Morality in Godlessness

I decided that if I am going to jump into a controvercial subject then I might as well find a suitably fiery post title. This is a meaty subject, but one that I feel has been made easier for me as a resident of the UK (or even Europe on a wider scale). I'm an Atheist, a moderately militant one, and on more than one occasion I've come across what is purportedly a very popular argument: Without God there is no morality.

In the interests of sanity I'll try to be concise. I find it hard to believe that without the guidance of some other entity that mankind cannot develop morals; I particularly have an issue with the idea that without punishment in the afterlife that mankind has no reason to develop a sense of morality.

We as individuals depend on each other, to some degree, to survive. This might be the provision of necessities, emotional support or any number of things. Equally as important: none of us wants to be robbed, murdered or live in fear of the people around us. Life can always be demonstrated to seek out a nurturing environment and in the self-aware, emotional and complex environment of humanity a significant aspect of this nurturing environment is the morality that governs our interactions and security.

We don't need an external lawmaker or moral custodian, as in order to make the progress we have done morality is part of our foundations. While those morals may fluctuate and be in regular debate, most of us, even those of us on different sides of the philosophical fences will always have common ground.