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Atheists have better morals than Theists.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/24/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 468 times Debate No: 87206
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (10)
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Atheists have better morals than Theists.

This argument can really go any way it wants to go.

I am looking for a brave candidate to take me on.

The five rounds will be:
1) Opening Statements.
2) Rebuttal of Opening Statements.
3) 10 Cross-Fire Questions for your opponent.
4) Answers to the 10 Cross-Fire Questions.
5) Conclusion.

I hope we can have a good clean debate!


I will be arguing the con side for "Atheists have better morals than Theists".
I wish my opponent the best of luck, and look forward to reading his first argument.
Debate Round No. 1


Merriam Webster defines Atheist as "a person who believes that God does not exist." That is all it takes to be an Atheist. Without believe in God, Atheists are free to have whatever morals that they belief are good. Atheists are not boxed in by a set of pre-determined morals. Atheist's morals can change with the times, because they are flexible and reasonable. Atheist's morals do not include stoning, rape, and Genocide. Atheists also do not discriminate against groups like Homosexuals. Atheists morals are based off of what makes logical sense instead of a single unreliable book.


I'd like to thank my opponent for his opening remarks.

Throughout the course of this debate, I will be arguing from the position that atheists cannot have better morals than theists because the very institution of morality does not conform to an atheist worldview.

By denying the existence of a deity, as per my opponent's definition of "atheism", he assumes the following:

The universe was created without a greater purpose or plan.

There is no objective measure for good or evil.

There is no "supreme" force or creator in the universe that lays out the rules for morality.

This leaves only two options: morality does not exist, or morality exists and is built upon a system of subjective "good" and "evil".

If morality does not exist, atheists cannot have better morals than theists.

If morality does exist, and it is generated by humans upon a foundation of subjective "good" and "evil", each human can have
his/her own set of moral rules that can be considered to be "good".

Since "good" and "evil" are subjective, acts that may be considered "evil" by mainstream society (genocide, rape, slavery, murder of children) can be considered "good" by some measures of morality.

Because of the subjective nature of good and evil in an atheist worldview, it is erroneous to say that an "Atheist's morals do not include stoning, rape, and Genocide."

The only alternative to a subjective standard of good and evil is for there to exist an objective one, which of course cannot be true in a universe without a supreme being.

I look forward to my opponent's question in the rapid-fire round.
Debate Round No. 2


Since my opponent alloys it, I would like to give a short rebuttal to their opening statements.

Atheists believe that there is no supreme being. We are not sure how to universe got to where it is today. We will continue to try to understand our past through science and logic. We may never know what caused the Big Bang to occur, but we will never pretend to know based off of conjecture.

Atheists believe that there is no objective measurement for good or evil. Atheists base their morals off of what they believe to be just. We do not rely on an old book to tell us right from wrong. We are our own people that are free from predetermined constraints.

Atheists believe that morality is a reality within our own species. Morality is a self fulfilling prophecy. Morality exists because everyone wants it to. We believe that morals are dependent on what we feel is the right thing to do based on what others would also want. Atheists base their morals off of logic and reasoning, while Theists base their morals off of ancient books.

Atheist morals do not include stoning, rape, and Genocide simply because we wouldn't want those thing done to us. So logically, why be unfair, and do those things to others. Atheist morals could be compared to the Golden Rule (do unto others.)

Atheist morals are better than Theist morals because they are tailored to societies demands while Theists morals are based off of books that will never change. Atheists learn to change their morals with the times as society demands, while Theists would be forced to cherry pick their morals as the times change.

Since you are Christian, I will tailor the questions towards that specific Theist group.
The 10 questions:

1) Do you think that Stoning people is a good moral? The reason I ask this question is because in the Bible it supports stoning people. Quote from the Bible: "then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father"s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done an outrageous thing in Israel by whoring in her father"s house. So you shall purge the evil from your midst." Deuteronomy 22:21. If you disagree with this moral, then you are not following God completely. If you agree with this moral, then you have worse morals than an Atheist.

2) Do you think that raping people is a good moral? The reason I ask this question is because in the Bible it supports rape. Quote from the Bible: "She answered him, "No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this outrageous thing. As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the outrageous fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you." But he would not listen to her, and being stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her." Samuel 13:12-14. If you disagree with this moral, then you are not following God completely. If you agree with this moral, then you have worse morals than an Atheist.

3) Do you think that men are supreme to woman? The reason I ask this question is because in the Bible it supports patriarchy. Women are mostly lower than men, and make the dumb mistakes. The Bible puts women in a negative light. If you disagree with this moral, then you are not following God completely. If you agree with this moral, then you have worse morals than an Atheist.

4) Do you think that having rigid morals is better than having morals that can change with the times?

5) If intelligent design is real, then why is the human body so inefficient?

6) If God is real, then would it be unintelligent design?

7) If you believe the universe is intelligently designed , why isn"t our universe teeming with life, including life much more impressive than human life?

8) If you base your morals of of one unreliable book, then my not base your morals of a spiderman comic?

9) If morals exist without humans, then how come other animals don't follow God's morals?

10) Are you feeling a little overwhelmed by my massive argument?

I am very exited to hear what my opponent has to say about my ten questions.


I would like to thank my opponent for his short rebuttal and the ten questions he has asked.
Instead of directly rebutting my opponent's rebuttal, I will incorporate them into my questions, as most of what I have to communicate are simply inquiries about his reasoning.

In the next post, I will answer those ten questions, but in the meantime, here are ten questions for my opponent.

1) If good and evil are subjective, why do you insist that all atheists would select the same set of morals (Golden Rule etc)?

2) Based on logic, and purely logic, why is rape wrong? (Please note that I do not condone rape, but rather am curious as to how a pure logician would argue that it is wrong, and therefore immoral).

3) What is an Atheist standard for "what is best for society"? Is this a purely logical reason?

4) If morality is subjective, how does society come to an agreement on what is the "current status quo" for morals? Is guaranteed to be a 100% equal vote by all members of that society? If not, why does a certain individual or group get to select the current moral standards?

5) You never answered with a rebuttal to this assumption, so I'll ask you directly: From an Atheist worldview, using solely logic and reasoning, is there an objective or greater purpose to life? (relevance revealed by next question)

6) If there is a greater purpose, how do you know? If not, why does morality matter at all?

7) You use the word logic frequently. Tell me, what provides legitimacy for the supremacy of logic?

8) In a universe created by random chance, where humanity is simply a small insignificant speck (in fact, nothing has significance, we're just chemicals), why does morality matter at all?

9) Do you believe that morality is a component of evolution? If so, wouldn't our biological imperative to breed allow for rape? (once again, theoretical argument, I do not condone rape).

10) In a logic-based worldview, devoid of a supreme being, what are the consequences of breaking a moral code (pending your affirmation that such a thing can even exist)? What incentive is there to follow any moral edicts?

Looking forward to your replies!
Debate Round No. 3


Thank you for your questions.

Answers to 10 questions:

1) Good and evil are subjective. I insist that all Atheists would select a similar set of morals. The reason that this is true, is because Atheists base their morals off of what they would want done to themselves. I wouldn't stone someone, because I wouldn't want to be stoned myself.

2) Rape is wrong because you would not want someone to rape you. You don't violate someone because you don't want them to violate you. Since morals are based off of doing what you would want done to you, then they are best morals.

3) An Atheist view on society, is that society should function as best as it can. We believe that everyone should have a fair chance and to be fair to all. This is logical because a well working society equals growth for the society.

4) Morality is subjective. Society does not announce a "status qua" on what morals are best. Morals are dependent on what each person would want done to themselves. Most people don't want to die, so they don't kill others. No group gets to select what the right morals are. Everyone individually decides what they would want done to themselves, and bases their morals off of this.

5) From an Atheist point of view, there is most likely no greater purpose of life. The percentage chance of their being a greater purpose of life is an extremely small decimal. The only goal of life is to better itself as time goes on through Evolution.

6) There is most likely not a greater purpose to life. This is a logical argument because there is no evidence that supports there being a greater purpose. Morality matters because without it, society would fall apart. Morality matters because everyone wants it to. Morality is a self fulfilling prophecy. It is a guideline to help society function without chaos.

7) I do use the word logic frequently. Logic plays a big part in human decisions. Logic is not the only factor in making a decision, but it is the biggest one. Logic is supreme to other forms of reasoning because it weighs a situation without incorporating bias.

8) I do not know what the universe was like before the Big Bang, but I highly doubt it was "created" for a "greater purpose." This question is the same as question six. Because of this, I will answer the same way. Morality matters because without it, society would fall apart. Morality matters because everyone wants it to. Morality is a self fulfilling prophecy. It is a guideline to help society function without chaos.

9) The human brain is a result of Evolution. We base are morality off of what are brains tell us to do. Our brain tell us not to do things to others that we wouldn't want done to ourselves. So morality is a product of Evolution. It does not include rape for most people because most people would not want someone to rape them.

10) The consequences of breaking a moral code are being ostracized by your family and friends. Going to jail. The list goes on and on. Following a moral code is helpful for a society to function.


I would like to thank my opponent for his responses.
I have decided to group some of my answers as the questions merited similar responses.

Questions 1,2,3

I will approach these questions from two angles. First, I will use the "foundation" argument (which is quite short and more theoretical and perhaps less satisfying to my opponent). Second, I will the "theistic" argument.

As the debate topic is concerning a comparison of the two sets of morality (Theist vs. Atheist), it is important to note a "con" argument needs only to prove that Atheist morality is NOT superior to Theist morality. As such, it is important to examine where atheist morality is generated. I will be using a set of short statements to logically prove my point.

There is no good or bad. Everything is subjective.

If it is true that all atheists think alike, and generate morality based on the same rule, then it must be that NO atheist in the existence of the universe has ever deviated from this (assuming this atheist is a rational being, sound of mind).

-That is to say, if even a single atheist exists/existed that did not base morality off of "doing unto others", it is impossible to say all atheists generate morality in this fashion.

If there exists an atheist who does conform to my opponent's proposed system of morality, and good and bad are subjective to each person, then that person's morality must be a "truth".

-That is to say, what they think is right (murder, perhaps) is morally right to them. In this case, how can it be said that this atheist's morality is superior to a theist's morality (that the opponent claims allows for murder)?

From the "theist" perspective, an absolute authority exists that is entirely independent of humanity. It is not dependent on random chance or human perception of reality (which is a contentious philosophical debate: whether what we perceive to be as reality is indeed reality). If this authority is accepted as absolute (which is a question of religious belief and the existence of a deity), then a command to punish offences against this absolute moral code is NOT a moral offence itself. In the case of the passage that was quoted (Deut 22:21), they are ordered to kill the woman with stoning, not murder her. In the original text of the Ten Commandments, "Thou shalt not kill" is actually meant to read "Thou shalt not murder".

"יב לֹא תִרְצָח, לֹא תִנְאָף; לֹא תִגְנֹב, לֹא-תַעֲנֶה בְרֵעֲךָ עֵד שָׁקֶר."
( , Exodus 20:12)

As to the passage quoted concerning rape, I would invite my opponent to read the entire chapter. It is actually a condemnation of rape.

Concerning the role of women and their position in the Bible, it must be acknowledged that what we perceive as debasing of women comes from social conditioning and bias (if not entirely, at least partially). It is a common social doctrine that "different" means discrimination. In mainstream society, we are all the same (nobody is different), while at the same time we all want to be unique.
It is very obvious if one were to study the Bible thoroughly that women and men are prescribed different roles. Many criticisms about this stem from the misconception that because men and women are described as holding different positions in the Biblical society, it must be an attack on women. Of course, this has been exacerbated by post-Biblical societies claiming to be Christian (to support or propagate a religion is not to represent it) that have placed actual discriminatory restrictions on women (literacy, workplace discrimination, the sexualization of women).

Question 4
Morality must be objective and immutable for it to have any meaning. If there is no greater authority, and morality changes constantly, who is to say an individual cannot select a set of moral rules from 1000 years ago (outdated as compared to others) and claim it as their standard of good and bad? Morality has no meaning if it is not applicable to everyone. Additionally, there are no consequences to a morality backed by subjective good and bad. In a world with no grand purpose (we are just chemicals), why should one care if they are thrown in prison? Why should we treat others the way we wish to be treated be a "good" moral? Life has no value if we are all chemicals born from chaos and random chance.

Question 5,6,7
In a random universe created by chance, what is the standard for perfection? What is the standard for efficiency? As there is no standard (everything is random, we are chemicals with no greater meaning), an atheist cannot argue that humans are "unintelligent design", because his notion of perfection stems from abstract concepts he cannot prove exist. (Science? Science is based on logic. How does one determine logic even exists? How can one say logic is unbiased or absolute if one has no proof of it?)

Question 8
Ultimately (and unfortunately), this debate returns to the central theme of logic. Atheists claim "logic" is their ultimate standard for truth, yet are unable to determine why logic is supreme without using logic itself in the argument. What is bias? If unable to define logic and the reasons for its infallibility, it is impossible to say that the book that is being referred to is "unreliable".

Question 9
This question assumes that animals one the same level as humans and should, therefore, be bound to morality as well. However, the question itself presupposes a God. If God truly exists, as per the question, what is the problem with animals being inferior to the human race and therefore not being bound to a divine moral code? The answer, if God exists as per the presupposition, is that there is no such problem.

Question 10
I do not feel quite overwhelmed, although I am thoroughly enjoying this civilized debate. God knows (pardon the expression) how many toxic debates I have seen on this site.

I look forward to the concluding statements of this debate.
Debate Round No. 4


SmartAndDumb forfeited this round.


SierraOne forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by SmartAndDumb 7 months ago
Sorry, I was busy that day and didn't have time to write my conclusion. Thank you for following suit.
Posted by SierraOne 7 months ago
It looks like we both missed the conclusion round. My apologies.
Posted by missmedic 7 months ago
Smartanddumb despite what you say, you do not speak for other nonbelievers.

It is important not to confuse objective morality with absolutist morality. The latter is a hallmark of religious doctrines, which make statements of the type "thou shalt not". But an objective morality, i.e. a morality based on the facts of reality, does not need to be of that type. All it needs in order to be objective is to refer to some facts of reality as source of moral judgments. Because of this, atheism is perfectly compatible with objective morality.
Authoritative morality requires belief and obedience, no thought or understanding is needed. Real morality is based on choice not authority.
Posted by BeckAdd 7 months ago
Because atheism has no set of absolute morals, atheists understand that moral relativism is the only way to establish morality. In other words, an atheist's morals are determined by the atheist's opinions alone. As an atheist, a person might say that murder is good, and who could challenge them? Atheists have no moral absolutes.
On the other hand, most modern theists (those who believe in a god) cling to moral absolutes that are established by their religion. For Christians, a common American theist, their moral absolutes might include the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and/or the morals set forward at the Sermon on the Mount. In essence, the Christian's moral standard is the Bible. Another popular theistic religion, Islam, follows a strict set of moral absolutes set forward by the Quran (also Koran) and the Hadith. Most religions follow this model, which means that there is an absolute "right" or an absolute "wrong" for a religious person.
So who does have the better morals? Well, a better question might be, "How can an atheist ask this question?" Without any moral absolutes, how can anyone measure a person's morality?
Posted by SmartAndDumb 7 months ago
Feel free to rebut my rebut before your ten questions.
Posted by SmartAndDumb 7 months ago
Thank you.
Posted by SierraOne 7 months ago
By the way, if you'd like to make a quick rebuttal to my opening statement before launching into the questions, I wouldn't mind.
Posted by SmartAndDumb 7 months ago
I messed up by putting that as my first argument. We will just do Opening Statements for round 2 and skip the rebuttal and go straight to the 10 Cross-Fire questions.
Posted by vi_spex 7 months ago
morality is atheism by theism
Posted by SierraOne 7 months ago
I see that in your plan Round 1 was supposed to be opening statements. I didn't add an opening statement because you didn't have one either. Is that a typo or did we both mess up already? =)
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