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Atheist moral code
#1
Brick 
Atheist moral code
One key argument used by atheist to undermine religions is that many of them has books that clearly justifies rape, manslaughter and several other things that must be fundamentally evil.
In many cases this argument does not hit as hard as it should against individual believers, because they have found ways to interpret the scruptures so that these passages have other meanings, and the evil acts are not part of the individual belief.
When atheists attack these believers based on bad morals I sometimes feel like they are throwing dirt in their own eyes. Having no morals is not necessarily better then having bad morals. As far as I understand, atheism is based on a disbelief of gods, which don't automatically point in the direction of a moral code.
So, I'm wondering if there is some kind of moral code that all atheists would be bound by, which could justify these arguments. And if there is, where is it derived from?
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#2
RE: Atheist moral code
It is entirely to each individual atheist to decide on their moral code.

In general, people get their morality from their conscience, their experience, their upbringing, their empathy, but most of all just using reasoning to evaluate the benefit/harm of various possible actions. It's something humans do naturally and we're generally pretty good at it.

The thing is, theists do exactly the same thing. Exactly. All they do is claim their morality is righteous when it lines up with a bit of their holy book or teachings. When their morality doesn't line up with their holy book or teachings, they ignore it and do what they think is moral instead. So in effect, they are using their own morality to filter god's "morality". The sad exception to this is when they go along with something they know to be immoral, out of a sense of duty, because the religion makes them feel compelled to. In this way, it's just an inferior system to what atheists use, and a hypocritical way of not having to justify prejudices when they can hide behind their book.

Funnily enough, I've noticed a far more consistent set of general morals from atheists than I have from theists. So the idea that theirs is objective is laughable to the highest degree.
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#3
RE: Atheist moral code
(March 4, 2015 at 3:58 am)Void Wrote: Having no morals is not necessarily better then having bad morals.

And you think atheists have no morals because...?

(March 4, 2015 at 3:58 am)Void Wrote: As far as I understand, atheism is based on a disbelief of gods, which don't automatically point in the direction of a moral code.

You understand correctly.

(March 4, 2015 at 3:58 am)Void Wrote: So, I'm wondering if there is some kind of moral code that all atheists would be bound by, which could justify these arguments. And if there is, where is it derived from?

No.

Atheism is just a response to the god claim. It could be shortened to " I don't see a good reason to believe a god exists". No additional philosophy, no tenets, no dogma, no worldview attached. That is all.

Personally I find the assumption that I don't have morals quite insulting. All human beings have morals and none of us derive it from a bronze age book. Do you mean to tell me that if no one told you what is wrong and what is right you'd be going around killing and raping people?
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#4
RE: Atheist moral code
Biology, The law, interaction with peers, friends and indeed enemies. These inform everyone's morality, theist or atheist. The only difference is that theists mistake the general interactions with said society as a message from their God.

It's also why it's impossible for them to reconcile their biblical/holy book codes with contemporary society, as judged by our standards societies past were a lot less 'moral'. They're trying to reconcile, for example, living in a society where rape and murder are inherently wrong (as judged by the vast majority) with a book that has several references to rape and murder condoned by the guy who the book is supposedly dedicated to.

Indeed you outright can't reconcile them unless you reject one or take on a load of cognitive dissonance.
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#5
RE: Atheist moral code
(March 4, 2015 at 3:58 am)Void Wrote: One key argument used by atheist to undermine religions is that many of them has books that clearly justifies rape, manslaughter and several other things that must be fundamentally evil.
In many cases this argument does not hit as hard as it should against individual believers, because they have found ways to interpret the scruptures so that these passages have other meanings, and the evil acts are not part of the individual belief.
When atheists attack these believers based on bad morals I sometimes feel like they are throwing dirt in their own eyes. Having no morals is not necessarily better then having bad morals. As far as I understand, atheism is based on a disbelief of gods, which don't automatically point in the direction of a moral code.
So, I'm wondering if there is some kind of moral code that all atheists would be bound by, which could justify these arguments. And if there is, where is it derived from?

Do I understand you correctly - you mean to say that atheists can't really accuse the religious of having bad morals because they themselves do not possess a common and unified moral code? That to me is several misunderstandings at once.

First of all, atheism by itself simply doesn't provide a moral rule book. You're asking too much of it. Atheists obviously don't share the same moral code because atheism itself doesn't prescribe one. That doesn't mean that individual atheists don't mostly have one, that's a ridiculous assertion.

Second, the real argument goes like this: religion comes with a terrible moral code. Being an atheist doesn't specify which moral code you follow, but at least, in contrast to many religions, it's not a hindrance! And that's all there is to it.

To exaggerate a bit, what you do is kind of along the lines of "ok, non-massmurderers don't share all the same moral code. So how can they possibly criticize the mass murderers?
The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14, KJV revised edition

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#6
RE: Atheist moral code
This is a sweet little song, which I think says everything you need to know about my morality and how I choose to live. It's my brother providing the cover lyrics.

http://youtu.be/qxAQr0Ndlus
Feel free to send me a private message.
Please visit my website here! It's got lots of information about atheism/theism and support for new atheists.

Index of useful threads and discussions
Index of my best videos
Quickstart guide to the forum
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#7
RE: Atheist moral code
(March 4, 2015 at 3:58 am)Void Wrote: [...] As far as I understand, atheism is based on a disbelief of gods, which don't automatically point in the direction of a moral code.
[...]

Whereas belief in god/gods points in a direction? No, bending over for an imaginary super-power is not in any way an acceptance of a particular moral code. Otherwise we wouldn't have so many religions and denominations, allegedly acknowledging the same god, yet following drastically different "moral codes".

Morality is man-made and deals with human to human interaction. The idea of god/-s is just a tool, used by ruling classes to instill and enforce certain models of social behavior in subordinate masses. Just because someone doesn't believe in an invisible nanny, watching and judging them at all times, doesn't mean they don't have to construct/choose/follow certain set of ethical rules, ensuring that they fit in whatever society they happen to belong to. The only people, of whom it can be said that they have "no morals" are psychopaths and perhaps sufferers from few other mental disorders and illnesses.

Religions (not gods themselves) tend to offer "set menus" of morality, for people who'd rather avoid - at least some of - responsibility for their own ethical choices. They still make those choices - even if not always consciously - they just pretend they have no real choice at all, because they're bound to oblige some sort of omnipotent overlord.
"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one." - George Bernard Shaw
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#8
RE: Atheist moral code
(March 4, 2015 at 4:05 am)robvalue Wrote: It is entirely to each individual atheist to decide on their moral code.
Basically, moral relativism.
(March 4, 2015 at 4:05 am)robvalue Wrote: In general, people get their morality from their conscience, …
And from where does the conscience come? Survival of the fittest hardly qualifies as a moral principle.
(March 4, 2015 at 4:05 am)robvalue Wrote: Funnily enough, I've noticed a far more consistent set of general morals from atheists than I have from theists.
Confirmation bias.
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#9
RE: Atheist moral code
(March 4, 2015 at 10:55 am)ChadWooters Wrote:
(March 4, 2015 at 4:05 am)robvalue Wrote: It is entirely to each individual atheist to decide on their moral code.
Basically, moral relativism.

No, moral relativism is the statement that all moral codes are equally valid, which is a different thing?
The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14, KJV revised edition

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#10
RE: Atheist moral code
(March 4, 2015 at 3:58 am)Void Wrote: One key argument used by atheist to undermine religions is that many of them has books that clearly justifies rape, manslaughter and several other things that must be fundamentally evil.
In many cases this argument does not hit as hard as it should against individual believers, because they have found ways to interpret the scruptures so that these passages have other meanings, and the evil acts are not part of the individual belief.
When atheists attack these believers based on bad morals I sometimes feel like they are throwing dirt in their own eyes. Having no morals is not necessarily better then having bad morals. As far as I understand, atheism is based on a disbelief of gods, which don't automatically point in the direction of a moral code.
So, I'm wondering if there is some kind of moral code that all atheists would be bound by, which could justify these arguments. And if there is, where is it derived from?

Morality is a social strategy with a means to an end, that being to strengthen social bonds. Notice that it is wrong to murder but acceptable to kill during warfare. same act, different social take.

MM
"The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions" - Leonardo da Vinci

"I think I use the term “radical” rather loosely, just for emphasis. If you describe yourself as “atheist,” some people will say, “Don’t you mean ‘agnostic’?” I have to reply that I really do mean atheist, I really do not believe that there is a god; in fact, I am convinced that there is not a god (a subtle difference). I see not a shred of evidence to suggest that there is one ... etc., etc. It’s easier to say that I am a radical atheist, just to signal that I really mean it, have thought about it a great deal, and that it’s an opinion I hold seriously." - Douglas Adams (and I echo the sentiment)
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