There seems to be some who have the attitude that religious people are BAD people. If a religious person does anything good in their life it is seen by some that they are only doing it for their eternal life not for the sake of doing something good. As if the only thing they live for is their eternal so-called reward in heaven. 

Is it black and white?

Are they bad people just because they believe in God? There are many good people who are believers. Many. They may not have fully thought through WHY they believe in God or the evidence that supports that there IS no evidence for a God or they would be Atheists. But just because they haven't walked the same journey you have in life, or were born in to a religious family, does this make them a bad person?

Some of you seem to think that just because a person believes in a God, this somehow makes them bad. If you truly believe this I have a questions for you:

Who are YOU to judge another person like that? Are you not then just as judgmental and closed minded as the very people who you say are bad people? Does this make YOU a bad person?

Think about it.

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You are totally right, and I don't think any atheist would think in black and white terms. You cannot judge a person by one characteristic only, but this is one think that is true: "A religous person can do bad things BECAUSE of religion, whereas an atheist cannot do bad things BECAUSE of atheism".

"A religous person can do bad things BECAUSE of religion...

100% agree with you without a doubt...

An atheist cannot do bad things BECAUSE of atheism".

define "bad." Is demeaning a person verbally considered bad?

I'm putting this out there to make people think and challenge people and hopefully learn something in the process. 

Demeaning a person verbally is definitely bad.  Anything you do that has the impact of making people do or feel better is good, although not if it harms others.  Look at the Golden Rule - Do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you.

Demeaning a person verbally is definitely bad.

Agreed Strega. My point is that I've seen many people, theists in particular (myself included when I first joined) be treated in a demeaning manner on TA. This is bad. This saddens me. I'm hoping to draw some attention to that and also to the fact that we cannot forget that religious people are people too, and in order to help them we MUST treat them as such.

There is a fine line between demeaning the person and demeaning their philosophies.  Also, many members here have had bad experiences with religion - some are still angry about that.  When theists come here, they can't be expecting cuddles - but we try to be reasonable.

True! Very true.
Yes, it is bad, but you don't demeaning a person because of your atheism. There is no doctrine that tells you to ridicule the religous people, but there are doctrines that mandates you to KILL the unbelievers.

Can you do bad things while being an atheist? Yes, but there is a big difference between: I did this bad thing and it happens that I am an atheist (Zedong/Hitler) than I did this bad thing because I am a religous (9-11/Crusades).

Also, we have to take into account that there is no way that religous people are the victims here. You are not going to be killed for believing, but you can be killed for not believing. Look that I didn't say theist, I said religous. Believing in god is not wrong, imposing your views (Muslim countries, Republicans not separating state and church), have privilages (churches not paying taxes, house of lords in UK), and denigrating a minority (Gay, atheists, racial minorities) that is wrong.

Strega says that some of us are still angry with religion. I say that is immoral not to be angry at it. Don't you read the news? Every single day there is a story about the godly doing something terrible wrong. Kids being raped, girls being cut the genitals, soldiers being beheaded by muslim extremist, a Republican saying that evolution is false, global warming is a hoax and this person is appointed to the Science Committee. I don't know if you want a better future for humanity, but religion creates evil that otherwise wouldn't be done.

Finally, I want to say again that the problem is with actions, not ideologies. I have only one atheist friend, my great tennis coach is Christian, my whole family is religous, and I don't have a problem with them. People who follow the Bible, Quaran, etc. can do good things BECAUSE religion, but I don't think it is worth discussing because everyone know is true and it is good that it is happening. The reason I discuss the evil side of religion is because I am sure that it has to change and without discussion it will never change.
There are good and bad religious people, just as there are good and bad atheists.

There are also the regular theists that seem to claim “goodness” as something only believers are capable of. They have no concept of how offensive that is to non-believers.

Many only do good deeds because they are commanded to or to please their god. They can never be as altruistic as people who do “good” to help others for no reward. Non-believers have no expectation of a reward. They are not collecting “brownie points”.

 There are plenty of Christians and Muslims that do noble work around the world who also do not expect to be rewarded. They are “good” people but would be so if they had no faith.

I have never thought that people are “bad” just because they are religious. The demands of church elders, irrespective of their creed, have often made “good” people do terrible things in the name of their god. They will kill in the name of their god because they are delusion allows them to believe they are doing so in his blessing.

What is wrong with being judgemental of people’s actions? Does it make me close-minded to judge the pope by his actions on covering up child abuse? I will skip the long list of other examples…..

Xians teach not to be the first to judge yet they never stop judging me. I have lost count of the number of times I have been damned to their hell by them for not believing what they believe. I will point out the “badness” of their actions any chance I get, as my judgements and standards are much higher than theirs.

Religion can make good people “bad”.

 There are plenty of Christians and Muslims that do noble work around the world who also do not expect to be rewarded. They are “good” people but would be so if they had no faith.

EXACTLY...Do you think that they would become Atheists if given the opportunity to see the world differently from an atheist perspective? This WOULD make them better people. Do you think that they see the altruistic selfless goodness and true pure intentions of atheism through the teachings of some of it's leaders? Or do you think they feel mocked and scorned which in effect can push them away at first sight...

The result of ridicule with contempt...gets you nowhere.

Does it inspire someone to be ridiculed with contempt?

It doesn't inspire them to believe you even if you are speaking truth to them. Even if your words make sense and are based on FACTS of reality...the best way to look at the world, the ridicule and contempt in a person's voice can push away someone who might otherwise listen.

I watched the video you linked to. I know everyone (including myself) can do/say something stupid but it always amazes me when someone says something like what  Ravi Zacharias said in response (to Richard Dawkins). He dares Mr. Dawkins go to Saudi Arabia or Iran and say we should ridicule religion implying that Mr. Dawkins would be met with violence and that he would enjoy that result. Mr. Zacharias doesn't see how he is portraying Muslims as violence prone and himself as petty and vindictive.


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