Atheist Morality

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Atheist Morality

A place for atheists to discuss morality issues. What shapes your morality? What new perspectives have you found since abandoning faith (if you ever had any)? Is there any merit to religious moral authority?

Members: 409
Latest Activity: Mar 5

Religious Faith Morality & Epistemological Absurdities

Discussion Forum

Addicted to Escape

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Dec 14, 2016. 0 Replies

Sam Harris The Case Against Christianity

Started by dudaboli yev Sep 23, 2015. 0 Replies

Morality as Contagion

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Aug 30, 2015. 1 Reply

Testosterone and Cortisol together raise cheating

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jul 29, 2015. 0 Replies

Torture - symptom of Decadence

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Idaho Spud Dec 16, 2014. 6 Replies

How Religion can make you happy to kill! - Thunderf00t

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Jimmy McCann Dec 16, 2014. 7 Replies

Defining Evil in today's world

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner May 20, 2014. 2 Replies

Climate Destabilization Is Violence From Above

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Apr 9, 2014. 2 Replies

Natural Selection and Morals

Started by Steph S. Nov 15, 2013. 0 Replies

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Comment by John B Hodges on August 24, 2010 at 3:14pm
I am not daunted by intellectual rows. 98 percent of philosophy is crap.

There are many nonreligious folk who might technically qualify as atheists, but who don't identify themselves that way, because they don't think it is important. (I was one for some years.) They call themselves environmentalists, motorcyclists, photographers, whatever they DO think is important. People who bother to CALL themselves atheists share at least one positive position: that it is significant, it is important, to be free of god-beliefs. In other words, god-beliefs are not only false but also harmful.

Accordingly, it is implied that self-described atheists have, besides an absence of
god-beliefs, a critique of religion and SOME idea of an alternative to it.
Comment by John B Hodges on August 24, 2010 at 1:53pm
If you take "atheism" to mean "the absence of god-beliefs", then, as you say, atheism as such says nothing about ethics. But, it is not correct to say "there is no such thing as atheist ethics", neither is it strategically wise to say so. Any ethical system that makes no appeal to Divine authority, makes no use of supernatural consequences, would qualify as an atheist ethic, since it involves no god-beliefs. It is just as easy to have atheist ethics as it is to have atheist sports or atheist music. All secular things qualify as atheist things.

I have an essay that I have not posted, wanting to review and edit first, about "Positive Atheism", which argues that many prominent atheists, leaders of atheist organizations, have taken the position that atheism is more than the simple absence of god-beliefs; it is the rejection of the slave-mentality inherent in deity-worship. It is the "weltanschaung" (comprehensive worldview) of those free of god-beliefs. And therefore, as a practical matter, organized, activist atheism must offer positive alternatives to the views and practices that we have rejected. In metaphysics, philosophical naturalism; in epistemology, science; in ethics, Humanism; in politics, Democracy.
Comment by Alex McCullie on August 24, 2010 at 7:52am
When anyone discusses ethics or morality, I'm reminded of the caveat nicely expressed by WIERDs. We are from Western, Industrialized, Educated, Rich, and Democratic countries and carry moral sensibilities of that background. The vast majority of the world's people are not and therefore they are a likely to work with quite different set of moral precepts. One example may be individualist (typically Western) vs collectivist. Alex
Comment by John Jubinsky on August 24, 2010 at 6:32am
I think many of us are rather forgiving about things we do and less so when others do similar annoying breaches of conduct.

This is true in too many cases. One of the statements that Aesop is famous for is:

The injury we do and the one we suffer are not weighed on the same scale.

In that we see something wrong with this double standard morality cannot be divorced from the golden rule. However, we do not have to subscribe to religion to understand or believe in the golden rule. It is philosophical, not religious.
Comment by Alex McCullie on August 24, 2010 at 5:37am
Jonathan Haidt in a recent Edge seminar on morality described morality (perhaps tongue-in-cheek) as "consensual hallucination".
Comment by John B Hodges on August 24, 2010 at 4:44am
Replying to Fred Werther-
Atheism "as such" says nothing about a lot of things; "the absence of god-beliefs" would imply only that whatever ethical system you have must be based on considerations in this world. But it is a common claim of theists that only religion CAN offer any basis for ethics, that secular morality is impossible. This claim is wrong in at least four ways- (1) it confuses obedience with morality (2) empirically, believers are not on average any better-behaved than atheists (3) Christians, at least, do not actually FOLLOW either the Law of Moses OR the NT teachings of Jesus, and don't even pretend to try- they have theology that says they don't have to, that they are "saved by faith and not by works" (4) The Law of Moses is barbaric, the NT teachings of Jesus are apocalyptic, making sense only if you believe, as Jesus did, that the world was going to be destroyed a week from Thursday.

I have an essay "Atheist Foundations of Ethics" at
http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/atheist-foundations-of-e...
Comment by Lyle Warren on August 13, 2010 at 5:28pm
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Comment by John Jubinsky on June 21, 2010 at 8:36pm
Hi Glenn. There is nothing complicated about the purpose of morality. Its purpose is to provide us the psychological freedom to love. Without this freedom we become psychopaths.
Comment by John Jubinsky on June 21, 2010 at 8:14pm
Well said Diana.
Comment by Diana on June 21, 2010 at 3:01pm
"They think that they don't have to be moral because they are already saved."
You know, I actually don't think it even gets to that point, because they don't think. It's on a visceral level. In a way, that's why they're Christian - there is just the feeling that one doesn't need to think about what one does. No need to think, and maybe even a step beyond that. If you DO think, there might be the necessity to examine your own actions and motivations, and maybe even beliefs, and where would all that lead? That's why I have found that there just isn't any way to even discuss this disconnect with them. It's the fingers in the ears and "La, La, La, I can't hear you."
 

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