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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
Leaders? Do Atheists have leaders? I demand an audience at once!!
Atheism has no pure intentions or teachings. Some Atheists are bad people but the majority of us are terrific human beings!!
I believe the world would be a better place without religion but people can only become better people if they make the effort. I never (ok seldom) judge people or mock them as individuals because of what they believe. They do however hold me and my views in contempt. Why would they feel mocked and scorned because I think differently or criticize their poor behaviour?
I do not ridicule theists with contempt. Criticizing their actions or the beliefs is different though I will say that many of them see this as ad hominem. That is because they cannot distinguish their “self” from what they believe.
Untaught... not taught.
Once you accept something as fact that you have been taught is fact from a very early age - it is much harder to unlearn that - it shakes your self perception quite badly. The effort to then unlearn that, and learn something different is compounded. If you start without that kind of child indoctrination, then you do not have to unlearn anything.
I was an Atheist long before the “Four Horsemen” rode into town. Atheism is only cited as “another religion” by people who do not understand what the term means. There is NO belief system. To use another clique – Atheism is a religion just like not collecting stamps is a hobby. Theists have a book full of cliques. My ideas are formed from many sources and the ability to use critical reason and to think freely about what I have learnt from my inquiries.
“and yet ridicule with contempt those who might BE our audience”? Did I? Could I have an example of something "good" a Theist can do that an Atheist cannot?