Posted by: Hope | October 21, 2007

Where Do Human Morals Come From?

Where does ‘morality’ come from? Can you be an atheist/agnostic and have morals? I believe you can. I mean, I claim to be agnostic and I know that I have morals. I live a daily life with a concept of certain rights and wrongs and try to live by those. But where do those come from?

Your parents? But that wouldn’t make sense to me either…cause then where did their morals come from? Their parents? That’d be a never ending of different morals and the entire world would never agree on basic ethics if this were true.

Or are we born with it? Is it just built into our DNA? That wouldn’t really make sense either (from the agnostic, atheist standpoint at least) cause then something had to put those ethics into our DNA. Which obviously is contrary to my beliefs.

So where do morals come from and can you be moral and be an atheist or agnostic?



  1. Morals come from our all loving God, even if you don’t believe in him. But you better believe, because last time humans lost their morality he flooded the earth and killed everyone except Moses & the animals (I’m still not sure why they had to bring cockroaches and mosquitoes on the ark though). He’s toying with the idea of drowning us again too: Proof

    • Moses didn’t have an Ark…..


  3. Our minds are programmed with a sense of morality. When we are unjustly rewarded, it may feel good, but it also feels wrong. Did that sense evolve, or was it programmed in? I would guess the latter. It seems like survival of the fittest would favor the most competent criminals.

  4. come on, it is too simple.
    all the morals of human civilization are rules to promote stable society. now in different part of world have a little difference in moral stand point depending on the current or previous stable society in that part of world.
    I think i made my point clear

  5. I have a piece on ‘Faith’ on my blog. I am currently of the view that we are genetically, at the brain level, set up as a faith system. Morals have developed with social development. Religious concepts have developed in parallel. Therefore they are entwined. As science grows we are able to apply much more certainty to our faith. But there are places where we can only have faith. It is only faith that can allow the hope of oblivion with death.

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  7. Chakresh,
    Morality may benefit societies, but it doesn’t benefit individuals; the appearance of morality benefits individuals. And it is individuals that breed. The ones most likely to get laid are not the most moral, but the most competent hypocrites.

  8. im on the debate team at my school and my topic is “inaction in the face of injustice makes an individual morally culpable” now im doing research and i cant exactly figure out what to say about our morals. im trying to figure out how they are developed, when we develope them, and how we use them. can anyone help?

  9. It depends if you’re wanting to drag religion into the subject and if you believe in God or not. Based off of those two things, could totally change the advice I (or someone else) could give you.

  10. Morals evolved along with our intellect. It’s not hard to see that they encourage survival.

  11. What my understanding of this matter is from a God fearing perspective. you speak of a law in doing good things, good morals. These laws are written in your heart as well as mine. They have been throughout all history. When some come to the knowledge of God we understand that we become judged by those things which we feel guilt for, No different then those who do not serve Him, then asking for His mercy He gives grace to live well. He does not favor you more than I. In a book written to Rome by a man Paul it writes

    “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves
    Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.

    So from a christian perspective of the word you can have good morals being an Athiest. If your curious about what you’ve heard I will be writing on this very soon.

  12. morals come from emotions and logic. Disgust is one emotion that plays a part. Children are not born with morals they must be learned. We learn our morals from many places; society(what is socially acceptable), books and television that we are exposed to at a young age as they often have a message, adults we respect such as parents, relatives, teachers, etc., and we evolve our morals and ideals over time. The argument we need god to be moral is ridiculous.

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