by Patrick Jiminez. Originally published in http://nihilistmeaning.wordpress.com.
“You don’t believe in God? Where do you get your morality from?”
It’s a question atheists are often asked. Most of my atheist friends reply along the lines of, “Is God and the fear of punishment the only thing keeping you from committing violence?”
I agree with my friends that you do not need God to be moral. The more important question to me is, without God, would you want to be moral?
I am a loving person. This is not to whitewash my many shortcomings. Certainly, I have done many things which have caused others — including myself — pain. On balance though, I believe my actions seek to foster love, compassion, and understanding.
At this point, I find the notion that I need morality or should seek to be moral rather offensive. If I am a good person, it is because I have a good nature. I want to be sweet for the same sorts of reasons our dogs are sweet. Because we are loving and happy.
If there is a man or woman out there who needs an arbitrary external moral system to keep him or her from causing sentient creatures needless pain, then certainly, let us make sure he or she has morality.
If you do need morality, do not pretend this makes you superior. If you do not need morality, if you want to live your life as both a theological and a moral atheist, I welcome you.
I want to be around more nice, loving, amoral people.
Next time someone asks “You don’t believe in God? Where do you get your morality from then,” I am going to respond, “What in the hell makes you think I have morality?”