Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 1 Votes - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
06-12-2014, 04:18 PM
Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
I know what you are thinking, this guy isn't an atheist, he's some sort of christian troll come to pretend to be an atheist... This has been answered so many times not this old chestnut... or here we go again, I assure you, this should hopefully be a different can of worms, I'm currently a physics and philosophy student and I've been in deep thought about the subject. I'm not a christian telling you morals exist and they don't make sense without God, I'm saying they don't exist, let's reject them entirely, let us reject humanism as merely the blind acceptance of christian values (colloquial christian values, not what is exactly written in the bible) after one renounces it's God

Throughout atheist literature there's a worrying tendency to hand wave to the question of secular morals, sweeping statements like "The golden rules still makes sense" or "We just know whether things are moral or not".

My worry is that all arguments for objective morality sounds very VERY similar in form to arguments for God, such as "it's immediately obvious" "We have a faculty within us that discerns it" "It's simply a priori". It seems ridiculous to me that a universe (That without God is entirely indifferent to us) has any universal moral laws within it...

This then leads to the subjective morals, but these too have a certain hypocrisy to them, if morality depends on the person, what legitimacy do you have to attempt to enforce it on the world, what reason do you have for that morality? Why not simply subjectively reject morals and live a sociopathic life where you gain conscious control over you empathy.

Basically, I have come to a position of amoralism, and just like atheism, the burden of proof isn't on me, it's on you, the moralists. I'm hoping this thread can be one where people comment with their explanations for "Why I should behave in a way you consider moral for it's own sake". I.e. I want to initiate a socratic dialogue with you all and try to get down to the nuts and bolts of your moral beliefs and see if anyone had a foundation to their beliefs that is entirely rational.

"A witty quote means nothing"
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes tear151's post
06-12-2014, 04:30 PM
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
(06-12-2014 04:18 PM)tear151 Wrote:  Why not simply subjectively reject morals and live a sociopathic life where you gain conscious control over you empathy.

You can, but I might shoot you or call in law enforcement if you try to take anything from me or harm me.

It's pretty cool how us primates got together and made laws and such and decided to enforce them for the sake of social order.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like TheInquisition's post
06-12-2014, 04:33 PM
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
(06-12-2014 04:18 PM)tear151 Wrote:  I know what you are thinking, this guy isn't an atheist, he's some sort of christian troll come to pretend to be an atheist... This has been answered so many times not this old chestnut... or here we go again, I assure you, this should hopefully be a different can of worms, I'm currently a physics and philosophy student and I've been in deep thought about the subject. I'm not a christian telling you morals exist and they don't make sense without God, I'm saying they don't exist, let's reject them entirely, let us reject humanism as merely the blind acceptance of christian values (colloquial christian values, not what is exactly written in the bible) after one renounces it's God

Throughout atheist literature there's a worrying tendency to hand wave to the question of secular morals, sweeping statements like "The golden rules still makes sense" or "We just know whether things are moral or not".

My worry is that all arguments for objective morality sounds very VERY similar in form to arguments for God, such as "it's immediately obvious" "We have a faculty within us that discerns it" "It's simply a priori". It seems ridiculous to me that a universe (That without God is entirely indifferent to us) has any universal moral laws within it...

This then leads to the subjective morals, but these too have a certain hypocrisy to them, if morality depends on the person, what legitimacy do you have to attempt to enforce it on the world, what reason do you have for that morality? Why not simply subjectively reject morals and live a sociopathic life where you gain conscious control over you empathy.

Basically, I have come to a position of amoralism, and just like atheism, the burden of proof isn't on me, it's on you, the moralists. I'm hoping this thread can be one where people comment with their explanations for "Why I should behave in a way you consider moral for it's own sake". I.e. I want to initiate a socratic dialogue with you all and try to get down to the nuts and bolts of your moral beliefs and see if anyone had a foundation to their beliefs that is entirely rational.

Morality has to do with the interaction of people, i.e. society. Each society determines its values and morality.

However, you will note that there are commonalities among all, or nearly all, societies.
It has been shown that humans share a basic moral sense regardless of what society, religion, or ethnicity.

We can conclude that that sense is evolutionarily beneficial. One might argue that that provides some sort of objective morality, but the rest is subjective.

But you are making the common mistake in conflating 'subjective' with 'individual'. That's not the way it works - never has, never will. Morality is about how we treat each other.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 7 users Like Chas's post
06-12-2014, 04:36 PM
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
(06-12-2014 04:30 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(06-12-2014 04:18 PM)tear151 Wrote:  Why not simply subjectively reject morals and live a sociopathic life where you gain conscious control over you empathy.

You can, but I might shoot you or call in law enforcement if you try to take anything from me or harm me.

It's pretty cool how us primates got together and made laws and such and decided to enforce them for the sake of social order.

I may have to surrender the 'Terse & Deadly' sash to you in the not-too-distant future. Weeping

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Chas's post
06-12-2014, 04:39 PM
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
Our morals are basically formed by our empathy. There's no absolute morality and there are things we can't figure out just yet.

At the end of the day, everyone acts as they wish. However, establishing a common ground with others is important for our own survival.

Do I have a personal sense of morality? Probably yes.
Do I think all people should have my morality? No.
Do I think that morality is a clear case and that any action can be inherently moral or immoral? No.

Morality is subjective, and that's where I believe the concept of amoralism falls apart.

If you reject certain morals, you still have your own moral code.
If you reject all morals, what is it that directs your actions towards others?

"Behind every great pirate, there is a great butt."
-Guybrush Threepwood-
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 6 users Like undergroundp's post
06-12-2014, 04:46 PM
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
I dont do things consider immoral for i will be punished, note, no morality required here, simply the self interest of the majority. Youve given reasons why you behave in a moral way, but youve yet to seperate it from self interest, if morality is empathatic self interest then why seperate the two? I raise you this dilemna, I am sitting at a button, if I press the button, a man in a parralel universe, completly unconncted to me dies painfully. And I recieve happiness, why shouldnt I press the button.

"A witty quote means nothing"
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-12-2014, 04:47 PM
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
I don't think objective morals exist, whether you think they came from a god or wherever.
Why do you assume I'm trying to enforce my subjective morals on the world?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-12-2014, 04:49 PM
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
(06-12-2014 04:46 PM)tear151 Wrote:  I dont do things consider immoral for i will be punished, note, no morality required here, simply the self interest of the majority. Youve given reasons why you behave in a moral way, but youve yet to seperate it from self interest, if morality is empathatic self interest then why seperate the two? I raise you this dilemna, I am sitting at a button, if I press the button, a man in a parralel universe, completly unconncted to me dies painfully. And I recieve happiness, why shouldnt I press the button.

I wouldn't press the button because I wouldn't want anyone to die for my happiness.

Besides, there are also selfless moral acts.

"Behind every great pirate, there is a great butt."
-Guybrush Threepwood-
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-12-2014, 04:50 PM
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
(06-12-2014 04:39 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  Our morals are basically formed by our empathy. There's no absolute morality and there are things we can't figure out just yet.

At the end of the day, everyone acts as they wish. However, establishing a common ground with others is important for our own survival.

Do I have a personal sense of morality? Probably yes.
Do I think all people should have my morality? No.
Do I think that morality is a clear case and that any action can be inherently moral or immoral? No.

Morality is subjective, and that's where I believe the concept of amoralism falls apart.

If you reject certain morals, you still have your own moral code.
If you reject all morals, what is it that directs your actions towards others?

The problem with your argument is the same as the problem when arguing that if God isnt real what happens after I die? Imdeed, nothing guides it, I do as I please, unpleasant to you perhsps, but the world owes you no pleasantry.

"A witty quote means nothing"
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-12-2014, 04:54 PM
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
(06-12-2014 04:50 PM)tear151 Wrote:  
(06-12-2014 04:39 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  Our morals are basically formed by our empathy. There's no absolute morality and there are things we can't figure out just yet.

At the end of the day, everyone acts as they wish. However, establishing a common ground with others is important for our own survival.

Do I have a personal sense of morality? Probably yes.
Do I think all people should have my morality? No.
Do I think that morality is a clear case and that any action can be inherently moral or immoral? No.

Morality is subjective, and that's where I believe the concept of amoralism falls apart.

If you reject certain morals, you still have your own moral code.
If you reject all morals, what is it that directs your actions towards others?

The problem with your argument is the same as the problem when arguing that if God isnt real what happens after I die? Imdeed, nothing guides it, I do as I please, unpleasant to you perhsps, but the world owes you no pleasantry.

Does that mean that you do whatever you want without caring about other people involved?

If you do care and simply do whatever pleases you without hurting others, then that's just your own morality.

If you don't care, then you simply lack empathy.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like undergroundp's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: