A thought in progress...
What is the rational foundation for morals?
What right do you have to impose your ideas on me? What right do I have to impose my ideas on you? Individual vs group morals issue. Majority/minority issues are not the same as right vs wrong question.
It is my opinion we humans have a series of dipole switches that we rationally need to know which we are. Rational or Faith based? If you are faith based, stick with religion, this will be of no help.
So we develop a conscious hierarchy of values, concepts:
Logic/Faith Self/Others Care/Harm, Fairness/Cheating, Loyalty/Betrayal, Authority/Subversion, and Sanctity/Degradation
Virtue lies between two extremes.
Self vs others
Empathy ...trichotomy or continuum... altruistic ... normal ... psychopath
Justice / fairness vs self first
Virtue, purity vs disorder, adopting what is right to adopt logically
Loyalty vs dispersed, individual or to group, or philosophy
Authority vs group, self
logic, tradition vs development... Note that as a youth, learning from an authority is quick, but if the authority is wrong, or does not lay out the reasons, it becomes a dictatorship, which does not last.
But the foundation for the atheist must be life, those things that support or improve life, and cooperation, political equality of people, neither becoming nor allowing slaves or masters.
This bunches empathy, justice, purity, keeps compassion and in group rational loyalty while abandoning altruism, authority. Can a sound life ethics and philosophy be built on these virtues, adopting the methods of other philosophies?