"Where do you get a moral compass from if you don't have a god?"

I've been lurking around youtube tonight and found this lovely lady. She is incredibly ignorant. I thought this would be a good opportunity to discuss our moral compasses, and how diverse our views really are. For example, I am an atheist, an animal rights activist (and vegan), a secularist,  among other things.  While my brother, who is also an atheist, has some pretty opposite views; he fishes and hunts, he's in the army (I don't agree with the war for MANY reasons, but I'm not going to get into that), as well as other things. 

Out of all the stupid, ignorant, and hypocritical things said by theists, this is the one that gets me the most. It's absurd to think that you need some higher power to guide you and tell you what is right from wrong. I actually got into an argument with a classmate about this, who is a crazy christian. I asked her what good she has done for our community or our world, she replied telling me how her and her mom raise money for their church. She reciprocated the question, and I gleefully answered telling her of the hundreds of hours of volunteering I've put into numerous charities and organisations. She was in shock, and needless to say she learned something new about atheists that day.

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Solution: Forgive yourself.

If I need to I would, but that's if I skip out on my idea about morality.

DearFolks:

Sadly, my first experience with this question was at catholic school, but they seemed to be rather unhelpful. One of my first experiences with a 'mis-match', what I though I knew/expected VS an action of another person, was with a priest. My family was told that the reason my sister died at age six, was because we did not go to church enough! This answer, when I was 11, seemed rather f--ked. The priest had no idea what had happen to our family, and was only interested in blame and trying to keep 'believers'. He lost four 'believers' as a result, I can't speek for my sister..;p(.

Finding the 'right thing to do', is sadly sometimes found in hindsight. If I have the privilage of time and experience, I can determine what seems the reasonable action. I try to act in such a way to minimize injury, danger, cruelity, meanness, misunderstading, and general crazyness. I try to find ways to optimize, understanding, insight, compassion, happiness, value, openness, etc. I can not say that I have always been successful. We do not live in a truely 'civil' culture, and I have no experience with what one might look like, just examples of when we get close.

I have known people that talk a good line, but 'the line' is sometimes just another game to play. I wax and wain, cynical and optimist, I try to have a nice day generally.    

 

That is truly horrible. After a tragedy, the worst thing that can be done is to blame the sufferer for the tragedy. To do it to try to promote a belief is even worse. I feel very sorry for you, truly. However, I am glad that you try to have a nice day if you can, and hope that you have many more nice days to come.

Try these word pairs: cynicism vs. idealism (referring to people's motivations), and optimism vs. pessimism (referring to expectations).

I have long said, "On my travels between idealism and cynicism, I like to spend some time with realism. Your "wax and wain" concept describes another aspect of my journey. Thanx.

The priest who said your sister died at age six because you did not go to church enough was protecting his own weak belief with an ideology.

My experience with ideologues persuaded me that an ideology protects a belief the way the shell of an egg protects the egg's contents.

Wow.  I'm sure a being as powerful and amazing as God gives a left toenail about whether or not you were in church enough.  And that was very Christian of that priest, too.  Very empathetic.  Again: wow.

Hmm. If you see a way to swindle someone or eliminate an enemy with absolutely no chance of being discovered and actually pinning the crime on an innocent party, what good is common sense. Common sense would seem to indicate that you should do what's in your self-interest.

How would I feel if someone drinks my juice? I would feel bad. Why would I feel bad? Because it's my juice. So if that's his juice how would he feel if I drink it? He would feel bad. Well why should I care if he feels bad? Because if I make him feel bad he will remember it, and if I make him feel bad he may make me feel bad.

Empathy, reputation and retribution. These are the things that guide our morals.

I hear you recommending empathy, but even people who feel empathy may let their self interest overcome it (I think it's almost impossible to succeed in sales, for example, if you let empathy overrule self-interest).

So, I can feel empathy and yet do what I feel is necessary. And if it makes me feel bad, I can forgive myself.

but then your moral compas was never in sync, you are basically "bi-moral"..

In sync with what?

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