Atheist Frontier - Questioning what's Real

Atheistic values

Although atheism does not discourage or promote any specific virtues or values, because it is merely a classification of the absence of belief in deities (both etymologically, and according to the highly-respected Oxford English Dictionary), the vast majority of virtues and values are naturally "atheistic" because anyone can understand, question, accept, reject, value, or practice them independently of any form of indoctrination, theistic or otherwise.

Contrary to a well-known misconception, a theological system (such as a religion) is not a prerequisite for moral or ethical standards, rather virtues and values are an important prerequisite for theologies (which usually emphasize a collection of values).  When values are dictated or indoctrinated their genuine qualities diminish due to the rigid impositions that restrict personal freedoms (in contrast to this, the absence of indoctrination is one of atheism's core distinctions).

People may be characterized, at least in part, by their personal values.  Neither self-determined nor natural values are exclusive to atheism despite their logically apparent atheistic origins that transcend all cultures, legal systems, rules and regulations, and are independent of one's level of education.  Most mainstream values are "atheistic" in the sense that they are a natural part of human solidarity, hence they are also incidental to atheism.

The following are examples of some virtues and values that are independent of theology and are also genuinely shared (albeit selectively) by many people throughout the world who participate in a vast range of cultures and societies:

Honour (and integrity and fairness)
Freedom (and secularism and responsibility)
Arts (and cultural diversity and society)
Knowledge (and education and innovation)
Friendship (and sincerity and trust)
Logic (and critical thinking and skepticism)
Compassion (and love and respect)

The following short introductions for these virtues and values are linked to theologically independent and intentionally non-judgmental descriptions which we hope will be of interest to you:

Honour is an intrinsic quality of character that is practised by those who freely and willingly accept, and reliably satisfy, their real obligations.  ...  [More...]

Freedom is one of the most important aspects of life.  To think, to learn, to question, to act, and to implement and build, without interference from arbitrary...  [More...]

The Arts
The arts have a unique and natural brilliance in communicating ideas that transcend the qualities of both written and spoken language.  The truth expressed by art can be so powerful that it tears down...  [More...]

Knowledge, education, and innovation are essential to the progress of science, technology, and other disciplines.  Society benefits in so many ways when more people are educated...  [More...]

Genuine friendship is the most sincere form of relationship that is also a highly valued interdependent survival trait that provides a natural defense against loneliness.  Absent of arbitrary requirements, the unencumbered willingness to trust...  [More...]

To be, or not to be, in essence, is the basis of logic which rules our universe and everything in it.  This question exemplifies the beauty and simplicity of logic from which critical thinking and skepticism...  [More...]

Compassion, which is comprised of the prefix "com" (together) and the word "passion" (strong emotion), is the genuine concern for others in accordance with their needs or desires.  Compassion can encompass strength independently from, or combined with, weakness, because both qualities...  [More...]


See also

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