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.

Location: A Planet Near and Dear
Members: 241
Latest Activity: Jul 14

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


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


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. (Jonathan Haidt's group and collaborators)
The Moral Sense Test (Joshua Greene-Harvard University)


Discussion Forum

All Morality is Relative

Started by Andrew Brown. Last reply by Simon Paynton May 12. 50 Replies

Einstein proved everything is relative.Morality must also be relative, but relative to what?I argue our morality is obviously relative to Humans, thus all moral arguments we are able to judge must…Continue

Tags: peace, harm, path, nature, humans

Violating morals! what do you think?!

Started by Hope. Last reply by destitute Jan 16. 14 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!


Started by Richard W. Symonds. Last reply by Rodrigo Paris Aug 14, 2016. 29 Replies

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

Atheism, evolution and morality

Started by Anthony Blair. Last reply by Unseen Jul 18, 2016. 23 Replies

According to evolution science, all life on earth started as a bunch of molecules that accidentally coalesced in a lifeless puddle of mud to form a complex little biological machine that we call a…Continue

Questions to Video Gamers

Started by T A A. Last reply by Belle Rose Jul 17, 2016. 97 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

The Immorality of Prayers

Started by Jacob LeMaster. Last reply by C. Boyd Pfeiffer Mar 7, 2016. 11 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

no such thing as altruism?

Started by Wassabi. Last reply by Unseen Dec 22, 2015. 36 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

No afterlife, no morals?

Started by John Garbutt. Last reply by Simon Paynton Dec 17, 2015. 5 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

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

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Atheist Morality to add comments!

Comment by justin gold on January 16, 2011 at 4:15pm
I don't know how you can say that Hitchens is in a far lower league intellectually than Dawkins,Dawkins might be brilliant in his field of science and all things scientific but no way knows as much as hitchens on a range of subjects and I think Dawkins has admitted as much,Christopher Hitchens is known for his intellect on a world level and Dawkins more for being a professor of science.
Comment by Richard W. Symonds on January 16, 2011 at 3:45pm
Can't disagree with you there Adriana - but it is irrelevant to his ideas, isn't it ?
Comment by Richard W. Symonds on January 16, 2011 at 3:37pm

My opinion of the ideas of Hitchens, Adriana ?


Pretty low. Intellectually in a far lower league than Dawkins, but a good self-publicist (like Dawkins).

Comment by Richard W. Symonds on January 16, 2011 at 3:19pm
Just a modern form of Greek philosophical 'Stoicism'
Comment by Chadia on January 13, 2011 at 5:39pm

hey, guys, great group!

I read a post in a topic quoting atheïst don't have 'morality' or 'immorality'.  My question: Is this true?  I childabuse for instance not called immoral?  If not, how do we explain or call crimes like that?

Comment by Richard W. Symonds on January 12, 2011 at 3:48pm

Adriana, this guy on Media Lens thinks all this talk of oxytocin is "depressing" :

Comment by Richard W. Symonds on January 4, 2011 at 4:00pm
"Both Christians and Atheists can take these new scientific findings, one accepting that these rules were created by God, while the other can avoid such conclusions by observing how these rules would have arisen via Evolutionary processes" - Marc Hauser "Moral Minds"
Comment by Michael Sizer-Watt on December 31, 2010 at 11:09am
I figured it didn't warrant a discussion in here, because it's not really about morality itself, but due the injustice against GLBTs, I wanted to point out   It has some touching moments in some of the videos.  On that note, anyone who can watch and still hate really worries me deep down.
Comment by Brian Stewart on December 31, 2010 at 5:56am

Here are some of my thoughts on this: 

What is morality? It's essentially a code of values that seek to guide man's (generic) choices while ethics deals with the process of discovering and defining
such a code. The standards/norms for the definition of the principles
underlying ethics has been one of the most debated issues in philosophy for
centuries...does society decide and if these are evil, is it 'good' because
society has decided it is in the 'interest of society'? Mystics held sway and
used 'the will of God' as the standard and the validation of their ethics. By
implication, both these false standards deny three things, viz:

reason, man's mind and reality.
The ultimate 'value' is life and only living
entities can have goals, make choices and seek to add or destroy value.
However, trees and the amoeba etc don't have the capacity to consciously change
their basic functions although when their environments change and become life
threatening they (given time) adapt to these changes in most cases: their
single purpose remains however to ensure the survival of the species.

Man however has a mind and can take decisions and
is conscious of this: it is this consciousness which is man's fundamental and most
important tool for survival, but man has no automatic code to survive like the
trees; his senses do not tell him what goals he should pursue; he has to
discover these through trial and error.

Because man has the capacity to make choices
(indeed it is his/her undeniable responsibility), he can choose not to think;
to evade reality but he cannot avoid the consequences of his actions/choices.
So what are the values he should base his choices

First and foremost it must be based on 'life'
itself or that which is required to sustain it and ensure his survival. If he
chooses to rob, murder, enslave, and loot others to survive his survival is
made possible only by his victims, and he is essentially a parasite and simply
functions at a sub-human level. This not sustainable and will lead to
destruction, not because of a god's punishment but due to the unsustainability
of his actions in the long term.

A man without morals implies that he has given up
the ethical standard against which his actions are measured; he has chosen to
evade his responsibility but he cannot evade the consequences of his actions.
Long answer to a short question: Hope it helps!

Comment by Don on December 29, 2010 at 7:58pm
Hm.  I would say that empathy may be the underlying motivation--or maybe the inspiration--but the "primary prerequisite" is a legal system that will serve to impose a semblance of empathy on the disinclined.

Members (240)


Discussion Forum

All Morality is Relative

Started by Andrew Brown. Last reply by Simon Paynton May 12. 50 Replies

Atheism, evolution and morality

Started by Anthony Blair. Last reply by Unseen Jul 18, 2016. 23 Replies

The Immorality of Prayers

Started by Jacob LeMaster. Last reply by C. Boyd Pfeiffer Mar 7, 2016. 11 Replies

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