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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Atheists Are Not Evil Because We Are 'Godless'

‎One of the questions that christians and muslims, especially, always ask atheists is the origin of their morality. Most modern day religions have a book or some scripture they claim was divinely inspired and therefore serves as a basis for their morality.
What they do not know that they are implying is that without their scriptures, they are mindless zombies capable of only evil, which is what the scriptures make them believe in the first place. For christians, Jesus had to die to atone for the sin of Adam and Eve which was inherited by every living person, and the only way to make oneself right with God is to accept this human sacrifice.
The ancient Greeks who worshipped Zeus and his fellow deities had no written rules or scripture (as far as I know) so where did they get their morality from? Fear (a very poor reason to be moral) was the major reason they stayed in line most of the time, and that same fear is what is apparently keeping christians and muslims‎ in line today; specifically, the fear of eternal damnation or an eternity in hell. This is the reason christians and muslims, who make up more than half of the world's population, cannot imagine how the hell (pun intended) atheists can claim they have a basis for morality. Most of the other religions believe in the supernatural and also believe that our actions here have consequences in an afterlife. So the reasons religious people claim to be moral is the fear of the repercussions of their actions, not here, but in an eternal afterlife, and the assumption that some deity purportedly put it in writing in some manuscript. Well, we live in organized society, and we have laws to ensure that we all behave fairly to one another. We have evolved from biblical times when the 'punishment' for raping a virgin was to marry her, and, according to the koran, a woman's testimony is only half as good as a man's. Muslims want us all to live under sharia law in the 21st century, laws from a book purportedly revealed to the illiterate, homicidal, and bellicose paedophile, prophet Mohammed, and which is definitely incompatible with our way of life today.
There are good people, and there are evil people. Religious beliefs, I must admit, helps to keep people in check, but religion can only do so much. Maniacal dictators such as Pol Pot, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong, who were athesits, have been accused of murdering millions of their fellow citizens due to the fact that they do not believe in an afterlife or some consequence for their extreme and abhorent actions. The truth is that there have also been religious mass murderers, and a distinguishing feature of those who maim or kill for religious reasons is that they proudly admit to the role of their religious beliefs in their crimes. Examples include those who bomb or shoot up abortion clinics, and of course, muslim terrorists.
Good people will always be good, irrespective of their beliefs, and evil people will always be, well, evil. There are evil atheists, just as there are evil people who hold religious beliefs. The dictators I mentioned previously definitely did not brutally murder tens of millions because of their atheism. They were simply evil atheists and did what they did because it was in their nature, and to hold on to power; their atheism had nothing to do with their murderous tendencies, at least they never said their atheism made them kill millions. Likewise, there are religious people who commit the vilest atrocities simply because that is what they have a tendency to do. But when it comes to committing crimes, specifically murders in the name of religion (via shootings and bombings, methods which ensure the maximum amount of casualties; while not forgetting flying planes into buildings which would definitely maximize fatalities) then we really cannot know good people from evil people because they simply become religious people who kill in the name of their god and their religion.
We have to accept that justice does not materialize out of thin air, and that people literally get away with odious crimes everyday. There is no divine justice, or karma waiting for a criminal who cannot be made to face justice here on earth, while that person is alive. The fact that billions believe in a divine retribution does not make it true. I am not trying to say that there have never been an atheist or atheists who committed serious crimes simply because they hold the strong belief that there is no god, although I am yet to see such a case; but people commit the most heinous crimes against fellow human beings in the name of their religion, defend that crime and see nothing wrong in it. That is where the problem lies.