I am constantly finding that when i get to know someone enough to tell them I’m an atheist that almost always the topic will come up.

 

Why do you continue to be good even though there is no reward?

 

My answer is that even though there is no reward I continue to be good due to mainly empathy but also the fact that when I did believe I never acted as I did because of heaven.

 

Whats your answer, why do you continue to be polite, obey the law, do your work, ect.?

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If you know you will never see someone you despise ever again then what stops you from giving him the finger and wishing him a shitty life? There is no punishment for that is there?

Also what stops you from being rude to those you only just meet and show that they are jackasses?

Sometimes you get the opportunity to be immoral with no consequences, how do you justify morality in these situations?
Yeah, what Nelson said.

(It's been too long since I last used that line. :D )
I'm with Dave G on the part about what Nelson said.
Would you like it done to you?

Also, who hasn't heard the story of the person who flipped off somebody while driving and then walked into an interview to see that's who would have hired them? There's no reason to run around being a putz.

Also, when you're a jerk to people, it usually means that you think everyone else is out to get you, and that is not a mentally healthy way to be. Self-aware people realize what is in their own best interest.
This question always amazes me.... I usually fire back at the questioner... 'Are you telling me that if you found out there was no God or Heaven that you would immediately go on a killing, raping and stealing spree?'

Is the hope of Heavenly reward or fear of Eternal punishment all thats keeping you from being a monster?

If that's the case I seriously don't want my kids going over to your house. What if you lose faith while they are over there?

Its just a completely wrong premise like Nelson says. There are many things that keep us good that have nothing to do with a particular religious interpretation of rewards and punishments.

WE are GOOD in spite of religious interpretations right this moment. Even religious people don't stone people anymore (for the most part) even though religious writings tell them to do so. We ignore them without a second thought.

I like Dawkins explanation of the Changing Moral Zeitgeist. It is actually man who has made religion more polite, has 'civilized' the laws, made them more humane, etc..
I love this community, in the first few responses we have answers involving sociology, morality, evolutionisim, psychology AND quotes to back them.
Life's been buisy and kinda got out of touch.
Is it better to good because of the specter of the Boogeyman in the Closet(and don't try to deny that God is this) or to do good because of tangible connections with other people and your own internal compass? Is the only thing keeping believers from doing bad things a fear of Hell and the commands of their God? What if your God told you to jump off a bridge or to kill somebody? People have done injurious things because of their faith.
Well the bible says God did tell Abraham to murder his son and he would have. What a prick.

P.S. YOUR God?
Well. Being generic of course. I don't have a god. LOL.
Because I realized that I am ultimately responsible for my actions and behavior. That's the short version.
Counter it with a question - is the promise of heaven the only thing keeping you from raping and pillaging?

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