This is a serious question to anyone who believes in any kind of religion in which there is a god/gods who grants some form of reward for "good behavior." It is also intended for those whose religion also espouses punishment for "bad/sinful behavior," but that part isn't even necessary.
How is a reward (/punishment) system supposed to teach you morality?
I'm not talking about "doing what you're supposed to do." That's not morality, that's following orders. I'm talking about doing what is right/avoiding what is wrong because it's right/wrong, regardless of who's watching.
Take this hypothetical. You have two children, identical in every way except one (wait for it). Both behave in a manner that any reasonable person would call "good." They tell the truth, show respect to their elders, share, all that good stuff. Here is the difference. Jamie behaves this way because he knows if he does, he'll be rewarded and if he does not, he'll be punnished. Johnny behaves this way because it's the right way to behave.
Who is more "good," Jamie or Johnny?
I put it to theists who believe in a rewarding(/punnishing) god that it is literally impossible for you to be truly "moral." You simply cannot get away from the fact that your god can always see you, has a perfect memory, and keeps track of your transgressions and successes. No matter how good it feels to do the right thing, no matter how quietly you do the right thing so that "the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing," you simply can never escape the fact that the "Most Important Being" will always know about it, and will always reward(/punnish) you for it. This is not morality, this is behavior modification at best, coersion at worst.
Those of us who eschew the belief in invisible sky daddys are free to behave in a way that, we hope, is for the betterment of ourselves, our families, our species, and our planet. We can do so without fear of eternal reprisal for possible screw-ups; we can do so completely anonymously if we so choose so only we know what we have done.
I ask you two questions.
1) Who is "more moral" or "more good:" he who does good to avoid punnishment and gain reward, or he who does so fully expecting neither?
2) Even assuming a divine being who has stipulated moral rules, is it not better to follow those rules because they're good (when they are, that is!), regardless of the source and the potential reward/punnishment? Would not Yahoo-Wahoo be MORE impressed with me, who does not believe he exists yet still follows the (modern) judeo-christian ethic, than with YOU, who knows if you don't follow that ethic you jeapordize your immortal soul to the lake of fire that burns but does not consume?? (this is the reverse of Pascal's Wager, btw) Who is more sincere?