Some theists make the claim that "atheists lack a consistence basic for morality" and that "without god, there's no reason not to rape, kill, etc". Some examples:
In the "Why is murder a sin" topic, Skeptic54768 even suggested that atheists should kill their parents for money. Right now I'm not going to argue whenever or not this is true, or if morality for atheists are "inconsistent". Instead, I'm going to ask for one simple thing.
What is the evidence that atheists are amoral?
The claim that atheists are "lacking" in their morality, and that they're only a few steps away from doing bad things is something that should be easily demonstrable. I can think of several things.
- A disproportionally high percentage of atheists in prisons. We should expect to see far more atheists in prisons than religious people (since they've cut off their connection to god). Say, a 70/30 ratio at the very least.
- A disproportionally high divorce rate among atheists. Presumably, without god, nothing stops them from cheating on each other.
- A disproportionally high amount of dropout, drug users, teenage pregnancy, etc. Presumably, this is because without god, they have nothing to guide them to avoid those things.
- Higher crime rates in more secular parts of the USA. We should expect to see a drastically lower crime rate in the bible belt, and people's lives in those areas should be overwhelmingly happier and healthier than in other parts of the country (since they are more connected to god).
- This is, of course, not limited to the USA. We'd also expect to see secular countries to have high amount of problems, while religious countries would be very peaceful, with limited amount of problems (again, because of their connection to god).
Can anyone provide such evidence? If anyone tries to list an example of a single person (as opposed to general population), make sure to provide evidence that it was atheism, specifically, that caused him/her to behave the way they did. (like if they wrote down "because there is no god, I've decided to...") If the evidence is nonexistence or lacking, then it seems reasonable to say that the argument "atheists are amoral/lacking in moral standards" is a terrible one.
There was a time in my life not too many years ago when I painted all atheists with the same broad brush strokes:
- They were bitter with no sense of humor;
- They were devious;
- They lived to harass Christians;
- They worshipped the false god of Science; and
- They had a secret desire to embrace theism.
Yet, after nursing and nurturing this preconceived notion I felt a leaning to learn more about atheism. I chalk the interest up to God but please do not ask me to prove that as there is no way I can.
Regardless, I began reading About.com/atheism and came to realize over time:
- atheists are not bitter and they DO have a sense of humor;
- atheists are not devious;
- atheists do not live to harass Christians (the vast majority anyway);
- atheists do not have a false god of any type; and
- very few, if any atheists, have a secret desire to embrace theism.
Then participating on this website I came to realize atheists are PEOPLE!! Amazing!
I suppose the argument can be made that atheists borrow their morals from Christianity since so many of them are former Christian theists. Yet, I have talked with 3rd generation atheists on this website and didn't get an impression they were amoral in the least.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence to even remotely support an idea that atheists are amoral. I base this on the observation that if there were evidence that atheists are amoral this website and every atheist website would be inundated with the studies by well meaning Christian theists intent on helping atheists change from their amoral ways.
End of confession and lecture,