(I know not everyone on FSTDT is an Atheist, but I ran out of room in the topic title. This topic is for Atheists, and more specifically Atheists who were once religious.)
Personally, ever since my switch from Christianity to Atheism, I've started helping trustworthy people a lot more without expecting any sort of reward, and I tend to be a lot less judgmental. A few reasons for this:
-I realize my actions will reflect on other Atheists, so I want to make a good example
-I no longer hold the attitude of "Well, I'm already going to Heaven, so why bother helping people? I'm set." and now have one of "Humans are the only animals that ever help each other 'just because'. Might as well be a part of that."
-I realize that the only life is the one here on Earth, so I should make the time available good for myself and others
Of course, a lot of this might have to do with my growing up - I was about 12 when I became Atheist.
Post by Sandafluffoid on Apr 16, 2009 17:14:50 GMT -5
Well since becoming an atheist I have become a lot more introverted, and I briefly became very aggressive towards anyone who complimented me or tried to connect with me, which I'm mostly now over. I have also become a lot less egotistical and self-centred, as well as more involved in the outside world and less condescending. That said, since my conversion to atheism was indirectly linked with a massive psychological breakdown, this is a case of correlation and not necessarily causation.
Upon closer inspection, it has become clear that I have nothing left to say in my signature, so I did this instead.
Ethics affected my religion, not the other way around. I first left Christianity because when I started to read the Bible I saw that God was a hateful prick unworthy of worship. I'm not saying my ethical code hasn't changed since then, I'm saying that I'm not sure how much of it was due to being an atheist.
Post by David D.G. on Apr 16, 2009 17:50:53 GMT -5
I was raised nominally Methodist Christian at first, but I never took it all literally, and I eventually went from nominal Christian to agnostic to atheist. I can't say that my ethics have ever been particularly affected one way or another by my religious beliefs; I have always had high ethical standards, for myself as well as others.
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." ~Groucho Marx
I do the right thing, not because I feel guilty, to get other people into the pews, or to basically avoid going to Hell and earning divine brownie points. I now do the right thing because, well, it'll make one person's life a little better, at least for a little while.
I also do not feel guilty anymore for saying "no" to someone when I'm either unable or unwilling to do something for somebody.
Post by Star Cluster on Apr 16, 2009 22:20:10 GMT -5
Personally, my ethics haven't changed much, but my perspectives have.
Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.--Steven Weinberg
Religion can never reform mankind because religion is slavery--Robert G. Ingersoll
I don't know why people compare George Carlin to God. He's great and all, but he's no George Carlin.-Anon.
"Humans are the only animals that ever help each other 'just because'. Might as well be a part of that."
What on Earth ever gave you that idea? There are countless numbers of social creatures, from other primates to wolves to bees to those heartwarming stories about dogs raising orphaned kittens. All of which happen because of natural selection driving us to form mutually beneficial relationships to increase our genes' chances of survival, not "just because".
To answer your question, I've become more secure in my moral convictions because I arrived at them on my own rather than pulling them from a 4,000 year old book, and am generally much happier and social. (In no small part because I'm actually talking to people instead of dismissing them as sinners because they weren't as pious as I was or fornicating or some such garbage.)
My morals didn't change much, but my personality and attitude did. Before I was the standard gay hating, people in bad situations are there because they deserved it/are lazy, the wolrd should kiss our asses, anyone not christian is a waste of human space, etc.
Now i'm much more tolerant and understanding, open to new ideas and old ones i didn't know. I see everyone as an equal that I give respect to and more depending on their deeds rather than their idea of god.
Seeing I was never religious I wouldn't know. But I would think it hasn't done anything. I only really think about being an atheist when I'm talking about religion or debating. Other then that I don't give it a second thought in my day to day life. I think a better question would be, "has leaving christianity affected your ethics?". But what the hell do I know. ;D
Not much at all. When i was a believer I wasn't very devout, and one of the issues that led me to leave catholicism was my formation of an ethics code. Mine didn't agree with the church, and so I left.