The universal in my life is Good. I like to say no, that isn't a typo! Good is like light; there is only presence, not absence.
We are here:
To do Good
To be Good
To feel Good.
I was never religious. I developed a sense of morality and ethics completely independent of religious framework.
If it would hurt someone as a direct result, avoid it when possible . The use of violence as a means to all but the direst of ends is unacceptable. Respect the personal space, privacy, property and independence of others. The option with the greatest benefit to the largest number of people is likely the best, or at least most socially responsible, option. If confronted by someone whose intention is violence, leave. Treat others BETTER than they treat you; responding to cruelty with cruelty makes everyone involved look bad. Just because you want something doesn't mean you deserve to have it, treat the people in your life as a priority not a secondary option.
There's probably more, but that's all I can think of at the moment.
The same that I have always had. Religion didn’t give me morals, my parents along with the collective conscience/morals of the society in which I live in did.
People say that religion gives you morals, but it is our humanistic tendencies that gives religion morality. Otherwise we’d still be stoning people to death for not being a virgin or listening to their parents, etc. We didn’t/don’t learn morals from those bronze age principles, we outgrew them.
The same one I followed when I was more or less religious. Treat others as you would like to be treated or at least don't treat others in a way you would not like to be treated.
The Prime Directive.
Simple I believe that one should do unto others as I would want them to do unto me Yes this is quaint and known as the golden rule it is also the only religious saying that is found in one form or another in every known religion around the world which also is the only common thread in all the world’s religions. Hey even a broken clock is right twice a day?
Your question as it is structured and asked presume that it is surprising that atheists have any moral code whatdoever. I do not think that you intended to imply that. All humans share an instinctual code that directs them how one should act in order to maintain an ordered and healthy world. Morals are essentially the way that humans make sense of the world around them and how they interpret the range if interactions that must occur to operate in any society. It's true thst not everybody operates with an acceptable moral code. Humans as they evolved not only successful ly manipulate their immediate environment, but build filters to shield themselves from their better instincts. It one of the down sides to abstract thinking. Rationalizing is a filtering tool. All societies have similar codes for healthy operation and interaction. Morals are not the sole possession of one group, but a universal action for purposeful and productive interactions.
Same one I have followed my whole life...Do your best to be honest...Treat other people with respect & empathy...Religion didn't invent your conscience, the vast majority of people are born with one...Either you want to do what is fair & right for everyone concerned, or you don't...Either you have sympathy for those who are struggling with poverty or addiction, or you don't...Either you want everyone to have a better life, or you want to hoard everything for yourself...I believe that the only thing you leave behind is what you cheerfully gave away, whether material things or support to folks that need it... Heaven or hell has never had anything to do with my treatment of other people...We know right from wrong, and just because it is legal does not mean it is the right thing to do...Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes, but simply treating other people the way you would want to be treated goes a long, long way...Regardless or race or where their grandparents came from...We are all in this together....
Hmmm... I think the "shoulds" of life would be to try to do as much good, reduce as much harm, and help others in their quest to do the same. But, with the variety of human existence, we'd be hard pressed to decide what is a "good," given that the definition lies solely within each individual.
Biochemicially, the imperatives and needed direction for humans, with regard to this question, are laid fairly bare. Positive chemicals swirl when we help others. Answer this question: If person "A" was asked how much they like person "B"...and vice versa. Then, person "B" asks person "A" for a favor, that person "A" then completes. How would the "ratings" change? Would both change their ratings? Most would expect B's impression to increase, and A's to remain somewhat unchanged. Social Science, and Neuroscience say otherwise. They have actually found that person A's impression of person B increases! And B's impression of A remains somewhat steady! Why? Cognitive Dissonance. "A" cannot maintain negative feelings about "B," and do a favor at the same time...as "A's" brain has decided that, "well, I must have liked something about "B," or I wouldn't have done that favor!" "B" is kinda like...meh, another favor. Thanks."
Where am I going with this? It's not enough just to not be a killer. It's not enough to just do no harm. Active engagement in life, preserving life of/for others, tending others, tending non-human life, and preventing harm all increase our internal wellbeing, as we receive floods of chemicals saying we benefitted humanity, as well as creating and resolving cognitive dissonances which cause us to "like" others around us more with every bit of help we give. To find the greatest wellbeing is the goal of humanity. We achieve that by increasing the wellbeing of others. The level achievable or desired by each human varies...but, for the most part, in the average of human existence, the underlying neuro-pathways and reward system are the same.
Without God, we are our own arbitor of right and wrong. There is no other authority that can tell me I am wrong. If I decide torturing cats is moral, who has the moral authority to tell me I am wrong. Illegal maybe, but not immoral.
Well if you can dicide for yourself what is or is not moral then you give me the right to decide as well.you being no more the authority then i, that torturing a animal for any reason is wrong without morality even being the issue. So simply said. I have that authority as well as a duty to protect that witch can't protect its self when and where I can. Unessisary harm to anything is wrong,vary wrong
@River-david these are subjective judgements. I think plastic surgery and IVF is immoral.
Immoral is about not having a duty of caring, whatever your belief system is. And mate if you ever torture an animal I'll be after you.
I think the most popular answer without looking...the Golden Rule. It is not whomever has the gold, rules.
I know what is right, and I know what is wrong. And I act on that knowledge in the most honest way I can. By the way, I was always non-religious, so, I never needed religion to give me a moral code.
I literally use the old adage of treat others how you'd like to be treated. I think that that is basically the best way to approach this kind of thing. And it's nice because it's not out of some phony ideology, I don't want to be treated like a dick so I'm not going to treat someone else like a dick. I'm going to smile and Nod and say hello and treat people with respect and dignity and hope that they are decent human beings and return that simple kind gesture
I treat others as I would like to be treated... I do find it ironic that a lot of Christians treat me with disdain when they find out I'm an atheist.
The line I hear the most is 'But you seem like such a nice person!' after they find out.
I dated one woman for 4 years who was a devout Baptist... She told me on several occasions that I treated people better than most Christians she knew and that she was surprised by this.
Enhance the well being of myself and othrs, neither at the expence of the other and try no to lessen the well being of anyone else or myself.
I use a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I take some of my moral code from "The Great Agnostic" Robert G. Ingersoll. I also use a little bit of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. Anything I run across that sounds decent, I incorporate it into my life. Sometimes I just use common sense. For example, I don't get too upset when others do stupid things (like cutting me off in traffic) because I try to see them as humans who have feelings and experience many of the same joys and frustrations that I experience. Maybe they weren't paying attention or maybe they were having a bad day cause something upset them. I try to do right by others. I do incorporate some of the biblical teachings I learned as a teenager. I remember a lot of things that my mom taught me when I was young. She wasn't a church goer, but she tried to live a decent life and tried to instill in her children some of those principles she lived by.
Empathy has always been my moral code. I realized that religion hijacked empathy like it hijacks everything else and called it morality, then added a bunch of garbage that had nothing to do with actual morality as a method to control people. There is nothing about morality that can be taught by religion that wasn't already obvious more than ten thousand years ago.
Treat people as They Would Be Treated...
(They don't all WANT to be treated as you might like... You can trust me on this... I Know.)