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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 26 2013: My morality is based upon what I view is right. I always try to improve myself and take all points (and perspectives) into consideration. The source of my morality is myself, I suppose.

    A great TED talk on morality is this :
    Frans de Waal: Moral behavior in animals
    Frans de Waal believes that morality precedes religion. Yet religion may have been used to promote moral behaviour.
    (This view of religion reminding us of our moral duty (/ encouraging pro-social behaviours) has been confirmed by quite a few studies, can be seen in "RSA Animate - The Truth About Dishonesty" : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBmJay_qdNc).
    Also watch "Frans de Waal: Morality Without Religion" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEQuIDqY6Cc), for more information on Frans de Waal's view that morality precedes religion.

    To me personally?
    The source of morality doesn't matter that much. (The "Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins" gives quite an interesting view on what the source of morality may be.)
    Considering whatever the source of morality is won't change the way I view morality.
    However it is worth noting that I do feel that even if God doesn't exist then none of the moral teachings (and virtues) religions promote (such as compassion and forgiveness) become redundant in anyway. If anything these teachings become even more beautiful.

    I even view that some things religions teach should be implemented into secular society.
    (Watch "Alain de Botton: Atheism 2.0" for more information on this : http://www.ted.com/talks/alain_de_botton_atheism_2_0.html)

    I can't see any reason (or evidence) that religious people are more (or less) moral than atheists.

    Kind regards,

    P.S : I apologize for my poor grammar and structure in this comment! :P
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        May 27 2013: Thank you! :)
        Glad someone managed to read it!
        If you don't mind me asking, is your source of morality the Bible?
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        May 29 2013: Don if you don't mind me saying. I couldn't notice the irony in you saying "These alone are worth a thumb", considering no "thumb up" has been given.
        Kind regards,
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          May 30 2013: Bernard,
          How do you like the irony of the answer above?

          "Where did I get my studies of Right and Reason"

          He wrote it in his blog!!! Unfortunately, he referenced you (used your name) in his personal blog, which is not very good moral practice.
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        May 30 2013: Don I was reading your blog (http://innjustice.blogspot.co.uk/), and I would request that with if you wish to use my name you should ask for permission to do so!
        However I would ask you to change it to just "Bernard", not "Bernard White".
    • May 28 2013: Dear Mr. White,
      I am happy to be able to response, to your offered explanation.
      I agree it is best, that each person, uses his own mind to find, what his/hers "Moral-Principle" Sources are.
      When found...? He/she can examine each case, then study, and then offer a reasoned opinion.
      He/She may also refer to other cases which compare. This involves more study !
      Opinions may be good ones with good reasons; or maybe not opined!

      Next question is where did he get his Moral-info from? Imagination? Best Guess!
      Hopefully from the best teacher and not just the boy/girl, next door or the newspaper. May be Father/Mother. They must come from somewhere? How much time did he study and practice.
      Lawyers practice for a long time!

      Some people used the best people in their tribe to teach what they know.
      Then each tradesman made a book of best lessons. Now many tribes have many books.

      Now....... Best lawyers/scholars make study of all books.
      Then...... Each lawyers/scholars prepares his "evidence"
      Best selling book today? Old Books of Evidence.

      Why do Atheist call buyers "Crazy."?
      What Books did you use Mr. White?

      I wish you pleasant thinking
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        May 28 2013: All the books (and links) are in the reply. They are all my souces.
        I guess I just try to keep learning (and having my idea's challenged) to hopefully to a "moral conclusion".
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          May 29 2013: You have lots of good ideas Bernard, and I love to participate with you in your explorations of so many things here on TED:>)
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      May 29 2013: Bernard,
      For what it's worth, I believe you offer good information regarding your thoughts, feelings and beliefs on the topic question. I don't know why TED allows Mr. Wesley to continue labeling, accusing, criticizing and preaching as he does, because it seems like a very direct violation of the TED terms of use agreement.
      Hang in there Bernard and continue with your open minded explorations:>)
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        May 29 2013: Once you define what is "right", there is always an objective answer...
        Whether you "know" what that answer is.
        So I agree.
        However science is showing us more and more, that there are objective answers to increase well-being (a position Sam Harris argues). Science is bringing us closer to what makes us feel "moral", and why people commit atrocities!
        While it is important to note defining morality (and knowledge) do prove to be difficult. Considering if knowledge is a ("belief which reflect reality"), than once you have defined morality ("increasing well-being"). There is an objective answer.
        I shall copy a quote I sent to Colleen Steen just now :
        " "I Know" seems to describe a state of affairs which guarantees what is know, guarantees it as a fact. One always forgets the expression, "I thought I knew." " - Ludwig Wittgenstein, On Certainty.
        This is often how I feel about morality...
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        May 29 2013: " it enhanced their personal well being."
        This would be wrong in my view.
        My definition of Good is something which is beneficial.
        My definition of Evil is something which causes harm (physically, mentally, or spiritually).
        I view honour is following the "Golden Rule". However is not necessary to be "honourable".
        I split actions into three parts :
        - Intentions.
        - Means.
        - Consequences.
        Then judge accordingly.
        I have always lived my life by my own moral compass and tried to live an honourable life.
        So according to me own moral code, I am willing to accept I do act evily sometiems.
        I know all about "self justification".
        I have read many books concerning evil and dishonesty. The books included are :
        - The Lucifer Effect.
        - The Better Angles of our nature.
        - The Honest Truth about Dishonesty.
        - Mistakes were made but not by me.
        - The Science of Good and Evil.
        And many more which I won't go into.
        However I admit this fact. That is why (as said) I view I am evil sometimes.
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      May 29 2013: Good point LaMar,

      Bernard did write..."My morality is based upon what I view is right".....and the rest of his statement is..."I always try to improve myself and take all points (and perspectives) into consideration. The source of my morality is myself, I suppose."

      I admire a young person like Bernard for his exploration of different perspectives, and ability to be open to assimilate information:>)
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        May 29 2013: " "I Know" seems to describe a state of affairs which guarantees what is know, guarantees it as a fact. One always forgets the expression, "I thought I knew." " - Ludwig Wittgenstein, On Certainty.
        This is often how I feel about morality...
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          May 29 2013: I agree Bernard. I often say "what we think we know"....or......"what I think I know".

          I think you and I have talked about this before....we often make decisions based on information we have at any given time? When we get new information, we may discover that what we thought we knew, was not fact.....or......it might have been accepted fact BEFORE new information was recognized?
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          May 29 2013: I GOT your point LaMar, which is why I wrote "Good point LaMar".
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          May 29 2013: "Yes Colleen I read his entire statement and people by nature look for other opinions to support their own opinion and reject those that do not. People read books from authors they agree with and they surround themselves with people that have the same opinions."
          Otherwise known as the "Confirmation bias" (http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias). Considering (not to be stereotyping) but many of the new atheist only really have the books (from my experience) like :
          - The God Delusion. (By Richard Dawkins).
          - God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. (By Christopher Hitchens).
          - The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (by Sam Harris).
          - Letter to a Christian Nation. (By Sam Harris).

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