The fact that some people need a religion to be good people is sad. You shouldn't need to be told to help needy people; that should be a given. You should do the right thing because it's the right thing to do, not just because you were told to. For example, you should avoid murdering people, not just because the [insert holy book here] says it's wrong, but because it's very obvious that killing people is wrong. I have atheist friends, and my dad is an atheist. All the atheists I know are generally good people. They lie sometimes, but that's human nature. They treat people with respect, they follow the rules, etc.
Morality, let's face it, has nothing to do religion. Sure, religions do often require/encourage morality, but the opposite is not true. Take Nelson Mandela. Practically a saint, and a staunch atheist. We may not have the same moralities as religious people, but we aren't without a capacity for empathy and right-mindedness.
As Hitchens put it, do you truly believe that before Moses supposedly stood on the mountain to inform people of the 10 commandments, the people weren't aware that the actions involved weren't already self explanatory? Where do you end up if you murder somebody? What happens to you when you rape somebody? What are you to face when you steal? The put your self in different sorts of jeopardy, you live with the fact you carried out the acts, you understand that what you did you wouldn't want done to yourself, etc etc. Humans most certainly do have a built in moral code otherwise there is no way we would have survived when our populations was in the low thousands. Also religious practises in fact brought about sacrificial ceremonies which I as an atheist don't deem moral. The bible instructs dozens of immoral actions. So yes, morality most certainly exists outside of religion and it's not because we know of the stupid commandments already which may I add don't involve slavery, rape and other things that you'd expect to oppose as a moral being. And a couple of them are basically just instructions to believe in the Christian God and obey him/her. Whatever you wanna believe.
To some religious groups, it is moral to have slaves, kill people because of their sexual preference, and have women mutilated. These kind of morals are not part atheism. As far as being ethical we tend to be even better than theists. It is estimated that about 75% of the U.S. population is Christian, and only about 2% atheist. The prison population is about 75% Christian (no surprise) but only 0.2% atheist. According to this, Christians as well as other faiths are all about 10 X more likely to end up in prison.
The fact that some religious people actually believe that without religion people would have no morals made me come up with a theory.
Fact: Many religious people contribute moral to religion.
Logic: Without their religion, these people would have no morals.
Conclusion: Because these people need religion to be moral means that they are mentally unable to tell good from bad so need a book of reference as a reminder.
This is why I would not want many religious people from loosing there religious faith. Imagine if 75% or more of the U.S. population lost their moral compass.
A continuously changing world with new kinds of moral problem being generated all the time and much harmful ignorance still to overcome. It's only through abandoning certain widespread religious ideas that progress towards a truly just and consistent morality is possible. There's an ongoing need to develop and refine our moral understanding. The problem is the false and morally corrupting idea that the lawmaker is perfect. It's corrupting because, in causing us to accept unjust laws, it leaves us defending the indefensible. We don't base morality on revelation from authority, that would render us merely obedient. Moral behaviour is doing what's right, not what we're told unless what we're told is also what's right. The worry that, without religion or gods, we've no basis on which to discuss morality, is without foundation. Plain empathy can trigger natural help responses to others' distress and create natural aversion to causing others harm. Two prerequisites for reliable moral assessment are reason and accurate, relevant information. Sound reasoning won't lead to valid assessments if we're operating with flawed information, nor will sound information if our reasoning is flawed. Without sound reason and information we can't determine how the universe works, how different life forms suffer or flourish, where responsibility lies and what the short or long term consequences of our actions are on an interpersonal or global scale. As moral awareness takes time to develop in an individual it also takes time to develop in societies. Some societies still believe in magic. Some have largely outgrown belief in magic but not animal cruelty, racism, sexism or homophobia. For things that cause no harm, moral condemnation simply isn't appropriate. For example, homosexuality is often misidentified as a moral issue but gay relationships involve no intrinsic harm any more than mixed ones. Indeed, when classing harmless things as immoral results in persecution we've reason to condemn the misclassification. So often declared -'the territory of religion'- moral development is in fact something to which the scientific approach contributes far more and far more reliably due to its emphasis on reasoned logic and evidence, the tools that help us discern what's true and false and without which one can't even formulate a valid argument. To make informed moral choices and therefore moral progress religion needs science, but science does not need religion. We can be good without god.
Without using religion that is for slavery btw we have decided that slavery misogyny and other stuff that the bible advocates is wrong. We didnt decide that these things were wrong by trusting in other religions we decided these were wrong and then stopped believing in parts of religions. Religion is the enemy of moral progress. Every moral progress has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. The more intense has been the religion of any period and the more profound has been the dogmatic belief the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs. If we didnt look anywhere but to religion for a morality we would still own slaves and treat women like sh**
Morality in humans Evolved from group survival, just as it did for other social animals, apes, voles and meerkats. To maintain harmonious group dynamics, harming, stealing from and killing other members of the group are bad and damage group harmony, thus it is natural that these morals have become part of our genetic traits.
Humans are naturally moral, due to millions of years of maintaining group harmony for survival.
When we were hunted by lions and other predators, we needed groups for protection and to warn others and to trap and ambush prey that can run faster than we can. So we relied on group cohesion for survival, this continued after we stopped hunting and gathering as we then depended on our group members for assistance in building villages and providing us with that which we did not produce ourselves in a form of exchange.
The other part of our natural Morality comes from our long gestation period, or years of being nurtured, where we are innately a nurturing species, we nurture not only our own species, but many other species as pets.
We are a naturally kind and moral species.
No religion required!
Being apart of or following a certain religion doesn't make you a moral authority. Morality is not exclusive to religion or the people who follow said religion. Saying that people cannot have morals because they refuse to practice a certain faith is illogical. Everyone has their own moral standards including atheists and non-religious people. A person doesn't have to submit themselves to a deity or follow a holy book to believe that stealing and murder is wrong, and those that do are the real problem in society.
First of all, if a life based on the necessity of a dogma or a forever stagnant set of rules, in order not to become a "monster", seems to speak volumes of someone's lack of common sense and weakness of adaptation. Given that the world is dynamic automatically rules out moral absolutism. I do, however, agree on such a thing as objective morality, but that only goes for the basics. While social norms are the factors that creates gray areas.
There can be proper moral systems if they are unanimous, but that won't happen until the world's biggest and most opposing groups still try to instill perfect ideas through flawed people.
Everyone has a sense of what is right and what is wrong regardless to what they believe. Most atheists would say that murdering is wrong (just like religious people would say). They aren't religious, yet they seem to be moral people. Religion doesn't define what is right and wrong instead, everyone has an idea of what is right and wrong.
Face it! Atheists can never give a reason as to why a certain act is wrong. To Atheism everything is alright. Sam Harris said nuking 10 million Muslims is fine - meaning that mass murder is now okay. The only country that ever used nuclear weapons was a country where religion was separated from the government.
Atheists can certainly be good people, but atheism in the raw cannot truly support any form of morality because it does not cite an authority. Hysterically the Catholic teaching of "natural law," which states that there is a natural, universal impetus in human beings to WANT to be objectively good, is the same thing that atheists are using when they do good. However, in a purely atheistic society where God and the afterlife is rejected, there can be no fully "good" thing because "good" becomes a battle of subjectivity. Hitler's annihilation of Jews was "good" to him, and Nazism was itself atheistic. Without authority, morality becomes a fragmented mess of interpretations, that ultimately can only then be enforced by the strong and powerful, which are also subject to error. There is a need for an erroneous authority from which stems the concrete definition of "good," because otherwise there is no such thing as good.
I will highlight the main flaws and their misconceptions. One of the reason why all people, including atheist, have a sense of morality is because we are brought up in a society engulfed in it. We, as people of a nation, mostly listen to the Governments laws, and knowing the consequences of not following them we follow these rules. We are all surrounded by religion and the people of these religions have a moral aura that we notice and on occasions follow. My point is that from the moment we were born we were taught that lying is wrong and hurting is bad.
From a more religious point of view, indeed every human, even non religious, has somewhat a sense of morality which many say are: The Holy Spirit; God; Allah; Gods gift. Somewhere in our strands of DNA or our soul is a little voice saying "no, don't do it, its wrong!". I highly doubt this was made by nature's randomness and evolution.
And from the beginning of morality written on the ten commandments to this day, the main source of morality IS religion, the place from which religion started and is the place where it thrives; churches, mosques and synagogues. I agree, in the past and even today religion has been used to manipulate and harm, but that is the people's fault, people's sin, and religion itself has a moral aim.
What is it based on? Even many of the laws we have today can be traced back to religion, i.e. Thou shalt not kill. So, if you remove religion, who gets to determine what is "moral" & what isn't? There is no base-line, or foundation. What one defines as morally acceptable, another may not. Who is wrong? How can you even decide?