Atheists who spend their time trying to answer the religionist posed question, “can you
be good without god,” are chasing their tails, Tim Covell says in his new book, Born
Atheist.  In fact, the question, “can you be good without god,” should be as offensive
and out of place as the question, “can a slave be good without his maste,” Covell says.
The fact that the “good without god’ question is so widely entertained demonstrates
the power of religionists to set the agenda and prevents atheists from forwarding theirs.

Covell points out that religionists such as drug-using, prostitute-patronizing evangelical
Ted Haggard serve as examples of religionist morality.  Covell says there is no logic
behind Christians’ claims of moral superiority.  Christian doctrine expects people to act
immorally–to sin.  But church doctrine forgives them for their sinful conduct.  And an
even bigger flaw to their claim of moral superiority is that the god they supposedly
answer to is imaginary.  There is no heaven, there is no hell and there is no man in the
sky who sees what they do and punishes them.

Covell proposes a “morality matrix” to illustrate the difference between an atheist’s
moral code and a Christian’s:

With this morality matrix in mind, it is little surprise that religionist scandals dominate
the news, while most atheists quietly live quiet, law-abiding lives.

Covell says that questions like “can you be good without god” can never be answered
to the satisfaction of religionists and therefore should be ignored.  Instead atheists
should spend their time more productively, spreading the atheist message and eroding
the powerful religious edifice.

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A morality matrix comparing an atheist and Christian's moral precepts