ok, so we reject the idea of a divine entity. now what?

i don't know about you, but i'm proud of being an atheist. i'm proud of the fact i don't try to someway remove, destroy or convert those who have different beliefs than me because, to reject the construct of deism itself, is to reject the very notion that only one belief can be absolutely right.

now, as i'm sure many of you have experienced, those who tote faith as the reason of human existence will say something to like, "if there's no reason to why we're here then we can do whatever we want, thus, without morality, humanity collapses!" but the atheist has ethics derived from reason and science to guide his own humanity, assuming s/he wants to be a good person, while the religious person upholds themselves by the guiding tenants of their chosen religion based on the presumption that it is the be-all-end-all code of proper conduct for humanity.

the main difference here is that the non-believer LEARNS what is good, in the cultural sense of the word, using reason, experience and science and acts in that way. the believer already KNOWS what the good way to act within their culture is because it is written in sacred text of their religion. so, allowing the fact that the term "good" is relative on plethora levels of culture, family, religion, and every facet of our existence, is there a way to create a sort of universal code of goodness for the well being of all humanity, while ensuring our planet isn't destroyed, as we are in the process of doing now? or are we going to just have to settle for culturally circumstantial morals specific to these countries, families and subcultures that simply don't tread on one another's ethics?

what i'm basically asking is, is it possible to (and it's what religion, in part, has always been trying to do) create a very basic, non-circumstantial morality that A) all of humanity could agree on, within reason, and B) strikes a necessary balance with nature and the natural law of the earth (which humanity has moved against as a civilization as evidenced by nukes, industry, the ozone, extinct species and every other atrocity mankind has inflicted on the planet).

can such a construct, a relatively simple code of morals based on globally agreeable ethics exist yet? can it ever exist? what would that code be? if it could exist, what would need to be done to implement it within ourselves, within the very nature of humanity? is it too late to reverse the damage we've done to the earth? has our nature become so that we are irreversibly doomed to exhaust this planet of it's species to make room for more humans because somehow (and this is what our culture tells us, what it has always told us, it's why we have done all that we have done) humans are more important than all other life on the planet?

i've got more thoughts, but at this point i'd rather hear yours.

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yes, the golden rule has always been at the heart of what religion has attempted with morality. but how do we strip away everything covering that golden core of morality and show it to people in a convincing manner? what does it take to convince them?
I think it's likely our sense of morality evolved based on behaviors that proved most beneficial to the survival and prosperity of the human race. Murder, cruelty, theft, etc. These are all behaviors that apply to humans and our association with other humans. It's only when we take morality away from humanity and place it in the hands of an external source that our morality is corrupted - because god wants us to kill and hate and suffer. Once morality is taken from humanity, so too is our responsibility to act morally.

So, long answer, I think the only way to develop a set of universal ethics that everyone can agree on is to take our morality back into our own hands. I'm not sure that will ever happen.
i agree morality is corrupted when we decree it as an external source, but any person who follows an abrahamic religion will tell you, " god doesn't want us to kill and hate and suffer, he wants the opposite, he wants everyone to be good and go to heaven.". the problem with putting morality on this unobtainable, unquantifiable pedastal is that one simply cannot be perfectly moral, this is what a deity is, and thus what religions tell us to aspire to. when we create the unobtainable morality, people struggle to reach it, it is frustrating that a seemingly necessary component to humanity is out reach, so we dive further into the illusion and create clergy, prophets, popes, shamans, dictators and presidents and any sort of human medium that will help firm our grasp of this ideal morality. this muddles things further, because many people put in this position use it for personal gain, which tends to devastate the whole of human culture. even those who do not try to make personal gains from this appointed power end up warping, in some way or another, the ideal morality, simply because morality cannot be quantified as a whole, but lies very much in the individual. we all view the world through a sort of "self lens" which is wholly unique to every person, this lens is our filter for life, and as such, morality. so, if morality is subjective in the terms of this self lens, and we are striving for the perfect morality as laid out by our religion, which is further twisted by our appointment of individuals as representatives of this divine perfect morality, we develop an inner dissonance. it is a paradox that we must strive for a perfect morality of the gods, while the only beings ever to do so are fictitious amalgamations of myth that we use as the ultimate role models (jesus, allah, buddha, etc.). and through this frustration of our inability to reach this perfect morality, and the impossible nature of this morality (among many, many other reasons) the things that we qualify as "bad" happen.


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