Religions in general like to declare that atheism is morally wrong and punishable (in some countries, with death), and that atheists are bad, immoral people. However evidence shows that the majority of atheist have strong morals, even better than religious people, raise their kids according to high values, and that most of highly intelligent people, including most scientists, do not believe in a god. Collectively, they have done more for society's good than religious people. Do you agree with that? What excellent examples of atheists who are also philanthropists, scientists, philosophers, entrepreneurs, etc. do you know?
Whenever someone - usually of religious persuasion - makes the argument that non-believers cannot be moral without religion to guide them, I always pull out this old chestnut (I think I may have seen it on 60 Minutes): it is thought that 10 to 15% the general population of adults in the United States self-declare as agnostics/atheists, yet they only account for 0.2% of the prison population.
Yes- atheists are good or bad people. I dislike any smug moral or ethical superiority displayed by any group over another. Good and bad are subjective to begin with- there have been good and bad actions on the part of theist and non theist throughout history. While I love adhere and use the scientific method, I personally won’t waste time trying to declare it superior to anyone’s spaghetti monster. Way too smug and condescending- and lacking in basic humility IMHO...
I don't have any examples. This is interesting of human behavior, when I recently stated I'm atheist to a couple people, I got "I get it, there isn't much to believe in anymore" or "what keeps you from doing bad things?" This blows my mind as if I actually need religion to be a good person or have hope. Religion turned our basic emotions and moral into their own and brainwashed people to believe it's needed.
I think, some people in some circumstances, may benefit from religion. But one must keep an open mind.
Spoiler Alert: Atheists are people, individuals even. Some are not as good as others, and everything in between.
The obvious having been stated, the fact is that a majority of scientists are Atheists, with the other categories probably being split along similar lines as the general population. Among philanthropists, Buffett and Gates are both Atheists, but there are any number of others who are religious, even very religious.
Just like other groups there are good and bad people who are atheist. Look at the Atheist supporters of tRump and the republicans. All bigots, racist, white supremacist, misogynistic, xenophopes. They may claim not to be but they support tRump who fits all those descriptors so they themselves are.
I suspect there are good, bad, and ugly in all groups. However, I have read studies that support the assertion about raising children according to objective moral standards. They learn to treat people decently because it is the right thing to do, not to avoid hell or strive for heaven. Being good is its own reward. It takes away the rationalizing that "if I give into the devil's temptation, god will forgive me". They learn instead to take responsibility for their own actions. My own experience is that when I started looking inward for happiness and guidance, my level of joy and satisfaction with life increased exponentially. That being said, I do know some great people who believe very differently than I do.
The By-Stander effect:
On a rural road, if you have a flat, the next passing car is likely to stop. On an interstate, 50 cars may pass, each thinking that someone else will stop.
Religion may create the ugly side of the by-stander effect... "if there are a million of us believers, then surely there are others in the group doing the good deeds." Atheists are a group of 1. Each must go about making the changes in the world in their own name, with their own deeds. This is in comparison to those that do good deeds in the name of someone/something else.
Now, I'm not saying that religious people are bad. I'm just saying that this may be a good argument as to why Atheists may be more likely to do good, and to actively seek opportunities to do good.