Friday, October 23, 2015

Let's Have a Chat About Morality - Part 1, or whatever

Thus begins a few of my gathered ramblings about morality. The following,  by no means, is the final word on the subject for me. Regardless, I hope what I write here is meaningful to some.

As an atheist, I have been accused, either directly or indirectly (referred to as a collective in articles, posts, and conversations) of having no morality (or rather, an anything goes morality), once I left the large umbrella of Christianity. This used to bother me, but not so  much anymore. 

Because the accusation is partly correct.

In my view, the definition of morality has nothing to do with a system of principled rules to be followed by its adherents, but rather how that system of rules manifests itself within the motivations and actions of those that claim to be its adherents.

By the latter definition, morality is how each person lives their lives. If their actions are accepted by the society they choose to reside in, then they are deemed "good". If not, then they are ostracized and considered "evil" or simply "deviant".

But that makes it appear as if our morality is entirely dictated by those that view how we live our lives. The fact is, we know this isn't true. We alone, as individuals, know who we are and assess our own goodness behind the privacy of our eyes. We can appear moral, according to the dictates of our brethren, yet live our lives very differently, according to our own standards of goodness (or whatever feels right at the time).

As a Christian, it was wrong for me to look at a woman and notice her beauty. And yet, I prayed nightly, as a teen, that Jesus would wait to return to earth until I had had sex. I dreamed of having sex. I even masturbated once or twice. Throughout all the guilt, I still saw myself as good. Moral, even.

As an atheist, sex took on a whole new meaning. No longer did I view it as a sacrosanct pedestalian practice. Instead, it became a fun and loving thing to do with those who consented to do it with me, even if that meant going outside the bounds of my government-sanctioned marriage.

My view of sex changed.

As a Christian, it was my duty to love my neighbors. So I left my sidewalks un-shoveled.

As an atheist, it was my duty to follow the law, as well as my choice to love my neighbors. So I left my sidewalks un-shoveled.

My response to snow on my damn sidewalk never changed. be continued....maybe...

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