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Morals and Governance Based On Logic?

March 15, 2009

Theists often say they have the moral high ground because their code of ethics come from their god. They pride themselves on this strict morality. However, if you talk with them about morality long enough they will let you know exactly how fickle they think their morals are. How often have you heard “Without God there to punish what’s to stop me from just killing you?” or some variation on this? Why doesn’t your god’s morality stand on its own?

What if some major discovery where to come about that definitively proved there were no gods? All of these people being held at bay by religious tenets would just go crazy with the fornicating, stealing, and killing right? I doubt that. After all, many biologists think that some of the most basic morals that guide practically every human society are evolutionary traits, but this is still a concern that needs to be dealt with.

We need a morality that is more substantial than those proposed by religious dogma. When the dogma fails, the morals have no ground to stand on because they lack reason on the whole if a few of them lack any reason whatsoever:

“Why shouldn’t I wear clothes with two kinds of fabric?”


“But Lobster tastes so good!”


“Why should I care what two consenting adults do in privacy?”

We, as a species, need a morality based on reason, decided by “we the people”. We need to decide we’re above the need of the carrot and the stick. The first step in that is getting rid of the carrot, or at least the promise of the biggest carrot at a much later, undetermined date. That is the basic premise of government, laws are an enforced form of morality. People do break the law, and when they do so they are punished by the populace through the court system. We seem to be handling ourselves decently in that respect as religiosity has lessened. The most unjust courts appear to be those being ran by the more religious theocracies and the most humane courts are being ran by the most godless democracies.

There needs to be a shift in mindset on morality. It is a fact that one can be godless and moral, only the most hardheaded and brainwashed will deny this. Logic should be the guiding force for policy that affects people of many faiths or of those that lack belief, a secular government can do this. Because if those faiths crumble the faithful will have nowhere to turn unless there is a morality makes logical sense. There should only be enough restraints on a society to keep it in working order and from tearing itself apart. If an individual wants to live by a stricter code than that of the majority that’s fine, but the shortest leash shouldn’t be the standard by which everyone has to be given. Social and academic freedom have been proven to be beneficial for a nation to succeed and this is something that should be kept in mind when laws are being made.

Should all portions of morality be made into government policy? I don’t think so. Altruism is so powerful because you aren’t being forced to do it. If everyone had to go stand in a mall and give out free hugs then the action would be meaningless to both parties. However, we hold altruistic actions in high regard and we socially reward people who perform such actions and that is enough to keep the idea alive and growing strong.

My intention is not to claim I know the best moral code for man to go by but only to suggest that our species could survive the death of gods without falling into chaos. There are a lot of books and papers out there about this wide and intriguing subject. I highly recommend taking a look at it from both sides if you haven’t done so yet.

  1. jamesatracy permalink
    March 15, 2009 12:36 pm

    I was going to try and summarize this in my comment but you might as well read the original:

  2. Tory permalink
    March 15, 2009 6:22 pm

    I find myself in total agreement. It seems that when you get that from so many Theists and Apologists, it’s kinda scary. It truly makes me wonder, though yes, most are not likely to actually go crazy. There are a few, and given the numbers of them that are out there, there are still going to be way too many that will go bug-nuts. That’s what scares me the most. Not that they hang their moral hats on religion. But that they can’t seem to grasp the concept that God isn’t needed to be a moral member of society.

  3. March 16, 2009 8:23 pm

    Why doesn’t your god’s morality stand on its own?

    That is the best response to their use of ignorance when it comes to Atheist morals. They water down their own value system when they resort to such ignorance. They give a reason of fear for their morals when atheists can simply respond that we sincerely do good without hope of reward.

  4. March 17, 2009 10:48 am

    “Why doesn’t your god’s morality stand on its own?”

    Good way of putting it.

    I have been told to my face that God was the only thing keeping me safe from rape and murder. I think I laughed. Because of course my kung fu might also be a deterrent if god feels like I should be raped.

  5. Jonathan permalink
    September 16, 2009 9:15 pm

    I completely agree! Although religious institutions often help shape morals and ethics, it is unnecessary to credit them as an essential sculptor of the two. Morality can be developed outside of organized religion.

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