• AwonderingSoul
    1
    I'm posting this purely to seek knowlegde and have no intention to spred my own.

    What confuses me is that atheist have ethics they believe in. We religious people only work with them because we believe in the test (which if i explained i would be leaving the context of the subject)
    but briefly the test is choosing what to do in specific amount of time. That's why there's evil (again can't explain it here). The test choosing to do or not to do what you're told, and "god" forbid us to do "evil" is because it's messing and effecting other people test. Which diminishes the test that is build on free will.
    But why do atheists have morals?. Some people will say it's developed with the evolution of human being to survive, or it's necessary for social survival. But why does it care if it keeps the species surviving?. If there's really no God (and after life) then there's no meaning to life. So why hang on them?
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.2k
    Greetings Wondering-Soul, Vagabond-Spectre here (atheist).

    Why do you hang on to your God given meaning of life?

    Answer that you will begin to answer why atheists have values too.
  • Michael
    7.2k
    Why does the theist obey God? Is it because they want a reward or to avoid punishment? If so then I don’t think it right to say that they have morals. Rather they just behave morally because of selfish interest.

    Or perhaps they obey God because they just want to be good and believe that God’s commands are good? Then there’s the answer for the atheist; they just want to be good, but believe that something other than God’s commands are good.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    171
    If there's really no God (and after life) then there's no meaning to life. So why hang on them?AwonderingSoul

    I don't see how this follows. It seems to me that an afterlife only devaluates life, because you are living it in function of that afterlife.

    For atheists life, eventhough only transient, is the only thing we have, so we might as well make the best of that limited time.

    And making the best of it, entails making some agreements with other people so as to not make eachother miserable... and boom you get morals. Seems pretty reasonable to me.
  • Michael
    7.2k
    Some people will say it's developed with the evolution of human being to survive, or it's necessary for social survival. But why does it care if it keeps the species surviving?. If there's really no God (and after life) then theAwonderingSoul

    It might be that it’s not a choice. We’re hardwired to want to help and not hurt each other. I might have the freedom to behave otherwise but not to want otherwise, and I have no reason to choose to behave otherwise.
  • Baden
    6.6k


    Your sense of morality is more likely to be dramatically affected by a physical change in the brain than by religious belief. Whether the man in the article below was a theist or not is irrelevant. And being a theist hasn't stopped thousands of priests from similar immoral acts.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/a-40-year-old-developed-an-obsession-with-child-pornography-then-doctors-discovered-why-a6893756.html

    The fact is what what you tell yourself about what you believe with regard to God probably has little effect on your sense of morality, which runs much deeper, and is likely to be largely settled when you are too young to even appreciate the meaning of religious belief. That goes for whether you are a theist or not. We are moral because we want to be.
  • BrianW
    153
    Morals/Ethics is just a code of conduct, so how can any life-form lack it.

    Speaking in terms of belief, I would say that we (atheists) are a decent people and attempt to be in line with that most basic law of reciprocity, "do unto others as you would that they do unto you." Basically, we treat people as we treat ourselves; and people will feel compelled to treat us in the same way. Perhaps it is some kind of instinctive logic towards harmony in interactions. I don't know its origin, but it works.
  • Baden
    6.6k
    (I should add to my comment that extreme ideologies can obviously also dramatically affect the moral sense. Fundamentalist religions, cults, and political movements at their most successful essentially substitute their "morality" for yours. But then that's no morality at all or none worth having.)
  • SophistiCat
    465
    Why do athiests have Morals and Ethics?AwonderingSoul

    Have you tried Google? I just highlighted "Why do athiests have Morals" in your title, right-clicked, and selected the option to search Google. (You misspelled "atheists," of course, but Google is clever enough to correct the misspelling.) The very first page of results contains several responses from card-carrying (literally!) Atheists.
  • Marcus de Brun
    434


    What confuses me is that atheist have ethics they believe in. We religious people only work with them because we believe in the test (which if i explained i would be leaving the context of the subject)
    but briefly the test is choosing what to do in specific amount of time. That's why there's evil (again can't explain it here). The test choosing to do or not to do what you're told, and "god" forbid us to do "evil" is because it's messing and effecting other people test. Which diminishes the test that is build on free will.
    But why do atheists have morals?. Some people will say it's developed with the evolution of human being to survive, or it's necessary for social survival. But why does it care if it keeps the species surviving?. If there's really no God (and after life) then there's no meaning to life. So why hang on them?

    What is all this humbug about 'tests' and the like.

    This testing business sounds a bit like a cult of some sorts, most tests have an asumed right and wrong answer to them and these must be presumed before the test.

    There is no such thing as an 'atheist' this is simply a label that theists like to apply to those who present a challenge to their primary presumption. An atheist is equally a-theist in that he/she/it has a theism that is a-theistic.

    The only real atheist is a dead atheist.

    The pursuit of personal happiness is the objective of all human beings even the sadomasochist believes themselves to be 'happy' doing what they are doing.

    What you refer to as a-theists (whatever they may be) are human beings trying to be happy and morality is essential to happiness on an entirely practical level outside of the 'God' realm.

    The most happy life is indeed a moral life and all morals can be logically derived, and logical-morals are logically important to to the atheist.

    If one needs a God to behave morally, one is either less moral than the atheist, or less logical,

    M
  • Jake
    287
    The fact is what what you tell yourself about what you believe with regard to God probably has little effect on your sense of morality, which runs much deeper, and is likely to be largely settled when you are too young to even appreciate the meaning of religious belief.Baden

    I agree with this, but...

    There is something to be said for the influence of marketing. The Catholic Church dominated western culture for 1,000 years (1,000 years!) to a degree unimaginable today, and this highly moralistic religion relentlessly pounded away at selling it's moral theories. There is a degree to which we are all Catholics to some degree, even if we hate that religion. To some degree, we hate child raping priests based on what the culture at large absorbed from the moral sermons of child raping priests.

    So yes, we buy in to these moral systems when we are too young to choose, but those systems have been deliberately sold to the culture at large. And yes, what we personally feel about God is probably not a determining factor in our own morality, but the God idea has been central to the Judeo-Christian marketing campaign.
  • Baden
    6.6k


    That is worth bringing up. There's certainly a large amount of religious influence "baked-in" to western culture (along with a lot of other stuff) and even deeper than that is our hardwiring for altruism and cooperation. One level builds on another. And fully disentangling all that in order to discover "the" cause of our ethical orientations isn't possible. So, what I'd take from your point is more confirmation that the theist/atheist distinction with regard to morality is fairly hopeless in reflecting anything apart from a personal narrative.
  • Wayfarer
    6.5k
    atrocious OP. Almost like atheist trolling. I read the first sentence and starting replying, then read the remainder and regretted it. If some kindly mod could delete this entire post...well, I can't promise heaven, but if I could....
  • Baden
    6.6k


    Bit much to pin this on atheists. But it is a very poor OP that was saved by there being a few decent replies by the time I saw it.
  • Jake
    287
    There's certainly a large amount of religious influence "baked-in" to western culture (along with a lot of other stuff) and even deeper than that is our hardwiring for altruism and cooperation. One level builds on another.Baden

    Yes, and what keeps it going is that love (ie. morality) works on both the personal and social level.

    And fully disentangling all that in order to discover "the" cause of our ethical orientations isn't possible.Baden

    Well, "the" cause of morality may simply be that it works. You know, in evolution lots of things are randomly tried, and that which works is what is kept.

    So, what I'd take from your point is more confirmation that the theist/atheist distinction with regard to morality is fairly hopeless in reflecting anything apart from a personal narrative.Baden

    I would say, like you, that morality is built in to us as a social species. It has however been theists who have been the most persistent salesmen of morality. Morality needs selling because placing someone else above ourselves is counter intuitive. To be clear, I'm not asserting theists are more moral, only that theism has been the leading marketing team. Salesmen don't always themselves buy the product they are selling.
  • LD Saunders
    110
    As many have pointed out above, ethics is not in any way dependent on any alleged God. No religious person has ever established this claim, they simply assume it, largely because they never thought to question the assumption they have made. If God stated that child rape is moral, would that make it so? According to the person who opened this thread, the answer would have to be yes. Yet, how can that be true? Either the act of child-rape is moral or it is immoral, regardless of what an alleged God thinks or feels about the issue. This was a point Plato made thousands of years ago, and no theist has ever refuted.
  • BlueBanana
    866
    We religious people only work with them because we believe in the testAwonderingSoul

    Don't generalize, especially by projecting yourself unto others. As a religious person, that definitely does not apply to me.
  • S
    6k
    Why does a bear shit in the woods? I.e. it's obviously natural and to be expected. People will develop morals irrespective of theism. It's a people thing, and it happens - and has happened - all around the globe, and in all kinds of societies, all throughout human history, even arguably in Neanderthal times. Your question contains an ignorant and mistaken assumption about morality, humanity, theism, and the relationships between them.

    Why? Because we're moral agents, whether theist, atheist or other. That means, with some exceptions, we're sufficiently emotional, sufficiently intelligent, sufficiently self aware, have a conscience, etc. We're built for morality. We have a sense of right and wrong, a sense of justice, a sense of guilt, and so on. And that is obviously of great importance socially.

    All of this should be blindingly obvious, to the extent that the thought of someone not getting it actually annoys me quite a bit. So if you're trolling, then you've got me.
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