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    What are it's limits? Do they change with time? Are they relative? Do they differ from place to place?

    Yes there might be some things which do not change like stealing, murder, etc..

    but as far as I know premarital sex was wrong/immoral/unethical some time ago in almost every secular society...but now it has become some sort of a norm.
    this is just an example...

    so what is morality for an atheist?
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    Answer - human morality changes

    Example - slavery was fine in the past, it is not fine now
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    Any athiests who have morals also have doubts about their own beliefs
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    do you mean "what is moral" (i.e. what actions are moral) or "what is morality as a concept" (i.e. does it exist)?
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    (Original post by saalih)
    What are it's limits? Do they change with time? Are they relative? Do they differ from place to place?

    Yes there might be some things which do not change like stealing, murder, etc..

    but as far as I know premarital sex was wrong/immoral/unethical some time ago in almost every secular society...but now it has become some sort of a norm.
    this is just an example...

    so what is morality for an atheist?
    My morals are the same as most peoples', religious or otherwise - I basically try and be 'good' and I try and be a kind, helpful person. But the difference is, I don't have something telling me I have to be like than in order to be a good Christian/Muslim, but rather I just like being like that.

    The benifits for me aren't that I'll go to heaven/paradise, but a sense of wellbeing knowing that I've helped people for no reason and for no purpose other than simply just being nice.

    (Original post by adamrules247)
    Any athiests who have morals also have doubts about their own beliefs
    I don't doubt my own beliefs. I've neverrr believed we, as humans, have a 'purpose' in this world, even when I was a Hindu.
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    Of course they change over time. Morality changes for all atheists and theists over time (e.g. it was once morally alright for hindus to throw widows into the funeral pyre of their dead husband, now not so).
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    (Original post by saalih)
    but as far as I know premarital sex was wrong/immoral/unethical some time ago in almost every secular society...but now it has become some sort of a norm.
    How many secular societies were there "some time ago"? Can you give examples of the sort of time/place you mean?

    I go by the harm/consent principle generally. If one or more people agree to do something that causes no harm to any other people, then there is nothing immoral about it. When you get down to it, it's a bit more complicated than that because you've got to decide what counts as valid consent (e.g. a paedophile might be able to convince a child to pose naked, but I don't think a child is really capable of consenting to sexual acts, therefore it's immoral). And there's also situations where people are consenting to be harmed, maybe something like extreme BDSM (a bit of a grey area for me).
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    Humans don't get morality from religion, if we did half the things that God does in the old testament the world would be ******. When a religion is "made up" as it were, they usually just follow the attitudes of the time. I think we have a huge capacity for empathy with our fellow human beings, and eventually we figured out that if you don't want something to be done to you, you probably shouldn't do it to other people.
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    I can't/don't speak for all secular viewpoints here, but we humanists go on the idea that morality is determined by human society and not God, and that morality will continue to exist and evolve naturally regardless of whether it has the "guiding influence" of religion.

    Morality has never been a constant. It is a general consensus across the majority of the Western world that the death penalty is immoral, but a hundred years ago, indeed for most of the previous length of human history, the death penalty has been a popular, widely-exercised punishment for even minor crimes. Societies that have a guiding religion will be less flexible in their moral shifts, but that doesn't mean they can't occur.
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    depends on the situation and consequences
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    (Original post by Psyk)
    How many secular societies were there "some time ago"? Can you give examples of the sort of time/place you mean?
    The Netherlands is a perfect example. A very secular, athiest society but having a child out of weblock is full of stigma over there.
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    (Original post by adamrules247)
    Any athiests who have morals also have doubts about their own beliefs
    What a load of crap. There doesn't need to be a believe in a higher being in order for you have to have some sort of respect for the people that surround you in this world.

    It's not a case of "I shouldn't kill this guy because then I'll go to hell", it's a simple case of "I shouldn't kill this guy because what right do I have to decide the fate of his life for him". All morals can exist without having to bring any sort of higher being into the equation.
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    (Original post by adamrules247)
    Any athiests who have morals also have doubts about their own beliefs
    Never before in the field of forum posts, has so much fail been attributed to so many, by so few.

    I have no doubts that a God is extremely unlikely to exist, and in my mind religion exists as a method of control that has evolved over time. At the same time, as a humanist, I have very clear-cut morals that I will not transgress.

    I'm not in conflict with my own identity, I suspect most other Atheists, Secularists and Humanists are in the same mind.
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    Do what will make the most people happy without negatively impacting on anybody else. Simple enough.
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    It's a delicate balance. We as humans find social interaction rewarding as it leads to us getting laid and having kids and so passing on our genes. If we didn't abide by morals, then our genes wouldn't get passed on since the opposite sex would be looking for moral abiding people since by mating with non-moral abiding people they would have kids who might not be moral abiding and so may not get laid and have kids for themselves so genes will not get passed on.
    Since morals are dictated by the society we live in, morals differ between different times and different countries. But essentially we do it not to consciously help others, but because with the right upbringing, our genes program us to do it so we get laid and have kids and our genes spread.
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    (Original post by adamrules247)
    The Netherlands is a perfect example. A very secular, athiest society but having a child out of weblock is full of stigma over there.
    Is it?
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    Depends on the athiest and what they believe.
    For morality in general (and there's a lot, so this is a small sample that my module on the topic covered)See:
    Simple Subjectivism
    Emotivism
    R.M.Hares Universal Prescriptivism.
    (books: A companion to Ethics-Peter Singer
    Hare and Critics:
    Essays on Moral Thinking0Seanor D and Fotion N)

    That's a starting point, if you want recommended books for other topics drop me a line.

    Ethical Naturalism
    Moores attack on Ethical Naturalism
    Intuitionism.

    Cornell realism.

    Quasi Realism.

    Consequentialism and Deontology.
    Classical Utilitarianism and Kant
    Preference Utilitarianism and Kantianism

    Social contract theory.

    Virtue Ethics
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    (Original post by adamrules247)
    The Netherlands is a perfect example. A very secular, athiest society but having a child out of weblock is full of stigma over there.
    Atheist in what sense? The majority believe in some sort of 'life force' responsible for the creation of the Universe (could certainly be construed as God, though clearly not any of the ones found in the current religions.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism
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    (Original post by innerhollow)
    Yes, that's exactly how my moral code works. Moral decisions are ones which aim to minimise the suffering of humans. I don't understand how a moral code can be anything else. If morality is an issue "good" and "bad" (at its most simplified), surely the only thing that can be classed as "bad" is suffering? Still, even though it's a rather simple axiom, there are several grey areas where you have no idea what would be classed as the moral decision to make.
    You have very little grasp on the concept of morality.
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    (Original post by Moe Lester)
    Is it?
    Yes.
 
 
 
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