Ethical Behaviour Without a Belief in God
Many people feel that ethical and moral behaviour must be based on the absolute teachings found with the Christian Bible. Without a belief in the Christian God, the hope of heaven and the threat of hell, they believe that an individual will not be motivated to behave decently. This belief was seen in a US military policy in past decades which only gave conscientious objector status to persons who believed in a God.
Humanists have successfully developed moral and ethical systems which are independent of divine revelation from a deity. They are based upon such beliefs as: systems of morality and ethics can be developed through mutual agreement much like we develop laws and social customs
they can be based upon common needs that humans have for survival, security, personal growth and love
humans are social animals who can make the greatest achievements through mutual cooperation
people will willingly follow humanistic codes because they are effective; reasonable; lead to self esteem; are consistent with one's natural feelings of caring, compassion and sympathy; are accepted by others, and do not lead to condemnation or rejection. No "carrot and stick" are needed to enforce them.