Atheists and Assets

Question from Fahim:
How do atheists distribute their assets justifiedly? I was brought up in a Muslim family and have learnt the Islamic Assets distribution method. I want to know if atheists have any such methods.

Answer by SmartLX:
I’m not familiar at all with the distribution method you refer to, though I’ve now read a bit about the rules attempting to apply Islamic teachings to economics and inheritance in particular. It won’t affect my answer, but if you have a good primer you can link to I’d appreciate seeing it in a comment.

Atheists distribute their assets according to any number of different systems and philosophies, because atheism itself teaches nothing about asset distribution. There’s no rule that says anything like, “There are no gods so give 10% to charity.” Some learn economics and manage their assets for the maximum profit and benefit to all. Some study various philosophies and use that to justify either spreading wealth or hoarding it. Many simply work from their own sense of fairness and honesty, which is easily tested because you get some pretty harsh feedback if you’re seen as unfair or dishonest.

I answer a similar question by Christians all the time; they ask where atheists get their morals. If you’ve been told all your life that one book is the only place you need to look for guidance in any aspect of your life, I realise it can be a strange-sounding idea that there are people who have no such book and yet find direction, meaning and clear intellectual justification for their actions, regarding assets or anything else. Nevertheless, it is another perfectly decent way to live your life. You just have to look a bit farther afield to find solid frameworks to build on.

2 thoughts on “Atheists and Assets”

  1. smartx, in his answer to this question, mentions the question that probably all god believers ask all atheists, about the origin of morality in humans, i.e. the non existence of morality in atheists, whereby all religious people believe that it is in their religious books, thus rendering us atheist immoral, cos we have no ‘saint’ book to put the origin of our morality in.
    but, the scientific truth about the origin of morality is very prosaic indeed.
    so, our predecessors lived in small groups, like of a small village today, whereby not only everyone knew everybody else, but, most of them very nearly or not so nearly, were blood related. so, they were on the mercy of the others in the group. they soon realized that if they act nicely towards the others, then the others will act nicely towards themselves. simple as that. so, everybody become ‘moral’ towards everybody else, cos they HAD TO be so, otherwise they may have died without this kind of ‘moral’, which was actually the need for survival, cos it is not moral, its a vital need, in order to survive. and years after years, millions of years, this kind of ’empathy’ stretched gradually to the rest of the society. to unknown strangers, and of course, unrelated by blood to us.
    as one can see, nothing divine, aside the question that the word ‘divine’ has no substance at all, about today’s human morality, and of animals too, morals. needed morals. animals behave this way too, without religious books. the need makes them do so. as it does us, religious and atheists alike.
    now, one may ask oneself if there is an exception to this rule about the PERSONAL INTEREST AS THE ONLY ROOT OF EMPATHY AND MORALS.
    MATERNITY may seem as if it is. it most certainly is true in case of mothers towards their children when they are very young. or still young. or not so young any more. but, as time goes by, the child is fully grown up and the mother is fully aged. so, i, as a mother, who considered herself as very non reciprocatively inclined towards my son, can give a light about this, cos now, that i am in a dire need for my son’s help, i expect my son to help me, if not out of his heart, then out of his duty, reciprocity to me, for what i had done for him when he was so needy as i am now. how is this possible? easy, i am his child now, cos a child is the one who is incapable of taking care of itself. i took care of him when he was like that, and now i want him to give me back the service, cos i need it now. sons usually do this out of their love for their mothers, but some don’t. these are sons who either have hard hearts, not humane, or they have their own child, or children, that are in dire need for help too. my son has an autistic son, so this little darling is the absolute priority of not only my son but of his wife too, of course, and mine, too, of course. so, a give up my reciprocal ‘right’ towards my son, and, thou i need all his help, i give him all my help in this bad situation he found himself in. i give him all my time, all my work and all my money, which is very little, about 300 euro per month. so, the hell with reciprocity of a son towards his mom. she will ask for it only if he CAN do it for her without jeopardizing his little autistic angel’s needs. fortunately for all of us, he has another little boy, healthy as a boy pussy cat!!!

  2. Fahim – Asking if atheists have “any such methods” to “distribute their assets” is just like asking people who have red hair if they have any methods of saving money. There’s no connection between atheism and methods of distributing money, just like there is no connection between having red hair and how redheads build their savings account balance.

    To look at it another way, do you believe in leprechauns? I don’t either. So what method of asset distribution are we supposed to follow? Obviously that makes no sense, does it. Our common disbelief in leprechauns doesn’t extend our commonality to what we do with our assets.

    Atheists aren’t in a club. We don’t have meetings. There is no book or document telling us how we are supposed to do things. The only thing we literally all have in common is we lack belief in god creatures. Opinions on ANY other topic are as varied as you would find if you were asking all redheads about something.

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