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Do Atheists Believe In Good And Evil?

  1. PhoenixV profile image79
    PhoenixVposted 21 months ago

    Do Atheists Believe In Good And Evil?

    What is the basis.

  2. Annsalo profile image84
    Annsaloposted 21 months ago


    I believe in good and bad. The natural instincts we are born with. My children have shown these basic instincts since they were toddlers. Don't hurt other people/things.
    The basis is quite simple, if it hurts someone it is bad.

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image88
      Billie Kelpinposted 21 months agoin reply to this

      Yes! In a nutshell. Excellent comment! Where is the link to your quote because the poster is a bit hard to read?

    2. PhoenixV profile image79
      PhoenixVposted 21 months agoin reply to this

      So we scratch and claw our way out of a puddle of goo, eat or be eaten, instead of a planet of klingons, even our children have a Basic instinct to live the golden rule. The photo quote is ridiculous.

    3. Annsalo profile image84
      Annsaloposted 21 months agoin reply to this

      A friend gave me photo Billie. Scratch and claw? Being good is simple, knowing right from wrong is simple. Why do we need a book to tell us this? Ridiculous is thinking without religion ppl can't figure out how to be good.

  3. Billie Kelpin profile image88
    Billie Kelpinposted 21 months ago

    The "good"  relating to human virtue is a complex philosophical concept discussed at length in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Plato's Republic and the Protagoras. What seems obvious in one circumstance  as good is not obvious in another.  We make decisions every day as to "the good" of our actions. 
    What a "Christian" (as defined narrowly in recent times as one part who is of the Evangelical movement) considers to be a "Christian" action is what a Christian who is outside of that movement might consider to be VERY UN-CHRISTIAN.. Our morality is based on our perception of "the good" as it has been taught to us and as we have hopefully modified and continue to modify it throughout our adult life by serious and thoughtful reasoning.
    Morality is not as clear-cut as it might seem. Some of us consider it immoral to shop at a store that has a reputation for importing goods from a company overseas that seems to not to care if their buildings go up in flames and trap the workers while others think that saving money for family needs over-rides the concern for others' welfare.
    Some of us think that patriotism is such an important good that we are willing to give up our lives in a war without examining the origins and consequences of that war and our participation in it; others feel it is immoral to participate in a war without understanding the reasons for it.
    Some of us believe it is a good to provide our family with wealth no matter how we get it; others draw the line when a question of morality overtakes that need. 
    Some feel that it is humankind's responsibility to be positive and believe that our planet will go on no matter what our individual actions.  Others believe it is immoral not to examine our individual responsibilities of stewardship to the planet.
    I can't answer for all atheists, agnostics, or non-traditional believers, but if your question is "Do I personally believe in ABSOLUTE GOOD”, my answer is "No, I do not believe in ABSOLUTE GOOD or ABSOLUTE EVIL. I believe, however, that it is a VIRTUE and an OBLIGATION to continue to examine and analyze, throughout our lifetime, that which constitutes the good and virtuous life. The question of what is good and evil is the most complex we can answer for it determines the meaning of existence for each one of us.   The one thing I am certain of is that. except for those whose psyches have been extremely damaged, each of us seeks to be a doer of good, no matter what we perceive that to be.

    1. PhoenixV profile image79
      PhoenixVposted 21 months agoin reply to this

      For example someone is aggressively self-centered greedy, but within the law, would be an expected outcome of evolutional progression/ survival fittest or something similar. Yet an innate inexplicable desire to be a "doer of good?"

  4. Oztinato profile image71
    Oztinatoposted 21 months ago

    The idea of good and evil has slowly evolved out of religious thought into something called "the law". If we take the time to think about it the Law actually has a lot to say about good and bad. Not only does it have a lot to say about it but there are huge legal systems keeping it in place.
    If we put our thinking caps on and ask ourselves why there are such huge legal and religious systems we have to eventually realise that people do not have the ability to "do it for themselves". Without laws and religions we get anarchic messes. Look at society today even with it's vast legal and religious systems : it's barely holding together due to human failings.
    There is always a heaving subconscious understructure of human selfishness and destructiveness that urgently needs containment via laws and religion.

    1. Annsalo profile image84
      Annsaloposted 21 months agoin reply to this

      Food for thought while you think we are barely holding it together. Crime is at it's lowest since the 60's.

    2. Oztinato profile image71
      Oztinatoposted 21 months agoin reply to this

      Crime stats are there because of the law. No laws=more crime.
      Laws extend right through life from parking tickets to local council by laws. Why are these laws there?

    3. Annsalo profile image84
      Annsaloposted 21 months agoin reply to this

      So you think laws are the reason crime is so low, even though all the major laws have been the same since well before the 60's. Like murder, stealing, raping, etc? These laws have been in place, but crime has varied. Lower now. They are for control!

  5. Aime F profile image83
    Aime Fposted 21 months ago

    I believe that people are, for the most part, inherently good.  In a large part thanks to empathy.  But there is so much that contributes to one's personality, one's view of the world, one's behaviour, etc. that unfortunately not everyone ends up "good".  Whether it's psychological, emotional, biological, or social (or in most cases a combination of these things), not everyone develops into normal, decent members of society. 

    So I believe in good as a part of human nature, and I believe in bad as a deviation from it, but I don't believe in evil as a supernatural force.

  6. Stella Kaye profile image89
    Stella Kayeposted 21 months ago

    'God and Devil' are the very personification of 'good and evil'. The two similar sounding phrases say it all; say them fast and they sound identical.  You don't have to be religious to be righteous and to recognise right from wrong so of course atheists believe in good and evil. Everyone knows right from wrong and clearly knows that harming someone else is evil whether they have religion in their lives or not. Everyone should be responsible for their own actions and not blame it on some supernatural force that incites them to wickedness or goodness; we all have the capacity for either according to our own thoughts and actions not our beliefs.

  7. DabbleYou profile image77
    DabbleYouposted 21 months ago

    Most definitely. Maybe some people's views of good and evil are correct and others views may be a bit flawed, nevertheless, we all believe that there is good and there is evil. The very thought of good and evil is embedded in our society, hence, every country and every civilized society has laws that are being enforced to prevent evil from happening. And because we are taught from an early age of what is good and what is evil, whether we choose to become atheists or not, that belief has already been embedded in our minds since childhood.

  8. tamarawilhite profile image92
    tamarawilhiteposted 21 months ago

    To paraphrase Sam Harris, yes, and the fact that we decided to eliminate slavery beyond all the world societies that endorsed it is proof. Note, China had slavery, the Muslim world STILL has slavery de facto and ISIS recently brought it back full scale, Native Americans had slaves.
    Yet we've evolved to higher standards of human worth, and it has been eliminated as an institution except for a few retrograde throwbacks (ISIS, Boko Haram, Saudi guys taking away Philippena maid's passport and beating her if she demands pay) and outright violations of the law.