What's different now? It's not that everyone who commits a crime is an atheist - they just don't think they'll get caught and don't really assess the consequences in the afterlife. It seems that to say religion facilitates morality ends up making a circular argument. Well, maybe not - if it has been so long so that this inner "pack morality" has left us and has been replaced by societal expectations (which is quite likely) then the argument isn't really circular anymore.
Morality is such an ambiguous term and there are so many ideas as to what the terms "good" and "evil" actually mean. I feel, though, that at the end of the day they're all just words. In Christianity you are allowed repentance for pretty much any sin, so I don't think hell is a very good deterrent. I don't think Judaism has hell, and I also don't think Islam does (someone please correct me if I'm wrong, though).
I think it's the fear of being ostracized or judged by others that is a primary motivation in doing "good" acts.
I am not saying that just because someone is an atheist, they will cheat, steal, kill, etc, but you cannot say that most people who break the law in those serious ways turn around and say "I am a Christian". Some of them might believe in a god, but they don't really have a definite religion.
And yes, Christianity does allow repentance for almost any sin, but to understand that you would have to go into the whole idea of what the God of the Bible is like, and I'm too tired to get into that now. Maybe some other time we can dive deeper into this, but for now, I'm hitting the sack.
Your far off, Moe. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all have Hell. They all have Heaven. They all have the SAME God! Its an unknown fact, but it all started in the same spot. Their like Neighbors. And very diverse in life. [I'd go deeper, but snoozy time calls. ^^]
But you're wrong, your allowed repetance, but you've forgotten a fact. As god knows all and watches over us like a "Holy Butterfly" [I heard that from a paster, sounded really weird].
So, the thing about "OMG I can do whatever I want I'll get the sin cleared later!! ^^" Is gone. Hell is a detterent, because if you do it knowing you'll be cleared. You won't be cleared. It'll be a checkmark your not getting closer to heaven.
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