Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Atheistic Morality

 The typical Theist will usually proclaim that their morality, their judgment of right from wrong, comes from their deity, their god. Not taking anything too literally, most Theists will take all of the best parts of their religion and use that as a template for what is right and just while the worst parts, the ones their god punished people for, are used for a template of what is wrong and evil. This leaves a bit of a dilemma for the newly Atheistic. If, as you believe, there is no god or deity watching over you and determining what is good and bad then what code of ethics do you follow? How do you know what is right and what is wrong? More specifically...

"Where do Atheists get their morals?"

This is one of the most touchy subjects in the heated debates between Theism and Atheism. Usually, in this case, the Theist will argue that the Atheist gets their morals from their god and just doesn't accept it. However, Atheists don't follow much of an inner code of ethics as much as an outward one. Most of the time, when faced with a moral dilemma, the Atheist will judge based on their life thus far and what's worked in the past, but mostly they will go with the guidelines that their society has set out. However, one moral that seems to reign over all, regardless of area, seems to be freedom. Nearly all Atheists believe that everyone should be free and allowed to do what they want, when they want. They also believe that there could be consequences if you do the wrong thing and to the wrong person.

For example. Let's say the world is full of Atheists. What once ruled the morals of man (religion) is now gone. Stepping away from the implications of whether any particular Theist is right or wrong, what's left to decide what is right and wrong? Two things, societal laws and personal preference. In most situations, the average person will judge their morals on what they don't want done to them. I would never want to be hit in the head with a bat so I would never hit anyone else in the head with a bat. The personal preferences that stand out the most - the ones that the majority of the people have - are made into laws. These laws will allow others to know the majority opinion and what kind of area they are in. Like-minded people will gather and follow the laws so that everyone will live happier, healthier lives. There would always be the odd man out that would be labeled a criminal but the majority will rule. This is exactly how it is today, but the majority of the laws based on the people's preferences are also determined by religion, as that is the majority share of the populace.

So, to put it simply, we get our morals from the same place as everyone else. We just believe we have a more direct source.