How to respond to the stereotypical "atheists have no morals" question.

Its seems that whenever I end up into a overwhelmingly misinformed theist friend, this peculiar phrase pops up. The question of a set standard that all atheists adhere to seems counter-intuitive in the fact that there is no overarching dogma in atheism. Is there a good simple response to this someone can share with me? All of the online explanations of this are too long/to complicated for the type of discussions I have. All feedback is welcome.

Tags: atheism, morals

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I agree that all the answers on here are very good.  

On reading the question, my first thought was the many places in the bible where god is an immoral asshat.  Sorry I don't have time now to look-up details.

Jihadists do what they do specifically because of their devotion to god. Ironically, If you wanted to find the closest example of similar minded behavior, you would have to look in biblical scriptures.

Deidre, you are quite correct.  Altruism has often been observed in the animal kingdom.  Perhaps, just like as homo sapiens we have discovered at times that we have not given enough recognition of the intelligence of our ancient ancestors, we are not giving enough credit to the level of consciousness of other animals.    

I love the fact that microorganism exhibit altruistic behavior. That just helps illustrate how there's no such thing as an earthly organism that does not have free will capability. This frames the whole "humans were given free will as a gift from god" argument as entirely meaningless. It's about as pointless as the statement that the wetness of water and the darkness of night are gifts from god.

...............just tell the sad wankers to fuck off !

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