I am an atheist that doesn’t live as recklessly as you describe. Although I don’t fear the consequences, life isn’t always about myself..
To clarify, I’m not suggesting that atheists live recklessly by default. Not at all. This is left to an individual’s choice as always. Same with theists. However, what I am trying to point out, and obviously failing dismally in the process, is that in the absence of a higher authority, or accountability beyond this life, what motivation is there to drive a person to be ‘good’? Who then defines what good is? On whose authority do we subjugate others in the process of establishing order in society? Who decides what’s a right and what’s a privilege? More importantly, if the purpose of this life is to only live as best as you can while you’re here, and then perish forever without anything resulting from it on an individual level, then why bother going through the pain and anguish of a lifetime of struggles? And if it is to benefit others, does that then mean that we are born martyrs and are fighting our nature or true purpose the moment we engage in any selfish endeavour?