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If you believe in the existence of heaven and hell, [View All]

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LaraMN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-04-07 04:17 PM
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If you believe in the existence of heaven and hell,
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Edited on Sat Aug-04-07 04:18 PM by LaraMN
what is the more significant motivator: avoiding the burn, or reaching beyond the Pearly Gates?

Or are the options inextricably interwoven? Are they secondary to what motivates you to be a good person?

I ask, because I wonder if people are more consumed with behaving a certain way because they aspire to righteousness, or primarily because they want to avoid punishment.

I recently heard someone suggest that atheists might have less incentive to behave in a morally "responsible" way, since they don't have the fear of hell, or the aspiration of ascending to heaven, upon death.

As a person who doesn't believe in any existence beyond this, I see the situation as quite the opposite; if this life is all I have, I want to make the most of it, be the best person I can, and leave my mark by (in some small way) bettering the lives of the people I come in contact with, and the world we live in.

I don't understand the supposed necessity of having some external motivation, in order to be a decent human being. I don't buy that line of reasoning, at all.

Your thoughts?
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