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The source of morality

Many times religious people claim that atheist people are immoral, because they have no reason to be good. Claim is false, ungrounded and impudent but it has a point. Atheist people have no base for their morality. When there is no divine ruler; nothing is sacred, everything is permitted. But it is not! Why? Because not! I dumped old beliefs that prohibits samegender sex, or intercourse before wedding or eating pig meat etc. Still my morales very similar with what religion gave us, and when they can say "God forbid it" I can't say anything. I need those explanations. I need proofs that shows incest, bestiality, necrophilia is obnoxious and bad. I need proofs that shows wars ar ugly and bad.

Otherwise someone will just say, the siblings loved each other what is wrong with that? War is best way to develop technology is totally legit and necessary. Torchere is necessary, it can not be removed. No it is mean and ugly! Would you like to be torchered? Why am I a criminal?

I tried to build my own reason. I changed "the good" and "the bad" to "the flawed" and "unflawed" act. Now I can give reasons by revealing flaws of the act I do not approve. It made sense to me. But it is very subjective.

So what do you think about it. If you're not religious, what is your morales based on? Or what community should base their morale on it?

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  • May 27 2013: I've often thought about the same and at one point I came up with this description based on Darwinism. It too is flawed but provides an objective basis for morality based in nature:

    In nature there are solitary animals and group animals. Solitary animals tend to have much greater strength and more effective weapons like claws and fangs. Group animals adapted to live in groups because they lack the physical prowess to live solitary lives. Now, compared to most animals, humans are incredibly weak and ill-equipped for self defense. I believe the two greatest reasons that we have had such success are our intellect and our adoption of group dynamics, both of which have now been taken to the extreme.
    Solitary animals must have a complete lack of compassion, or they will certainly be slaughtered. Group animals, on the other hand must be able to recognize when it is appropriate to protect another and when it is appropriate to kill another. I believe this may be the natural basis for our built in sense of good and bad, as in these packs it is good to protect one who protects the group and it is good to kill one who threatens the group. Our society is merely an extension of the pack, so we now take the principles of group dynamics learned from pack behavior and apply them to how we should treat one another. From this, all humans have a symbiotic relationship with one another and morals are based on protecting your relationship with others.
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      May 27 2013: Interesting theory Kris, which makes sense to me!

      Until the last statement..."all humans have a symbiotic relationship with one another and morals are based on protecting your relationship with others."

      If our morals are based on protecting our relationship with others, how do you explain the seperation between people based on having different perceptions of what is "moral" and what is not?

      For example, killing people in the name of a god. Some religious extremists think that is moral, because they are doing it in the name of a god. Some religious extremists believe that whatever they do in the name of a god is "right" and moral, and anyone who disagrees must be influenced by the devil! What happens, in your perception, to the idea of protecting a relationship with others?

      BTW, you write in your profile..."I have an almost unhealthy fascination with knowledge. I love learning..."

      In my humble perception Kris, learning and gaining knowledge can NEVER be unhealthy at any level:>)
      • May 27 2013: Hmm, well the first thing that comes is tribalism. Packs of animals in the wild often fight each other over resources. So then we will tend to identify killing "others" as a good thing. For example, many people (myself not included) believe that wars to protect the nation are a good thing. By extension of this, the deaths of "enemies" in war are identified as "good". So if a person identifies "best for my group" as "aligned with my ideas of god," then it becomes quite easy to justify the deaths of people who don't subscribe to their idea of god.
        Keep in mind, however, this is a theory of the origin of our sense of morality, not what is actually moral. We have since gained the ability to use logic and discern a "best" that is based on higher order thinking rather than instinct. If we understand why we believe in morality then we can work toward finding the best morality.
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          May 27 2013: Kris,
          Well said!

          You are suggesting that fighting over resources (survival) over-rides a symbiotic relationship with one another, which protects relationships with others.?

          I agree with that, and everything else you have offered:>)

          You say..."we have since gained the ability to use logic and discern a "best" that is based on higher order thinking rather than instinct. If we understand why we believe in morality then we can work toward finding the best morality".

          Do you think/feel that sometimes some people do not USE, or do not recognize the ability in themselves to use logic and discern what is best? Do you think/feel that sometimes people may stay in the tribalism/survival mode because of fear?

          That is my theory.....that sometimes, some folks are afraid to step out of the "box" of beliefs they have created for themselves, so they continue to project information which supports their beliefs.....what do you think?
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          May 28 2013: It would be good if this information...."90% of our thinking is unconscious, which is where beliefs are held hidden" , could be supported with evidence. I do not believe this to be true.

          Some folk's "thinking" may be unconscious, and I believe that many of us who think and feel for ourselves are aware of our conscious thinking:>)
      • May 28 2013: I misspoke a little bit when I said all humans are in a symbiotic relationship with one another. What I should have said is that all humans are in symbiotic with others they consider part of their group. It was early in the morning.

        Yes, I would absolutely agree that in fact most of the time people don't use their logic to discern what is best. Tribalism is alive and well today, only it's been transformed into the nation/state system. Most people, I think, stick to the more instinctual moral code which is essentially based on protecting your own group and ideas that you associate with your group. They don't use logic to justify their actions, they only do what they're told. I think changing that is a huge and necessary step toward a more prosperous society.
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          May 28 2013: Hi Kris:>)
          I think/feel all humans CAN be in a symbiotic relationship with one another. In fact, we ARE living together in our world and often interdependant with each other. The part that seems to be missing at times is "mutually beneficial relationships". Unfortunately, there often seems to be lack of symbiosis WITHIN certain groups.

          I agree that changing for the better involves the elements you mention. I also agree that people sometimes "stick to the more instinctual moral code which is essentially based on protecting your own group...ideas..and do what they're told."

          I really believe that is changing for a large group of people. Statistics show that half of the people in the USA are changing or totally abandoning religions. That seems to indicate that some folks ARE starting to question the value of religion regarding morals. It suggests that people are starting to think and feel for themselves, rather than being led and simply told how to think and what to do.

          It is no wonder that so many people are questioning the value of religions, when we have so many religious leaders who do not walk their talk and dogma that continues to divide and seperate people with contradicting, hypocritical information.

          Perhaps it is time in our evolution, as thinking, feeling, intelligent humans, to move out of the paradigm that accepts violence and abuse in the name of a god or religion. Perhaps we can move beyond the idea that the institutions which stand by, cover up, and/or advocate violent, abusive behaviors, are not very good examples of what they preach, or good sources for true morality.
      • May 28 2013: Agreed completely. :)

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