image provider

Rational Morality

There cannot possibly be a god in heaven watching all of this calmly.
~ Revi Shankar


Traditional morality is based on a religious myth that there is some after death punishment if you behave badly. The story is presented with great drama to a child who usually swallows it whole. The problem is eventually the child notices there is no evidence for the myth and that other people believe different myths. Without cohesive social pressure, the belief in the myth dissolves and along with it, morality.

Those who posit an all-powerful God to inflict this punishment have a problem. Why do the good have such a rough time here on earth? Either this God is incapable of protecting them, does not care, or is sadistic in his trials. God may be feared, but not loved, at least not honestly.

What I am going to try to do is invent a morality that does not depend on a religious myth. With some modification, it may form a firmer foundation to teach your child. It should not conflict with any religious myth you also teach.

Ravening Wolves

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
~ Matthew 7:15

Jesus warned about false prophets, those who have learned to manipulate the symbols of Christianity to evil ends, yet people fall for them time and time again because they are conditioned to the symbols rather than the essence of his message. They don’t take time to examine deeds. They hear only the wolf’s unctuous tones. There is a movie called Bob Roberts about a corrupt politician who wrapped himself in the Bible and the flag to bamboozle people. There are scores of real life examples that spring to mind, such as George W. Bush and Jim Bakker.

Animal Morality

Animal morality is pretty much based on self-preservation and preservation of the young. Some animals warn the herd of danger. Dolphins, whales and elephants care for the sick and elderly even when they are not relatives. In that, they are superior to some human societies.

Rational Morality

Rational morality is action that ensures the survival of the species, not just individuals. Many actions that ensure the survival of the individual also naturally help ensure the survival of the species. However, the ones I would consider moral are the ones that entail some inconvenience or sacrifice on the part of the individual. Rational Morality looks out for everyone and for future generations. There is more to it than mere survival. Rational Morality wants to see to it that no one suffers unduly.


The prime directive in Rational Morality is to preserve the environment in which humans live so that it will continue to be a suitable place to live and grow food for generations to come. You can’t then emit poisonous gases that kill plants where your neighbour lives. You can’t do things that would strip the soil for future generations. You must carefully manage resources like fisheries so that there will be plentiful stocks for all time to come. You can’t emit greenhouse gases so fast the biosphere can’t absorb them. You work to preserve maximum biodiversity because we know that produces the most stable, healthy ecosystems.

You must not allow some people to gorge so much that they endanger their health where others literally starve to death. The powerful naturally tend to become more powerful. You must tend to counter that so that they don’t trample over the weak. The powerful will naturally have more than the weak, but they should not be permitted to starve the weak to death or force them from their homes. Power corrupts, so you must keep an eye on powerful people and keep them in check.

If you have an infectious disease, you should avoid passing it onto others. If others have infectious diseases, you should ensure they get access to treatment before they pass them on to others.

Anything so dangerous that a slip could wipe out the species must simply not be tolerated. This includes nuclear weapons, artificial diseases for warfare and any toxin capable of destroying the ocean’s plankton.

You work to reduce your footprint on the earth, avoiding wasting resources, trying to damage it as little as possible in your passing.

How Do You Decide What Is Moral?

The usual religion-based moralities make up long lists of dos and don’ts. The problem is, there is no mechanism to revise these as society changes. Over time, they end up recommending silly, or immoral behaviour and fail to cover many new situations.

I suggest using something Ken Keyes termed the Instant Consciousness Doubler.

Expand your love, your consciousness and your loving compassion by experiencing everything that everyone does or says as though you yourself had done it.

When you are deciding on a moral action, just imagine the situation through the point of view of each of the affected parties, what their take would be. Then make your decision keeping all of that in mind.

Hierarchy of Loyalty

You have a hierarchy of loyalties. Your highest loyalty is to your species and the planet that sustains it. Then you have a loyalty to your country. Then you have a loyalty to your state or province, then to your city, then to your neighbourhood and your sports teams. You don’t let your lower level loyalties interfere with the more important higher level loyalties.

Finally you have an ultimate loyalty to life as a whole. Even if man insists on going extinct, you should work to see to it that some life survives.

When we discover life in other parts of the galaxy and the universe, eventually will have to broaden morality to include that as well.


book cover recommend book⇒Speciesismto book home
by Joan Dunayer 978-0-9706475-6-6 paperback
birth 1940-11-25 age:75
publisher Lantern
published 2004-10-30
Dunayer presents compelling scientific evidence for the sentience of invertebrates. This is also a book about animal cruelty and the human way of dismissing the pain they cause for animals.
Australian flag abe books anz abe UK flag
German flag abe UK flag
German flag abe Canadian flag
Spanish flag Canadian flag
Spanish flag Chapters Indigo Canadian flag
French flag abe abe American flag
French flag American flag
Italian flag abe Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag Nook at Barnes & Noble American flag
India flag Kobo American flag
UN flag other stores Google play American flag
O’Reilly Safari American flag
Powells American flag
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.
Good Without God click to watch Not So Good Books click to watch Objectivity and oughtness click to watch
BBC on Speciesism

This page is posted
on the web at:

Optional Replicator mirror
on local hard disk J:

Please the feedback from other visitors, or your own feedback about the site.
Contact Roedy. Please feel free to link to this page without explicit permission.

Your face IP:[]
You are visitor number