As mormons, people use the church, the scriptures, the words of the prophet and the nebulous concept of 'personal revelation' as their moral compass.
Since leaving, I've developed my own moral compass (okay, I did that before I left and that's why I didn't gel so well with a lot of what the church said.)
Mine is based on individual freedom. I believe everyone should be free to pursue the life that they choose, and it's not up to any other person to help them make the 'right decisions'. 'Evil' actions are those that limit personal freedom. 'Good' actions are those that help a person in their pursuits.
So obviously killing someone is pretty evil- it completely ends their ability to pursue their own goals. Abusing a child is evil- it emotionally stunts that child so they're unable to progress as they might have. Stealing someone's property is bad- it limits their freedom because the time they put in to obtaining that property is lost, and they will lose more time trying to regain what they've lost.
Sex, which the church sets right next to murder, is only bad insomuch that it limits a person (ie, gives them an std, an unwanted pregancy- which I could argue isn't so bad because my extended family has grown through adoption =) or if that person was forced into it, or if someone lied to get them into bed.
Lying is terrible because it limits people's freedom- they can't make good decisions for themselves when information is hidden from them. I really hate lies!
Your freedom ends where another person's begins.
So far this 'moral system' has answered most moral quandaries I run into. A grey area is children (how free are people to limit their children's freedom and to what degree should the government/bystanders step in to protect children?) and abortion (do you focus on the mother's freedom - having to give 9 months of her life and possibly limit her opportunities, or the baby's freedom to live? As I stated above, I'm incredibly biased about abortion/adoption issues because adoption gave me my two amazing nephews and I'm SO glad their mothers endured 9 months of pregnancy and then labor to allow them to live.)
Anyways, post-mormonism, what's your moral compass?
I'm pretty much on the same boat and idea as you are, basically, do no harm to others, mix in a little golden rule, and pursue life as you will.
I also enjoy Sam Harris' approach to using science to answer moral questions:
I can understand your viewpoint but i still need a God in my life.. Because life without some higher being or higher purposes is crap ..
That does not mean that people who dont believe in God dont have moral values....... some do and much better than those who have a God in their life it would seem.
I think you mean that in your opinion life without some higher being or higher pupose would be crap. Otherwise it sounds like you're saying those who don't have a god in their life have a crap life. I thought I'd say something because I am guessing that you don't mean to say life without god is crap as a general rule. Especially since I don't believe in any higher being or higher purpose and my life is awesome! It is what I make of it.
No i don't mean that life without God is crap .....
It just that it helped me through all the traumatic experiences i have had (violence in my home from my father who left us (we were six), rape attempts by a family member, murder of my sister by a muslim man, sexual and moral harrasment at work) .... all the more so the i had no one to turn too ...
And i also recently had a tumor removed .... and had no one at my side to support me through it all ........ so maybe God is my best friend .... because I never had anyone at my side when i needed merely a good and faithful friend the most ....
So just read what i said after .......
In my personal experience, my religion gave me a compass ..... i left it along time ago (it was not mormonism) and all i experienced and saw around me was too many people drifting and getting hurt ...because they had no foundation to build their life upon ..... so everything seemed so unreliable....
So as i said life without God or a higher purpos, live can become very destructive IN MY VIEW.
My moral compass is a lot like yours. It always had been. The change came for me when I could finally no longer stand sitting in church and being told it's perfectly acceptable to judge and discriminate against others based on what our own morals are. Alright, so they don't specifically say that, but we all know that it's implied. That from the time you're in primary you're told right from wrong and that anyone who deviates from those rights and wrongs is "bad" in god's eyes, even if that person is you. I can't feel good in my heart (or feel very moral either) if I associate with a group of people who encourage hate speech and judgemental, condemning behaviors in its members. That's just not how I am. I can't be that way. I can't tell other people I'm better than they are because I'm more "moral".
Agree with you about the mormon rejection of others who dont fit in ....
I think that good living, moral and healthy principles are very important in life, otherwise there is chaos in life, but the shunning of people like homosexuals or those who drink caffeine or enjoy some wine just because we dont .... goes way too far...
I agree that to have a good life we must be careful and have values to build our lives on and at least be careful about the consequences of what we do, but we still need to live and love (or at least try to love) ..
I've always said it doesn't take a church or God to lay down the idea that somethings aren't right. If you don't want someone to do it to you, you probably shouldn't do it to them. Someone asked me how I could teach my kids right from wrong without believing in God. I told her that whether or not there is a God doesn't affect what is right and what is wrong. It just changes the consequences. There are natural consequences for every action. The reward of heaven or the punishment of hell is teaching them to live through fear anyway rather than using their own logic to realize they should not do something.
I don't believe in taking away someone elses freedom to make their own choices. I've always been led by my own moral sense and desire not to infringe on others rights. Probably the whole treat others the way you want to be treated is the only thing that made sense, whether it came from a school teacher or a religious resource. It just makes sense.