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Atheists and Agnostics Have Morals Too!

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posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 09:23 AM
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Greetings, Earthlings!

I'm fairly new to the ATS scene, I got on here right before the Tuscon shooting and have been hooked ever since! I love that anyone with any belief can come here and share their theories and ideas on what's really going on on this crazy little planet of ours. I love to read all of the opinions, especially the ones I don't agree with!

The only thing that really bothers me takes place in almost all religious debates and discussions. We'll all be going along, posting and replying about your religion vs mine when all of the sudden someone will casually mention that atheists are scary or dangerous because they have no morals or they think that life is meaningless. Now, I understand that living your life along guidelines in a millenia old book can cloud your vision and distort the truth, but why do smart, faithful people just assume that no belief in God equates with belief that life is meaningless and we can all just do whatever we want all the time.

I grew up a staunch atheist and opponent of organised religion. I also lead a more morally just life than a lot of religious people I know. Recently I have accepted the fact that there is a unifiying force running through all of Creation, but that it is not the personal God of the bible or any other scripture, but a true and natural God.

I guess my main intention for this post, aside from finally making my first one, is to get people talking about how we can find morals without religion. I really feel like religion is a temporary condition, and I'd like to hear how others have managed to lead good lives without it. It would be as much for myself as for the folks who assume that Atheists and Agnostics have no morals.




posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 09:45 AM
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"Morals" are subjective. It is ethics that are what we should strive for. And the three Laws are what an ethical person would maintain regardless:

* Do not willfully harm or kill another Being

* Do not willfully take or damage another Being’s property

* Do not willfully defraud another Being

Personally, I am very spiritual, but have no religion.

Welcome as a poster to ATS!



posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 09:52 AM
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Welcome to ATS.


You're right. There are some criticisms of atheists as having no morals (among other things). But realize that this is not a one-sided criticism. People accuse religious folks of all sorts of nasty stuff, too. Any time someone has a belief to share, others are going to disagree and criticize.


On a personal note, I have much higher standards of morals in my life now (as an atheist) than I ever did as a religious person, where I spent the first 30 years of my life.

I believe our morals come from society, our experiences and some are in-born. Atheists are no less moral than anyone else. That's just the way it is. If some disagree, well, that's their prerogative.
They have the freedom to be wrong.


Edited to add: I don't know when honesty became so important to me, but at one point, I decided that I didn't want or need dishonesty in my life, so I made a commitment to myself not to lie or be a part of dishonesty... even if it hurt people's feelings, or embarrassed me or made someone angry. If I can't be totally honest about who I am and what feel, then being here loses a LOT of meaning. I am what I am. And if people don't like that, that's OK. Because I don't want to be anyone else and I won't compromise my ethics for ANYONE.

.
edit on 2/3/2011 by Benevolent Heretic because: I wanted to change 'ethics' to 'morals' even though I don't know why.




posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 09:58 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

I believe our ethics come from society, our experiences and some are in-born. Atheists are no less moral than anyone else. That's just the way it is. If some disagree, well, that's their prerogative.
They have the freedom to be wrong.


I believe ethics are universal - they are a basic constituent of the structure of society. "Morals," come from society - as in "It's immoral to smoke cannabis..." Clearly, morals are not universal - but the three Laws are in undercurrent to all society.



posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by Amaterasu
 


Sorry, I don't know the difference.
Even after reading the meanings of each word, I still can't grasp it. So, insert whichever word fits better.



posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 10:06 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
reply to post by Amaterasu
 


Sorry, I don't know the difference.
Even after reading the meanings of each word, I still can't grasp it. So, insert whichever word fits better.


[grin] Ethics have to do with how we interact with others, regardless of any differences we may have. Morals are a set of rules, usually with religious foundations, which have been imposed (and often some will try to impose their morals on others).



posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 10:07 AM
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Welcome to ATS.

I agree with your summary. I'd be careful, though- I'm an agnostic, and I posted a similar thing yesterday in an attempt to illustrate that no religion=no morals/ethics/whatever is wrong, and I was called a radical atheist (even though I'm not an atheist) troll, who was using ambiguity and double-speak to spread hatred for those who are religious. Still at a bit of a loss as to why my "accuser" came to such a conclusion, but anyway.

Personally, as I said, I'm an agnostic, but I operate by the policy 'treat others as you would like to be treated yourself'- I guess that's the same as 'love thy neighbour' that followers of Christ may adopt. In my eyes, we're all in this together, and we can either make this place and the journey we experience here as crappy as possible, or vica versa. Although, I'm helped by the fact that I had quite a strict up-bringing, and was always taught not to be selfish- even though my dad was probably the most selfish person I've ever met, but that's another story- I suppose I'm lucky to have him as an anti-role model, a case study of how I do not want to live my life. I've still got many, many flaws, and I break my 'golden rule' sometimes, but I try to learn from it and grow as a person.

Basically, I just think there's enough hatred in the world already, and hate is just a waste of emotion, and gets us nowhere. It is difficult though, when we live in a over-bearing capitalist/materialistic society, which teaches selfishness is good, and goodwill is a sign of weakness, as it often costs $$ and time- and of course, time is money too!



posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 11:49 AM
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reply to post by ScepticalBeliever
 


my dad is also my anti-role model! ha!
That's an unfortunate reaction which I don't hope to get. I certainly don't have a problem with NICE and GOOD religious people or their convictions, I just think that we aggies have valid viewpoints, too!
I can't believe Amaterasu commented on my first thread! whoo!



posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 11:52 AM
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Those who believe atheists have no morals neither understand morality nor atheists. Such people must likely get such beliefs from things told them by their pastors or people like Mike Huckabee.



posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 02:59 PM
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I think this whole debate/arguing between "believers" and atheists/agnostics is fk'n ludicrous. Are the "believers" of ATS so stubborn and ignorant that they can't see atheists as intelligent and thoughtful persons, but stupid immoral creatures with no vision for things above our understanding? It's almost like atheists are doing some kind a crime when not believing in every fairytale that is told. Atheists defending their scientific "knowledge" aggressively are not any better than blissfully ignorant believers, we should know that trolling and unnecessary arguing is for idiots. Not to mention how futile this whole struggle is.

All this reminds me of elementary school when boys feared girl bacteria and kids were arguing who's got the neatest toys. Finally boys realized that girls ain't filthy, but arguing about the neatest toys continued (and continues still) and as always in unreasonable arguing, the loudest wins. I've noticed something like this going on for a while and it's worrying me because I thought ATS is mostly full of adults, not fighting little brats.

All you blockheads flooding ATS with this atheist vs. believer bullcrap please grow up and realize that being atheist or believer ain't gonna change the fact that you have a lot more in common than you have difference. I can't speak on behalf of every one in here, but I assume that vast amount of us have felt some sort of awakening which bonds us in a way. So let us be friends, not fiends.

-Jim



posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 03:08 PM
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reply to post by JimmiJam
 


No trolling here, Jim. Though I must say that you would have played into a troll's hands quite nicely. The purpose of the thread was for believers and atheists to be able to find that common ground where morals come from. But ranting about discussions that you feel are pointless or boring works too!



posted on Feb, 4 2011 @ 03:25 PM
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If atheism is correct then morality, and ethics for that matter, are relative and no one has the right to say another's morality and ethics are immoral or unethical. Arguably all atheists are moral according to atheistic philosophy. Therefore "do what thou will" is no more moral or ethical than "love thy neighbor". An atheists answer to "you are immoral" should simply be that an immoral condition cannot exist, all is moral depending upon perspective. A true atheist would understand this and embrace it.

The problem arises when one considers the possible societal impacts a widespread understanding and acceptance of this philosophy would create. Laws and restrictions would only apply to those who wished to follow them, societal punishments would only apply to those who wished to accept them, no one would be wrong all would be right. In short, society, civilization and culture would collapse,... oh well nothing lasts forever right.

Peace
edit on 4-2-2011 by slane69 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 09:36 AM
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reply to post by slane69
 


That whole thing sounded awesome until your last sentence. What proof can you offer for your conclusion? Why would society collapse? Is your faith in humanity so tarnished by TPTB and the MSM? Don't you think that good people would still be good people? Or that if we were so easily turned from good citizens to rioting beasts that it would have happened already even with the laws? There has never been a single moment in my life when I have stopped what I was about to do because I realized it was illegal, and that doesn't mean I'm some sort of criminal or scallywag.



posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 01:28 PM
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reply to post by RicoMarston
 


As far as religion, I was an atheist too but as I am reading more and more about mysteries and other unexplained phenomena, I don't know what to believe anymore. Have u watched any episodes of "Ancient Aliens" on History channel? Seems I'm believing the ancient astronaut theory more and more lately.

We have to remember that religion and science seeks answers to the same questions, they are not enemies of each other.
edit on 8-2-2011 by Topato because: spelling

edit on 8-2-2011 by Topato because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 01:28 AM
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reply to post by RicoMarston
 


Welcome!

I advice you to go search truth for yourself about the spiritual world.

I practice self-cultivation in Falun Dafa which is based on assimilating oneself to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in daily life. One also does a few exercises to purify one´s body.Falun Dafa was introduced in 1992 by Master Li Hongzhi as a last exit door for those people who want to truly improve themselves and become better people.

If a person cleanses his body and mind he will be able to improve everything(health, concentration, peace of mind, opening of his third eye, develop supernormal powers etc etc) in his life.

The free e-book link to Zhuan Falun is below in my signature, check it out please. 100 million people started practicing Falun Dafa in 7 years before the communists banned it in China.

I wish you good luck!

/Gaussq



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 01:44 AM
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If a person cleanses his body and mind he will be able to improve everything(health, concentration, peace of mind, opening of his third eye, develop supernormal powers etc etc) in his life.- COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE ON POINT. I TRY TO EXPLAIN THAT TO PEOPLE ON A DAILY BASIS. THE PROBLEM IS THE PEOPLE WHO DISAGREE HAVE NEVER FELT ENLIGHTENMENT OR TRUE PEACE. YOU CANNOT EXPLAIN THE FEELING OF ENLIGHTENMENT, BASICALLY EVERYTHING IS PERFECT IN THAT MOMENT LIKE BEING IN LOVE, BUT BETTER. I HAVE READ WHAT EVERYONE HAS SAID AND I JUST WANT TO SAY, WHY DO WE ARGUE? YES ITS A PHENOMINAL THING TO HEAR OTHER PEOPLES OPINION, BUT WHOSE TO SAY WHO IS RIGHT OR WRONG? FAITH IS ONE OF THE THINGS SCIENCE CANNOT PROVE- IT IS HOPE- IT IS HOPE FOR SOMETHING GREATER THAN WHAT YOU CAN SEE OF FEEL. IT IS LIKE AN IMAGINATION THAT CANT GET SHOT DOWN. NO MATTER HOW DIFFERENT WE REALLY ARE- WE ALL BLEED AND DIE EVENTUALLY, SOME BEFORE OTHERS, BUT ITS INEVITABLE PERIOD. FOR ALL THE ATHIESTS OUT THERE, I DO NOT KNOW YOUR BELIEFS OR HOW YOU VIEW THE WORLD, BUT IF YOU WERNT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE YOU WOULDNT BE. WHY NOT BELIEVE THERE IS SOMETHING GREATER THAN WHAT YOU CAN SEE? SO YOU THINK YOUR IN EXISTENCE TO LIVE WITH NO BELIEF AND JUST DIE FOR NO REASON? I DONT THINK SO, I KNOW DEEP DOWN IN EVERYONES GUT, THEY WANT TO BELIEVE AND HAVE FAITH EVEN IF THEY DONT ADMIT IT AND TAKE IT TO THEIR GRAVE. ID RATHER DIE BELIEVING THERE WAS A GOD THAN DIE NOT BELIEVING ANYTHING AT ALL JUST TO FIND OUT THE OPPOSITE THE MINUTE I PASSED AWAY LOOKING HIM IN THE EYES. IF YOUR SCARED NOW, JUST WAIT TO SEE HOW SCARED YOUR GONNA BE IF YOUR WRONG. I MYSELF DO NOT BELIEVE IN ORGANIZED RELIGION, THE ROOT OF ALL RELIGION CAME FROM ASTROLOGY AND THE 12 ZODIAC SIGNS. WITH ALL THAT BEING SAID- THIS IS TO EVERYONE WHO IS READING THIS, WHETHER JESUS OR MUHAMMAD WAS OR WASNT GOD, THEY KNEW THEMSELF. THEY KNEW MORE KNOWLEGDE THAN ANYONE THAT WALKED THE EARTH. A WISE MAN ONCE SAID EVERY MAN IS A GOD IN HIS OWN UNIVERSE. THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. THE MESSAGE FROM JESUS, ETC WAS THAT GOD IS IN ALL OF US. HE IS THE LIGHT, HE IS OUR TRUE POTENTIAL. WE WOULDNT BE HERE FOR NO REASON, THERE IS ALWAYS A REASON, EVEN IF WE DONT KNOW WHAT THAT REASON MAYBE.... JUST BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND YOU WILL FIND THE LIGHT AND ONCE YOU FIND ENLIGHTENMENT, YOU WILL NOT CARE ABOUT ALL THE QUESTIONS YOU HAVE, BUT RATHER BE GLAD TO HAVE FOUND TRUE PEACE AND HAPPINESS THAT PEOPLE STIVE FOR EACH MOMENT THEYRE ALIVE. HUMANITY SO WRAPPED UP IN BEING BETTER THAN THE NEXT RATHER THAN FINDING AND MAKING YOURSELF BETTER IN ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE. DID YOU WONDER IF "GOD" OR WHATEVER HE MAY BE, PUT US HERE TO JUDGE US? IF YOU CAN LIVE A PROPEROUS LIFE AND SAY NO TO TALL TEMPTATIONS AND GIVE UP MATERIALISTIC THINGS AND YOUR EGO AND SACRIFICE THE NOW FOR FOREVER THEN I WOULD THINK YOU ARE MORE THAN WORTHY OF BEING ACCEPTED. THE DEVIL IS MORE REAL THAN YOU THINK-HE IS YOUR EGO, THE ONE THAT ALWAYS TELLS YOU WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR. THE THIRD EYE WILL OPEN UP ONCE YOU OPEN AND LET IT IN.




edit on 9-2-2011 by Ovadrive because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 04:10 AM
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reply to post by Ovadrive
 


Thanks, now I understand even better why you have a predestined connection to Falun Dafa.



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