If you don't believe in god, where do your morals come from??

Once again, during debates and/or discussions, this is another question that i am asked quite often.
"IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN GOD, WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR MORALS?" or more "intelligent" theists will phrase it similarly; "what is the basis for your morality, absolute morality."


Now there are many ways to attack this ridiculous statement. Firstly, jab at them and ask; what f*cking morality? Judging the judeo-christian god, his morality involves stoning adulterers. killing rebellious children. stoning witches. stoning homosexuals. creating disease, inflicting it upon innocent unborn children. Going to wars with nations that have different beliefs..etc etc. This is not a morality i would like to adopt. The theist will counteract this by saying one of the following:

1) That was a different time period, hence different aptitudes towards certain behavior.

2) Different culture at that time.

3) God is all powerful, if he chooses to enact revenge on "bad," "immoral" behavior he can do so if he wishes.

I will attack all these arguments very simply.

- Number 1 fails because it is irrelevant. Whether or not the time period was way back then, that is still a very corrupt sense of morality, and the justice is unduly deserved.

-Number 2 fails because it also is irrelevant. The culture of the people then has no relevancy to their god. As he is "unchanging". The bible itself states that "he is the same yesterday, today and forever."

-Number 3 fails as going by a somewhat ontological argument, god is "all-good," if he does "bad" then he contradicts himself, therefore does not exist.

(If you would like to be the theist advocate here, let me know of any other responses a theist would give and if any of my above retaliations are not up to par)

Now back on topic, furthermore, I don't want/need "objective" or "absolute" morality. I would very much prefer a morality that is thought out, reasoned and one that is an acceptable form of human behavior. A deity is not necessary for me to be able to decide what is good and what is "bad."




Your feedback is welcomed. =D

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Comment by John B Hodges on May 30, 2011 at 8:30am

I have a summary of the reply I give to that question here:

http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/atheist-ethics-in-500-words

Comment by Antonio Chambers on May 28, 2011 at 3:31pm
@ john, thank you for the response. Morality, a sense of right and wrong is simply a product of both biological and cultural evolution. Richard Dawkins in his book THE GOD DELUSION, highlights this as the "selfish gene." Morality is nothing supernatural. I agree with you by saying morality can definitely be subjective to ones individual opinion, however due to cultural and biological evolution along with the "selfish gene," we have been able to develop a societal basis of morality, which predates even the earliest of religions.
Comment by John Camilli on May 28, 2011 at 1:45pm

I'm curious if you ascribe to the idea of absolute morality or to individual morality. It sounds like you're saying individual, but then how would you qualify what is an "an acceptable form of human behavior?" Would you qualify it according to your own ideas or do you think it's possible to make that qualification for a whole group of people?

 

I ask because I was recently having a discussion here with someone who was attempting to write some universally acceptable laws that he thought would improve mankind's lot here, and we ended up having  a fundamental disagreement about whether or not it was even possible to do so.

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