Can You Be Moral Without God?

Are Atheists Moral?

Can you be moral without believing in God? Yeah. I mean, almost every atheist I know is a pretty moral person and we all have our own set of values and beliefs that we work under.

I've been to a lot of atheist conferences, conventions. I've been surrounded by atheists. It's not like we're all like stealing and killing each other. So, where is that coming from? 

I've heard it put this way and I really like this. If anyone religious asked you, you know, how can you be good without God? Throw it right back at them. 

You know, if you started having doubts about faith, if you thought you were an atheist, what would you do? Would you go around raping everyone in sight? 

Would you go around killing people who are, you know, close to you? Or would you even do that to your enemies? And most likely they'll say, "No, I would never do that." Well, good, because that's just showing that God has nothing to do with it. 

You know, the Bible, if you want to cherry-pick it, it might have some good lessons about how to live your life. But those are not lessons you can find anywhere else. 

You know, any culture that's existed and thrived for so long, you know what it takes to get along with other people in society. And we know that there are some issues that are not black and white. 

You know, the Bible likes to paint everything as "this is a sin" and "this is not a sin" and when it comes to issues like homosexuality, you have Christians debating whether something's a sin. For some issues, there's not a right or wrong answer. 

When it comes to, you know, economics or I don't know, other philosophical issues, it's not like some answers are good or some answers are bad. 

There's some nuance in there and you got to think your way through it. And maybe there are good arguments on both sides. To me, that's what we should be doing when it comes to issues of morality, too. 

It seems to be pretty clear-cut that if you're killing somebody, that's not a world I want to live in, where you want to kill your enemies or anything like that. 

That's not a society I want to live in. It's the same reason I don't want the death penalty to be used. But, you know, someone else may have a different view on that. I'm a vegetarian. I think of that as a moral issue, but I know for other people it's not. 

And that's a debate we can have, but it's not like one person is automatically right; one person is automatically wrong. So, when you talk about atheists, we all have our values, we all have our morals. They don't come from a holy book. 

They come from our own life experience, what we were taught by our parents-- by our parents. Our experiences with our friends and strangers that we've come into contact with. And you kind of shape your own morality. 

And usually, whatever your beliefs are -- they tend to coincide with, you know, doing good. Most of the other people I've met in the atheist movement, these are good people. No one, including religious people, is going to say these are not good, kind, decent people. 

But their morality didn't come from the Bible. It came from a whole variety of other sources. There's no one place you could pinpoint as saying: "This is where they got the morality from." 

And I think that's why religious people freak out about atheists because religious people know where their morality came from. Or at least state-- They say, "That's where their morality came from." 

And they can't understand this idea that "What? You shaped your morality?" Just, you know, what if you were surrounded by bad people? 

Then you would be a bad person and it just seems crazy to them. But, you know, as the saying goes, like, there are Christians who do awesome things and there are Christians who do bad things. And the same thing applies to atheists, too. 

You can be good without God and you could be bad with God. But morality doesn't have to come from a holy book.

Originally published on the Atheist Voice. Republished on Fadewblogs courtesy to the author.

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