In the days of Ho Hsu, people stayed home but didn't know what they were doing, walked around but didn't know where they were going. Their mouths crammed with food, they were merry; drumming on their bellies, they passed the time. This was as much as they were able to do. Then the sage came along with the crouchings and bendings of rites and music, which were intended to reform the bodies of the world; with the reaching-for-a-dangled-prize of benevolence and righteousness, which was intended to comfort the hearts of the world. Then for the first time people learned to stand on tiptoe and covet knowledge, to fight to the death over profit, and there was no stopping them. This in the end was the fault of the sage.Religious folk like to claim that atheists lack morality, that we must lead lives based on various forms of debauchery! In my lifetime, many of the most "moral" people I have known are anti-theists. How can that be?
~ Burton Watson translation ~
I would submit that this is possible because we each are born with a moral compass (inborn nature). It's called commonsense. Unfortunately, our commonsense gets skewed by the general lack of sense exhibited by the world we're born into.
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