Hi There, My Name’s Joe And I’m A Moral Atheist

Moral Atheists Anonymous: (in unison) “Hi there Joe”

Joe: “I’ve been a moral atheist for 18 years now – that’s ever since I was born”

(appreciation and applause)

 James Earl Jones Voice: (off screen) But it only begets the question: How could this have happened?

That’s a damn good question. I’ve been a moral person all my life and I’m not actually called Joe. But where does my morality stem from, if not from religion?

Get ready to cringe. Evo-lu-shun.

Here’s my humble theory, formed in this blog post between study sessions in the middle of exam season.

Religion is not the basis for morality.

First of all, the fancy postulation of a universe where religion is the source of morality is a dark and dreary place indeed. Sinners are stoned to death mercilessly. Women have no rights. Economies are a shadow of even Albanian capitalism as usurpers are punished brutally.

Monkeys who cannot swim drown in zoo moats to save their fellow beings, and I seriously doubt they love Jesus or the Prophet.

But more specifically, and more in a situation to blow off steam, I like to consider myself a moral atheist. I have no need of the God hypothesis. I have rejected organised religion further than my family heritage and certain Eastern Orthodox celebrations which involve a lot of alcohol. Yet I’m honest. I’m loyal. I don’t kill. I don’t steal. I’m far from perfect, but I’m not in jail.

At any rate, if there’s one population which is grossly underrepresented in prisons, that is the atheist population.

Religion appropriates from morality, picking bits and pieces which could benefit it ultimately. As a scientific naturalist, it is quite clear from the evidence in the animal kingdom that morality is a biological feature common to many species.

Ah yes, but God gave every one of His creations the same morality!

In the case that this conjecture were anywhere near the truth, then it denies the need for confession, sin, Hell and any other manifestation of guilt such as organised religion. It is also clearly false, because otherwise there would be no need for prison. If morality is a God induced gift, then there’s no point in trying to redeem your sins – once you’ve sinned you’ve fulfilled the requirements of the morality God gave you, thereby excluding you from Heaven (unless you want to try and swim upstream against God’s omnipotence).

A religious abider (of any Abrahamic denomination) will try to not break the rules of the house. This is not as much for the sake of morality, however, but because of the fear of breaking the rules of the house. Hell is a, well, hellish torment. It’s definitely someplace you do not want to go to.

Prison, on the other hand, is something tangible. You can touch the punishment. In all honesty, for a criminal, prison isn’t half bad. The citizens a criminal tried to abuse will end up supporting the roof over his head and the food he eats.

Hell, however, is as dangerous as anything which is unknown. Well, people know Hell, but nobody’s been back to tell the tale. It’s one of the Big Unknowns and that’s what makes it all the scarier.

A naturalist atheist will have none of this superstition, however. He will not live with the impending threat of doom and destruction over his head. He will not need to fear the consequences of adultery or working on a Sunday beyond petty mortal quarrels.

Yet a naturalist atheist is moral all the same. Hence reason has led me to conclude that a moral atheist is far more noble and moral than a God fearing moral person.

To me, morality is inextricably tied to my personality. I would be moral as a Hindu, as a Shinto or a Mormon, and very probably my morality would come into conflict with the personalised morality of any religion.

Joe: Just yesterday I helped a blind lady cross the street. I was tempted to relapse into  just crossing the street…

(gasp)

Joe: but I didn’t. I helped her.

(applause)

James Earl Jones Voice: (off screen) But whyyyy?

Joe: Because I know the Selfish Gene loves me

(laugh tape)

(Credits) 

Advertisements

18 Responses

  1. I am really glad that someone else has written on this topic. I am not a very good writer and cannot get my ideas in a coherent sentance sometimes… With that said it has really bothered me when here lately I have heard the “Athiest have no reason to be moral”. WTF is that about? My husband is Athiest and has better morals than most religious people.

    It sickens me that people actually think that you have to have religion…better yet THEIR religion…to be a good person.

    Whatever.

  2. Religious moral in the strictest sense of the word is incredibly _amoral_. A religious person is moral in order to suck up to God and avoid Hell – hardly a worthy motive to do good, really.
    Therefore moral atheists, who are moral because they’re human beings, are far more noble than any ‘moral’ religious abider.

  3. “If morality is a God induced gift, then there’s no point in trying to redeem your sins – once you’ve sinned you’ve fulfilled the requirements of the morality God gave you, thereby excluding you from Heaven (unless you want to try and swim upstream against God’s omnipotence).”

    You’re not fighting religion, you’re fighting Jews. Know your enemy before using their arguments as counter-arguments?

    Your post is really full of sarcasm and potential hate. I’m sorry if it was supposed to be intelligently funny or anything that way, because it wasn’t.

  4. “Ah yes, but God gave every one of His creations the same morality!
    In the case that this conjecture were anywhere near the truth, then it denies the need for confession, sin, Hell and any other manifestation of guilt such as organised religion. It is also clearly false, because otherwise there would be no need for prison.”

    This point is wrong. Whether or not God gave all of us the same morality, we clearly have freedom. “…no need of prison,” from your statement, would mean that since God gave us morality, we are slaves to it. Absurd.

    In fairness, however, you describe your post as a “humble theory,” yet it is used to support a claim that your morality is the result of “Ev-o-lu-shun.” Specifically, you go on to argue that religion is not the source of morality. So let me get this straight:

    evolution = not religion
    or
    not religion = evolution

    In other words, you’re claiming (in part, by the absence of any other claim) that evolution is equally responsible for your morality AS IS not being religious, or not following a religion.

    Sorry. I can’t follow that. It just doesn’t make sense.

  5. Have you ever read C.S. Lewis’s account on morality? I think you would find it interesting and would probly agree with him on many points. He makes a strong case for the idea of the law of Human Nature in his book Mere Christianity before even mentioning the God of the Bible or Christianity.

  6. Have you ever read Madelaine Murray O’Hare’s son’s autobiography?
    Very interesting read about what a rotten life he had as the son of the #1 atheist in the U.S.
    I was brought up by a very adamant antiChristian who died a bitter and lonely old woman surrounded by family who tried to love her. Not a pleasant life to choose. Deathbeds are very interesting places to look at the result of putting your hand in God’s or spitting in His face hatefully every time He reaches out to you.

  7. Franco, the ex-dictator of Spain, thrust the country into the Middle Ages and turned it into a confessional Church-State hybrid. He died a bitter, bitter, old man, worshipped only by his closest followers, hated by the rest, and he died in the lap of the Church and presumably you would believe in Christ’s lap too.

    See? I can play the fallacy game too.

  8. Christians are not saved from hell by doing a perfect life.
    They are saved from hell by grace.
    Essentially by saying to a loving God that they love Him too which creates a two way relationship.
    Hell is not the only or even the most important reason for reaching out to God.
    Just as what your blood relative Dad will give you is not the only or the best reason for reaching out to him and striving to have a relationship with Him.
    God loves you
    The part that a Christian does is similar to the part a teenager sometimes does
    chooses to love that parent who already chose to love the teen
    Incidentally
    if you read the Bible you will find that Hell is described as a place of separation from God forever created for Satan who rebelled against God and chose to not live with and for him even though he was created as an archangel and would normally be in the presence or God.

  9. “if you read the Bible you will find that Hell is described as a place of separation from God forever created for Satan who rebelled against God and chose to not live with and for him”

    Sounds nasty. As a libertarian, I could never understand the motivation behind banning Satan into Hell.

  10. “Sounds nasty. As a libertarian, I could never understand the motivation behind banning Satan into Hell.”

    I truly believe that Satan would rather spend eternity in hell than to live in glory, subject to God. His desire for power is that strong. I have met atheists who feel the same way about living in subjection to any deity.

    By the way, my name is Joe too and I’m a Christian.

  11. This topic is quite trendy in the net at the moment. What do you pay attention to when choosing what to write about?

  12. check this out…

    this is mine…

  13. “I truly believe that Satan would rather spend eternity in hell than to live in glory, subject to God. His desire for power is that strong. I have met atheists who feel the same way about living in subjection to any deity.

    “By the way, my name is Joe too and I’m a Christian.”

    That’s Milton, not the bible.

    Actually, what -does- Genesis say about Samael? You’d think that the Fall might have fit in that 7 days between God making everything and Adam and Eve. A war on heaven seems to be the sort of thing worth mentioning in that -very short- time frame.

    Speaking of, if God is omnipotent, and God made everything… then God made Samael and saw it all coming.

    Interesting that.

  14. Granted, a belief in Hell for Christians amuses me a lot. But then I know my Norse Mythology. Hel was the name of the place where the dead-non-valorous went, to feast at the table with Loki’s daughter Hel, within the world of Muspelheim, a land of fire.

    Hmmmm.

  15. Thank you for posting this. I typed ‘moral atheists’ into a search engine, assuming nothing good would pop up. Your site was a nice surprise. Especially since the disgusting defensiveness of the Catholic church in recent years, I have been longing to find, at least online, people who understand the truth about religion and who are decent people.

  16. Regardless, the complex nature off Windows dynamically increases the possiblity that some
    users will have some type problems installing or running the operating system.
    Various solutions use different compression types, but you
    will be interested tto know that Windows 7 uses VHD arrangement tht Microsoft also functions in its Windows Virtual PC software and iit is server-based Hyper-V virtualization solutions.
    You will get the bundled wireless keyboard and mouse which will give you great typing experience.

  17. You could possibly get exclusive bonuses by ordering early.
    There are a lot of games out there, but not all of thhem are good.
    if you are feeling really ambitious to get some extra swords
    and sling-shots to fight off the barbarian invaders, you can touch your iphone
    screen and purchase a “chest of Gems” for only $99.

  18. Потенция считается одной из важнейших функций мужского
    организма, поэтому при возникновении малейших проблем в
    работе «главного» органа, представители мужчин
    начинают впадать в плохое настроение и искать все возможные способы,
    помогающие справиться с проблемой. Фармацевтическая отрасль
    позаботилась о мужской потенции, в результате чего в продаже
    появились лекарства , поддерживающие мужчин в отличной
    сексуальной форме – Купить их вы можете в интернет аптеке –>> http://www.dgeneriki.ru

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: