My counter (although still a weak one) is that even with a strong faith, the religiously instilled values only pertain to those whom believe. Along with the idea that within numerous religions a breach of their code of ethics can be forgiven through either prayer or service, no matter how great the immoral act.
Meaning that the disincentive for an immoral act in a religious society is based on spiritualitty and not something concrete. Whereas the disincentive for an immoral act among individuals of reason is a concrete concept that can be applied within the realms of reality.
This is where my requirements for the paper cause restrictions. I'm required to give an opposing argument and then state my case. However I agree completely though. You cannot create something real from the unreal. Knowledge is concrete and can be supported with facts, observations, and most importantly rational critiques. However when putting faith through the same criteria, it falters immediately. Faith can't answer questions such as "why?" or "how?", all it can state is that "something is because it is".
My answer would be that within a time of crisis individual's of faith look upwards for answers and direction, whereas individuals of reason look inwards for answers and direction. A community of believers would seek for a solution to arrive from a non-real entity, whereas a community of rational individuals would create the solution needed.
That doesn't really argue what you're stating, but it's the best I can come up with. If you have some input it would be greatly appreciated
Are you equating morality with motivation? I was slightly confused, and may have just interpreted what you said in the wrong context. But if so, could every moral be structured as a pro and con, or are morals absolute values. If morals are interchangeable with motivations, then morals have a set of both incentives and disincentives. You could rationalize violating a moral if the right incentive was there (assuming we are equating morals to motivations).
I'm also interested as to how nihilism can be viewed as a moral theory. How can "something" be "nothing". Isn't the absence of morality part of nihilism?