Are Atheists More Moral Than Christians?

thoughtfullydetached

heaven and hell

It is sometimes argued that since Christians do good and avoid evil out of, respectively, a desire for heaven and a fear of hell whereas atheists do good because it is good and avoid evil because it is evil therefore atheists are more moral than Christians. This is one of these arguments which is tremendously persuasive so long as one resists the temptation to analyse it. There are, I think, two strands to be picked out here. Firstly, how do we know what is good and what is evil? Secondly, even granting that these categories are pure products of unaided ratiocination are virtuous atheists motivated by reason alone?

Those of us who live in Western societies even if they are relatively new creations, like the USA and Australia, are the products of a continuous tradition of moral and ethical thinking which goes back for  comfortably over a thousand years. As…

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