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Atheist Morality

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.

Website: http://www.thinkatheist.com/group/atheistmorality
Location: A Planet Near and Dear
Members: 210
Latest Activity: Jun 29

Where did morality come from?

We atheists are pretty tired of hearing that without religion, there would be no morality. It is offensive to us atheists, since this implies we cannot possibly be moral, or if we are in fact, moral, it is because we were raised in a culture in which morality was initially acquired, and still perpetuated, by religion.

 

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.

  

ONGOING DISCUSSIONS
The Video Thread
The Reading List
The Moral Repository
Exercises in Moral Dilemmas


ONLINE TESTS

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)

 

Discussion Forum

IF YOU WANT TO BE AN ENLIGHTENED MORAL ATHEIST, LET NOAM CHOMSKY BE YOUR INSPIRATION - NOT RICHARD DAWKINS

Started by Richard W. Symonds. Last reply by H3xx Sep 8, 2013. 27 Replies

Noam Chomsky's atheist morality makes more sense to me than the atheist non-sense of 'Richard Dawkins & his Merrie Men'  …Continue

no such thing as altruism?

Started by Wassabi. Last reply by Brian Daurelle Sep 7, 2013. 33 Replies

I recently read an article about altruism (not In English or I'd link), which stated there is actually no such thing.While humans do not have ability to relay tangible things to each other by means…Continue

Violating morals! what do you think?!

Started by Hope. Last reply by Hope Nov 27, 2011. 13 Replies

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

Tags: do, you, think?!, what, morals!

The Immorality of Prayers

Started by Jacob LeMaster. Last reply by fester60613 Mar 2, 2011. 10 Replies

Here is an example that was very personal to me..My grandmother was very ill due to a bad blood transfusion after giving birth to my uncle around 40 years ago..   Being in the bible belt the most…Continue

Tags: health, Prayer, Morality

So What About Quasi Realism?

Started by Albert Bakker. Last reply by Albert Bakker Feb 24, 2011. 18 Replies

In making a first small foray into Quasi Realism, I would like first to go back here to the very basics.Lets for a moment forget about the correct chronological order and the whole network of nested…Continue

Moral Contextualism

Started by Jaume. Last reply by A Former Member Feb 22, 2011. 37 Replies

Ow. It's not that easy to present an in-depth analysis or synthesis of Moral Contextualism (MC for short), when it is a fairly recent development of moral philosophy, and the relevant online…Continue

Tags: Adriana is a tyrant, contextualism, epistemology, morality, Moral Contextualism

Questions to Video Gamers

Started by T A A. Last reply by T A A Feb 22, 2011. 94 Replies

Nearly all my life, video gaming has been an attractive pastime. My grandparents bought that ridiculous "ping" (probably wrong name) game for the old B/W television set in their living room and all…Continue

Use of Force Against those Threatening Violence

Started by Ryan E. Hoffman. Last reply by No name Feb 21, 2011. 22 Replies

This whole Operation Rescue thing done by Rachel Maddow, in addition to the Justifiable Homicide in South Dakota for killing people that would do harm to a fetus aka Abortion Doctors... it's really…Continue

Tags: islam, terrorism, abortion, politics, force

No afterlife, no morals?

Started by John Garbutt. Last reply by T A A Feb 1, 2011. 3 Replies

Alright, so first of all I'm taking Theology & Religious Studies at university.  A lot of people find this pretty strange for an atheist, but I'm fascinated by mythology, by superstition and by…Continue

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Comment by Richard W. Symonds on January 20, 2011 at 11:19am
"Faith in nothing is not valid, Richard, it is just silly"

Let's take that statement from you doone, to illustrate
what I am trying to say :

You cannot know, with 100% certainty, that your statement
is correct. 

It might correspond with the truth more than someone
else's opinion - but that's all you can say. 

Comment by Jaume on January 20, 2011 at 11:17am

A dangerous illusion? I beg to disagree. 'Believing' is necessary to us, or we would waste our time trying to 'prove' everything that's been 'proven' countless times before. Generalized absolute skepticism would be much worse than relying on 'belief'.

What you missed is there are two ways to believe: faith and trust. The latter is corroborated by evidence (the more I eat omelettes, the more I believe the best way to cook one is to break some eggs first), while the former is not.

Comment by Richard W. Symonds on January 20, 2011 at 11:05am

That "epidemic of certainty" can afflict both Theists & Atheists alike - and that "feeling of knowing", to my mind, is a dangerous illusion.

 

Nobody knows anything with 100% certainty - scientists & non-scientists alike - because we are fallible human beings, with fallible brains. Cocksureness is a function of human ignorance

 

Essentially, life is a matter of faith - whatever you believe in (or don't believe In). 

Comment by Richard W. Symonds on January 20, 2011 at 10:19am
"If we can deny our own stubborn human nature, we can block out any information that contradicts what the author Tamim Ansary calls "the fruitless longing for transcendence" that drives much delusion".

I find it a constant source of fascination and amusement to read the lengths to which people will go to try & 'explain away' - in great detail - their belief (faith?) in the non-existence of a 'transcendent' reality.

There's something obsessively pathological about it - rather strange and unhealthy sometimes, it seems to me.
Comment by Richard W. Symonds on January 19, 2011 at 4:24am
Thought this might be of interest - not sure where to post it though :

http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/philosophy_east_and_west/v0...
Comment by justin gold on January 17, 2011 at 12:34pm
I'm so Sorry Don,That was ment for Herk not yourself.my mistake.
Comment by justin gold on January 17, 2011 at 12:30pm
I disagree Don,Dogs are smarter than we give them credit for if they can smell cancer tumors on people and sense all sorts of other things i'm sure death would be another scent they would pick up and relate it to its owner.
Comment by Don on January 16, 2011 at 9:25pm

I have a much harder time with the death of a dog than I do with the death of a human.

When he was going over my first novel, published long, long ago, my editor made it a point to tell me he was pleased that the instigating incident to my narrator's running away from home was the killing of his loyal dog.  He said, "The undeserved death of a dog is much more compelling than the death of a person."

Comment by Herk on January 16, 2011 at 8:56pm

The dog's thinking, "surely she'll get out of there and feed me soon . . ."

 

You have to be careful anthropomorphizing animals. That said, I have a much harder time with the death of a dog than I do with the death of a human.

Comment by Dan Jensen on January 16, 2011 at 7:59pm
Very touching photo, Doone. Thanks.
 

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