hmmmm good point, not that I totally agree obviously but I can’t deny it looks like you put thought into it, which is something I can’t say about most atheist I have talked to. I do not agree with one statement though; ” and am an atheist because I have no religion (as the word literally means).” it might mean that but it isn’t true. Atheism is a religion like it or not. You fight for a common belief with others. Although you may differ in ideas common with other Atheists, Like I do with other christians that doesn’t make it any less of a religion.
As for the ideals of your morality code; do you consider certain things “wrong” because if you did that would break what appears to be your morality code. Ex: if someone kills your mom (sorry to be so morbid) you can’t say it was wrong o blame them because that wouldn’t be respecting their beliefs because maybe they find that to be a good thing.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
I’m not clear on why you call my philosophy a religion. If I were someone who said that there was no god, you could argue that this was a statement of faith and that therefore I have a religion. However, I do not make such a statement. If you consider any set of beliefs about how the universe works to be a religion, then I think you would have to consider science a religion, and in that case the word “religion” loses some of its usefulness. Do you think that everyone has a religion, whether they admit it or not?
Regarding right and wrong — sure, I think plenty of things are wrong. If someone’s philosophy breaks my two rules, then chances are they do lots of things that I would consider wrong. In most circumstances, killing my mom would be wrong. Three examples:
1) Let’s say a police officer shoots my mom in a dark alley because he thought she was coming at him with a gun. Even if it turns out that my mom was only holding a piece of pipe and that she had her iPod on so she couldn’t hear the officer’s warnings, I wouldn’t consider the officer morally wrong for shooting her if he honestly thought his life was in danger (whether or not he’s competent is another, non-moral question).
2) Now let’s say that Mom leaves a living will stating that she should be taken off life support if her brain no longer functions. Even if I was against this practice, I would not think that a doctor who complied with her wishes was morally wrong. On the other hand, if I promised my mom that she would have a big church funeral and then, after she died, didn’t give her one because I am not religious, then I would be morally wrong.
3) If someone, in a panic, swerved his car to avoid an out-of-control bus and hit my mom, I would not hold that person morally accountable because it was an accident. However, I would expect the driver to accept the consequences of his actions.
4) If someone killed my mother to get her money because his family was starving, I would consider him morally wrong, even if he felt justified. I don’t think it’s likely that such an action can be justified by a philosophy that adheres to my rules.
Intent is very important to me when I am deciding whether or not something is morally wrong. It is very difficult to make anything close to an exhaustive list of things that are right and wrong because there are always exceptions. Look at the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” — it sounds pretty straightforward, but it really needs a lot more explanation (for example, killing animals for food, making animal sacrifices, and killing your enemies is apparently allowed, at least in the Old Testament).
In your response to this, would you please share your beliefs about when killing is wrong? It’s a very interesting subject, from a philosophical standpoint.