Approaches to Morality

Question from V:
Well, obviously you reject God.
As such i must assume you reject god-given moralities, and moral rules.
As such i would like to ask what are the moral rules you accept and your rational justification for them.

Thank you.

Answer by SmartLX:
I would say that I reject the idea that a God exists, rather than God himself. Rejecting God directly would require the assumption that there is a God to reject.

I covered the basics of atheist morality in a piece I wrote a few months ago. Read that if you like, but the main point I like to make is that you and I have two choices:
1. The heuristic approach: use the common qualities and shared experience of all (or most) humans to create ethical standards which are applicable in as many situations as possible. Constantly verify that adherence to the standards is beneficial to people, and revise the standards if it isn’t.
2. The absolutist approach: declare that one specific set of rules applies to everything, everywhere, and is supported by the authority of an all-powerful being – despite a complete lack of evidence for that being, or that if the being exists he/she/it actually endorses these rules.

It might be great if we all had a set of absolute, unchallengeable rules that guaranteed a good life and afterlife. It might also be a nightmare, as it is in various theocracies (Iran) and pseudo-theocracies (North Korea), but it would at least give a feeling of security. Unfortunately, until the absolute authority and eternal protective power of a deity is certain, nothing about such a system is truly absolute. Better to work with what we know we have.

One thought on “Approaches to Morality”

  1. If I were to write a text that specifically advocates Rape, Killing, Child abuse, and Slavery, and then said this was a good moral source, how many people do you honestly think would truly agree?

    I’m assuming your reply is zero (I would be somewhat concerned if it was anything else). You would be completely right, any text that puts forward these things as OK to do is a terrible moral example.

    However if this text was written a long time ago and called the bible, many peoples opinion are strangely reversed, and suddenly it would become a *GOOD* example (I’d love to hear how this is justified). Atheists do not believe in a book that both says this and puts itself forward as a moral standard, this is why I say Atheists have far better moral standards than christians.

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