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Why Do People Assume "Amoral" When You Say You Are Atheist?

I never understood the erroneous correlation between someone who is an atheist and the assumed belief that atheists are immoral. Atheist means a disbelief in a god or gods not amoralism but it is always assumed to go with. Why is religion so weaved together with morality and have others run into these problems?

Jessie 4 May 24
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38 comments

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7

"You have no moral compass"
.
"It's ok, I don't get lost"

Tell em "I have a moral GPS!"

6

My former husband would have you believe you cannot be good without god. And we see ample evidence that people can't be good WITH god either.

5

Because one of the greatest marketing ploys ever undertaken was the hijacking of morality by organised religion. It is part of the fundamental desire for control- how we think, feel, believe, behave...and spend. Yet some of the finest lessons in morality are prechristian.

Greek philosophers would be a example. The new religions are late comers. Hijacking is a great analogy.

5

Because they are Philistines. They are assuming that since you have abandoned one set of morals and religious dogma, that you have also abandoned your own human morals and personal principles. They are blindly assuming that morals belong exclusively to the religious.

4

There is a misconception that without religion one cannot have a moral compass... Therefore a lot of religious people see atheists as sinning heathens. I long stopped explaining to those who won't listen with an open mind how I can live morally without believing in any gods.

4

Because they're fucking delusional.

4

Many people believe that if religion dictates morality (which it doesn't necessarily), then if you don't have religion, you are therefore either amoral or immoral (neither of which is true)

There have been many immoral and amoral atheists just as there have been many amoral and immoral religious people. Look at Adolph Hitler. He was staunchly Christian (I think Catholic but I'm not sure, so don't quote me on that), but he was one of history's worst monsters. Stalin on the other hand was atheist and he was about as immoral as they came.

3

People believe this because they have been taught this arrogant attitude from the cradle. They believe there is no goodness, no morality, no potential for decency apart from religion, ergo, belief in their brand of god. It's one of the things that led me to de-convert. I could not believe that all those people who believed differently than I was taught were inherently evil. Then I actually read the bible. The old testament was loaded with a glorification of violence and mayhem. The new testament, apart from the misogyny, had a good message of peace and equality, but so much of the message was ignored. "Judge not that ye be not judged"? Hello. Judgment was an integral part of church teachings, at least how I heard them. So, now I am a godless, nice person who tries her best to do right and be kind

3

It’s the us vs. them mentality. They believe in god, they are good, they are moral. We don’t believe in god, therefore we can’t be good or moral. Anything that isn’t like them is bad.

Iffy Level 5 May 24, 2018
3

I think so many people that morality is exclusive to a religious belief, and they cannot imagine if you do not believe in their God/belief that you could actually be a good person that cares about other and wants to make the world a better place.

3

The only difference between religious asshats, and those who aren't religious, is that WE are moral because we just want to be because we know it's the way we should live our lives. We have our own moral compass that we know "any decent human being who isn't an asshat" should follow. So we do what we should because we just know it's what we should do. Religious asshats, on the other hand, don't have to worry about doing basically anything they want...because they have an out. They can "repent" and everything is "magically wiped away." This leaves them open to repeat the actions over and over and over again. Because the bible gives them an out. It must suck to be a religious asshat.

3

Many people only refrain from immoral acts out of threats of eternal hell. Weak.

3

One has to fear the wrath of God in order to be moral and good. No God no morality or goodness. It is simple. This is the way I was taught in catholic school. Kind of stupid, really. I guess I am totally immoral and evil, but it is so much work being evil and nasty. I am lazy, so i am authentic and honest.

3

Most crimes and bad doings, by far are committed by believers

Would it be correct to say that additionally, a higher percent of believers commit crimes, versus non-believers?

@DZhukovin I would agree. Not only that but the % of believers versus the % of non-believers. That's good evidence for critical thinking and responsibility for one's own actions, and not a belief that God drove us or God wanted it. I did it for God is not a responsible excuse. Imo

You would not believe how many Christians there are in prison. To be honest, I can't be sure if they were so devout before committing their particular crime, or became that way behind bars hoping to be "forgiven", but nevertheless it's staggering.
I have yet to meet a prisoner who proclaimed himself as an atheist.

@River-david Yeah I think that reasoning, empathy and such are natural constructs that grow in the brain with the development of the intelligence, which occurs with maturity. So religion isn't the only way, and may in fact be a terrible way of teaching morality, especially since it doesn't really use reasoning. Religion is mostly, if not entirely, just memetics.

2

When I escaped religion and became an atheist ,i was surprised how little it alltered my everyday life. The main difference was that I freed up extra time by not having to pray or go to church. Most proscriptions remained in place because atheists subscribe to The Social Contract and want the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Why cannot religous folk understand this?

Cults brainwash victims away from the UNDERSTANDING PROCESS

2

I don't know if there's an answer to that except that most people would like to have answers and that atheism doesn't provide answers. At its best, it asks questions.

2

Tired of this myth. Maybe a tribal thing Believer taught that belief itself is a virtue and the more more impossible the belief, the greater the virtue, so when you say you don't believe, it challenges their sense of self.

2

In fewer words there misguided. Even the the religious often decide there own morality as it suites there needs. It's a part of the human condition closely tied to one's own selfish wants and needs. Put all that aside and make the right desitions and morality is mostly the same the world over. Even more so without the complications of a religion. Peace,love,respect and forgiveness . Lets not call it morality,but a necessary humane truth.

2

Despite the fact that the "Golden Rule" is one of the most basic fundamentals of morality that most folks agree on, theists can't wrap their heads around living this way without having an authority figure tell them to live this way.
Combine that with a need for some sort of cosmic justice (aka good people get rewarded and bad people get punished) that must be handed out by some entity that is greater than a human.
Thus, theists are incapable of believing that morality can be understood by humans without an ultimate cosmic judge to explain it to us.
To a greater extent, it follows the same "logic" they use when insisting that the universe didn't just appear from nothing something must have created it. Morality must have it's roots in whatever created us because the creator would have behaviors in mind for us to follow. But that argument ultimately fails because if the created (us) have a creator that set forth rules of morality, so too must the creator have a creator that explained morality to it.

2

coz they're terrified that all they know is wrong and now they just might have to face the world on their lonesome

2

...or the flip-side of that. They assume I am Christian because I live a strong, positive, moral life.

A mormon friend told me I was the "godliest" person he knows. He knows I'm atheist, so he realized the irony in his statement.

2

Many people associate non belief with the devil because they believe you will go to hell for your non belief ,therefore the devil is immoral and non believers are Amoral.Twisted thinking in action.

1

You are confused. Morals are religious dictates. Ethics are people in action without victims. ....We Atheists just say no to the entirety of theistic allegations. ....belief in = non sequitur. ....a false syntax habit of speech. ....we walk IN doors NOT BELIEVING IN DOORS because doors exist not needing beliefs about door existence. ....xian Webster falsely defines Atheism as if his alleged god exists and we Atheists are in denial. ....an ethical person would not repeat a lie that harms many billions of people. ..faith kills rapes pollutes defrauds enslaves

1

It's a childlike reaction to being told that you "believe" something mommy and daddy said not to believe.

1

Because religion teaches ignorance.

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