I think most of us try to be moral; although, none of us are perfect at it. However, I think we’re starting run into problems in our modern society. These days we live in a global society, so we need to have global morals not just isolated cultural ones. What should our morals be? As an atheist, I do not believe we should get them from any holy book. I propose that our main concern should be to never harm verbally, sexually, emotionally, or physically anyone. I also think we should all strive to be fair in our dealings with other humans. Other types value are of less importance.
However, I don’t think morals should be a set of simple rules. Maybe, we should distill moral values to a set of rules, when teaching children, but I think otherwise a set of rules is problematic. The problem is that it is very easy to run into grey areas. For example if someone threatens kill you if you don’t rape the next woman you meet, is it okay to rape? (For the sake of argument, we are assuming you can not defend yourself in any way, and the person threatening you will really kill you if you don’t meet his demands.) So here’s what I suggest: We come up with an axiom system for morals. Now, I’m not suggesting we turn morals into mathematics. I suggest to build this axiom system we get our terms from variety of sources: psychology, sociology, neuroscience, anthropology, moral philosophy, and et cetera. We need to know what is the healthiest way for people to live. We need to know what causes harm, and we need to be able to place some type of value for an amount of harm for each bad deed in a particular situation. For those, that are skeptical of putting values on harm let me give an example. If I don’t like spiders and someone pours a bucket of rubber spiders over me, that’s a prank. If I have a phobia of spiders and someone pours rubber spiders on me, that’s mean. Clearly, one will cause emotional distress.
The point is, I think we need to have a whole field of study for morals. Currently, there are many people discussing what constitutes morals from different backgrounds. I think the different backgrounds are complimentary. I think it may be awhile before we get a complete axiom system, but I genuinely think we should do this. I think morals are important, and I don’t think we should descend into moral relativism. I think there are things that are just wrong. Something may be viewed as moral in one culture and not in another, but I think culture can be wrong. If in some culture people sacrifice children to the sun god, I’m not going to say that’s okay. I think even without a set in stone axiom system, we can be sure it is causing harm, and I think we can and should say that it is wrong and vehemently oppose that practice.
Just my two cents.