It strikes me as obvious, and perhaps there is a string on this site that gets into the question, that when and if a given atheist's and a theist's morals were point for point equal, who has the high ground? It's my opinion that the atheist wins hands-down as he or she maintains a high standard of human morality without the fear of some invisible deity looking over everyone's shoulder with threats to behave in a moral fashion.
Speaking personally, I would put my moral standards side by side, point for point, tit for tat with any true believer. All the atheists I know personally have or place a high value on morality; in other words we do the proper thing or take the correct path because it is the proper thing to do in a human context and do so without the fear of some invisible big guy in the sky keeping score and receiving retribution at some future date before some stupid gate into paradise.
I never said I "have everything figured out" and as I have been a science student since earliest memory, like a true seeker of scientific fact and 'truth" everything is on the table at all times pending better methodology, tools and insight. With that said however, there are many things that are acceptable as final proofs, i.e. we live in a heliocentric universe, a water molecule is composed of two hydrogen and one oxygen atom, the temperature of boiling water depends on the altitude or atmospheric pressure at the point where it's being boiled, etc, etc, etc.
An atheist, as well as any sentient human being that does not suffer from mental aberrations and illness, simply knows wrong from tight, ergo moral from immoral. Amanda Marcotte said it very well when she wrote, "We hear you (a theist) saying the only thing standing between you and Ted Bundy is a is a flimsy belief in a supernatural being made up by pre-literate people trying to figure out where the rain came from".
If you will read the original question you will see that I didn't claim moral superiority, I was asking for opinions. I never said my moral values were superior to anyone's, just equivalent thereto. It's the jesus freaks, who have misappropriated the moral hugh ground and assume and claim by default their morality is vastly superior to that of an atheist.
Morality evolves, 2000 years ago it was moral to hold slaves and it remained that way until recent history. Killing and stealing from a member of the tribe has been a problem from the earliest times. Human nature has a problem with a man taking another mans mate going back to the earliest of time.
Religion has has co-opted these ideas and stated they came from god but the reality is they come from the oldest parts of the brain as it evolved. Religion has use this basic thinking to build a system where they introduce religious laws and heaven and hell as a reward but that is not central to the concepts.
Gods made it easier for control of the members of these societies and found that adding kings and other forms of government mixed with god made even easier.
God is certainly not central to morality when you look at most conflicts on a country or region vs country basis, in these cases god is central theme to the conflict.
Well said Jim, and I have long maintained that human morality evolved quite separate and independently from any and all religion. In fact theists could learn a few points in morality from atheists although today's Republicans, and not a few Democrats I hasten to add could learn a lot more from us..
After I outed myself as an atheist some 25-yeas ago, I learned a totally new respect for the LGBT community and especially how it felt to have lived a lie for so long. I understood how relieving it was to be ones self. Recently I even marched in the Dallas Alan Ross Gay Pride Parade in support of my LGBT friends, quite I might add to the distress of my evangelical christian bride for the past 45-years. We have a very happy marriage and have enough mutual respect and love to allow for that otherwise fundamental difference not to have an adverse impact on our very happy and successful marriage. I also maintain that if the two of us can live happily under the same roof running our business together, than anyone can!
Do I understand you correctly, to you looks determine credibility?
Looks? What looks? in fact WTF?
After the time of the Greeks I think Nietzsche might have been the most honest one in the bunch. That's just a personal opinion. :)
I don't think philosophy can substitute for moral guidance any more than a god can. Both are invariably encased in the overuse of words.
Philosophy uses word to make a point, as you did when you wrote your moral code. I find nothing objectionable about your code but may I ask, were these words you use special unused words? Are these new ideas, do you think that these are original thoughts on morality or were your ideas built on the ideas of philosophers and writers that gave us these ideas and you adapted them to our times and our culture as you see it?
You make many claims, some of which are a bit confusing. Such as:
Life-long skeptic . . ."
"The religion you left
Really - A life long skeptic Christian?
"Why you left your religion.
doubting bible led to crumbling away of any firm belief structure"
Really - A life long skeptic with a firm belief structure in the bible!! Oxymoron here?
And the contradiction to the previous statement:
"Why you left your religion. - Other reason
It never made sense to me, ever."
How does that fit with "firm belief structure"
Something phoney here. And I have a feeling you have made other less than truthful claims.
Do you have your DD-214?
Bruce Am I missing something? Most of us were part of a religion, I started questioning at 8 but it wasn't until I was in Nam that I understood that I was skeptic and from there I studied many different philosophies and finally understood i was an atheist.
You look to me as if you want to have a fight and it is over your idea that if your morality isn't written down then somehow we may forget what it is. Really do you read it daily before leaving the house so you will know how to act for the day?
Why would call Ken a dishonest because you disagree with him?