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The Contender
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0 Points

Atheists enjoy the same relative quality of life as Christians.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/6/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,413 times Debate No: 37412
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (54)
Votes (1)




It's a tired assumption in our culture that Christain's are happier, more moral, enjoy more successful marriages etc but I disagree. I'm also considering employment, the built environment, physical/mental health, education, recreation, leisure time, and social belonging to be important indicators of quality of life [1]. I want to limit discussions on morality to actions that cause clear harm and exclude sexual immorality since we will likely disagree on this issue and I don't want to get side tracked, infidelity is still fair. I'd prefer a Christian opponent and have limited who can accept. PM me if you're interested.



If there is no God, then life is meaningless. We would simply be machines made for propagating DNA, that's it. If Christianity is true, we have a purpose, we are made in God's image. According to atheism, when we die, that's it. According to Christianity, we either go to heaven or hell.
Debate Round No. 1


I don’t want this debate to sound negative towards Christians and I have rephrased a lot of the data positively focusing on the high quality of life Atheists can acheive. Unbelievers are often high achieving trustworthy people and yet we are one of the least trusted groups in America. I am by no means a strong anti-theist but if there was less ignorance on some of this information people wouldn’t say atheism like a dirty word. Secular world views such as humanism would not be denegrated so much and could work with religious groups to improve.


You’ve presented one possible negative nihlistic world view. There are obviously other world views that an atheist can adopt and this topic really addresses how disbelief in a God effects other areas of life.

We are machines that propogate DNA but that says nothing about what is actually important to us. I have a purpose too and a whole list of things that I value and goals that I persue. You probably have a similar list of values and goals that provide purpose that have nothing to do with God.

Yes, according to Christianity many decent people like me will be punished… forever. Understanding that I have only one life to live makes it that much more valuable and I am more likely not to take it for granted and be proactive. I can punch holes in the christian world view if you want to make this about which world view is better for the mind.

Atheists are equally moral

It’s difficult to claim that atheists are moral given the following facts. States in the US with lower levels of religiosity (we are roughly 80% Christian overall) also have lower levels of property crime [3] and teen pregnancy rates due to irresponsible sexual practices[2]. Atheists are also less likely to rob a bank and commit murder or sexual assault and there is a lower percentage in prison than the general population[8].

A study comparing religiousity in developed democracies with societal health found a strong correlation between secularization and improved social health. The more secular these countries were the lower the homocide, teen pregnancy and abortion rates [4]. Secular countries also tend to have lower contracted sexually transmitted diseases due to responsible sexual practices[5].

Equally Happy

I’ll concede that there is mixed findings on religiousity and happiness in the US and when looking at religious countries in a vacuum. It looks like being an idealogical minority in your country may effect your happiness. Atheists in the bible belt may feel isolated and alienated from their peers. This is particularly true in the US where polls indicate we are among the most disliked and distrusted groups[6]. The study indicated that in some areas we are distrusted as much as rapists which is an apalling example of groundless prejudice.

This is balanced by the fact that the worlds most secular countries are also the worlds happiest countries according to the 2010 Gallup data. Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands are the world’s happiest countries and are some of the least religious countries in the world. This is confirmed by the world database of happiness, an organization that compiles survey and research data on happiness in various countries. People who reject there religion report feeling happier and more liberated in there secular lives [9]

Atheists have successful marriages

In the US Atheists have lower divorce rates when compared with religious groups. While 27% of adult born again Christians and 29% of Baptists have had at least one divorce only 21% of atheists have had a divorce and they tie with catholics having the lowest rate [1]. This is especially compelling considering that atheists have no outside reason to stay together and that Christians are commanded not to divorce in 1 Corinthians 7:12-13 and a few other scriptures.

Atheists are often high achieving

Surveys have shown that atheists are better educated and are in a higher income bracket when compared to believers [8]. Atheists have better sex lives according surveys and psychological research and those who deconvert from religion report an improved sex life(remember this isn’t about sexual premiscuity, atheists also have a higher success rate in marriage as seen above). More secular prosperous countries tend to have better access to health care, job security and education. Atheists tend to score high on measures of intelligence especially verbal ability and scientific literacy [9] and even score better than believers on tests of religious knowledge [8].

Atheists maintain a high quality of life inspite of descrimination

It’s not great to be an ideological minority even when it’s possible to just smile and keep your mouth shut. When roughly 80% of North Americans identify as Christians it is easy to feel alienated. You can smile and nod as if you agree when religious talk comes up. It’s certainly not comforting to realize that others would likely think a lot less of you if they understood what you believed. It’s difficult not being open and honest for fear of retrobution.

Even though all data points to the fact that we are just as well adjusted as others, of survey respondents 76% said they would only vote for religious political candidates [9] and it’s generally considered political suicide to admit to disbelief [10]. Five states still have religious tests for office and we did not have an openly nontheist member of congress until 2007. George H. W. Bush famously said that atheists should not be considered citizens or patriots.

When given the choice between other goups for a marriage partner atheist was always last on the list. Two surveys found that disapproval of atheists is higher than for other groups including homosexuals, mulims and african americans. Many respondents assumed that atheists were immoral and more likely to engage in criminal behavior even though the opposite is true.

Inspite of unwarrented prejudice atheists maintain a high quality of life making it even clearer that a belief in God is not necessary to live a quality life.


The research is very straight forward, not believing in God does not have a negative impact on your quality of life. Descrimination is the major detraction which has nothing to do with the disbelief itself. You opened with some intuitive arguments that the real statistics knocked flat. I may hit some other areas next round but I think there is enough information already to support my set up. Looking forward to your response.













tala00131 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Hmmm, that's a shame. I may restart the debate and look for another opponent if the forfeits continue. Extend all of my arguments.


tala00131 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


With 20 debates I would have expexted a little more fight from you Tala. Extend all arguments.


I was an atheist, it's not the same.
Debate Round No. 4
54 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
Thanks, I'm gonna try this again and hopefully get an opponent that will raise an argument. I don't have statistics on hand but I think this current generation is around 30% nonreligious (compared with 16% overall). If we can get numbers like that the discrimination should get better. It's great that you were able to com out and you are helping to make a society where all atheist will be able to be honest with there friends and family without risking severe retribution

There was a recent study in the UK that linked the nonreligious with much lower rates of severe depression. Over eight thousand people were studied in seven countries for 12 months.
Posted by Jakeross6 3 years ago
This was an excellent argument filled with sources I could use for any debates where quality of life come into play. I live in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. The discrimination that is received by all people who are not Christian is moderate, but Atheists bear the brunt of the hate for these people since we are growing ever louder here in the South. I do feel alienated, alone. My family hates my beliefs and my once loving grandmother has told me not to think about coming down for Christmas... I never showed what my beliefs are, I accidentally said "atheist" to my dad in the car one day and things have been difficult ever since then. Funny part is that my dad already knew I didn't believe in a god, but the word "Atheist" set him off. Turns out he's a die hard creationist. Who knew? I love my family, but this whole thing is ridiculous.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Yes 2-D, we have a Bible belt in Queensland, where Ken Ham originated.
Yet it was too small and not wealthy enough for him to be bothered picking their pockets, so he moved to the US where it is much more lucrative to pick the pockets of Bible Belt Creationists.
He's doing a great job of relieving them of their wealth.

Though we don't really have a Christian majority like the US.
Neither side of politics here panders to the Christian community like the US government does.
We've even had some Atheist leaders, in Julia Gillard, Gough Whitlam and a couple of others.
Christianity has no claims for superiority in Australia like they pretend to have in the US, they are not considered as important here at all.
We are a really a predominantly a Secular nation, Christians have to lobby as hard as all other groups to get decisions in their favor.
I like the story of a Catholic church in Sydney who when the street numbers were revised, scored the street number of 666. The local government refused to change it, until the church threatened legal action. LOL
No, we don't pander to Christianity anywhere near as much as the US.
We have a more level playing field for all belief systems and Atheism.
Thus the Atheist Prime Ministers that were popularly elected.
Gough Whitlam was one of the most popular Prime Ministers ever, yet, he was openly Atheist.
Same with Julia Gillard.
Religion has no clout in our politics.
An Atheist President is very unlikely in the US.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
Interesting, I know Australia still has a religious majority but a much larger non-religious community than the US. Yes skepticism, imo, leads to atheism which would make a great debate topic. Do you guys have a bible belt or strong religious area with a lot of fundamentalists like we do in the south east here in the United states?
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
In Australia, many Atheists have known nothing more than Atheism.
My entire family was Atheist, yet, here, some of the schools boasting the highest scholarly achievements are private Christian schools.
So my Atheist parents sent me to Christian College when they discovered I had a very high IQ, as they believed that the public school couldn't give me the education they thought I needed.
Religion was something new to me, so from the comments of the priests and teachers, I thought there must be something in it.
So I took up studying Theology and did my own research into the history of religion using both the College and local City libraries.
I, too have always been a skeptic and wondered why they often skipped over sections of the Bible in Theology, so I checked out those passages we basically never referenced and found alarming inconsistencies.
My study into the real history of religion, which differs totally from the Church's proclaimed history of religion also demonstrated that the Church was being deviously deceptive in repainting history to suit itself and pretend that it is the only true Church.
All these things in combination, returned me back to my childhood Atheism.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
Tala, I was a fundie Christian for 20+ years and went to bible college for two with the intent of being a missionary. Many atheists in the US have a faith based background. Your new world view may be better than your last for sure. Before I'm an atheist I am a skeptic: I think it's best to understand how to find truth and to learn to adjust and accept it which led to my atheism and a better worldview for me.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
Great, a good skeptic knows when to admit that they are wrong. When I change my mind I like to have a drink and celebrate. There is nothing more stifling than clinging to the same tired views in the face of strong evidence to the contrary.
Posted by Finalfan 3 years ago
O.K. Agreed

Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
I remember the claim that Christians are almost Atheist, because they don't believe in the many other gods.
This was just a joke made by some Atheists who simply wanted to show Christians how their anti-Atheism is so ridiculous. Now some are trying to make this joke appear truthful, LOL, that's real stupid.
Atheists don't even think about a god.
Christians do constantly think about god.
That's the difference.
It's actually a big difference, but it is not a divisive difference.
I don't believe in Gambling, but many of my best friends are Chronic Gamblers, I simply don't share their interest.
Same with religion. A few of my friends are devout Christians, but, I simply don't share their interest.
There is really no reason that Christians should be anti-Atheist.
We Atheists just don't share their Passion, that's all.
Posted by mrsatan 3 years ago
Like I said before, I understand why you think all theists are also atheists. That theists who believe in one Gods existence are also believing in all other Gods nonexistence. I have considered this line of reasoning, and I simply disagree with it. I don't see it as different faiths worshipping different Gods, but as different faiths pretending they know what God is, and differing in their guesses about the same God.

I daresay Richard Dawkins has the wrong question in mind. It's not so much, "Which God are you?", but rather, "What kind of God are you?". I say this because if God exists, chances are that mankind, as we are on Earth, have not depicted that God accurately (and probably never will).
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Shadowguynick 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit