if there is no morality without a god, does that mean that the only thing keeping them from robbing, and killing people is that they think god is going to punish them.
Well, I do think that things like not killing eachother, not taking each other's stuff, and not screwing eachother's spouses could hve been determined without religion. But, based on general widespread human stupidity, I'm not so sure that most people would bother following such ideas without the threat of going to hell for doing such things. Hell, people do these things all the time regardless.
But, really, religion was simply the quick and easy route to morality. We probably would've agreed to the basis of morality after a while and things would probably be a lot more peaceful than we are now without all this 'god hates this' and 'god hates that' and all the hate towards different religions.
As an existentialist, I believe morals to be completely subjective, and based upon ethics. Morals are personal, and based upon experiences and teachings from others. Ethics tie morality together, so people have basically universal ideas of what is or isn't good, and there are also things that, from an evolutionary point of view, just don't make sense to do. For example: Murder. It's not a good idea. Why would one try and destroy one of his own species? It doesn't make sense. So, naturally, there is an ingrained taboo against it. It is viewed as "wrong." The behavior is counterproductive to society, and to the life of the individual committing the wrong. People, as social animals, empathize with each other as well, so social wrongs, such as rape or lies, are also ethical wrongs. These are things that have to be taught are wrong, as humans are born selfish. Look at a baby. It has no idea what morals or ethics are. However, as it grows up, it learns how to survive in a group, and depend on others and have others depend upon it. So when it learns how society works, and gains an understanding of its contemporary ethics to build morals upon, one can say they have learned the difference between "right" and "wrong." This is why people have different opinons. The ethics vary from one society to the next, but morals vary from individual to individual. I might say that it's perfectly fine to troll people into a mouth-foaming rage, but someone else might say that this is cruel and immoral, and that I shouldn't do it. This is a normal thing. Morality is not a universal, because just as everybody's mind is unique, so is their take on the world. It is, in that sense, a personalized version of contemporary ethics.
Sorry for the long essay-ish post, but this is a big question and demands a big answer.
There are social rules that you pick up and are taught as children or are supposed to. Killing people, for example, is socially unacceptable in our society and, therefore, I was taught not to do it and to shun the idea of it and feel bad for thinking threatening thoughts, yada yada. However, if I was raised in a society where killing people was considered good, I'd think nothing of it. Kind of a dark concept, but you get the point I hope. So, that's what I base my morality on, really. Laws and simple human concepts. Also the experiences I've had in life. I'm not going to be an asshole to somebody for no reason because people have been assholes to me for no reason.
Without a God there can be no morality. That's total bullshit. Yes, morality is relative. Religious people may believe that praying is moral and, therefore, think a person who does not believe in anything to pray to is immoral. But most people know right from wrong, including atheists, because everyone else does. They know the basic principles of being a good person. Whether or not that includes religion is our choice.
Wordy response is wordy. Sorry. =/
First of all, are you asking about morals or ethics? And second, there is often immorality with god, so the very premise is fallacious.
Well I purposely left the question very open so if you think the answer would be different when applied to morals and ethics I'd be interested to hear why that is.
Your second point interprets the question slightly differently to how I had intended it. When you say "there is often immorality with god" I assume what you mean is that there are immoral people who believe in God. I wasn't suggesting anything different. Rather, I was suggesting that the very existence of God is necessary for morality (and therefore also immorality) to exist at all.
Well there isn't a constant presence of God giving people or that has ever given people morality, it would have been empathy. I believe in most cases non-religious morality which focuses on empathy and is developed by how you would want to be treated is more "moral" and just, than religious morality which tends to be developed from being God fearing, as they would act well for these morals as they don't want the consequence of going to hell or being punished.
If I understand you correctly, you would be in favor of allowing suicide. But what happends when the desire to die is caused by a temporary circumstance? Do you have the right to prevent their self destruction and limit their rights based on the knowledge that they would be appreciative later?
I generally do not respond well to people who say things such as that. Saying that without God there is no morality is, in my opinion, an insult to the modern human race. It says that without some promise (or threat perhaps) we are incapable of acting civilized and resorting to murder and whatnot. With widespread technology and the growing importance of education, people will continue to become less "stupid". Religious driven threats and punishments were an effective way to rule people when this was not available or even conceivable.
Personally, I base morality on a personal belief in the individual. If an individual has a desire to achieve, nothing will stop him from doing so. Morality for me is a tricky word because I do not like "should"s. I Whenever someone believes he/she knows better or something of that nature, I get a bit ticked. I do not think any one person (or a group for that matter) has a better moral standard than the next. Who is that person to say what someone else should or should not do?
Without god there is no absolute morality, that does not mean that there is no morality at all. Morality is just the codification of what people ought to do and ought not to do. Personally I am a collectivist. I think the moral thing to do is what is whatever is it you can do to help society. So if you are a great poet and you can make society better through poetry then it is moral for you to write all the poetry you want. If you are a baker and you can help society by baking bread then that is what is moral for you to do. Also if it is in the best interest of society that you be a soldier then you have a moral obligation to fill that role. What is moral to do changes based on the situation and the society.
If absolute morality was true then when god spoke to people he would be at the very least consistent. If you take Judaism and Christianity and compare them it shows that god changes his morals. The two texts should be mirror images on morality but they are anything but. Absolute morality states that at all time and in all ways one action is always wrong to do. It takes a very black and white view of a world that is all many different shades of grey (50 shades of grey to be precise). (No, I could not help myself, yes I am ashamed of myself, yes I would like to apologize to myself, my friends, my family, and to you reading this). So yes at least this atheist has morals and I don't need god to give them to me. Everyone has a moral code that governs what they do weather that code is shaped by life experience, religion, or something else entirely god is unnecessary for morality to exist.
i think that that is a stupid concept. I have never believed in God (excluding my younger years when i was brain washed in school - aged 4 :L) and I am a good person! You can't really define morality any way, as it changes depending on who you are and why you do the things you do. If your wife is dying and the medicine to save her is too expensive, you could argue that steeling the medicine is your moral obligation as you are saving a life. however, steeling "just because" is wrong.
Basically, i dont think that you need a God to be able to make good decisions if you get what i mean :L