Whidbey Island Freethinkers Message Board › How do you define basic ethics?

How do you define basic ethics?

Stephen K.
Group Organizer
Langley, WA
Post #: 91
Religious believers have often told me that without God there is no morality. I am kind of “extreme,” and “out there” so I often call myself an “atheist” (rather than a “free thinker” or “secularist”). In fact I often call myself an “ethical nihilist,” confusing just about everyone.

I think “ethics” (a term I prefer to “morality” – a word that is too bogged down with sexuality and guilt about being lustful animals) boils down to five principles. Before I weary you with my definition of “ethics,” I will ask how you define “ethics,” and where you get your ethical standards from?
A former member
Post #: 1,953
Steven and I had a great conversation and I agree with the use of the word ethics vs. morality.
Stephen K.
Group Organizer
Langley, WA
Post #: 102
OK, I am bored with waiting for others to enlighten me, so I will suggest my definition of ethics, one not based on religion at all.

1. Don't murder.
2. Don't torture.
3. Don't rape.
4. Don't steal.
5. Help others.

Those seem fairly simple and obvious to me. As the saying goes, "The devil is in the details." When we get down to the details, there is a lot of vexing and troublesome issues to resolve. I will suggest some of my concerns and confusions, but I will pause here to see if anyone wants to point out something not included that should be, something included that should not be, or any other salient points. Part of my not very hidden agenda is to argue that there is no reason to need a "God" as a source of morality/ethics.
A former member
Post #: 2,031
I would add that "Don't tolerate such behavior even by family or friends."

Now we are getting into the area of shyness by failing to speak up or to become a hero, and act without thinking too much about our own well being or what people may think of our actions.


Basic Assertive Rights:

1. The right to act in ways that promote my dignity and self-respect as long as others’ rights are not violated in the process.
2. The right to be treated with respect.
3. The right to say no and not feel guilty.
4. The right to experience and express feelings.
5. The right to take time to slow down and think.
6. The right to change my mind.
7. The right to ask for what I want.
8. The right to do less than I are humanly capable of doing.
9. The right to ask for information.
10. The right to make mistakes.
11. The right to feel good about myself.
Must I always assert my rights?
No, I am always free to choose not to assert myself, assuming that I am also willing to take the responsibility for whatever consequences may then occur.
" I don't have to be assertive all the time". Or "I don't have to be perfect.. I have a right to make mistakes."
Source: The Assertive Option by Patricia Jakubowski and Arthur J. Lange
and NO TRESPASSING by Barker and Barker.

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