Atheist Morality

Skeeter

Well-known member
Banned
The only rights that exist (not talking about man's conceptions) are:

The right to Life and Liberty; to Worship; to Free Speech; to Purchase and Use Property; to Purchase, Own, and Carry Individual Defensive Weapons including Firearms; to Protect the Innocent; to Corporally Punish one's Children; to Due Process of Law; and to Fail.

Everything else is a privilege or permission.
The right to liberty can espouse any number of things. Much of everything else that you consider a privilege or permission probably falls under the right to liberty.
If there's an agreement, then it's not a right.

Right's are inherent, they're not dependent on an agreement.
When you claim this kind of thing you strip the concept of rights of any actual meaning. My neighbor was killed by a drunk driver. Should I go to his grave and say don't worry you have the absolute right to life, JR says so. He will still be dead.

Rights are contingent on an explicit or implicit social contracts. Rights have limits. There are legitimate circumstances when they will be impinged upon by the government, and sometimes private citizens. Rights are not absolute in that there is no guarantee that they cannot be illegitimately violated. Persons have a corollary right to recourse when their rights are violated that the government is willing to enforce.
The right to Life
Your life could be taken in mistaken self-defense whereby you are incorrectly perceived as an aggressor and killed for it. It is quite possible no criminal charges succeed in punishing your killer. Your family may get survivor damages if your attacker is deemed negligent.

The state can end your life but only after due process.
and Liberty;
You can be legitimately ordered to shelter in place during a hurricane or infectious disease emergency. If you do not comply, you can rightfully be jailed.
to Worship;
If your worship behavior includes elements that is legislated against for all persons, you can be be prosecuted.
to Free Speech;
If you yell "Fallacy of Appeal to Incredulity" in a group of atheists, you will be held liable for damage incurred by the crowd trying to exit the building.
to Purchase and Use Property;
Property can be appropriated for public use along as you are fairly compensated.
to Purchase, Own, and Carry Individual Defensive Weapons including Firearms;
Not if you have a felony.
to Corporally Punish one's Children;
Not if you leave a bruise. CPS will open a case on you.
and to Fail.
One right you exercise continually.
Inalienable means that it cannot be taken away. The right to life cannot be taken away by men. It can be FORFEITED by committing a capital crime, AKA a crime worthy of the death penalty. Only the government has the right to enact punishments for crime, however, including the death penalty.
Semantics. Also, as noted above, your rights can be legitimately curtailed due to circumstance that you did not even create. A compelling government interest can trump your rights legitimately. A criminal or interloper can violate your rights. You will have recourse but no absolute guarantee. Aspirations of absolute morality are borne of binary thinking not realism.
 
Last edited:

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
Rights are contingent on an explicit or implicit social contracts.
No, it's the other way around. Moral social contracts are contingent on their recognition of rights, which are prepolitical.
Your life could be taken in mistaken self-defense whereby you are incorrectly perceived as an aggressor and killed for it. It is quite possible no criminal charges succeed in punishing your killer. Your family may get survivor damages if your attacker is deemed negligent.
Knowing is half the battle.

A compelling government interest can trump your rights legitimately.
Your government to be a moral regime depends upon it first recognizing your rights, which act as trumps against not only your government but against everyone else as well. It is the acknowledgement of these rights which justifies our constituting governments in the first place. It is how we protect our rights, with our government. That's just the pragmatic view.
A criminal or interloper can violate your rights. You will have recourse but no absolute guarantee. Aspirations of absolute morality are borne of binary thinking not realism.
Twice two is four.

Show me realism regarding the above, that isn't binary (categorical).
 

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
I care.
One is perfect-minded and the other isn't.
Rights either exist or they don't. That was the point. If rights exist it doesn't matter whether God or man said it. The rights exist either way. If we believe they exist because God " put [them] in [our] inward parts, and [wrote them] in [our] hearts" then OK, but people don't have to believe God gave them our rights to believe that they are real.
 

PureX

Well-known member
If rights exist it doesn't matter whether God or man said it. The rights exist either way. If we believe they exist because God " put [them] in [our] inward parts, and [wrote them] in [our] hearts" then OK, but people don't have to believe God gave them our rights to believe that they are real.
I agree with this.

Mostly because I can observe existence and see for myself that it is better to exist than not to exist. And therein I have recognized a fundamental, universal value. And from that fundamental universal value I can extrapolate a set of ethical imperatives that will define 'moral/immoral' behavior for me as I exist in the world. And I can do this all without recourse to a God-ideal if I so choose.

This is why I do not believe that atheism equates to immorality. And why we can all see for ourselves that atheists are no more or less immoral, on the whole, than theists are.
 

Hoping

Well-known member
Rights either exist or they don't. That was the point. If rights exist it doesn't matter whether God or man said it. The rights exist either way. If we believe they exist because God " put [them] in [our] inward parts, and [wrote them] in [our] hearts" then OK, but people don't have to believe God gave them our rights to believe that they are real.
I see no scripture stipulating that God gave anyone "rights".
I do see that the Law of God is written on/in our hearts, (Rom 2:15), so maybe you mean we have the right to love God with all our might and love our neighbors as we love ourselves.?
 

Derf

Well-known member
I agree with this.

Mostly because I can observe existence and see for myself that it is better to exist than not to exist.
Not everyone agrees it is better to exist than not to. So which is more correct, you, or the other guy? And why, since you are both basing your opposite conclusions on the same inputs?
And therein I have recognized a fundamental, universal value.
If it is a universal value to exist over not existing, and nature's normal course results in you not existing, then nature is inherently immoral.
And from that fundamental universal value I can extrapolate a set of ethical imperatives that will define 'moral/immoral' behavior for me as I exist in the world. And I can do this all without recourse to a God-ideal if I so choose.
Not consistently logically, as pointed out above.
This is why I do not believe that atheism equates to immorality. And why we can all see for ourselves that atheists are no more or less immoral, on the whole, than theists are.
Just because you can illogically come to a correct conclusion doesn't mean the system that caused your illogical inconsistency will result in the same conclusion from others applying the same illogical inconsistencies.
 

Derf

Well-known member
Rights either exist or they don't. That was the point. If rights exist it doesn't matter whether God or man said it. The rights exist either way. If we believe they exist because God " put [them] in [our] inward parts, and [wrote them] in [our] hearts" then OK, but people don't have to believe God gave them our rights to believe that they are real.
But they have to believe they came from a higher authority than man to expect man not to eradicate or emasculate the rights.
 

PureX

Well-known member
Not everyone agrees it is better to exist than not to. So which is more correct, you, or the other guy? And why, since you are both basing your opposite conclusions on the same inputs?
Everyone and everything that exists, expends considerable energy to continue existing. Therefor, they have concluded (to the degree that they are able) that it is better to exist then not to exist. Because existence requires effort.

If it is a universal value to exist over not existing, and nature's normal course results in you not existing, then nature is inherently immoral.
We do not cease to exist. We only cease to exist as a particularized expression of being. The matter and energy that was us, remains, and becomes available for new expressions of and variations of being. In fact, it would appear that existence has been designed to allow for the maximum variation and expression of being. Which further support the innate value of being.
 
Last edited:

Derf

Well-known member
Everyone and everything that exists, expends considerable energy to continue existing. Therefor, they have concluded (to the degree that they are able) that it is better to exist then not to exist. Because existence requires effort.


We do not cease to exist. We only cease to exist as a particularized expression of being. The matter and energy that was us, remains, and becomes available for new expressions of and variations of being. In fact, it would appear that existence has been designed to allow for the maximum variation and expression of being. Which further support the innate value of being.
Then we never began to exist, either.
 

PureX

Well-known member
Then we never began to exist, either.
"WE" are an individualized current manifestation of being. That individual manifestation of being begins and ends even though we struggle to avoid it ending, once it begins. But existence, itself, continues on and reforms itself into new and varied individualized expressions of being. Our uniqueness is temporary. Which is perhaps what makes it all the more precious (and valuable) to us. And is perhaps why new variations of being will continue to emerge from what was "us" when we are no longer extant. And they, too, will struggle to remain extant for as long as possible.

Because it is better to exist than not to exist. The behavior of everything that exists exemplifies it.

I'm simply offering a way for any human to extrapolate ethical (and moral) value imperatives without the need for divine revelation.
 

Right Divider

Body part
"WE" are an individualized current manifestation of being. That individual manifestation of being begins and ends even though we struggle to avoid it ending, once it begins. But existence, itself, continues on and reforms itself into new and varied individualized expressions of being. Our uniqueness is temporary. Which is perhaps what makes it all the more precious (and valuable) to us. And is perhaps why new variations of being will continue to emerge from what was "us" when we are no longer extant. And they, too, will struggle to remain extant for as long as possible.

Because it is better to exist than not to exist. The behavior of everything that exists exemplifies it.

I'm simply offering a way for any human to extrapolate ethical (and moral) value imperatives without the need for divine revelation.
Which is why that entire post sounds like gibberish.
 

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
I see no scripture stipulating that God gave anyone "rights".
I do see that the Law of God is written on/in our hearts, (Rom 2:15), so maybe you mean we have the right to love God with all our might and love our neighbors as we love ourselves.?
Perhaps it would help to know that in Latin the word for rights and the word for laws is the same word. In English we distinguish 'rights' and 'laws' with their own words, but the ancient Romans did not. So when, in Greek, someone refers to Roman laws, they had to provide context to show that they were talking about legislation or statutes, rather than laws, and without that context, we would have to do our best to distinguish them ourselves.

In Acts, Paul invokes his rights as a Roman citizen.
 

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
I agree with this.

Mostly because I can observe existence and see for myself that it is better to exist than not to exist. And therein I have recognized a fundamental, universal value.
Not only that, but you have invoked self-evidence, which is what the American founders invoked in their declaration that we are all endowed with universal and absolute rights.
And from that fundamental universal value I can extrapolate a set of ethical imperatives that will define 'moral/immoral' behavior for me as I exist in the world.
But you don't need an extrapolation if you just accept the individual rights themselves as existing. Taking particulars and turning them into generalities is all well and good but not if your generalities ever conflict with the particulars that you used to generate the generalities.
And I can do this all without recourse to a God-ideal if I so choose.
As I said, no one needs to believe in God to believe in human rights.
This is why I do not believe that atheism equates to immorality.
I don't either, not in the legal sense of morality.
And why we can all see for ourselves that atheists are no more or less immoral, on the whole, than theists are.
As regards the law, moral law, sure.
 

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
The US Constitution was secondary to the Declaration of Independence, which did have such a requirement.
As far as I'm concerned the Declaration of Independence in part expresses a moral theory, in prose. The Constitution expresses that moral theory in law.

This is true, but then there's nothing to elevate that person's beliefs over any other person's, including someone's who doesn't believe in human rights.
Yes there is the Constitution.
 
Top