The purpose of this group is to discuss morality from all points of view: biological, evolutionary, philosophical. Specific moral questions are also encouraged: if you have a moral question for us atheists, feel free to post it here.
While it is indeed possible that some people may need religion in order to be moral, this is a scary thought: their morality has not been reasoned or felt in their gut, it was ordered from above.
Human beings have had moral laws and codes for thousands and thousands of years before religion was ever invented, at least in an organized form. Human beings around the globe, from many religious backgrounds, have pretty much the same basic set of rules, starting with the Golden Rule. Why? Because our moral sense comes from the evolution of our brains and the need to live as a social species, avoiding conflict and increasing cooperation. Our moral sense is based on our emotions: it feels good to help others, and it feels bad to harm others.
The scientific study of human nature has naturally lead to the scientific study of human morality. A good start if you're new to this fascinating and important subject is The New Science of Morality, from Edge.org.
These are academic tests designed to probe our moral sense, moral cognition, and what drives our moral decisions and judgments. They are fun, they will tell you a lot about yourself, and you'll be helping researchers add to their current data.
YourMorals.org (Jonathan Haidt's group and collaborators)
The Moral Sense Test (Joshua Greene-Harvard University)
Why a lack of empathy is the root of all evil From casual violence to genocide, acts of cruelty can be traced back to how the perpetrator identifies with other people, argues psychologist Simon…Continue
A sexual revolution in the Middle East... Cool but, Islamists dont like that!Anther updates from the religion of peace! what do you think?!This time it's about a teenager atheist girl who needs to…Continue
I thought it might be kind of nice to have a thread where we can just add all the great stuff that we find which may not merit its own thread.This thread can be used to add:· Relevant…Continue
Another great essay by Stephen Pinker. - Dallas Why Is There Peace?Over the past century, violent images from World War II concentration camps, Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur, Iraq, and many other times…Continue
Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty How important is our brain’s empathy circuit and what happens to society when it doesn’t work properly? We’ll find out this hour with University of Cambridge…Continue
This is a thread for moral dilemmas (a part of applied ethics), feel free to post your favorite moral dilemma, real of made up, and what you would do and why. If you don't have anything to add right…Continue
From 2007. Nothing really new to this group, though. I like the moral dilemma Greene poses on page two. That one has not come up here before. - Dallas If It Feels Good to Be Good, It Might Be Only…Continue
Noam Chomsky's atheist morality makes more sense to me than the atheist non-sense of 'Richard Dawkins & his Merrie Men' …Continue