The Atheists Moral Pledge

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posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 10:52 PM
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I'm trying to get a better sense of what nonspiritual atheists pledge their morality to. That is, what do they ascribe to be the purpose of their morality?

My guess is that most would say for self, loved ones, planning ahead, or society, with a tendency to invoke the survival mechanism ideology.

I'm particularly interested in understanding what the perceived logic is in pledging your emotional sense of right and wrong, to your other emotional senses.

If "when you die you're gone", is a true sentiment for you, how do you justify only doing what is morally right, if doing something morally wrong will help you better survive in the here and now? i.e. What logic, or rationale, is there in being morally just, if it does not help you better survive?

The way I see it is that your pledge is to your own emotions, and nothing else, since everlasting, or higher than self, does not exist beyond an emotionally charged ideological concept...

So, what is your pledge to, and how do you justify it?

Is morality stupidity, insanity, delusional, rational, logical, beneficial, or any, and all of the above?

Any of you care to share your thoughts? (All are invited to answer.)

P.s. I will not judge your responses morally - I just want to know for my own understandings of the human mind. (Please answer honestly.)




posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 10:59 PM
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reply to post by Bleeeeep
 

Interesting postulate, I am a non-religious self-described Taoist with undeniable spiritualist tendencies.

My main question is for so-called nihilists, what purpose have you for making any argument at all given that there can be no purpose to existence?
edit on 11-10-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 11:08 PM
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As a child I was not taught religion.
I was taught to be aware of how my actions affected myself and others.

So to answer your question; critical thinking

I also recognize that doing the right thing as prescribed by popular consensus improves my mental ease and creates a healthier mind/body interface
edit on 11-10-2013 by tanda7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 11:16 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 


One of my follow up questions would be similar:

What rights should nonspiritual atheists have to the morality of others', if morality is purely based on the emotions of self.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 11:21 PM
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tanda7
As a child I was not taught religion.
I was taught to be aware of how my actions affected myself and others.

So to answer your question; critical thinking


Are you saying you were taught morality as a component of critical thinking?

To what regard should critical thinking be held?

Is the mind the highest regard to your sense of morality? Is it a survival mechanism of the mind for the mind? Is morality for the betterment of all minds, just your mind, or just for your minds sake of critical thinking?


+14 more 
posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 11:29 PM
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reply to post by Bleeeeep
 


I don't get why it's such a hard thing to grasp when removed from a religious context. Why?

I don't plan on death. I don't look toward the end of my life to reflect on my past and go "Ahh who cares, I'm dead now anyway!".. there is no goal post to run toward. No ball to shoot. Why are you asking it in that context?

I live right now. Right at this moment. Not 5 minutes ago nor 5 minutes from now. That is simply where I am and where I make my choices. I don't want to see people suffer. I don't want to see people in pain. So why would I act right now in a way that would cause it, either by my action or inaction?

I smile at people. Sometimes they smile back. Do I get a brownie point? No... I do it because I feel that expressing it is no effort on my part and maybe someone may benefit from being reminded that even big ugly hairy buggers can be decent.

I give to homeless people, or buskers, or when someone asks for some change. If I can, I do. Not because I want god to love me for being a superficially moral person. Not because I think karma will repay me thrice... never has, never will.. But I do it because I know what it's like to be in their position and how much of a difference being nice to people can make in their day.

I don't kick puppies or microwave kittens. Why? I don't think the puppy god or kitten lord will strike me down should I do it, like a religiously moral person would, so I must have a different reason.. like, knowing causing pain and suffering is wrong. I don't like it when I'm kicked. Or treated with less than decency when I've not caused any reason to be treated so.

God doesn't instil morals. The idea simply installs a fear. Don't be bad or god will not be happy, and it's off to the fires of Hades for you, sonnyjim. Nice.

Most religious people do nice things to get a better lot in the after life. Not because they really care about people. That's why they will cause suffering to everything that does not believe in their god, or look down on them as if they're not worthy of decent acceptance but still have to be treated nice because god says so.

"I'll pray for you." - to god? why? what will he do? Pray to me. That would be nice. Give ME nice thoughts. Wish ME well.. don't pray to your god because you're only sending letters to santa. "Dear santa, please give me a new bike. I've been really good."

Morals, if they need a chain to ensure you have them, are not morals. They're rules and laws instilled by religious fearmongers.

Be nice. Don't steal. Give back more than you take. Share. Don't cause pain or anguish and accept you're not the centre of the universe.

Why does this all seem to foreign to someone coming from a religious angle.. Not saying you are OP, but the question has arisen more than once here, from people who think that without morals instilled by religion, then we're all running around raping everything, eating everything, killing anything, stomping on ants because they're just ants.. etc etc.

I find religious morals very strict in their application. And far from honest.
edit on 11-10-2013 by winofiend because: Dear santa, please give me the ability to not make typos in my posts. I've been really good and left you some cookies and milk!!



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 11:33 PM
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greencmp
reply to post by Bleeeeep
 

Interesting postulate, I am a non-religious self-described Taoist with undeniable spiritualist tendencies.

My main question is for so-called nihilists, what purpose have you for making any argument at all given that there can be no purpose to existence?
edit on 11-10-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)


Are you equating non-spiritual atheism with nihilism?

That's a new one.

We're also neo-pagan anarchists.

*thros stone at a mountain*



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 11:33 PM
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Self reflection, trial and error, education and as someone else said critical thinking.

That might be more along the lines of how it is done and less about the justification for it however.

The justification for why someone chooses to have morals and to act accordingly is really up the individual. Some never develop any justification for morality or ethics such as sociopaths who actually lack the development for such emotional processing. My justification personally comes from my own personal assessment of the world I live in and how I effect it and others around me. Based upon those assessments I adjust my interactions with it so as to achieve what I see as the most beneficial overall.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 11:34 PM
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reply to post by Bleeeeep
 

As far as what I was taught, morality was never mentioned.
Empathy was.

I have since developed a more complex idea of the nature and mechanics of reality.
Now my actions and intentions are probably more in line with true morality than most so-called devout Christians.

I know the value of being a positive force. For the enjoyment of the whole, not myself.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 11:35 PM
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reply to post by Bleeeeep
 


What has any of that got to do with being spiritual abnd believing in god?

If anything, what we do now here on earth is meaningless because we're all going to have a party in the after life. Just pretend to be nice RIGHT before you die. That's all god wants.

I asked a born again christian once, if I were a good person my entire life and never believed in god, would I go to heaven. He said certainly not.

I said, if I was an evil person and did bad things, but right before I died, I repented and asked forgiveness, would I go to heaven. He said Absolutely.

Ahh.. so what is the point in your view then, or your perceived morals?



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 11:42 PM
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reply to post by Bleeeeep
 

I'd say that the conundrum goes deeper than that. The hard question is not [/I] to what do you pledge your morality?, but how do you define and defend the morality that you pledge?

If there is no transcendent God who is the source and measure of moral law, then who gets to define what is "moral?"

If it is society, then societal mores change over time and from culture to culture. There are places in the world where, today, paedophilia is institutionalized, considered a moral norm. If there is no transcendent law giver who says that this practice is wrong, who are you, then, to pass judgment on those who practice such things?

If there is no transcendent source of moral law, then moral law is no more than the construct of your own mind. It will, on a societal level, be determined by whomever happens to have the biggest club (or gun, or bomb) and is willing to use it to enforce his view of morality. What authority has anyone to gainsay that person?



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 11:43 PM
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winofiend

greencmp
reply to post by Bleeeeep
 

Interesting postulate, I am a non-religious self-described Taoist with undeniable spiritualist tendencies.

My main question is for so-called nihilists, what purpose have you for making any argument at all given that there can be no purpose to existence?
edit on 11-10-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)


Are you equating non-spiritual atheism with nihilism?

That's a new one.

We're also neo-pagan anarchists.

*thros stone at a mountain*

Not at all, I am specifically calling out nihilists as absurdists. What purpose is there in an expressly unpurposeful existence?

Atheists come in all shapes and sizes, many can be quite spiritual whether they realize it or not.

But no, non-spiritual atheists are not de facto nihilists by any stretch.
edit on 11-10-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 11:45 PM
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reply to post by winofiend
 


Essentially, you have said that your morality is based on your emotions, and there is nothing to morality beyond that.

If this is true, and there is no set right or wrong, no God of moral justness, how do you justify your sense of morality over others?

That is, how can you morally judge anyone for what is right or wrong, if morality is solely based on emotions?

Is it morally just to say religious morals are morally unjust?



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 11:52 PM
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reply to post by Bleeeeep
 

I guess I would be considered a "spiritual atheist", as opposed to "non", but I think we're talking plain old common sense here. If you have a heart, and any conscience at all, "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you", makes pretty good sense. I don't think humans, spiritual or not, needed god to figure that one out.

Then again, few of the religions who preach it, or something similar, seem to live by it. So what makes them morally superior, just because they attach its origins to a deity, and I don't?



I'm particularly interested in understanding what the perceived logic is in pledging your emotional sense of right and wrong, to your other emotional senses.

I would ask you, what perceived logic there is in pledging your emotional sense of right and wrong to a deity(because he said so), rather than an internal understanding of why society needs a universal etiquette, we refer to as morals, to survive as a group, and flourish as a species?



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 11:56 PM
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reply to post by winofiend
 


The point is that spiritualists have something, believed to be eternally tangible, to based their morality on, where nonspiritualists may only have emotions.

Sorry for not making that clear in the OP.



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 11:57 PM
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Bleeeeep
reply to post by winofiend

Essentially, you have said that your morality is based on your emotions, and there is nothing to morality beyond that.


Not true. Emotions are a very big part of it but logical self evaluation and thinking are also very much a part of it also.


If this is true, and there is no set right or wrong, no God of moral justness, how do you justify your sense of morality over others?


I don't unless we both equally understand the quality of those judgements. That is to say, if both sides have experienced certain things in the same or almost the same way and also is able to understand the effects they have had. Only then would I bother debating my moral assessment with theirs.


That is, how can you morally judge anyone for what is right or wrong, if morality is solely based on emotions?


Once again, not just emotions but thinking logically as well.


Is it morally just to say religious morals are morally unjust?


Just because they are Religious?? No. That wouldn't make any sense. However, what I would ask is whether or not those who follow Religious Morals do so because they actually understand the reason behind those morals or do they just follow them because they are told to do so??



posted on Oct, 11 2013 @ 11:59 PM
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reply to post by Bleeeeep
 


because emapthy is a two way street. If i know that it hurts when i kick the dog, jo schmoe knows too. Then again you could ask how do i know any of you are even real and not just a figment of my imagionation. These thought plays and abstract concepts are for the gay/philosophers. I rather spend my time in the practical. Dont put hand on stove, stove is hot?
edit on 12-10-2013 by TechniXcality because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 12:01 AM
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greencmp
Not at all, I am specifically calling out nihilists as absurdists. What purpose is there in an expressly unpurposeful existence?

Atheists come in all shapes and sizes, many can be quite spiritual whether they realize it or not.

But no, non-spiritual atheists are not de facto nihilists by any stretch.
edit on 11-10-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)


Ahh. well that does ask a different question, still interesting though. I don't think I know any nihilists. I cannot assume to think what they think. Interesting idea.

Are there any on ATS? I think the basic premise of being here implies we are seeking some sort of reason to some relative question.

Atheism, in my opinion, is not mutually exclusive to spiritualism, however. I certainly don't believe in any god. But I do believe that there is something that intertwines us all. All life that is, not just sentient life.

but I'm a freak anyway..



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 12:06 AM
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wow the faithful really find it hard to believe that a person can make moral decisions without some great master telling us what to do.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 12:06 AM
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reply to post by Bleeeeep
 


Also i dont believe that an objective morality exists in any practical terms.i think the beauty of nihilism is that ultimately the experiencer defines ones moral or lack there of, reality. To tell me that is not spiritual than i don't know what is.

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
Friedrich Nietzsche

and i used this quote, because metaphorically for one to find meaning you must find what is meaningless.
edit on 12-10-2013 by TechniXcality because: (no reason given)
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