Can atheists be moral?

Scenario One:

Me: I won’t steal your stuff if you don’t steal mine. If you do, I will take it back by force if necessary.

Neighbor 1: Ok, sounds good.

Neighbor 2: Screw you.


Scenario 2:

Me: I won’t steal your stuff because God tells me not to. I hope that you believe in God so that you will do the same. In case you don’t heed God’s word, I will take it back, by force if necessary.

Neighbor 1: OK, sounds good.

Neighbor 2: Screw you.


What’s the objective difference?

:noclue:

Then, from where did that “objective standard of rational self-interest” come? We’re trying to get to the “bottom line” here. And, how does the Golden Rule “locate” this morality?

The Golden Rule or the “Golden Law” as stated has its roots in 1670 England based on religion. Before that, it can be found in many ancient civilizations as “the law of reciprocity”. But even in Ancient China, Babylon, and other civilizations which adopted this rule based it in their own form of religious beliefs. Rushworth Kidder notes that this concept can be found in Confucianism (551-479 B.C.), as well as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and the rest of the world’s ancient religions. Based on those facts, I would deduct that the “Golden Rule” has its basis in religion as well.

As we both agree, most religions (Christian and otherwise) endorse the Golden Rule. But it doesn’t require religion or religious faith to discern the logic and force of the Golden Rule, since it, fundamentally, merely requires a rational calculation of self-interest. For example, a subscriber to Rawls’ theory of justice would rationally discern the Golden Rule.

It may require faith in government to police those who ignore the Rule!

Duly noted. But, the fundamental question here is from where did the “Golden Rule” or “Golden Law” arise? From what philosophical ideal, if any? What I’m trying to get at is the original question I posed: *On what basis do they (atheists) ascribe such judgments to certain acts? On what basis do they ascribe other assessments such as “wrong,” “unjust,” “bad,” and so forth?
*

You’ve studied the history more than I have. But the question you asked is whether an atheist can be moral (that is, can discern morality without reference to religion.) And my response is - sure. Again, I refer back to the thought experiment at the heart of Rawls’ theory of justice. A standard of morality can be discerned by agreement of a group of people under a “veil of ignorance” regarding their individual circumstances (whether they will be rich, poor, smart, dumb, lucky or unlucky in life). Folks deliberating under such a veil of ignorance will rationally discern the Golden Rule as consistent with their self-interest. My view is that religious faith isn’t needed to discern the efficacy of the Golden Rule.

How can that be when dog-eat-dog examples in nature are myriad?

Please explain what you’re talking about, and how these can be an ojective perspective of morality.

Nothing but human beings are imbued with altruism…or a moral sense, and HUMANS have a moral sense ONLY because that’s what they are TAUGHT by their parents or society.

It’s gibberish meant to stun the reader stoopid. I doubt if he can explain his statement in any logical and concise manner.

I think we have the moral sense even when not taught; there’s something that niggles at us when we do something wrong even when we haven’t been told it’s wrong. Unless we truely blashpeme the Holy Spirit and reject His prompting.

Exactly, FC! We are made in the Image and Likeness of God. God gave each of us a soul. Whether we believe it or not, human beings are created by God and have been given moral “instincts”. If that were not so, we would live the same as the beasts of the earth.

Of course, atheists have a soul too - don’t they? They may not have “faith in God”, but they are still capable of having a guilty conscience.

One thing that intrigues me is the substantial difference in ethics and morality around the world when it comes to the conduct of business. Capitalism has failed in some parts of the world (I won’t name names) where it is typical to conduct business in a cutthroat, dog-eat-dog, mobster-like fashion. Capitalism can be quite amoral - unless the culture in which capitalism takes place values honesty, transparency and fair dealing.

I don’t think so, FC. That “niggling something” occurs ONLY when someone has seen others behaving in a manner that’s contrary to their own self-interest…thus is learned.

The Golden Rule:

(Matthew 7:12) Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

(Luke 6:30) Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

(Luke 6:31) And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

I noted an additional verse in the second passage that negates old dog’s statement.

In addition - you will find many of those “copycat” golden rules to not have the same principle that Christ put forth.

One of them is (more or less) "do good to others so that they will do good to you."
The other one is “do good to others so that they won’t do evil to you.”

Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Period. End of sentence. Nothing about the consequences.

Other than a few saints like Mother Theresa, who lives with this as a literal part of their moral code?

I’ll repeat my question, what is the objective difference between the two scenarios I presented.

I would refer you to your post #30.

So what do those two scenarios have to do with the golden rule?

And no, many people live with this as a literal part of their moral code. And remember one little detail - it says “do … what you would have them do unto you” - not “what they would like you to do unto them.” That means, if I see someone doing evil, I should warn them - because that’s what I would have others do to me.

`
On atheism the Golden Rule was originated by a brain that
was the product of blind random impersonal chance and
a biological accidents of nature.

On atheism the Golden Rule was produced by a human
brain and human will that was the accidental products
of impersonal matter + time + chance.


On atheism the concept of rational self-interest was
was originated by a brain that was the product of blind
random impersonal chance and a biological accidents of nature.

On atheism rational self-interest was produced by a human
brain and human will that was the accidental products
of impersonal matter + time + chance.



Therefore on atheism the Golden Rule and the concept of rational self interest 
came into being by blind impersonal chance as a biological accident  of nature 
through a random process of natural selection and was totally the accidental 
products  of impersonal matter + time + chance.  



Therefore on atheism the Golden Rule and the concept of rational self interest 
**and the uppity arrogant claim made by humans that they are more 
special than a cockroach**  came into being by blind impersonal chance as a 
biological accident  of nature  through a random process of natural selection and was 
totally the accidental  products  of impersonal matter + time + chance.  

And “pigs can fly” because little arrogant uppity human banty roosters who have a certain date
to be kept with the earth worms, issue their proclamations that it is so.

… lol …

Absurd nonsense pass off as intellectualism

:diamonds:

2 Likes

Most of this thread is about whether or not atheists and other non-believers can be moral or if all morals derive from religion only.

My first scenario is independent of ANY religion, the second is subjectively based on religion, But is there any objective difference in the two situations? I maintain that there is an objective moral order which non-believers may subscribe to.