I agree, there's something about consequences and not wanting to hurt others because you care about them and it has nothing to with pleasing some higher power.It's more complicated than that but I'm lazy.
I'm an immoral agnost, but I know many atheists who have more morals than I do. Plus, I think the Dutch Christian Democratic Party is very immoral and our more christian parties are even more immoral. But that's politics. Politics don't count, I guess.
I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower. The TV was obviously on. I used to fly myself and I said, "There's one terrible pilot."
- George W. Bush -
I think you're higher up in the moral hierarchy if you base your moral decisions on your own criteria and whether you could even live with yourself if you acted immorally. People who commonly think this way tend to have integrity by the bushel.
On the other hand, people who base their moral decisions on whether they would suffer social admonishment or whether they would get caught tend to have little integrity.
There are a fiew exceptions. For instance, Rosa Parks stood up for the greater good when she stubbornly insisted on sitting in the white area of a bus. This kind of thinking defies social expectations for the sake of a higher cause.
You'll find people who rely on personal integrity and consequences under both religious and secular umbrellas.
But yeah, you don't need religion to act morally. Many people would disagree with me would rebut that true moral fiber can only be found in religious dogma/ God/ other higher power. This would be because those sources would be objective, whereas human standards are more relative.
Agree. You can realize entirely within yourself that treating other people with kindness, honesty, forgiveness, and respect etc. is the right and humane thing to do, and this, like Mystic Tater said, tends to be more authentic and integrous than someone who fears social shaming or some punishment from a random mythological daddy in the sky.
Also, I think people can form ethics rationally, realizing that it makes more logical sense to respect other people's individuality and livelihood, that a well-functioning working society requires people to basically treat others as they'd want to be treated themselves. There are good logical indicators, for example, that reducing poverty reduces crime, etc. which is good for everyone. One of my INTP friends is a philosopher and he basically can give completely rational reasons which mirror all of my internal Fi morals...it absolutely amazes me how we've basically come to the same conclusions, except mine are wholly Fi with some Te support, and he can explain the same ethics, basically, in a more convincing academic manner with Ti.
Not only that, but I'd also like to throw in here that a person can be spiritual without being religious, thereby deriving their morals from Fe and an exterior source, but without being religious.
"Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul." - Edward Abbey
For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them. [Romans 2.13-15]
The general context was that Paul (the author) was criticizing those who were overly-reliant in having a "belief system" (the law, the torah, etc). Gentiles meant a non-Jew, but it's a catchall word for anyone out of the scope of that worldview. It's not the whole story, nor am I saying Christians (and other religious believers) would just leave it at that, but this is something that's been lost on a lot of them. Paul was actually good at learning where other people came from, understanding their symbols and philosophies, and then trying to bridge the gap that way. He'd stand in the middle of Greek towns using illustrations from their own statues of Apollo or Zeus. And he'd go even further and speak to people in outer realms, and hang around barbarians. He had no qualms at least about seeing the general good in others. He was "preaching" to them, but in his mind, he just thought he had good news. He simply believed there was a guy who defeated death, claimed to be a king from another world, and was more powerful than Caesar. His religion, in the beginning, was no more than that (hah! or maybe that is quite a lot to swallow). He had no problem believing that people could be good. Now it's all lost.
Even 'evil' people have morals; they are just uncommon.
Well obviously social animals need a certain amount of cooperation as well as competition to be most productive so extensively 'evil' moral codes would just be destrimentary to the genepool and culture hosting it.
Adversely 'ethics' promoting cooperation and trust etc. will be more successful and spread in culture and to an extent be selected for in the genepool.
Things like empathy for example go against our drive for dominance by making everybody have a personal investment in others, like a sort of social 'limb' if you will.
The golden rule was invented and reinvented in history, it isn't an invention of christianity. People claiming the opposite are just exposing themselves to ridicule.
I mean, even bats have their own version of the golden rule. It's just a strategy that works in socially oriented mammals.
Expression of the post modern paradox : "For the love of god, religions are so full of shit"
Theory is always superseded by Fact...
... In theory.
“I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.” Richard Feynman's last recorded words
"Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart." Mencius (Meng-Tse), 4th century BCE