally depraved" accusation, other than just looking them in the eye and trying to will them to recognize I'm a good person, or trying to convince both them and myself that a sense of right and wrong are inborn character traits.

I think we develop ethical systems which are shaped by and shape individual mores playing out in group dynamics over generations. It's not as easy as assuming morals are either god-given or 'congenital' - both nature and nurture are at work, I think.

It might not fit on a billboard, but I groove on philosophy, like, man. :D This thread has been interesting and informative, and long! Thx for the tip, Steph S.

Thank you Joseph! I will go and look at your blog posts. I'm so glad this has been an informative discussion for everyone. I've learned a lot myself.

What's wrong with lying, cheating, and stealing.  Some Christians do.

That's true Write4U we don't have the convenient out that xtians have. I do try to live by the golden rule. I enjoy helping others.

A man`s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. Albert Einstein

I have not only been the "wild child", but know a LOT of the secrets of my sphere of influence so they would not dare be foolish enough to suggest that to me!!  lol  There have been a dozen other "going to hell" scenarios if I did not change my wicked ways.  

I was asked the other day if being an atheist meant that I was a devil worshiper.  When I explained my position on atheism and what led me to being an atheist, the lady said, "wow, that sounds a lot like my 9 year old daughter".  She has been polite and asked me a dozen really great questions in a very non offensive way.  Not what is typical for sure!




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