"If I am threatened into behaving in a good manner then I am at best amoral, because I am not acting with free will. If you believe that a supreme god is going to punish you or deny you life if you misbehave, it is like being permanently threatened into behaving well. In addition, if you believe there is some great reward for behaving well, then your motives for good behavior are potentially more selfish. An atheist who does not believe in heaven and hell is potentially more moral, for he acts without these added factors [...] Who is more moral? Those who act for the sake of goodness itself, or those who do good acts under the belief that failure to do so results in hell?"
"Confused religious ethics" by Vexen Crabtree 1999 May 05