Your Moral Compass
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20-09-2010, 09:46 AM
 
Your Moral Compass
When I was a christian, I never gave a thought to where my morals came from. I assumed, like all christians, that they came from god.

Now that I'm an atheist, I've had to rethink my morality, where it comes from, and the guiding principles by which I can become the best human being possible.

Here are my questions:

What role did the evolution of our ability to empathize play in the development of our morality?

What ethical principles do you live your life by and why?
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20-09-2010, 10:05 AM
RE: Your Moral Compass
In "The End of Faith", Sam Harris does a wonderful explanation of your first question.

As for the ethical principles I live by, I try to follow the Golden Rule of "do onto others as you would have others do on to you". I find if you just treat people the way you want to be treated life goes pretty well.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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20-09-2010, 10:12 AM
RE: Your Moral Compass
Question #1: Ummmm, I dunno. I could probably speculate, but I'd rather leave that answer to someone who has a little more knowledge than me.

Question #2: Don't make people feel shitty, because maybe some of them will decide that it's a good idea, and try not to make people feel shitty. One day maybe someone will try not to make me feel shitty because I tried to not make someone else feel shitty.
I sort of joke about this being my main moral standpoint, but it really is true. When people feel good, they reflect that in their actions and behavior. I had a friend many years ago who I was still getting to know. She was new to my circle of friends, and we welcomed her, but some were wary of an "outsider" since we were a very tight, close knit group. I told this new friend one day, "I think you're really cool. You're gonna fit in and feel like family in no time. Just give some of us a chance and you'll see". That was it, and I thought nothing of it. Fast forward a little over ten years down the road. Still friends with her, and she tells me that my comments that day were just what she needed to gain a little more patience with the more wary members of this group of friends. Making her feel a little better meant that she stuck around and found the "family" she had never had. (Turned out she lost her parents in an accident when she was an infant, and had no other family. Grew up in an orphanage in Poland).



Sometimes a friend, new or old, just needs to hear that one thing that makes them feel "less shitty".



.....right Kenny? Wink

Just visiting.

-SR
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20-09-2010, 12:20 PM
 
RE: Your Moral Compass
(20-09-2010 09:46 AM)athnostic Wrote:  When I was a christian, I never gave a thought to where my morals came from. I assumed, like all christians, that they came from god.

Now that I'm an atheist, I've had to rethink my morality, where it comes from, and the guiding principles by which I can become the best human being possible.

Here are my questions:

What role did the evolution of our ability to empathize play in the development of our morality?

What ethical principles do you live your life by and why?

Really every one makes up their own morals to believe in....even theist! The reason I say this is the bible and other religious text say many foul deads are moral Undecided plus it is all contradicted ....so every theist "cherry picks" :-) In the end we all make up what we think is moral. Personally I try to stick to the golden rule :-P
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20-09-2010, 02:04 PM
RE: Your Moral Compass
(20-09-2010 10:05 AM)BnW Wrote:  I try to follow the Golden Rule of "do onto others as you would have others do on to you". I find if you just treat people the way you want to be treated life goes pretty well.

The golden rule is a good one. But what I think is important to think about is why we all feel like this is a good rule to live by? It is also a question we need to answer if we are going to debate Theists on this. They obviously have the reason that their deity commands them to. This easy way out is not available to us.

To figure out why we are moral, we first need to define what good moral behavior encompasses. Then we need to figure out why we act moraly when we could have opted not to do so.
I have some questions for the forum in this regard. I have already given them some thought, but I would very much like some input from all of you.

Why do we not lie?
Why do we not kill?
Why do we not rape?
Why do we not steal, even when we wont get caught?
Why do we aid strangers at great cost to ourselves?
Why do we care for the wellbeing of members of other species?

I want to rip off your superstitions and make passionate sense to you
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20-09-2010, 02:35 PM
RE: Your Moral Compass
Morality evolved to help us survive. You wouldn't kill a farmer because he will be giving you meals in the winter. Stuff like that.

Morals are becoming more and more stretched with overpopulation breaking down the "I know everyone who lives within 20 miles of here" thing that used to be common in the stone age, but they remain for no at least.

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20-09-2010, 03:17 PM
RE: Your Moral Compass
My mother is an all-loving person. I guess she taught me never to hate anyone for something (i.e. she was keeping me away from sexism, racism, homophobia, etc.), but I feel like my moral compass was developed through my own experiences.
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20-09-2010, 03:47 PM
RE: Your Moral Compass
Your own experiences would be logical I think.

Using myself for an example: I was raised to be a homophobic, racist and to look down my nose at people who drink tea, coffee or alcohol as well as tell people who listen to "bad music" to think about what they are doing and to tell smokers than god wants them to stop, ect ect.

I'm not into any of these things though. xD

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20-09-2010, 05:39 PM
RE: Your Moral Compass
So, you were raised to be really boring and obnoxious? Your childhood must have really sucked.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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20-09-2010, 05:53 PM
RE: Your Moral Compass
My childhood was pretty poor. I spent the first half hating all non-mormons and the second half trying to live while my whole family called me a filthy godless heathen.

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