Challenge to Atheists: Morality

I challenge atheists to present their moral structure in this thread – what principles their moral system is based on (if any), how they come to understand/decide what they “ought” to do; whether or not they are “obligated” to act morally, and if so, to whom/what is that obligation owed, and why anyone should care or act according to their moral system. Or, if their moral system doesn’t follow any of these conventions, then explain their moral system/views.

52 thoughts on “Challenge to Atheists: Morality

  1. So this isn’t a system, but it is my view of morality:

    Morality is intersubjective. Without others, morality is meaningless. Morality is a social process of negotiation that is informed by empathy. Empathy is the emotionally engaged recognition of self in the other. Humans are all related, and so similar. Hence, there tends to be broad moral agreement.

    In the West, the Enlightenment allowed the asking of new questions, and so facilitated social inclusion. Now, as the world gets smaller and healthier, and “the third world” recedes toward the past tense, we, as in social groups, are both forced to, and can afford to, expand our moral application of empathy to embrace greater diversity. .This is “moral progress”, which – up to a point – facilitates co-operation. Of course, the changing worldwide moral landscape isn’t so simple as to be all one way acceptance of diversity, but there is an overall trend towards inclusion.

    Moral progress isn’t guaranteed, and there must be a cut off point, if we ever reach it.

    That is pretty much it. Nothing earth-shattering. That is how I view morality, and also more or less why I am a progressive liberal. .

  2. William J. Murray,
    I can’t recall if you have provided this information so I am asking, in all seriousness, if you will define something for me. What exactly is morality? I suppose a good substitute could be ‘What are morals?’ but I prefer the first question. Please note they are not the same and answering the second question would be weaseling.

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