WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR MORAL COMPASS?


For some reason, I have been running into
the, “You’re an atheist? Where do you get your moral compass” argument. Then after
explaining that a god is not necessary for morality, they often refer back the original
statement. It is for this reason I decided to make this clear, concise, and short response
so that I can send theists to when they ask this question or pose this argument. You are
also welcome to send them here as well. For this video, I am taking a page out of
Persephone Sixty Six’s book. Enjoy. A common misconception about atheists is that
they have no moral compass. These people that have this misconception think that the only
reason that they are moral is because they believe in an objective moral agent. I think
the question asked by Socrates in Euthyphro, elucidates the non-sequitur here. “Is that
which is good commanded by God because it’s good, or is it good because God commands it?”
If you accept the former, that good is commanded by God because it is good, then you must accept
that God is not the greatest, as he must call upon a standard of good greater than himself.
This is the answer most feel acceptable, however, the philosophical implications makes for a
very uncomfortable bout of cognitive dissonance. If you accept the latter, that things are
only good because God commands them, then you must accept that God’s commands are arbitrary,
grounded on his whims, and thus could be commands that we ourselves find morally abhorrent.
The implications of this line of thinking also present a few problems and do not align
with theist’s claim that God cannot commit or command immoral acts.
Holy texts, the Bible in this context, record many of God’s immoral commands. He commands
rape and murder several times in the Old Testament. For example, in Numbers 31:1-54 God commands
Moses and his army to, “Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that
hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a
man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.” The army comes back with 32,000 virgins after
doing God’s will. Any sane, rational person will read that story
and agree that an immoral and despicable command has been given. You know that going to the
neighboring town and slaughtering everyone, but taking the virgins for yourself is wrong
in any context. This means that you are operating a standard of morality that exists separate
from this God and his holy text. If your morality came from this objective moral agent, you
would be forced to admit that this is good, since God thought that it was good enough
to command it. This demonstrates that an objective moral agent, or at least in this case–your
objective moral agent, is not needed to possess a moral compass.
This example addresses the first question of the Euthyphro dilemma by proving that good
must exist outside of God, as we have determined his actions to be immoral because he has commanded
something evil. It also addresses the second question of the Euthyphro dilemma by proving
that not all things that God commands are good, which means that morality comes from
an outside source since we have determined the aforementioned actions to be immoral.
The argument that atheists have no moral compass because they do not believe in a god is a
rather silly argument. We all have a moral compass that comes from what we are taught,
what we experience, and what is most beneficial to survival as a social species.
This transcript originally appeared on my facebook page and a discussion is currently
ongoing there. I will put a link to it in the description box below.

9 thoughts on “WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR MORAL COMPASS?”

  1. You make this argument while murdering those fish people.
    How do you know they do not have fish wives or fish babies in that ocean?

  2. Amusingly enough, my girlfriend is playing The Witcher 3 right now. She needs to record it so I can use it for a video. Good video, btw, I think one of the most annoying comments people make about atheists is that they have no morals.

  3. So what they are saying is that without god we cant have morals. That would explain how Islam and Jewish/Christians have great morals compasses that face the opposite direction. We all failed to read the fine print below Thou shall not kill which says "Unless the person you wish to kill is of an opposing religion or god otherwise tells you to".

  4. Jesus Christ is Lord.  He is the Son of God, the prince of Peace!  Now go read any NIV or KJV and find out for yourself.  Prove to me that the Word of God is not true.

  5. 1st question . . . is that mob morality or personal morality? There are always different types of morality and which one is the best one? Basically, the question exists around a religious text, so is this where they get their morality from, and in doing this is this not immoral, not natural? Everything is immoral, even living! You must kill and pillage the earth to get a realm in which you can do stuff in their own contexts . . . like when building an engine, it is not like you are going to put a pound of dirt in there before you start it up, and to do so, some would say that you would, depending on the point of view, either another person doing that you do not know, or yourself would screw up your engine as with another person doing it, or you just wanted to put it in there to see what it would do, some would add when another person did it, without your knowledge, that this would be immoral . . . but it is all immoral . . . as you are polluting the planet, just by starting it #GoFigure

  6. Atheist can be moral individuals because the commandments of God are written on their hearts.(Rom. 2:15) No Christian is asserting the contrary; so that is a straw man fallacy.

    However, atheist have no basis for morality and must rely on presuppositions that comport only with the Christian worldview. (i.e. man's precondition to be moral and moral absolutes)

    When evolutionists, such as yourself, discuss morality as if it were a standard other people shouldn follow, you are being inconsistent with your worldview. Apart from the Christian God, morality becomes mere personal preferences; nobody has the jurisdiction to deem anything unethical.

  7. People perish because of Ignorance. To read a part of the story and not finish the rest to gain understanding is to chose ignorance.

    The interactions in Relationships are emotional and it takes a patient choice to react in a way that is peaceful.

    Any decisions made out of anger even the ones that are justifiable can have catastrophic results.

    As beings in relationships we are emotional and often make emotional decisions that can be regretful. Even if we have the right to do so. His right to do is simply because he created life itself and chooses what to do with it.

    God is no different in His relationship with humanity. The purpose for God sending His son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins is to bring peace in His decision making and ours. With every action still comes with consequence. So to be just, people that have consciously made the choice to live their lives against God’s will, will receive the what God’s law commits according to NEW testament.

    In life a good man can live his whole life being good and still not receive the wealth of life. NOT because his decisions were evil but because how he’s chose to live his life in ignorance which still leads him to poverty. The concept of heaven or hell is no different who’s to say what God can and cannot do if He is truly God.

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