Godless Morality

This article makes the point that, contrary to common belief,

atheists do have morals.

But they are the result of compassion rather than fear of punishment in hell.

It also links to some further articles proposing moral positions which are different from those held by many people, but which are compatible with atheist philosophy.

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Many theists say that morality comes from knowing and obeying God's laws. As atheists don't accept God's laws, they have no morals and therefore eat babies.

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Atheists eating babies is actually a fairly rare occurrence. Atheists do have morals. They are natural morals based on compassion and humanity rather than fear of punishment in hell.

Religious people have morals dictated by religious texts like the Quran which might specify that people who question the faith or women who have been raped should be put to death. The Hebrews, at God's command, killed all the inhabitants of villages in Canaan so they could take their land. This often included the women and children and their animals. (Though sometimes they were allowed to keep the young women who were virgins.) Christians have tortured and burnt heretics and witches and even nowadays demonise people whose sexuality is not of the type considered 'normal' in society or even people whose religious beliefs don't correspond to their own.

Most atheists see this kind of morality as very unethical and undesirable. Instead, their natural morality tends to be based on 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you', 'Treat everyone fairly and with compassion', and in general 'Don't be an arsehole'. Admittedly some atheists are arseholes, but then so are plenty of religious people.

Morality is endemic in the animal kingdom. It is a behaviour that has evolved because species that have a societal structure are more likely to survive if they look after each other. In that sense, it is just like nest-building or feeding one's young. This includes humans. Our evolved nature is to look after those who carry our genes and those whose genes are similar to ours. Most people, including most atheists, extend that compassion to all of humanity. It is generally only the dictates of a god that get people to feel that it is right to act differently.

For anyone who is interested, the buttons below lead to short articles which present moral viewpoints which are different from those held by many, but which are compatible with an atheist philosophy.

Capital Punishment   Euthanasia   Testing Vaccines   Killing Babies

 

Homosexuality   Equal Rights

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