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Debate Info

77
63
Yes No
Debate Score:140
Arguments:135
Total Votes:157
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Argument Ratio

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 Yes (58)
 
 No (51)

Debate Creator

JaeB(6) pic



Do atheists (on average) have a better sense of morality than religious people?

"Atheists can't have any morals, because morals come from God, and the bible! That's why you're all so wicked..."

Yes

Side Score: 77
VS.

No

Side Score: 63

First think of something immoral that an atheist would do that a theist would not: What is their? Nothing. Now think of something immoral that a theist would do that an atheist would not do: 9/11 attacks, 7/7 bombings, animal sacrifice, sacrifice of infants, thuggee murders, attacks on abortion clinics etc the list goes on.

Side: Yes
GuitarGuy(6096) Disputed
1 point

As I said in my response on the other side, morality is in the eye of the beholder.

Theists did all of those things because they thought it was what their god wanted them to do. It's what they believed to be moral.

Side: No
Igivefacts(64) Disputed
1 point

True they did not think it was wrong. It what they would told.

Side: Yes

Those actions are not moral because they cause suffering for others. They may think they are being moral but that it only because they are deluded.

Side: Yes
thousandin1(1931) Clarified
1 point

The relative breadth of possible transgressions implies nothing regarding the overall morality of either. A greater variety implies nothing regarding the total.

By that logic, if you've got oranges, and I have oranges, bananas, and strawberries, you assume I have more fruit- but it's entirely possible that you have a bushel of oranges, and entirely possible that I only have two of each kind of fruit.

Everything I've observed suggests that religion has absolutely no bearing on morality. Monsters are monsters, whether they've been indoctrinated into a religion or not.

Side: Yes
3 points

"What if they aren't delusional? What a shocker that would be to all of the atheists."

The idea is that atheists are open-minded and the religious doctrines are the opposite. We approve of questions, knowledge seeking behavior, scientific discovery, education - the major churches of this world have openly declared war on these things. Atheists consider any evidence presented and go along with what's proven to be true scientifically. Then search for more questions to find out more about the cosmos (eg: 2+2=4, testable, replicable, verifiable - scientifically proven). Religions pretend to have answers for all of the unimaginably big questions - which is extremely corrosive to learning anything new, and dampers us intellectually as a species. We are starting to be able to answer very large questions about the cosmos - much in stark contradiction to the doctrines (which is not all that surprising given there is no science in scripture :P).

"When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only: What are the facts, and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted, either by what you wish to believe, or what you think could have beneficent social effects if it were believed; but look only and solely at what are the facts." - Bertrand Russell

It's not that the majority of atheists haven't considered the religious doctrines, it's that the majority of those holding religious beliefs haven't taken the time to learn what we know to be true - or refuse to even try (and often get extremely offended at simply being questioned.)

Side: Yes
GuitarGuy(6096) Disputed
1 point

Why did you quote me?

Side: No
JaeB(6) Disputed
1 point

I had intended to hit dispute. Sorry I'm new on the site :).

Side: Yes
3 points

I find it interesting that it seems if not for their religion, many religious people (I don't mean to generalize) would see no problem with killing someone else. I honestly think in the end it depends on the individual person in question, but if you need religion to give you morals, then I would say you were less moral than those who have morals without religion.

Side: Yes

Just read all of the holy books (Koran, Bible, Torah, etc) and it will be obvious that religious people are immoral. Either that or they are pathetic and ignorant. Pathetic for wanting to feel like they're part of something bigger, and ignorant for disregarding the rules/guidelines/beliefs of their religion (an example is Christianity. According to the Bible, people who curse at their parents must be put to death).

Side: Yes
GuitarGuy(6096) Disputed
2 points

(an example is Christianity. According to the Bible, people who curse at their parents must be put to death).

That would be Judaism, since they still feel bound by the old law... But even they aren't that extreme anymore.

Jesus came to fulfill the law. He died for our sins. That means that prior to Jesus, everyone was condemned when they disobeyed God's law. Jesus introduced a new covenant, which allowed forgiveness for disobeying the old laws. Any sin can be forgiven, except refusal to believe.

Side: No
2 points

The new testament clearly states that the old testament still applies.

Matthew 5:17-19

Acts 24:14

Timothy 3:16

Luke 16:17

Peter 20-21

Fuck, even Jesus Christ still wanted the old testament to be followed.

Matthew 15:4-7

Mark 7:9-13

Matthew 5:27

John 10:35

Besides, most Christians say the entire Bible is the word of god as such must be followed. Not "oh I'll just follow this part of the Bible because it's the part that sounds most appealing".

Side: Yes

Can't we just all agree that religious people are delusional simpletons?

Side: Yes
GuitarGuy(6096) Clarified
1 point

What if they aren't delusional? What a shocker that would be to all of the atheists.

Side: Yes
Idiotobx914(1340) Clarified
2 points

C'mon man... it's so obvious they are.

Side: Yes
1 point

"Atheists can't have any morals, because morals come from God, and the bible! That's why you're all so wicked..."

So what's the implication here? It's that religious people are moral, and atheists are not, because morality can only come from a supreme being who sets rules, and enforces them...

Every theist who has EVER said this is admitting that they themselves are only NOT killing, raping and stealing because they're afraid that God will see them in their moment of evil, and smite them for it.

"You atheists don't believe in heaven and hell, so why would you bother to NOT rape my girlfriend and then kill her? I mean, I'd have done it myself, but God would have punished me for it later, so instead I did the human thing and formed a caring relationship."

... What truly astounds me is just how frightening an admission this is. Surely, we've all heard this "myth" uttered by someone, haven't we?

And each time someone says it, what they're REALLY saying is "The only reason I don't commit unspeakable crimes is because I'm afraid of eternal judgment and torture. I'm dead-set on going to heaven, so no raping for me!"

It really is that scary. I tend to give even the people who make this nonsensical claim the benefit of the doubt that they're just ignorant, not terrifying close to committing a horrible crime, but what if they really meant it?

What if these people - who sadly represent the majority here in America - are really only NOT committing every heinous act they can think of because they're afraid of the cosmic judge in the sky who will hold them accountable for every misdeed? What kind of sociopath would genuinely ONLY not kill and rape because they know they'll get caught?

Well, next time someone asks you how an atheist can possibly have morals, take a good look. You've either met a moron, or someone capable of the most evil crimes imaginable if they thought for a second - as you do, dear reader - that god is a fairy-tale.

Atheists don't do good because we expect to go to heaven, or fear going to hell; Atheists do good because we want to.

Why don't all atheists commit murders and go on theft-heavy crime-sprees? Because we wouldn't like it if people stole from us, or tried to kill us... We have basic human empathy, just like most theists.

I genuinely don't believe even most of the people who ask such an incredibly insulting question honestly believe what they're saying, because how could they?

OF COURSE you don't need a holy book to tell you right from wrong - especially when the scriptures for "the big three" religions especially are full of actual endorsements of murder and rape and misogyny, and every other evil thing a bronze-age man could possibly imagine.

Us atheists are good people because we want to be. We don't treat people badly because we ourselves don't want to be treated badly. This isn't hard to fathom.

So next time someone asks you, as an atheist, how you could possibly have any morality, ask them as a theist how they could possibly be AGAINST stoning to death disobedient children. Or killing people for working on Sundays. Or locking women away during their period, for the protection of men.

THESE are the morals of the bible... If you THINK morality comes from a holy book, then holy shit, are you ever deluded.

If they don't rather quickly realize just how stupid a question they just posed to you, you need to run away; You've just met someone who only doesn't kill you because they're afraid of the seat that would save them in hell...

And for some reason, that psychopath thinks YOU have issues with morality. Go figure.

Side: Yes
trumpet_guy(502) Clarified
1 point

Where have I seen this argument...? Oh right, you've read The God Delusion haven't you?

And each time someone says it, what they're REALLY saying is "The only reason I don't commit unspeakable crimes is because I'm afraid of eternal judgment and torture. I'm dead-set on going to heaven, so no raping for me!"

Although the stereotype is many times true, let's see what the "evil" Bible says.

Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

These two verses speak on what you just stated. Paul (author of Romans) was addressing the view that we can sin however we want now that we are free from the punishment of sin. Paul says this is not true because we should hate the sin, not the penalty of it.

So I agree with your statement that many religious people fall into the category of following morals out of fear, however the Paul says this shouldn't be. And to a point, the "religious" people who follow out of fear are not seen as Christians or are "lukewarm" Christians (Revelation 3:16).

Side: Yes
1 point

So you're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't? it is God Himself that promotes a salvation or Hell mentality, maybe He needs to take responsibility. Avoiding Hell is a very valid reason to believe.

Side: No
1 point

yes I do believe I do. Because I am part atheists. I know about every religion out there. That why I can understand everybody point of view.

Side: Yes
GuitarGuy(6096) Clarified
1 point

You're part atheist?

Side: Yes
Igivefacts(64) Disputed
1 point

I am part alot of things. I work with atheists. It apart of my job.

Side: No
DrawFour(2662) Disputed
1 point

Atheism is a disbelief in God. You are either atheist, meaning you don't entirely believ in God or your are theist, meaning you do. Atheist is a blanket term for any of those that do not assuredly believe in God. This includes, Nihlists (hold no belief in existence) ,Agnostics (hold no belief or disbelief in God), and even Apatheists (cares not for the existence of God).

Side: No
Igivefacts(64) Disputed
1 point

I don't believe in god. But I still understand people that do.

Side: Yes
1 point

I believe so, They learn about every religion there is. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Side: Yes
1 point

I think so. Not necessarily because they do more things that are right, but because of the reasoning behind it. A religious man won't steal because god is watching. An atheist won't steal because it's the right thing to do.

(Of course there are exceptions, but generally this is the case)

Side: Yes
5 points

Morality is in the eye of the beholder.

Side: No
Idiotobx914(1340) Clarified
3 points

So what you're trying to say is that moral nihilism is correct?

Side: Yes
GuitarGuy(6096) Clarified
3 points

No. I'm trying to say that nobody knows what is correct. They can only go by what they think is correct.

Side: Yes
Thereasoner Disputed
-1 points

It does not but the big bang has been disproven.................

Find out at the Creation Museum!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EZRk19Rut0

Side: Yes

I have seen absolutely nothing to suggest that either atheists or religious individuals are any more or less moral than one another. There are cases of immorality and morality on both sides, and outward appearances in the absence of actual data suggest they're about equal. I don't believe religion or the lack thereof has a meaningful affect on individual morality.

All that changes really is who or what the immoral individual chooses to blame for his or her actions.

Side: No

No, put the fedora back in the closet, being an atheist doesn't give you (on average) a better sense of morality.

Side: No
1 point

No atheists don't have a better sense of morality than religious people. Atheists, will have to come up with their own definition of what is right and wrong in their own eyes. So in a sense, they center themselves as god because they are setting rules of what they think is right or wrong. So basically what they believe in is humanism. Sometimes even they will borrow morality from somewhere else and not really come up with their own moral standpoint.

As for myself? I don't consider myself religious, but people can label me religious if they want me too, they are just wrong if they do label me religious. I hate religion but love Jesus.

Side: No
JaeB(6) Disputed
3 points

"As for myself? I don't consider myself religious, but people can label me religious if they want me too, they are just wrong if they do label me religious. I hate religion but love Jesus."

Puzzling.

Do some homework, get off the fence.

Side: Yes
Srom(12207) Disputed
1 point

Puzzling.

Do some homework, get off the fence.

Been there, done that. Ever heard of Jefferson Bethke's video that he did 2 years ago called I hate religion but love Jesus?

Side: No
2 points

Atheists, will have to come up with their own definition of what is right and wrong in their own eyes.

This doesn't mean that they would have a worse sense, just by itself.

Sometimes even they will borrow morality from somewhere else

Sort of like borrowing from the Bible or Jesus/God? Just because they get it from somewhere else doesn't make it wrong.

Everyone comes up with their own ideas of right and wrong in their own eyes, religious or not. For religious people, it is just ignoring some parts and following others. I just don't see why you have come to your conclusion.

Side: Yes
Srom(12207) Disputed
0 points

This doesn't mean that they would have a worse sense, just by itself.

They basically our following humanism when it's all about them and when they come up with their own definition of what's right and wrong.

Sort of like borrowing from the Bible or Jesus/God? Just because they get it from somewhere else doesn't make it wrong.

Well if they borrow something from what Jesus/God said then why don't they believe? It doesn't make sense that someone who believes a God doesn't exist would borrow what God established in His Word as his own morals.

For religious people, it is just ignoring some parts and following others. I just don't see why you have come to your conclusion.

Yeah religious people are ordered to follow those rules and regulations. But as for Christianity it isn't because you can freely believe in it or not. That's the difference between religion and Christianity.

Side: No

True, a lot of times I find atheists that are much more pleasant than Christians I know. However on average religious people have a better sense of morality.

Side: No
JaeB(6) Disputed
2 points

"However on average religious people have a better sense of morality." - What do you base that on when the scriptures for "the big three" religions especially are full of actual endorsements of murder and rape and misogyny, and every other evil thing a bronze-age man could possibly imagine?

Side: Yes
1 point

Being religious does not make people any more moral. If the only thing that is stopping some one from committing murder or rape is the fear of going to hell then they clearly are just a sociopath or psychopath anyway as they would with no empathy for others or remorse for their actions.

Side: Yes
thousandin1(1931) Clarified
1 point

The majority of the worlds population follows one religion or another; they aren't all psychopaths or sociopaths. These conditions are recognized as deviations from normal. If the majority of the world in fact suffered from these conditions, we wouldn't have labels like 'psychopath' or 'sociopath;' those states would in fact be called 'normal,' and we'd have alternate terminology to describe what is currently accepted as normal.

"The only thing stopping religious people from committing murder or rape is fear of retribution" is no more correct than "Atheists have no morals because they don't believe in God."

I'm sticking by my stance- that religion has little to no influence on an individuals capacity for morality.

Side: Yes
1 point

It is all very focused on what you call moral. If i say it is moral to murder, who is to say i am wrong, because all they could do is disagree, and to back that up they would have to use their own sense of morality. So in my opinion, the only answer you could post for this debate is opinion.

But based on my sense of morality, on average i would say t he average follower is more moral. (again based on my sense of morality)

Side: No

No if anything atheists who state that they have a better moral sense in fact do not. By stating that they have a better sense of morality, they are being extremely prideful and are trying to gain attention for their "moral acts" yet these acts are conditional acts.

Side: No

It is ridiculus to paint an entire belief system with a broad brush. Thats like saying all catholics are rapists, muslims are all terrorists, and evangelicals are all antigay twats with God complexes. if your gonna judge, do it on a case by case basis.

Side: No