Some xians say that without their bible atheism has no morality.

We know that's nonsense but some of us reply from various defensive positions, such as by telling them how our moral values resemble or differ from theirs.

I don't do that. I tell them the laws–-federal, state and local–-partly define my morality. Few of them seem able to manage this little bit so I need say no more.

We know there's more to atheist morality than that, much more.

For instance there's science, especially the social sciences and what research tells us of how people react to what others do, or don't do.

There’s also the biggie, evolution and its method natural selection. Our morality determines some of our views on living and dying: how much should the government (the taxpayers) spend on health care, especially early in life and late in life, but also when mid-life events affect health and when genetic problems apppear.

Our occupying an indifferent universe (not a hostile universe) also partly defines atheist morality. For instance, the universe has no purpose; only each of us has or doesn't have purpose.

Those are but starting points. What does atheist morality require of us?

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You're right that theists always claim that without their supernatural objective morality we have none; but they are quite wrong. In fact, I go further and say an imposed set of rules is not a morality at all; being good is not at all the same as being obedient! I also agree with Joan that atheism doesn't demand anything, but it does free one up to have these discussions, and once freed from dogma, we should spot the obligation to pursue a more moral path. We can define a fundamental moral objective and create our ethics that promote this objective. And Bentham / John Stuart Mill did this for us with Utilitarianism. I claim that the extension of this into politics suggests a very liberal / socialist agenda. The challenge is all the dogma that clutters these discussions. Even the most basic assumptions around the ownership of property, the retention of earnings, parental rights etc, are all dogma without fundamental justification. Utilitarianism does not pre-emptively deny these as outcomes, but denies them as inputs to the analysis. This is a main subject of "Age of Wisdumb" - how to see through dogma to find morality and justice. A bit of shameless self-promotion there!




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