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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I was a Chrstian, raised by two hard believing christians, with contempt towards science, gays and catholics. Everybody was wrong, except us. My first window to atheism was the documentary "Religoulous" by Bill Maher, what he does in that documentary is to mock EVERY religion, give some arguments, and call for doubt. Many people was offended by this documentary; I began doubting, which eventually led me to atheism. My point here is that if you ridicule a person you won't change his/her mind, but those around you who listen may. Satire is a powerful, NON-VIOLENT weapon.

All "Bad people" are human, but all humans are not bad people.

Do you think every person who holds religious beliefs is a bad person then Holo Gram? Is your answer truly "Yes?" Is it black and white for you? Or do you see the bigger picture?
We don't even know what a "bad person" consists of. Is a "bad person" one who does bad things? We all have done bad things. And even if that happens, do we have "free will" or are we prisoners of the circumstances?

I think Milgram's experiments proved how a normal, "good person" could kill another human being. Do we have to jump into the conclusion that everybody is "evil"? No.

My point in different threads is that people are not black and white, but when you account certain ideology as true, your actions will reflect that. And when that ideology is false, intrinsically divisive (because is false it gives people a poor basis for agreement), and it gives people bad reasons to be good when good reasons are available, then it is likely that following a certain religion will make you cause harm unto others.

I'll rush my post because I'm short on time.

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?

People usually think they can avoid judgement like this. Usually comes in the form of "Judge not, lest ye be judged.” But it's nonsense because it implies we are all on equal moral grounds, and all judgement is equal. It's not the same to judge Muslims as barbaric assholes for enslaving women, and them judging gays for being... gay. There's a huge difference. You're not a bad person for judging that which is bad. We don't need less judgng, we need more. But we need to judge the right people, for the right reasons.

Let me quote you Rand from one of her books.

“The precept: “Judge not, that ye be not judged” . . . is an abdication of moral responsibility: it is a moral blank check one gives to others in exchange for a moral blank check one expects for oneself.

There is no escape from the fact that men have to make choices; so long as men have to make choices, there is no escape from moral values; so long as moral values are at stake, no moral neutrality is possible. To abstain from condemning a torturer, is to become an accessory to the torture and murder of his victims.

The moral principle to adopt in this issue, is: “Judge, and be prepared to be judged.”

 

Judging part behind us. Remember that religion is always used as an excuse for the evil that people commit. Just take wars. In every war in every era religion has either been the main reason, or the means to an end. As Carlin said:

"Military cemeteries around the world are packed with brainwashed, dead soldiers who were convinced God was on their side. America prays for God to destroy our enemies; our enemies pray for God to destroy us... Somebody's going to be disappointed. Somebody's wasting their fucking time. Could it be... everyone?"

Hatred, bigotry, war, torture. All justified by "Our magic voodoo god told us to do it, we have the right!"

You might think we can't hold the normal, moderate theists accountable, but yes we can. Because they're the ones who give the extremists in their particular religion credibility. Whenever you point this out however you'll get the no true scotsman fallacy. "Oooh no they're not true muslims! True muslims don't kill!" But that's bs. When they do good, they do it not out of a desire to do good for the sake of itself, but hoping for a reward, like a sniveling dog hoping for a treat and a pat.

Religion leads so many people to commit so many bad things in total that you can fairly make the generalization that religious people are bad.

As usual I learned something from you kOrsan, I would love to hear your full response if that is a shortened version, LOL!!

Just one question though. Can you generalize anything and feel confident that you are right? If you generalize that religious people are bad how do you categorize those people who would become atheists if they knew better (or were un-taught as Strega put it). Can you really lump everyone in the same bucket? What does that start to sound like?

Are religious people bad just for being religious? Of course not. There are plenty of good, decent people who believe in a deity of some sort. 

However, there also a lot of 'bad' things that are only made possible by the kind of thinking that comes from religious belief (or dogmatic belief in general, religious belief being a subset of that). Uncritical, irrational beliefs that are based on things other than evidence and rational consideration might be harmless. And they might also be monstrous. And since they are not subject to critical examination or questioning (it's God's Will!), people will carry out atrocities in the name of religion that would never pass muster otherwise.

And of course judging someone's actions is appropriate. If I discover that my neighbor is beating his wife, I am damn well going to judge his actions and call the police. The whole "We should never judge people because that makes us closed minded!" argument is simplistic and, taken at face value, is a call for a society with no standards of behavior whatsoever.  The problem is not judging, the problem is determining the standards which are being applied. For myself, whether or not someone is being unwillingly harmed and whether or not an action positively or adversely affects a person's well being are where I begin when judging behaviors, actions and beliefs.

Yes Dave judging actions IS appropriate. I agree with that. That's where it's at. But judging a person to say they are "a bad person" because they are religious - this is what I am trying to expose as not OK. It is counterproductive, harmful, and useless energy wasted. It makes an assumption based on zero evidence, but based on a bias. How is that moral?

Then we agree that the problem is not with the act of judging itself, but with the standards being used. Simply being religious is not enough to qualify someone as 'bad'. They may be a bad person because of the religious beliefs that they hold and promote, but that needs to be evaluated on the basis of what those beliefs and actions are, not simply the fact that those beliefs are religious.

Then it definately seems we agree Dave. Thank you! Well said.

Of course, there are good religious people if by "good" you mean people who intend well and refrain from some of the worst behavior of the worst religious people. My father was a wonderful man. Tolerant, helpful, a loving father, and a man who attended church every Sunday and deeply believed in God. A cafeteria Christian of sorts, he believed that people like me would be given one last chance to see the light once we died and God revealed himself to us. 

Having just come out of a fundamental Christian sect. I'd have to say yes they are bad people. They make it their "god given" mission to lie to people and make them feel like unworthy human beings in order to "save" them with a lie. It's brainwashing, and if you look at some of the apologetic propaganda they only seem to zero in on weaker people. That's why there are so many prison ministries and 3rd world ministries. "Oh you killed some people no problem Jesus will give you a pass." Or "I know your starving and in need of medications but let me shove Jesus down your throat before we give you food and medicine." Are they in a position to argue. It's a rape of morality and ethics. Now I'm only speaking about Chrisitians I've met very lovely pagans, but they don't seem to damn anyone to an imaginary lake of fire (magma?).

Some Christians may seem nice but they all have that at the core it's one of the founding principles. Sorry my wounds are still a bit raw.

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