Atheists push back against religion for many reasons. Whether it be religious encroachment into politics, school curriculum, or simply at our doorstep, there are many reasons why atheists feel obligated and passionate about voicing our opinions.
But there is one negative potential that religion has, that I feel I don’t read about enough. That is that religion is the medium through which evil men can do evil things, but for “religious reasons.”
As long as religion is around there will be those who can use it to make others do things they would not do otherwise. Normal thinking people may not think it right to attack a neighboring country—murdering hundreds if not thousands in the process—for no reason. But tell these people that God ordained that you have this land, and the game has changed.
“What about science?” you may ask. It has of course been a tool by which man has done horrible deeds. My point however, is that it takes religion to make an otherwise normal thinking human being, commit acts of a seemingly insane nature.
Divine command theory says that an actions moral status is dependent on whether God commanded it or not. So if a largely religious country believes that God has the ability to speak through people, how does this leave the citizens in an intelligible position to distinguish nonsense from God’s will? It simply doesn’t.
So when I’m asked why I won’t let religion just be. I ask, why would you?