Why I Am Moral (By an Atheist)

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posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 02:40 PM
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I'm moral because I have the capacity to be moral.

Our brains have evolved in a different way to other animals; we have the ability to reason, to contemplate, to co-operate. Why use it for hate, destruction when we can put it to better use?

If we were a suicidal species, we wouldn't have formed this civilisation, we wouldn't have produced the great minds, that are the cornerstone of what we have achieved to this date.

The fact that we formed language shows we are a trusting species; if the majority lied, it would render language (communication) utterly useless.

Some state if atheists do not believe in one particular theory of the universe, or reality (GOD), that they cannot understand "love", this is untrue, and there's nothing to stop an atheist taking a keen interest in investigating the unknown, the numinous or the transcendent.

Just thought I’d share my moral obligations.

Please share your reasoning for being "moral" - That includes EVERYONE, religious and non-religious.

Peace.
edit on 24/8/2011 by NeverForget because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 02:50 PM
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I think morality is just the ability to not be an as^%$#ole. I believe everyone is capable of this. Has nothing to do with religion or anything else.



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 02:55 PM
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Because as an Atheist with no promise of reward I have always felt better in doing the right thing. Like any other person I am capable of right and wrong, in fact in my own particular circumstances I can hurt and cause pain more than most but any 'buzz' people find from imposing their ideology pales into insignificance next to defending the weak or giving a helping hand.
Because it feels better.



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 03:10 PM
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I have morals, and have had them for as long as I can remember. It's the difference between right and wrong - of course, it is considered a Godly trait, regardless of your beliefs, all morality has to come from somewhere, and that would be God. Of course, you learn it growing up - but it must be taught, it isn't a natural development.

To some, they believe to be a Christian means to be a moral, and basically good human being. That to go to Heaven at the end of the road, means to do good work that pleases men.

To a Christian, morals and good works mean nothing. In the eyes of God, no one is righteous, no one is perfect, all men have fallen short of the glory of God, "but there are some good people out there, why would God send them to hell?" There are NO good people, not one, not Christians, not Atheists, the only one was Jesus, which is why salvation comes through spiritually accepting Him and being reborn - that's the only way to Heaven, as Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Morals and Good works mean nothing, it's pointless to dwell on such frivolous things.



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 03:12 PM
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One should do the right thing for the sake of itself, not for some pie in the sky reward given out by a faceless entity. That within itself is morally correct. With this mindset, a person is free to exercise their free will and learn more about the world around them instead of sticking their noses into other peoples' business.



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 03:26 PM
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Humans are a social species; we want to be accepted by our peers. We have a desire to be successful and to please our community. Whether that be our friends, city, our country, etc. If we do something wrong (commit a crime) that could be detrimental to the society and would result in negative consequences.

On a personal level we also wish to be accepted by others. As do all other social animals, the continuation of our species is our priority and that's where our morality comes from.



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 03:32 PM
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I'm moral (atheist) for much the same reason as the OP. I feel like being immoral is ultimately counterproductive where as treating my fellow man with respect and kindness is usually more effective. I just makes way more sense.



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 03:41 PM
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I have a strong sense of empathy, and decent reasoning skills. I don't need to explain any father than that, that's all I need to know what's "right" and act on it.

I have thought over the philosophy of morality a lot, and I could go into a kind of 'rules and guidelines' that make it specifically, but those are naturally programed into me by being human, not a conscious decision.

~
The best way to expand your morality is by expanding knowledge. The more you know, the more information you have to apply to situations to determine morality.



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 03:49 PM
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reply to post by NeverForget
 


My question is - what is it that caused our brains to evolve differently than every other species on the planet? Is it an evolution thing? Or could it be that we have a spirit within us? And that is what separates us from every other living thing? Where did that spirit come from?



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 04:13 PM
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Anyone? ......Anyone out there??



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 04:31 PM
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Cool! I have a thread all to myself!!!

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 04:56 PM
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Many people do what is moral and good when they are out in public.....but what about when they are behind closed doors? Is their behavior just as moral and good? For many....no....they are not moral and good in private.

I myself am a good person in public and private....good.morals too....but I was born that way...and daily I choose to stay that way.

How do you act when you are in private....alone....that is the real you.



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 06:57 PM
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Originally posted by micmerci
reply to post by NeverForget
 


My question is - what is it that caused our brains to evolve differently than every other species on the planet? Is it an evolution thing? Or could it be that we have a spirit within us? And that is what separates us from every other living thing? Where did that spirit come from?


Compared to other species we have developed better memory (E.g compared to our ape cousins); we formed gesture systems, and eventually evolved a language system and culture and so on. It's currently unclear what the "key" or the "cause" to our ehanced state of consciousness is, however, there are theories out there:-

The "Stoned Ape" Theory of Human Evolution by Terrence McKenna


In his book Food of the Gods. McKenna proposed that the transformation from humans' early ancestors Homo erectus to the species Homo sapiens mainly had to do with the addition of the mushroom Psilocybe cubensis in its diet - an event which according to his theory took place in about 100,000 BC (this is when he believed that the species diverged from the Homo genus). He based his theory on the main effects, or alleged effects, produced by the mushroom. One of the effects that comes about from the ingestion of low doses, which agrees with one of scientist Roland Fischer's findings from the late 60s-early 70s, is it significantly improves the visual acuity of humans - so theoretically, of other human-like mammals too. According to McKenna, this effect would have definitely prove to be of evolutionary advantage to humans' omnivorous hunter-gatherer ancestors that would have stumbled upon it "accidentally"; as it would make it easier for them to hunt.


en.wikipedia.org...

Some other interesting reads:-

Consciousness and Evolution by William Calvin, Ph.D.

www.esalenctr.org...

Why Did Evolution Engineer Consciousness?

homepages.rpi.edu...

Planetary Survival and Consciousness Evolution:

www.primalspirit.com...

Again, it's unclear what the key is.

An interesting sci-fi concept in Athur C Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey) and the film adapation is well worth a watch, beautifully done by Stanley Kubrick:-


"2001" is a story of evolution. Sometime in the distant past, someone or something nudged evolution by placing a monolith on Earth (presumably elsewhere throughout the universe as well). Evolution then enabled humankind to reach the moon's surface, where yet another monolith is found, one that signals the monolith placers that humankind has evolved that far. Now a race begins between computers (HAL) and human (Bowman) to reach the monolith placers.


Obviously, I'm not asserting that the above synopsis is true or a cogent theory for evolution.
edit on 24/8/2011 by NeverForget because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 09:33 PM
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reply to post by NeverForget
 



I'm moral because I have the capacity to be moral.


Brilliant! You're standing upon a Biblical presupposition to argue against the Biblical worldview.



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 11:57 PM
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Isn't anyone going to answer the question in the headline?

There have been basically two responses so far:
1) Being moral is good (being immoral is bad). That just puts off answering the question. What isn't addressed is "How do you know what good is?" Remember, God is not allowed in the discussion. Do you think its "good" because you like it? Then you're just doing things that are pleasing to you. That's not morality, that's hedonism. We have the capacity to think, why shouldn't we use it to plot crimes?

2) Being moral is the way things work best. So, being moral as an individual is about finding the ways to make things happen the way you want them to happen? That's social engineering, not morality.

At least part of morality involves knowing what you should do. Where do atheists come up with the "should" idea. Why "should" I not steal if I need something? To protect society? Why should I protect society? To keep the race alive? The race will end eventually anyway, why should I keep it alive?

That's what I was hoping to find in this thread, the statement of WHY I am moral.



posted on Aug, 25 2011 @ 06:57 AM
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Originally posted by NOTurTypical
reply to post by NeverForget
 



I'm moral because I have the capacity to be moral.


Brilliant! You're standing upon a Biblical presupposition to argue against the Biblical worldview.


It's not a presupposition, it's an observation. It just happens to be one of the very few that the bible writers happened to get right too.

~

Originally posted by charles1952
At least part of morality involves knowing what you should do. Where do atheists come up with the "should" idea. Why "should" I not steal if I need something? To protect society? Why should I protect society? To keep the race alive? The race will end eventually anyway, why should I keep it alive?


I'd assume the same place you do. It'd be a joke if you claimed to use the bible to know all your rights and wrongs. Would you truely not be against murder, or theft, if god never said either were bad? Are you ok with slavery, and slave beating, since god actually did condone these behaviours? Do you believe in excessive punishment(often stoning) for petty crimes and the mistreatment of women? Is online piracy ok just because god never said it wasn't? The list goes on, very long.

We have moral compasses within us. You use your moral compass when you pick and choose what parts of the bible to listen to, which to not, and which to declare no longer relevant. Ultimately, it's not the bible leading you, it's you leading the bible. Thusly, it's not you're source of morality.
edit on 25-8-2011 by xxsomexpersonxx because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2011 @ 07:18 AM
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reply to post by Lionhearte
 


You wrote:

["all morality has to come from somewhere, and that would be God."]

And how is this postulate or assumption made credible?

Quote: ["Morals and Good works mean nothing, it's pointless to dwell on such frivolous things"]

Thank 'god' I'm not a theist. And for those of us, who don't run our lives on a mythological manual, we have observed, that systems run by theists (theocracies) are plain misery, and systems run on utilitarian principles are far better.

Can we have the circle-argument now, please....'good' is what theists define to be 'good'.



edit on 25-8-2011 by bogomil because: grammar



posted on Aug, 25 2011 @ 07:22 AM
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Originally posted by NOTurTypical
reply to post by NeverForget
 



I'm moral because I have the capacity to be moral.


Brilliant! You're standing upon a Biblical presupposition to argue against the Biblical worldview.


It takes the special branch of theist 'logic' to arrive at such an interpretation.
edit on 25-8-2011 by bogomil because: addition



posted on Aug, 25 2011 @ 08:32 AM
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Originally posted by Lionhearte
I have morals, and have had them for as long as I can remember. It's the difference between right and wrong - of course, it is considered a Godly trait, regardless of your beliefs, all morality has to come from somewhere, and that would be God. Of course, you learn it growing up - but it must be taught, it isn't a natural development.

To some, they believe to be a Christian means to be a moral, and basically good human being. That to go to Heaven at the end of the road, means to do good work that pleases men.

To a Christian, morals and good works mean nothing. In the eyes of God, no one is righteous, no one is perfect, all men have fallen short of the glory of God, "but there are some good people out there, why would God send them to hell?" There are NO good people, not one, not Christians, not Atheists, the only one was Jesus, which is why salvation comes through spiritually accepting Him and being reborn - that's the only way to Heaven, as Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Morals and Good works mean nothing, it's pointless to dwell on such frivolous things.


wow...................what a miserable world-view

If that really is the truth about reality, then the entire human existence is not even worth seeing out......

Thankfully though its a huge steaming pile of horses**t



posted on Aug, 25 2011 @ 09:08 AM
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Originally posted by micmerci
reply to post by NeverForget
 


My question is - what is it that caused our brains to evolve differently than every other species on the planet? Is it an evolution thing? Or could it be that we have a spirit within us? And that is what separates us from every other living thing? Where did that spirit come from?


Our intellect evolved as a result of growing complexity, and turned out to be a survival benefit in a predatory environment.

Complexity doesn't necessitate any 'spirits'. Just look at the area of AI (artificial intelligence), where complexity now has reached a level, which is close to self-organizing. At some points on par with what the guys down in the pub have.

Or another perspective, without having a 'spirit' defined, a very intelligent dog shows more 'awareness', relates more functionally and can make more (alleged) 'free will' decissions than a human being restricted by severe mental handicaps. Does that mean, that such dogs have a 'spirit' and these humans not?

Where such a spirit comes from depends firstly on if it exists at all, and secondly on what kind of method used to trace its origin.

Just the plain observable fact of mankind having an intellect can explain ethical systems based on rational values. And then evaluate such systems pragmatically. Seas of blood to appease a deranged 'god' or 'frivolous' get-along societies.

Mankind is the referee on this, not self-proclaimed authorities from mythology.
edit on 25-8-2011 by bogomil because: spelling





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