Our Own Moral Commandments
We continue to need exhortations to be sympathetic and just, even if we do not believe that there is a God who has a hand in wishing to make us so. We no longer have to be brought into line by the threat of hell or the promise of paradise; we merely have to be reminded that it is we ourselves - that is, the most mature and reasonable parts of us (seldom present in the midst of our crises and obsessions) - who want to lead the sort of life which we once imagined supernatural beings demanded of us. An adequate evolution of morality from superstition to reason should mean recognizing ourselves as the authors of our own moral commandments.
Alain de Botton, in 'Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion'