or similar e.g. http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=7240.msg164644#msg164644, not doing bad because they will be sent to hell if they do, but what about the reverse. Are a person's actions infinitely more praiseworthy than those of a no-afterlife-believer's if the former believes he may well be sentenced to eternal damnation for doing actions deemed good?
As a former theist, I can remember doing good for the sake of good, but never once did I not also think at the same time that god would be a keeping record of that good deed and somehow it would work in my favor in the end. It's impossible I believe, for the theist to not think that god either lead them to do the action, or that god would take notes and reward that good deed. Either way, god is never removed from the good works of a believer and is believed to have caused it or will reward it.
Are the good works of a nonbeliever more worthy that those of a supernaturalist ? Absolutely ! The good works of a nonbeliever are motivated by a completely different mindset. Nonbelievers do good actions out of compassion. Believers do as well, but their minds are also implanted with this idea of a divine command
to do all those good actions as well. Unfortunately, some gloat over this and take on the attitude of moral superiority because of this DCT and think of their actions as of higher value than others because of the supernatural involvement.
This is wrong of course. If it could be proved that the supernatural exists, then eternal and supernatural value applied to good works would be a topic of discussion. Since there is no proof, then we have to consider that the believer is simply trying to take advantage of this claim to take a position of moral superiority, and that this action in and of itself is selfish and therefore good deeds are done with interests other than for the sole benefit of the recipient of the good deed.
Actually, thinking about it as an atheist now, the christian can never take credit for a good deed because Paul clearly states that it is no longer the individual that lives but christ that lives in them. Individualism is gone and therefore all good deeds must be considered done by christ at this point
The nonbeliever then, possesses the moral high ground and is worthy of compliment. They do not claim that someone else resides in them and does all things in their stead, and so they do all their good actions of their own volition and relative to their compassion for humanity.
All good actions are worthy of recognition. However the motivations for those actions, is another story and some definitely do not deserve respect or praise at all.