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139
55
Yes No
Debate Score:194
Arguments:68
Total Votes:238
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 Yes (33)
 
 No (35)

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Nautilus(620) pic



Are Atheists more moral than Christians?

If you are a christian and you do something good, are you doing it because goodness is its own reward? or because if you help feed that homeless man on the street you have a better shot at getting into heaven. Is a reward based system of belief and action selfish in terms of good deeds a good idea from a moral standpoint? Are good deeds being done for the right reasons? I think these are valid questions and would like to see how others answer them. Arguments and reasoning below.

Yes

Side Score: 139
VS.

No

Side Score: 55
9 points

I'm not saying Atheists as a whole are more moral, because in any religion there is a wide range of people.

But I don't believe you're a good person if when you do something good you're thinking "Now I will be rewarded", be it heaven or a favor from that person.

A good person is someone who will help anyone because they feel for the person in need, not because they think they're going to get a reward for it later.

3 years ago | Side: yes
Axmeister(4299) Disputed
1 point

So what you're saying is Christians aren't moral because they believe that they'll get rewarded for what they do?

If that does happen then that is a small minority among christian society, most christians have morals becuase it's what they believe is right.

3 years ago | Side: No
9 points

To do something good not by law but by your own integrity is basically what it means to be moral.

Christians are more likely to do something good because of a law, or external creed, etc.

They are just following the rules, which isn't necessarily moral in itself.

An atheist is more likely to do something good by his own integrity, for he has fewer laws to follow.

Thus if a christian does an action, and an atheist does the same action we may conclude that the atheist's behavior has a higher likelihood of being moral, or in accordance with his morality, then a christian who may be doing it simply because it is expected by the creeds and rules of his religion.

3 years ago | Side: yes
2 points

You are exactly right. We as atheists don't have many laws to follow, where as christians have many laws to follow as a part of their religion. so, when an atheist does a good deed, it can be considered a moral because they didn't do it because it is a law of their religion. They did it out of the kindness of their hearts. Christians may only do it to follow their laws.

1 year ago | Side: Yes
AltonSmith(108) Disputed
1 point

Christians are more likely to do something good because of a law, or external creed, etc.

They are just following the rules, which isn't necessarily moral in itself.

People are generally convinced by the laws because of the potential negative repercussions caused by disobeying them.

In fact, those who are religious feel that it is an obligation to provide aid or charity simply because that can positively benefit the ones receiving said aid.

Thus if a christian does an action, and an atheist does the same action we may conclude that the atheist's behavior has a higher likelihood of being moral, or in accordance with his morality, then a christian who may be doing it simply because it is expected by the creeds and rules of his religion.

That assumes that the motivation behind actions will affect the morality, which is false. Actions can be categorized as moral or immoral. As such, based on an objective standard, two identical acts in a scenario such as the one you describe would be equally moral or immoral.

3 years ago | Side: No
casper3912(1553) Disputed
1 point

whats the relevancy of your first couple sentences?

It is not only actions which determine if something is moral or not moral, for example killing someone for enjoyment is typically seen as immoral but killing someone for self defense is normally seen as moral. The intention of the action affects the morality of the action.

3 years ago | Side: yes
7 points

The Westboro Baptist Church............................................'nuff said.

3 years ago | Side: yes
5 points

"The Westboro Baptist Church............................................'nuff said."

Don't forget the Eastboro Baptist Church. They're just as bad, if not worse.

3 years ago | Side: yes
5 points

"Don't forget the Eastboro Baptist Church. They're just as bad, if not worse."

XD Good point.

3 years ago | Side: yes
Genesis1vs1(31) Disputed
-1 points

So your example is to stereotype all Christians based on one group. By this rationale then Stalin was a typical atheist. You must agree based on your logic. In this instance you would have to concur that the atheist have virtually no morals at all.

3 years ago | Side: No
6 points

Atheists have for such a long time been connected to characteristics that dont describe us. In any population there are those that are not moral and those that are. If we were to compare the groups of those that are moral from both sides, we can then see that the atheist side is more moral in the way that, when an atheist does a good deed, he or she does not do it for fear of punishment in the next life, or for the promise of a thing like heaven, there is no thought in an atheists head like, 'hey, if i do that for him, then ill be more likely to get into heaven!' He or she thinks 'I should do that because it is the right thing to do.' though both sides have done the right thing, however, the atheists motives for me, contain much more moral.

3 years ago | Side: yes
AltonSmith(108) Disputed
1 point

This assumes that those who are religious conduct actions with the afterlife in mind. However, you seem to suggest that atheists are selfless when being charitable, as they are not considering a later reward or punishment. However, is it not possible that a Christian could act in a selfless way, disregarding the later consequences?

3 years ago | Side: No
wrestlerii(56) Disputed
2 points

The entire Christian religion is built upon a system of punishment and reward, it is truly hard for me to see that a Christian can simply over look this entire system. However, i will say, that there are people of equal morality on both sides, there are unmoral atheists and christians, along with moral people from both groups. what i'm simply saying is that if the groups of moral people are examined, i find that the atheists are moral for simply better reasons, thats not to say that there are christans that aren't more moral than most atheists, but if they dont have a conscious or sub-conscious thought of their religion during their actions then they aren't very devout.

3 years ago | Side: yes
0 points

I agree, also do atheists actions not have some sort of later reward, perhaps their hope for a better society for their children or even themselves.

3 years ago | Side: No
2 points

i dont think it matters if you believe in jesus or not. you can be whatever you want and still be a good person.

3 years ago | Side: yes
4 points

If your a Christian . your life should be guided towards all things good, If your a decent human this can apply also. Only you and God know your relationship if you believe. As far as Atheist go , from what I ahve seen on the internet , they all have hatred in their hearts towards Christians.. makes a person wonder if they are jealous in what they are missing in life....

3 years ago | Side: No
Sunset(2026) Disputed
8 points

That is so not true and christians share the same responsibilty as a human. They also show hatred towards atheist. I think if you are good human it shouldn't matter what religion or lack there of they are. Good is good no matter what!

3 years ago | Side: yes
Batdude(77) Disputed
1 point

His comment (if you will re-read it) states clearly, "From what I have seen on the internet". It did not claim that all atheists have hatred towards Christians; just from what he has seen on the internet.

I'm a Christian and don't care what you do or don't believe. I'm not telling you that your values and beliefs are wrong, and you'd damned well better not try telling that to me.

3 years ago | Side: No
Nautilus(620) Disputed
4 points

First off, let me point out that the word "your" indicates possession, and there is another word, unknown to many, "you're" which is short for " you are" and cannot be substituted for "your".

Hatred does not indicate jealousy, Americans are not jealous of terrorists, Hitler was not jealous of Jews, and I am not jealous of your ability to accept claims which have no evidence to support them.

3 years ago | Side: yes
Koda(430) Disputed
3 points

Do not correct my grammar ! That is very irritating ! Especially since you understood everything I said. Why it makes me believe your a re-tarded Liberal when you do that. You probably voted for Obama too,, It is not required to have evidence of anything on an OPINION SITE.. look that word up in your Britannica !

3 years ago | Side: No
Spadedude(218) Disputed
1 point

I take it you are an atheist - is being vain and self-centered and stereotyping people you have never met and saying that you are better just because you disagree with their beliefs MORAL? If so I have a list of mental institutions I can recommend.

3 years ago | Side: No
Bobbybolivia(10) Disputed
2 points

I dont think the people who posted the information about athiests right . Im athiest so it was kinda rude for them 2 say that athiest have hatered twords christians i mean like hate is a very strong word SOME athiest may not like christians but then that makes them hipocrits thats just my opinion and btw i have nothing against religious ppl

3 years ago | Side: yes
0 points

SOME athiest may not like christians but then that makes them hipocrits

How?

3 years ago | Side: No
3 points

Let me just say this Christians and Atheist are people who live life to the fullest. For Atheist just as much as for Christians living a good life is the same. The difference is that one believes in God and the other doesn't. this doesn't mean that Atheist are bad people. I don't believe either and I have never committed a crime, stole anything, hit anyone or lived off of others. I work very hard, get promotions, take care of my family and always help those who need it.

But do I think I am better than any christian "NO".

3 years ago | Side: No

Morality isnt a quantity, it's a quality. Morals are rules for conduct, and everyone is cognizant of setting rules up for their day to day activities.

Question: By what science shall we measure the quantity of morals in a human being?

Both camps are moral. However one camp may seem preferable to some than the other camp from a moral standpoint. That doesnt mean that that camp is more moral in an objective sense, just that it is desired by some over other choices.

However, I dont think Atheism has set morals attached to the philosophy thereof. It's more of a reaction to the idea of monotheism, at least historically. So debating this question would be extremely difficult, I'll stop there.

3 years ago | Side: No
imrigone(767) Disputed
5 points

"Question: By what science shall we measure the quantity of morals in a human being?"

Answer: The fields of neuropsychology and genetics are working on that as we speak.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/13/magazine/13Psychology-t.html?_r=3&ref;=science.

5 physiologically controlled moral precepts have been identified, with a few others under investigation. All people feel these inherent "moral pulls" to some extent or the other. The exception is found with people who have those portions of the brain damaged, adding significant credence to the notion that morality is chemical based rather than spiritual. Further, twin-separated-at-birth studies indicate that this is genetic, probably much more nature than nurture. So, once the neuro-pathways are completely mapped, it should be possible to predict how one would respond on morality questionnaires with a high degree of accuracy. And if those parts of the genetic code get completely unraveled, one's morality could conceivably be quantified after analyzing a single hair or glob of spittle.

So, how does this apply to the debate at hand? These moral impulses are obviously not inescapable animal instincts. They can be overpowered on a situational basis by logic and rationalization or by emotion. Indoctrination into a specific belief system can attempt to rewire a person using a combination of both. Logic: "Its natural to be a sinner, all humans are, but that doesn't make it right..." Emotion: "...and if you don't do as we say, your soul will roast in hell for all eternity."

For some, Christianity is a perfect fit for their moral structure. They don't really need molding, and would carry out the requirements of that moral framework even if they were raised in another religion or atheist. Likewise, an atheist can perform all of the basic actions associated with a good Christian while at the same time decrying the Bible. So in this context, the only reasonable answer is it depends on the Christian and the Atheist in question. Indeed, since atheism has no moral structure, one might even give Christianity the edge, if it can mold immoral people into moral ones.

But just as a tree must grow where the seed was planted, our natural moral inclinations can only be molded so much. Some people with very weak moral frameworks will never be "good Christians" no matter how much time they spend in church. Then you have those who will stay molded for only so long as they are constantly having their conditioning reinforced. In these cases, the "reward/punishment" system might be the only thing keeping them in check. Can these people be considered moral? Especially compared to an atheist secular humanist? As you say, "debating this question would be extremely difficult," but here's my opinion: Because religion is intrinsically rooted in faith, particularly faith as a method of knowing "truth", any claims to knowing as fact the existence and nature of God could be potentially labeled an intellectual dishonesty. How strong could a moral framework be if the foundation for it is built on lying to yourself? And with the increasing pushes to legislate Christian beliefs, how stable could a society be built on forcing that framework via indoctrination and faith? History is not on the side of Theocracies as far as stability and human rights are concerned, hence why the founding fathers intentionally established a secular state. Conversely, an honest and brave view of the world without Biblical glasses on, combined with an increased educational focus on logic and critical thinking can achieve laudable results. Morality is logical. It is genetic, and to survive in our genome this long, even with variations that feature lower levels of moral strength, it must be beneficial to human kind. There will always be bad apples, but prison seems to be more a more affective way of dealing with them than fables of Heaven and Hell.

3 years ago | Side: yes

Initially, I think your argument is a good one. Give me some time to research / think about it, and I'll respond in support or denial of the same. This is a big issue, so it will take some time.

3 years ago | Side: No
Genesis1vs1(31) Disputed
-2 points
3 points

Religion - or the lack thereof - does not make one moral; upbringing does, and personal philosophy.

3 years ago | Side: No
2 points

Let me remind you nautilus that the issue here is not on someone else's grammar but on the morality of the atheist.

atheist morality cannot be questioned based on a Christians moral standard. let me tell everyone that we have different beliefs with different standards of morality. So I guess everyone is by virtue moral for as long as nobody's right is wronged

3 years ago | Side: No
5 points

Let me remind you nautilus that the issue here is not on someone else's grammar but on the morality of the atheist.

atheist...

You started a new paragraph and sentence; you should have used a capital letter.

3 years ago | Side: yes
richout(30) Disputed
1 point

Why do some people just don't stick to what is really the real issue?

I am a linguist by profession so I should know what are the rules in grammar and its syntactic structure; moreover what we are having here is an informal type of posting our arguments.

Let me tell you that in Linguistics we must consider what and to whom we are talking to, because we have this what we call social English variation.( I don't think you know all this stuff so well.)

Besides, you are a mile away from the topic. Stick to the line Mr. EnigmaticMan!

I know what I posted was appropriate according to my standard of morality and no one can change that because of some stupid someone minding my syntactic structure.

3 years ago | Side: No
2 points

Some are, some aren't.... people are people and there is good and bad, moral and immoral in all people.

3 years ago | Side: No

ok im a christian but i dont simply do good things just because it'll get me into heaven, besides i dont believe it is our actions alone which decide we get into heaven.

it is an interesting thought that athiests arebetter people because christians are doing it for long term personal gain but as i say, thats not the reason i do that sort of thing

and while i do not necessarily think christians are better people than athiests i fail to believe it was the other way round and generally speaking (but not necesserily so) i think christians or other rligious people tend to have more of a moral guidance

3 years ago | Side: No
1 point

No they are not but it works both ways...............................

3 years ago | Side: No
1 point

Religious beliefs generally posit that morality exists. Indeed, the notion of morals suggests that there are basic guidelines that underly our actions. Of course, atheists do not believe in the beings that could establish this "governance," and as such the concept of morality is not compatible with their belief systems. However, both Christians and atheists will act in ways that are either moral or immoral, and as such one cannot say that the people comprising either belief system exhibit a greater level of morality than the other.

3 years ago | Side: variable

Are Atheists more moral than Christians?

Here we go again with the Christianity bashing article 13094494043...

3 years ago | Side: No

im pretty sure that it doesnt matter what the hell you believe in as to how "moral" you are. you could be the moralist person but believe in fairies!!!!! so people who think they are better than everyone for being christian should be an athiest for a day and realise how they are pretty much still the same person with the same morals! Try it!!!

3 years ago | Side: No
1 point

Each man to his own. In general however I find those of a religious nature to be far more morally superior to athiests.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3 years ago | Side: No
1 point

(1) I think Christians are supposed to do good deeds not because they want to get into heaven, but because Jesus told them to do good deeds and they want to follow his word.

(2) You might say that this still makes Christians' good deeds intrinsically less moral, because they're not making their own moral choices; they're just doing what someone else says they should. Morality, we all understand, is based upon the concept of choice - your action can't be considered morally right unless you made the choice to do what is right over what is wrong.

Thing is, Christians do make this choice. Christians choose to be Christians: they choose to follow a particular set of laws that their concept of Christianity endorses. Every time a difficult issue comes up, they have to think about whether they should continue following that set of laws or deviate from it.

(3) And it's not the case that since Christians do what is good because their religion says so, whereas atheists do what is good because it's good, atheists are more moral than Christians. The distinction isn't nearly as sharp as it sounds.

Think about this: Someone who does what is good just because they think it's good could well be someone who says, "I'm against murder, theft, and rape because I just think they're wrong. I'm ok with homosexuality, single parent families and the death penalty because I just think they're right." If you think that sounds like a pretty immature way of holding moral beliefs, I completely agree with you :P

People who put a lot of thought into their moral beliefs generally strive to find a few overarching moral principles that sound reasonable to a lot of people (e.g. the golden rule, the utilitarian principle, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness), then attempt to derive all their other moral views from these basic principles. This makes their moral scheme coherent and logical, as opposed to being a mish-mash of random unrelated beliefs. In this sense, Christians are distinguished from atheists only by an additional basic principle, that of God's word.

P.S. Just to clarify, I find many of the Bible's teachings to be very immoral. But in this post I'm not talking about the specifics of Christian and secular moral teachings, just about whether or not a Christian who does a good deed due to their religious beliefs is less moral than an atheist doing the same good deed.

3 years ago | Side: No
1 point

This argument is childish - It's like my dad is better then your dad! Whatever a person does in life is based on perception and there is no evidence of true selflessness. No matter how much an atheist or a Christian puffs themselves up by doing "good deeds" it is all vanity.Even someone jumping in front of a moving car to save a child could have hidden selfish motives, his own desire to be good is a selfish one by nature.

Opera does a lot of good in the world for the less fortunate but is she doing it for no reason? Of course not! she has millions of viewers to please a whole image to protect. Is she Atheist Yes, if the term : "Atheist" is used to describe someone "Without god" as it was in ancient times where an atheist was just someone who didn't believe in the same god as you - in my case "Jesus being the only way". But yet she has called herself a Christian once upon a time.

Most people want to argue presence of morals based on good deeds but based on the meaning of the word "moral" it has nothing to do with good deeds but more to do with rules and behavior we are subjected to which are all relative and can be different for various groups of people. Christians live by a different standard to atheists - Therefore an atheist is more moral then a Christian when compared to other atheists and so also a Christian is more moral then an atheist when compared to other Christians they have different governing principles!

Don't tell me an Atheist does good for no reason that is your perception not truth. And just because some churches take advantage of others and stray from the true message presented in the Bible doesn't mean they are amoral in everyones eyes.

This question is like tekken for religion - Where atheist is on one side and Christian on the other with their weapons being morals and everyone expecting to hear "Atheist wins". It will never happen because they are not in the same tournament!

3 years ago | Side: yes
1 point

Contrary to the claim of the "New Atheism," it seems that atheism leads to a decline in the perception of the importance of many personal moral values, especially those that have a big impact on interpersonal relationships. Since these new atheists are still being influenced by persons of traditional religious moral values, it seems likely that the importance of these values will diminish even further in the beliefs of the next generation of atheists. According to Reginald Bibby, the author of the study, "To the extent that Canadians say good-bye to God, we may find that we pay a significant social price."2 In addition, a recent scientific study shows that a certain atheistic belief (determinism or lack of free will) negatively impacts moral behavior.3

3 years ago | Side: No
1 point

I know that's probably how some Christians think I however believe in God and Jesus and I believe in heaven and hell and I believe the good go to heaven while the bad go to hell. I always try to be very nice to anyone even to those less fortunate and to those who don't even deserve it. when I was younger the churches scared me into believe I had to be good to go to heaven I eventually stopped going to church. I still consider my self very strongly catholic I just don't believe in some of the things they tried to teach me.

2 years ago | Side: No
-8 points
Devilish(60) Disputed
3 points

Your an idiot plain and simple. How can you judge someone else and still call yourself religious.

3 years ago | Side: yes
casper3912(1553) Disputed
1 point

Religion, despite any creeds to the contrary, is partially about social dynamics which rely heavily on judgment.

In short, if your part of an organized religion, then your probably judgmental.

3 years ago | Side: No
casper3912(1553) Disputed
2 points

Moral laws are natural, take for example the results of a reiterated poisoner delima.

3 years ago | Side: yes
-9 points
Nautilus(620) Disputed
5 points

If I created a moral law that said it was morally right to rape and kill, and I followed that moral law, would that make me moral? No. I am talking about morality in the sense of helping others out for positive outcome and whether or not motivation for such actions effects the morality of it. There is my reason for this debate, I haven't seen any reasoning of yours other than statements vaguely eluding to the point that you have a reason. You get down voted because your arguments are weak pieces of garbage, not solely because others are jealous of your magnificent but hidden triumphant arguments.

3 years ago | Side: yes
richout(30) Disputed
1 point

The basis of morality is not solely dependent on one person , the standard morality must be for the good of many people.

3 years ago | Side: No


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