I read posts here that call different things, "harmful to humanity."  Others call something, "good" or "bad" or "evil."

A very simple question, who gets to decide the definition of  "harmful to humanity" and what is there critieria? The same for "good," "bad," and "evil?" These are not material terms. If everything is material isn't there just "is" and not these moral declarations if one is being thoroughly atheist?

Help me understand your position so I am fair and honest about the views. Thanks.

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 This is a question often asked of Atheist and a very fair one. Many of course will answer differently but I feel there are at least a few things that make things "good" or "bad."

First off, I would say as an atheist I do not believe that anything is necessarily "good" or "evil" in regards to the universe. However, each society of humans decides together the things that make something good or bad.

It is natural for humans to individually want to survive and to continue on living. These are the reasons we group together (i.e. towns, cities, governments), because in a community it is easier to survive and the community can look out for one another. We are therefore selfishly looking out for our individual well being by being part of the greater community, and it follows that by protecting the greater community we are protecting ourselves.

Things that would cause disorder to that community therefore would be bad. If an individual is going around killing or stealing from people, they are causing disorder and threatening the society as a whole as well as to each individual. Anything that benifits the community, such as helping the poor, would then be deemed good. This is why we have laws and governments, to protect the community from disorder and to create an environment that gives the best chance to live out a full and healthy life from an individual perspective.

Morals are universal whether you are black, white, straight, gay etc. Before the Bible etc people knew stealing was wrong killing was wrong. God had nonthing to do with it. Im sure people would realize oh i shouldnt steal because its Bob not mine and or i shouldnt kill because it takes away someone elses life etc. Those things made sense and thats why people all around the world have morals such as honesty, justice etc.And you forget that parents also play a key role in teaching us morals as children.

That theory has a problem: It only explains the part of the population that thinks stealing and killing are wrong. What about the other people who steal and kill?

Could self interest be the answer?

If tiny, sparsely-populated North Dakota is any example, maybe we have more allies out there than we realize:

"North Dakota – Measure 3 was a 'religious freedom law' pushed by conservative and Christian groups that would have protected religious practice from government mandates. It failed 65 to 35 percent"

but guys,this morality,is it inside us or just outside?forget about the origin,think for a moment where it is regarding human being?if the answer is morality is an inner concept (as if it's built-system)so how we can easily  deceive it? and if the answer;morality is there outside us, so this morality how it can be related to our conscience?

@thelonely

Ask yourself the same thing about economics.  It doesn't exist in a single mind - it is the product of the interaction of human minds.  It is a societal construct with behaviors that govern human behavior.  No one has ever suggested that a god created objective economics.  Why?

What is different about ethics/morality?

The emotional reaction it causes, where things in an instant seem to go straight to the heart of what it is to be a human being. The suffering of another strikes at our core (most of us anyway). Fiscal policy does not have the same direct emotional connection in any person I have ever met. My feeling is that is the reason people don't believe in objective, god-given morals.

I would bet more people have committed suicide over financial ruin than a perceived injustice.  What do you think?

If in any doubt about this - read this news item.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/28/us-greece-election-suicid...

Yes, it's clearly an emotional reaction.

Ethics is tied to a culture in a certain time in a certain place and based on a human's personal and social experience. Thus, conscious is different things for different people. One person may feel bad about accidentally stepping on a worm. Another person may feel bad about not finishing off a wounded enemy soldier.

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