Question is from a deeply Christian relative of mine on Facebook several months ago, I'm wondering how y'all respond:
"To every agnostic/atheist out there, how do you know what's right and wrong without God? For instance, how is murder wrong when a person is just another animal?"
To think that morality comes from gods is wrong. Morality is an education process that starts with fear and ends in empathy with or without fear. Morality comes from the structure of the society you live in and is therefore ever changing. Some people are afraid that if they kill, god will punish them. Most modern people feel that if they kill (and get caught) society will punish them. If any gods are "writing on your heart" it is because you believed in them in the first place.
I have yet to meet a theist who can even define right and wrong. Typically, they'll say that god is good, to which I respond that god exterminated nearly the entire human race, so should we measure our goodness by how many people we have murdered?
It is impossible to be good WITH god. One must abandon our delusions to discover good.
Atheists are routinely asked how people will know not to rape and murder without religion telling them not to do it, especially a religion that backs up the orders with threats of hell. Believers, listen to me carefully when I say this: When you use this argument, you terrify atheists. We hear you saying that the only thing standing between you and Ted Bundy is a flimsy belief in a supernatural being made up by pre-literate people trying to figure out where the rain came from. This is not very reassuring if you’re trying to argue from a position of moral superiority. - Amanda Marcotte
I murder and rape all I want. I just don't want to. I consider morality to be the wellbeing of our species and our ecology. Things that increase the wellbeing of these things are good and things that hurt it are bad.
My question is how can you consider devine command to be moral? What if god tells you to kill your ? Would you do it? Is that good because god commanded it?
A better question might be: "How can you know what's right and wrong or have morals with God"? Considering how much war, torture and murder have been inspired by religion throughout history, a God who gives children cancer, a bible that commands stoning a woman to death if she's not a virgin on her wedding, beating slaves to death, etc. And speaking of animals, God seems to have set up a system whereby most animals get nutrition and survive by eating other animals. I think we make much better decisions and act more humanely when we just use our own brains and our own intuition rather than relying on the invisible sky .
We decide. Collectively. There were periods in history when murder wasn't wrong, as long as it was another tribe or a lower class--witness medieval Japan or ancient Sparta, and those are just two of many, many examples.
Every society we know of or have studied throughout history has the same basic set of rules:
Don't murder (somebody who's "us", ignored for someone who's "them" ).
Don't mess around with someone else's woman/man.
Obey lawful authority.
Those who haven't had this basic set of rules, haven't survived.
Morality is the rules that we all more or less agree to for our own individual and collective good.
I would point out that there were moral codes of behaviour in practice as long as there have been human beings alive and living collectively on earth and that is probably around 5 million years. Our primitive ancestors had to adopt a moral structure in order to form communities, it’s a matter of survival. Anyone who stole or transgressed from the group would have either been killed or cast out, which amounted to the same thing. It’s in our own interest to co-operate and act morally towards the others in our tribe. Even tribes in remote parts of Asia and South America today, who still have never seen or heard of the Christian god will have some sort of moral code which they live by. As far as Christianity is concerned, along with Judaism and Islam....they are very recent inventions by man, compared to the age of humanity, and therefore morality is very much older than these religions.
Just the fact they called the alleged "other person" an animal tells me that their so called moral foundation ("God" or biblical references) is probably not a good foundation to make a diferentiation at what's morally good or bad. Therefore Their foundation is broken and probably bias. Meaning those they consider human deserve to live and those they don't consider humans (or like animal) deserves murder. Totally wrong