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Where does an Atheist get their morals?

Discussion in 'Atheism DIR' started by Brookhousek, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. Brookhousek

    Brookhousek Member

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    Religion:
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    Many religions claim to be the source of a moral code. These morals typically come from a holy book that is direct word of a supreme being.

    Atheism is just a lack of believe in a supernatural being and has no bearing on a person’s morals. As humans we have a natural tendency towards care for the well being of ourselves and others. This behaviour is common not only in humans, but also throughout the animal world. Many Atheists also identify as humanist or at least hold many of the principals:

    • There are no supernatural beings.
    • The material universe is the only thing that exists.
    • Science provides the only reliable source of knowledge about this universe.
    • We only live this life - there is no after-life, and no such thing as reincarnation.
    • Human beings can live ethical and fulfilling lives without religious beliefs.
    • Human beings derive their moral code from the lessons of history, personal experience, and thought.
     
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  2. Altfish

    Altfish Veteran Member

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    Atheists do not need the threat of eternal damnation to be good.
     
  3. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Morality is a human (and some animals) trait, without it civilisation could never have developed. Religion developed within civilisation and stole the concept of morality, bastardised it to exclude those who did not bow down (and kill) for a particular god or gods.
     
  4. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    @Brookhousek

    Hi, welcome to RF, sit back, relax and enjoy the cake

    welcome-cake.jpg


    I see your avatar shows you are in Cheshire. Im a Lancashire lass, hubby from Bowden.

    @Altfish is one of us north westerners too.
     
  5. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Most atheists largely get their morals from the culture they are socialised into, or another one they are exposed to. In this sense, there is no real difference between them and religious people.
     
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  6. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    As you are new, just a heads up in case you are not aware (if you are you can ignore this :grinning:).

    This is the atheist DIR forum, and the DIRs are only for people who belong to that designation, so only atheists can post here.

    If you would like to discuss with non-atheists, one of the general forums would be better.
     
  7. Jesster

    Jesster Friendly skeptic
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    I get my morals from my collective life experiences. And I'd argue that I do a fine job at it.

    Also, welcome to RF!
     
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  8. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Seriously?

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    I get my morals from my culture, personal experiences, things I've learned that work or doesn't work, loved ones, and just walking out my door or looking at in my mailbox to say "figures" as in everything is going well, until boom! Great way to perceive how much you just can't predict and plan things out to the T. Too much variables.
     
  9. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    Reason and compassion. We're social, empathic creatures.
     
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  10. Straw Dog

    Straw Dog Well-Known Member

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    My sense of morality comes from a universal human subjective desire for well-being and objective methods for increasing that well-being and decreasing suffering in the world. Sometimes short-term pain is justified for longer term well-being. Sometimes it’s best to just take joy in the moment. Sometimes I’ll perform random acts of kindness just because happiness is contagious.
     
  11. Pattylt

    Pattylt New Member

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    My morality was developed from my parents first, expanding to my schooling then our society eventually learning and encompassing the world. Empathy is either innate or developed but either way, drives our ability to see and feel others pain and suffering and understanding that we don’t like it for ourselves nor for others. Empathy seems to vary by person, some having little and some have quite a bit. We recognize that a total lack of empathy is abnormal.

    I remember reading ages ago that one of the best ways to exert authority over a group is to control their sexuality. Most major religions do this in varying degrees yet it is also the most violated rule. Our sexuality seems to be stronger than the dictates of any God! Once outside religious bonds, being free to explore our own sexuality in all its shades of grays is one of the most freeing aspects of leaving religion. Yet still, we innately understand that we must have consent in sex...we still have a moral constraint in our explorations.

    Morality, like most ideas, begins in our rational and emotional brain.
     
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  12. Meow Mix

    Meow Mix Curious Kitty

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    I think moral beliefs arise from values, such as valuing life, valuing altruism, etc. I don't think we're in conscious control of what our values are: doxastic voluntarism seems to me to be false. I can't just will myself to value different things than I value. Values do seem like they can change over time due to experiences, but again I don't think we have any conscious input into that process.

    So we have values, and from those values, our moral beliefs are informed.
     
  13. Justanatheist

    Justanatheist Active Member

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    For me morals are completely situational and are derived from culture and environment. Sadly the only absolute moral standard is might is right, this being the only one truly enforceable.
     
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