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Morality and Atheism -- Why Religious Faith is Not the Only Cause for Morality

Updated: Mar 6

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Morality is possible even without the belief in divine existence and intervention. The following are the possible sources in which morality can come from, with giving some personal examples as well as an atheist myself:

Morality is possible even without the belief in divine existence and intervention. Here are some possible sources of morality, with personal examples from my own experience as an atheist:

1. Egoism: Doing things out of self-interest is not necessarily immoral, as long as the actions themselves are beneficial to oneself, others, or both. It is only natural for us to put ourselves first, as adults need to learn how to take care of themselves without the help of others.

For example, preparing a meal and eating it by oneself is an example that proves there is no necessary connection between self-interest and immorality. Additionally, egoism is important for our independence as mature people. I myself help random people when they request it, because seeing others benefit also makes me feel good. Therefore, my interest in helping others is based on good feelings, not bad ones. (For more on it click here).

2. Harmony: a good sense of harmony between people is imperative for optimal cooperation and safety, and evil is unnecessary. Those who claim that good cannot exist without evil and evil cannot exist without good - how would you explain pure deeds of good and pure deeds of bad? Last time I helped someone was in a supermarket. She was too short to reach some product, so I reached it myself and handed it to her.

Now explain to me what evil existed in this deed. If I were to refuse her request to help her, she would probably be angry with me or say bad things about me as I passed by. Why would I want others to be told bad things about me, let alone in my presence? The same goes in work, where I do even small deeds, such as lifting boxes to tables of secretaries who are too weak to do it on their own. The fact that my contribution to others creates a good sense of harmony is sometimes sufficient for me to commit altruistic deeds. (For more on it click here)

3. Productivity: For me, productivity is a prime priority, because the products that are being created are a reflection and a representation of our inner merits. This is why I like working and even writing answers on Quora; I like to produce things, especially when it comes to writing. The morality behind it is that my products can benefit others and even help them on the philosophical and practical levels. Being in constant action at times makes me feel good about myself and worthy. This is why I sometimes wake up early in the morning on a free day and drink coffee, just to write, instead of potentially sleeping more.

4. Karma: While I don’t believe in an energy called “karma”, I do believe in the wisdom behind it: if I shall help others, it would be more likely they would help me in return, and if I will do bad things to others, they might do the same to me in the future. As I said before, evil is not necessary, and thus I do as best as I can to be in good relations with everyone I interact with. I did wrote that ads is a necessary evil, but I digress. It's an expression. (For an article on Karma click here)

5. The Law: Usually, the law is what enables us to function in life with a possibility of optimal sense of safety. Think of what your countries did to you: gave you different services, provided you or your family with employment, protected you from criminals and terrorists, granted you civil rights, and so forth. When I see a suspicious activity (something that seldomly happens), I usually call the police. The latest example was a few years ago, when I saw a girl being beaten by another girl in the middle of a park. (An extra work on law enforcement can be read here).

Everyone watched and most did nothing, with few people trying to reach her physically, only to be blocked by the beating girl’s goons. There were even people watching this scenario from the safety of their homes. I am unsure if anyone else called the police but me. I did that because I know the law is there to protect me and others from possible dangers, and thus I thought to myself “why should I step away if I can call the police if the police’s purpose is to protect and serve us, the citizenry?”

And finally,

6. Family: I personally view family as one of the biggest values in a moral man or woman's life. That's especially true in my eyes when the family/clan actually took an active part in your growth and education. My gratitude for the Rubinshtein Clan has nothing to do with religious faith, or lack of it. Whether Clan members are religious or not, does not matter to me. What matters to me is our alliance. By blood, and by collaboration.

We can thus conclude from all of this is that atheists can be act good as well, and that religion does not have to be the only source of morality. Let us not advocate the negative stereotypes and generalizations that are usually associated with atheists and atheism.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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