59. Are Atheists Immoral?
Kyle Thompson [+]
Harvey Mudd College and MiraCosta College
Atheists are just as moral as religious people, and in some respects more moral. Like everyone else, atheists value community, compassion, charity, and peace over their opposites. However, since much of the world associates goodness with God or religion, atheist morality is viewed with suspicion. If atheists believe God isn’t watching over their actions, then what’s stopping them from stealing, lying, and cheating with abandon? It turns out that what stops atheists is probably what is stopping religious folks too: natural and social forces. This helps explain why some of the most morally prosperous countries are high in atheism—it also explains why full-fledged believers sometimes commit the worst sins. When people organically and gradually shed their religious and theistic views, it often coincides with societal health. Ultimately, learning your neighbor sleeps in on Sundays should give you no pause.