"This assumption about religion being necessary for morality is recognized and used as a justification for religion. When atheists provide arguments showing that religious beliefs are incorrect and illogical, a frequent response is that religion is still good because it's needed for morality. The question of truth is dismissed as less important than the question of usefulness. If morality is a good thing, then atheist arguments fall on deaf ears. And more, the act of willfully ignoring evidence or argument is performed with a sense of moral pride. This position rests on the myth that morality requires religion, and that you have to accept religion despite any flaws or abandon morality. This justification of religion is just one more consequence of the myth."
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Morality Needs No God, ch. 1 (2011)
http://www.moralityneedsnogod.com/firstchapter.html
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Being moral is the right thing to do regardless of any religion or lack thereof. " On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time", George Orwell.
 -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    The search for Truth yields such conclusions. I prefer the terms 'honorable' and 'compassionate' rather than moral or virtuous -- perhaps because of the evils that have been done in the name of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc.. Is it moral for a cat to eat a mouse? I suppose it depends on whether you are the cat or the mouse. It is believed by many that even though religions may be based on myth, that if there were no religion the world would go to hell. I doubt we will ever have a chance to try it out. As far as philosophy goes, I believe we all have some philosophy that we operate under -- those philosophies that encourage liberty, truthfulness, respect, kindness and charity I would call 'good', those that encourage obedience, domination, theft, murder, and totalitarianism I call 'bad.'
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    I believe in a creator of all things and also believe that God created us with natural instincts of morality. So I don't justify that one must be religious to be moral. Morality is a natural gift from God, and to act immoral or moral is a intentional act.

    The arguments against religion may be true but arguments about God the creator is tough to argue. Take the simplest of things such as vomiting - you suppose a spontaneous act would have created mammals such as humans (as complicated as our anatomy is) and then spontaneously we were made with the ability to vomit when our bodies reject a harmful substance? There are hundreds of other examples.
     -- Damian, Dallas, TX     
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    As for morality, it STINKS. The 10 Commandments are the heart, of the Torah, which isn't kept, anyway, and they are a principal inspiration, for constitutional law, which is a failure, in the US, since reform of any articles is buried, under 49 legislature-senates and a senate, in US Congress. We need ethical protection, anyway and only minimal moral protection, but hey, religion distorts all media, so we have to hear, about stinking morals, without religious diapers ever getting a due change. Ban worship, sez meh. We need page one, of the Qu'ran, and the rest can go to hell and stay there, for cause.
     -- Bob, Mountain View, CA     
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    Interesting Bob; immorality = disease, unwanted pregnacies, debasing of human nature, acting no differently than animals, destroying self worth...yeah Bob, that stupid morality is way over stated.
     -- Denise, Durango     
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    Damien, what on earth has barfing got to do with arguing for or against religion?
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    I'm not quite sure how to rate this. Atheism, when acted upon by individual moral code is as much a religion's justification as any Buddhist, Christian, etc. related religion. The Occidental atheist, succumbing to a prejudice against Christianity has to reinvent definitions to make such assertions. Morality is the foundation of religion, not the other way around as put forth by the author. Atheists have as much right to their morality as any other religion. AND ! Morality can not be lawfully legislated. (AGAIN, a god may or may not be helpful in determining one's religion !)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I see a self perceived victim in the attached look at chapter 1 of Joseph’s book. Atheists can be moral he says. I have no doubt, but how do they know? Tell me how does one define moral? Morality and “right and wrong” is whatever I say it is. Or maybe it is whatever you say it is (at least to you.) So there is no right and wrong if we disagree (as noted above in Archer's cat and mouse example.) With no base or no standard to judge from (no yardstick) it has no meaning. So what do we use as our yardstick? Maybe, as long as you don’t hurt someone? As long as you don’t infringe on other’s freedoms or rights? Says you? What if I disagree! Any atheist’s claim for morality lacks a foundation. They are seeing as the cat does…
     -- Doug, La Mirada     
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