According to Kohlberg, the early stages of moral development center around fear of punishment. While we can certainly impose punishments for immoral behaviors without daddy in the sky, we cannot insure that every offender will be discovered. In fact, as every good sociopath knows, one can generally get away with dozens of immoral acts without detection. There IS no escape from the detection of daddy in the sky

 

Isn't it possible that prospective superstitious wrong doers on the low end of moral development might modify their behavior based on the belief that they cannot escape their punishment?

 

I bring it up, because a recently had a conversation with such a person, and it was clear that he only resisted immoral impulses because he feared punishment from daddy in the sky.

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C'mon... Nobody is biting on this one!?
Not many would be criminals would be deterred by fear of eternal damnation.  A lot of criminals don't think that deeply.  Earthly punishments seldom deter those who chose to be on the moral borderline; it's all about what's good for me.  You have it. I want it. I'll get it anyway I can, so say good bye to it.   There are probably not true sociopaths but there are folks who come close to it.  So what holds them back is I can't do murder time, but robbery time I can live with.  I'll keep doing this until I get caught.
Yes, I suppose there is a small segment - the dregs of humanity - who would be rapists, mass murders... ect if they didn't fear being condemned to 'the bad place' by an invisible, all-powerful, jealous, vengeful god. However, being stupid already, if they were to commit crime they would be locked up in an instant. The intelligent & successful criminals have always used religion for their own purposes, or simply ignored it.

i will bite.

I do not believe and am repulsed at many horrific actions.  The believer thinks that the repulsion they feel towards violence and cruelty is instilled by the vicious sky daddy they worship.

The 'sense" of right and wrong is not in born. It is a learned. That's why external litmuses must be applied to our moral "feelings." 

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