Atheistic morality

Atheistic Morality
Image from American religious philosopher Chad Meister’s 2010 article “Atheists and the Quest for Objective Morality”, wherein he asserts that a pure science based atheistic morality will never, likely, be possible. [3]
In hmolscience, atheistic morality, or "scientific morality", refers to a system of ethics, of discernment between the right or wrong of a choice or action, not in any way based on supposition of the existence of god, or god theory (or god hypothesis) residual baggage, e.g. supernatural suppositions, but rather one based on nature as the modern measurable physical and physicochemical sciences understand the operation of the universe.

In c.280BC, Epicurus, via atomic theory, penned some type of atheistic moral theory.

In 45BC, Roman scholar Cicero, an Epicurean materialism based commenter on religion vs science dialogues, and the first to transliterate the Greek word ἄθεος, from the privative ἀ- + θεός "god", meaning "godless", into the Latin átheos (Ѻ), in his "On Fate", introduced the term “moral science” as follows: [1]

“That branch of philosophy which, because it relates to manners, the Greeks usually term ethics [from: ήθος or ‘ethos’], the Latins have hitherto called the philosophy of manners. But it may be well for one who designs to enrich the Latin language, to call it moral science. And here we have to explain the nature and force of certain propositions which the Greeks term ‘axioms’. When these propositions relate to the future, and speak of possibilities and impossibilities, it is difficult to determine their precise force. Such propositions necessarily refer to the amount of possibility, and are only resolvable by logic, which I call the art of reasoning.”

This would seem to define moral science, according to Cicero, as the study of actions of behaviors that lead to death (or the arrival of goddess Mor), and or the avoidance of such actions or behaviors, leading to the prolongation of life (accentuation of the stay of the goddess Vita). Here, to clarify, knowing in a modern sense, that "life" and "death" do not exist (see: defunct theory of life; life does not exist; life terminology upgrades), just as neither do the Greco-Roman goddess Mor and Vita exist, but rather are religio-mythology conceptions, we define, or rather translate, Cicero's moral science logic, to signify the study of the nature and direction of the beginning and ending of human chemical reactions, whether individual, interpersonal, social, or global.

In 1616, Lucilio Vanini, in his Of the Marvelous Secrets of the Queen and Goddess of the Mortal Ones, Nature, became the second main thinker, behind Epicurus, according to Jennifer Hecht (2003), explicitly known that doubters could be more moral than believers, per argument that doubters are motivated by “reason” whereas believers are not. [8]

In 1682, Pierre Bayle, in his Various Thoughts on the Occasion of the Comet, in commentary on the famous comet of 1680, argued that comets were a natural phenomenon, that comets did not presage disaster, and therein presented the “first-ever all-out defense of the morals of an atheist”, as Jennifer Hecht (2003) summarizes things. [8]

In 1777, French thinker Jean Sales—a confirmed a "Voltairian" in general belief system, albeit characterized as a materialistic theist, who believed in the immortality of the soul, but who approves of the extreme atheism of Baron d’Holbach, but not that of Julien La Mettrie— penned the social Newton (or moral Newton) questioning tale known as “Newton in Senegal”, a short Socratic dialogue style satirical play, found in volume four of his seven-volume human molecular theory based The Philosophy of Nature: Treatise on Human Moral Nature, which tells the allegorical tale of Newton perched by the coast in Senegal, Africa, representative of a civilizing force of the enlightenment, taking time off from checking his calculations of the tides to contemplate the grandeur of nature, during which time Newton, presented as vegetarian, enters into a dialogue with a merman, an oyster, and a native African about whether or not they should eat each other, and the "morality" of each dietary pattern.

In 1777, French materialist philosopher Baron d’Holbach, in his The System of Nature: the Laws of Moral and Physical World, itself known as the “Atheist’s Bible”, himself widely known as the “Newton of the atheists” (Ѻ) even cited so in history of atheism documentaries. (V|1:45); argued for a god-free morality system, the gist of which is summarized by European historian Nathan Barber (2006) as follows: [6]

“D’Holbach took Newton’s ideas about the universe operating as a clock or machine to the extreme, arguing that humans have no free will, and that forces and laws of nature governed the lives of humans, not humans themselves and certainly not god. He aggressively argued against the existence of god and even against the existence of human souls. After all, why would human machines have need for souls?”

In 1789, British philosopher John Stewart, in his Travels to Discover the Source of Moral Motion, outlined a first to outline a non-deity physical-chemistry based so-called "moral motion" theory, in which he did away with all of the mythological terms ‘life’, ‘death’, ‘god’, etc., and replaced these with modern physical sciences (astronomy, physics, and chemistry) based theory of ‘moral motion’ (or moral movement), wherein man is viewed as an intelligent type of animate matter, made of particles (atoms), and that all that exists in the universe is matter and motion; a belief system he referred to as "natural religion". [2]
Moral symbols
A overview of the moral symbols, i.e. reactions diagrams (AB + C → BC + A), bonding crotchets ( ‘ { ’), affinity darts ( ‘ → ’), and characters (A, AB, etc.), etc., pioneered in the combined works of chemists Etienne Geoffroy (1718), William Cullen (1757), and Torbern Bergman (1775), used by German polymath Johann Goethe to formulate his 1799 theory of physical chemistry based morality quantified in terms of human chemical affinities (table), as explained in his 1809 novella Elective Affinities, wherein he outlined a unified approach to the explanation of chemical, physical, and social nature, on the premise that there is after all only one nature.

In 1809, German polyintellect Johann Goethe famously stated that the symbols of Swedish chemist Torbern Bergman's A Dissertation on Elective Attractions, namely reaction arrows, bonding brackets, heat, water, and chemical affinity preferences are the new godless system that explains natural science based morality in human affairs; the short version of which he stated as follows:

“The moral symbols in the natural sciences—for example that of the elective affinities invented and used by the great Bergman—are more intelligent and permit themselves to be connected better with poetry, even connected with society better than any others, which are, after all, even the mathematical ones, anthropomorphic. The thing is that the former (the chemicals) belong with the emotions, the latter (mathematics) belong with the understanding.”

In 1855, German physicist Ludwig Buchner, in his Force and Matter: Principles of the Natural Order, with a System of Morality Based Thereon, wherein he outlined a semi-cogent Goethean-like morality system; example quotes from this work are as follows:

“The universe, that is the all, is made neither of gods nor of men, but ever has been and ever will be an eternal living fire, kindling and extinguishing in destined measure.”
Heraclitus (500BC), opening quote to Buchner’s 1884 Force and Matter: Principles of the Natural Order of the Universe, with a System of Morality Based Thereon

“Where there are three students of nature, there are two atheists.”
— Anon (c.1850), opening quote to Buchner’s 1884 Force and Matter: Principles of the Natural Order of the Universe, with a System of Morality Based Thereon

“Just as man and woman attract one another, so oxygen attracts hydrogen, and, in loving union with it, forms water, that mighty omnipresent element, without which no life nor thought would be possible.”
Ludwig Buchner (c.1870), cited by Henry Finck (1887) as representative of “gross materialism”

Potassium and phosphorous entertain such a violent passion for oxygen that even under water they burn—i.e. unite themselves with the beloved object.”
Ludwig Buchner (c.1870), cited by Henry Finck (1887) as representative of “gross materialism”

Beyond this, little headway has been made, in respect to "atheistic morality", Wilhelm Ostwald's 1906 energetic imperative ideas aside, by virtue of the fact that (a) one has to "overturn everything holy", as Heinrich Heine (1810) said, (b) a "great revolution" and overhaul in 5,000+ year old belief doctrines is requisite, as Victoria Woodhull (1871) saw things, in order for a new physicochemical-based morality system to be implemented, and (c) one has to go through the extremely dense 1876 chemical thermodynamics work of Willard Gibbs, which, supposedly, only one person in the world, namely James Maxwell, has been able to do successfully.

In 2006, American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims, who independently had been working on the same underlying problem since 1995 (see: Thims though experiment), discovered the work of Goethe, and began to work out some of details of Goethe's so-called moral symbols hypothesis.

In early 2011, Thims, in Q&A responses, on his Human Chemistry 101 channel, gave the following physical chemistry stylized atheistic morality example: (Ѻ)

“To understand good (natural) and evil (unnatural), you first have to view all individual human movements as chemical reactions. Some reactions we call "good", such as love at first sight: Man + Woman → Man≡Woman. These are quantified by negative Gibbs free energy changes. Some reactions we call "bad", such as an unwanted arraigned marriage, or "evil", such as reproduction from farther-daughter incest: Father + Daughter → Baby. These are quantified by positive Gibbs free energy changes. Both reactions, good and evil, occur in society because of what's called thermodynamic coupling.

A simple example of what we might call an "evil" process or reaction would a hydrogen molecule H2 naturally or spontaneously splitting apart in the atmosphere to form two hydrogen atoms: H2 → H + H This reaction, which never occurs on its own, has a free energy change measure of +157 kilojoules per mol. This is called an unnatural reaction, from the earth-surface system point of view. This reaction can be made to occur, however, if it is coupled energetically to another stronger reacting system (such as a strong battery) or if the system is heated (such as the early universe is hypothesized to have been). In the case of thermodynamics coupling, we say that unnatural reactions can be made to go if they are coupled to natural reactions, as long as the later are more powerful than the former. Hence the motto: "good always triumphs over evil."

In Mar 2011, Thims, in his “Thermodynamic Proof that Good Always Triumphs over Evil”, used free energy coupling theory, to outline, theoretically, how natural (aka good/right) an unnatural (aka evil/wrong) are coupled to each other, socially, just as how ATP bond energy is coupled to various endergonic (unnatural) reactions in the body, ones that wouldn’t normally go on their own; the abstract of which is as follows: [7]

“A proof is given that good [natural] always triumphs [drives] over evil [unnatural] in the framework of thermodynamics, the science that governs the operation of the known universe.”

(add discussion)

In 2015, Jean Decety, and her team of development psychologists, published the results of their six-country so-called sticker study of kids 5 to 12 years old, the results of which found that children of non-believers gave away an average of 4.1 stickers, as compared to children of religious background who gave away 3.3 stickers. (Ѻ)

Phil Robertson (breakfast speech)
Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson giving his 2015 Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast "Atheist Family Rape Murder Scenario" speech, wherein he outlines his view on what he calls the "sin problem", i.e. how do you atheists explain right and wrong.
Duck Dynasty | Sin problem
In 2015, Phil Robertson, one of the stars of the show Duck Dynasty, as the key note speaker of the 11th Annual Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast, described what he referred to as the "sin problem", via the telling of a hypothetical scenario of an atheist family who is raped, dismembered, and murdered (see: audio), at the end of which the perpetrators claim there is nothing "wrong" with what they did because atheists have no morals, i.e. sense or foundational basis of right or wrong: [5]

“The ‘sin problem’ is something you can’t solve. [Namely] This ‘conscience’ thing, we just dreamed it up. There’s no right, there’s no wrong, there’s no good, there’s no evil.

I’ll make a bet with you: Two guys break into an atheist’s home. He has a little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters. Two guys break into his home and tie him up in a chair and gag him. And then they take his two daughters in front of him and rape both of them and then shoot them and they take his wife and then decapitate her head off in front of him. And then they can look at him and say, ‘Isn’t it great that I don’t have to worry about being judged? Isn’t it great that there’s nothing wrong with this? There’s no right or wrong, now is it dude?’

Then you take a sharp knife and take his manhood and hold it in front of him and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be something if this [sic] was something wrong with this? But you’re the one who says there is no God, there’s no right, there’s no wrong, so we’re just having fun. We’re sick in the head, have a nice day.’ If it happened to them, they probably would say, ‘something about this just ain’t right.’”

(add discussion)

Atheistic morality (cartoon)
A cartoon rendition of the so-called “killing spree paradox(Ѻ), often put to atheists, by believers, who raise the question about the basis of atheistic morality.
The following are related quotes:

“Hobbes attempted before Spinoza to construct a ‘geometry of morals’, Helvetius constructed a ‘physics of morals’, d’Holbach a ‘physiology of morals’; but, under these diverse names, Epicurean morality is, in short, never anything more than the quest of personal advantage: it rests upon the audacious confusion of actuality and duty.”
— John Masson (1909), Lucretius, Epicurean and Poet, Volume Two (pg. 163)

“Heaven help us if an atheistic morality, rooted in evolutionary theory or otherwise, should ever become the guiding moral force on a global scale.”
— Chad Meister (2010), “Atheists and the Quest for Objective Morality” [3]

See also
Moral chemistry
Subjective morality | Objective morality

1. Cicero (45BC). “On Fate”. Publisher; in: The Treatises of M.T. Cicero: On the Nature of Gods; On Divination; On Fate; On the Republic on the Laws; and On Standing for the Consulship (translator: C.D. Yonge) (§3:264-82). George Bell & Sons, 1878.
2. (a) Stewart, John. (1789). Travels to Discover the Source of Moral Motion (volume one) (energy, 35+ pgs; heat, 8+ pgs; The Religion of Nature, pg. 75-). Ridgway.
(b) Stewart, John. (1790). The Apocalypse of Nature: wherein the Source of Moral Motion is Discovered (volume two). Ridgway.
(c) Griffiths, Ralph. (1791). The Monthly Review, Volume 5 (Art. VI, Review: Travels Over the Most Interesting Parts of the Globe and The Apocalypse of Nature, pgs. 144-46). G. Griffiths.
3. (a) Meister, Chad. (2010). “Atheists and the Quest for Objective Morality” (pdf) (Ѻ), Christian Research Journal, 33(2).
(b) Chad Meister (about) –
4. Anon. (2015). “Godless Morality” (Ѻ),, Mar 8.
5. Robertson, Phil. (2015). “Atheist Family Rape, Murder, Morality Scenario” (Ѻ) (V), Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast Speech, Mar 20.
6. Durkin, Aubrey. (2006). The Complete Idiot’s Guide to European History (pg. 199). Alpha.
7. Thims, Libb. (2011). Thermodynamic Proof that Good Always Triumphs over Evil”, Journal of Human Thermodynamics, 7: 1-4, Mar 22.
8. Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 328). HarperOne.

Further reading
● Cohen, Chapman. (1932). “Morality Without God” (Ѻ), Issue 2 of Pamphlets for the People, 16-pgs, Secular Society Limited; Pioneer Press.
● Mackie, John L. (1977). Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong. Penguin.
● Martin, Michael. (2000). “Copan’s Critique of Atheistic Objective Morality” (Ѻ), Philosophia Christi, Series 2, 2(1):75-89.
● Joyce, Richard. (2006). The Evolution of Morality (atheistic moral skeptic, pg. 223; atheism, pg. 224). MIT Press.
● Harris, Sam. (2010). The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values. Free Press.
● Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter. (2011). Morality Without God? Oxford University Press.
● Luce, James. (2012). Chasing Davis: an Atheist’s Guide to Morality Using Logic and Science. iUniverse.
● Fodor, James. (2015). “Justifying Morality without God: the Difference between Humans and Chickens” (Ѻ),, Feb 11.

● Silverman, David. (2015). “Interview on Atheistic Morality, Atheist Conservatism, etc., at CPAC 2015” (Ѻ), Apr 18.
● Krauss, Lawrence. (c.2013). "On Science Based Morality" (Ѻ), debate with William Craig.

External links
Atheistic morality (2014) – Urban Dictionary.
Atheism and morality – Conservapedia.

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