The concept of Love, for instance, is a placeholder for a psychological phenomena that is completely the product of chemicals. 'Love' isn't real, or has any intrinsic value -- it's just something we observe a lot of people doing, and is useful for survival of the species.
Love is real and has intrinsic value.
What do the words "real" and "intrinsic" mean? You are defining them as necessarily connected to god. Here I was waiting for some brilliance and I get the same crap my mother argues. You might as well ask why I don't drown babies.
The argument from morality is the most played out bullshit around.
That feeling you get when you look at your wife, the love you have for your child[ren?], is meaningless "spiritually" speaking -- it's only synapses firing, it has no eternal significance, except that endorphins are binding in a certain place in your body, and that makes humans more stable by developing 'relationships.'
How does the reality of our biology make love any less significant?
Again, you are start from the idea that anything important or significant must be connected to god (and an illusion of immortality), so removing god automatically makes things insignificant.
And what is most revealing about all of this is how shallow the promise of salvation actually is, especially in the Christian understanding; mansions in heaven and tortured sinners; so pathetically bound to earthly ideas, even in the holiest and most sacred of concepts.
Yes, but there is not 'goodness' or 'badness' in the universe, or in us, it's just atoms.
Those two things are not contradictory. You want them to be to seek a conclusion.
The Soviet Union put the "good" of the State above the "good" of the individual. Unless we make monsters out the the soviet bureaucrats, I'm sure they thought they were doing what was 'best' for mankind. Millions of people went to their jobs everyday and did 'bad' things by our voted-on system. For them at the time, there was nothing 'bad' about what they did. Potentially, if their actions helped further the species by weeding out the criminal element. Their actions could have been very, very 'good.'
Even the calling of something 'bad' is only a form of political coercion in terms of a social ideal held by enough people. Calling Saudi Arabia or Hamas 'bad' is simply a game of semantics. Wahabbism, for instance, has every 'right' to do what it will, because it is a political entity, and can exert control. Calling social customs 'bad,' only means it would be pleasing to you, to force them against their will.
How did the Christian practice of burning heretics alive go from "good" to "bad"?
What moral determinations were made there, and how were they made?
'Bad' is a statistic of opinions.
No, it is not.
To say that 'we have a responsibility' is a misstatement as well. You, I, or the state might say we 'have a responsibility' to do this or that, but it's not a moral thing at all, it's a political directive established by force.
Bullshit. Pure bullshit. No one forces me to behave in altruistic ways. No one forces animals to behave in altruistic ways. The forces are essentially intangible, but that does not make them supernatural.
And "morality" is simply political as well, there is nothing behind it unless we imagine it, maybe for convenience -- another placeholder. To say we have a 'collective' anything can only be used as a statistic. We are not connected to each other in any way, except to the degree we are fooled into that belief by a phenomena, 'herd instinct' or something.
Our connection is not illusory at all, societies and ecosystems are real. The way we define actions within those societies and ecosystems certainly change, but that in no way cheapens, degrades, or delegitimizes human emotions and human morality.
Even religious understanding changes. Your argument would mean something if religion was now what it was from the beginning of human history, but it is no more stable (and it could be argued that it is actually less
stable, since it is based in pure fantasy while secular, scientific views are based on reality).
All of these things have been invented to keep the species moving along. With the right chemical adjustments, none of them exist.
Invented by whom?
"Evil" for a "religious" person basically means sin, which is separation from God. "Evil" for an atheist means 'we decided this is not optimal in the grand scheme of things.'
What is the difference?
Marriage is a cultural garnish that helps evolution. So as long as no one's feelings are hurt the marriage can take any form the participants would like it to -- to the point of casually dissolving it. The rules morph and bend as societies change and grow -- but only in scientific terms, mind you. Fidelity, for it's own sake, loses it's meaning.
All things change and grow. And shrink and die. Even religion and understandings of religion and these supposedly absolute "morals" and "good" and "evil".
Yes, love is real for a materialist, but it's more of a useful thing. It makes us more stable, is pleasant, that sort of thing -- but it has no intrinsic purpose, and doesn't point to a greater metaphysical fact. It's more of a resource to be used.
Of course it has an intrinsic purpose. That purpose is happiness.
How is that any different from religion except that it actually makes sense and is connected to the real situation of human existence?
You are simply equating atheism with nihilism, and it is absolutely pathetic and idiotic.
Perhaps it was better for you to hide as you did for so many pages. Twain comes to mind.