I have known hypocrites among the self-proclaimed of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim varieties, and even some very unethical folks who told me they were atheist. I have also met some very ethical and kind hearted Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and loads of Buddhist folks. And most of the people I've met who call themselves atheist are very careful about their moral and ethical codes.<quoted text> Agreed and well said.
I would actually be more inclined to respect an Atheist for his/her moral code than I would someone of a religious faith, based on the serious prospect of where that person's sense of morality is stemming from: a sense of genuine desire to do right vs. a fear of spiritual consequences.
For the record, I'm not stating that the moral code of all religious peoples applies here; merely making a general observation. I have known more hypocrites among self-proclaimed "Christians" than any other group, however.
My point is that while I agree with you in that I too respect the genuine desire to do right as opposed to the fear of consequences in the "afterlife," individuals of all stripes will behave ... individually.