While those concerned with the negatives of atheism often concentrate on moral “ideals” that they perceive atheists could not have, they seem to forget that their own ideals give less validation to this life we have now, allowing finite time to be taken up by demonstrably petty mythical tales.
In recent times we have seen an upsurge in honour killings in the large up-and-coming powerhouse of the world, India, and from it, a greater acceptance of honour killings from the communities within these regions. While this is not an issue confined to the South Asian continent, it is an issue strongly linked to religion (and, in India, specifically, the caste system), with the ideology of these murders spreading through several doctrines of faith.
Now, with more emigration around the world (which is not a bad thing in itself), some of these strange ideologies have spread into western societies, hiding in plain sight as we wear our politically correct tinted glasses and ignore that an essential issue behind these numerous human rights abuses is religion. Proving a ‘higher’ set of morality provides justification in some people’s minds for what is simply a crime. While when the judicial system is involved the right outcome can be achieved many people are sympathetic to the notion of allowing immigrants to keep their ‘culture’. A lot of people feel like it is too much of a messy issue to deal with.
People fail to see that the estimated 20,000 women who are killed in honour based violence each year are killed because religion allows it, and often encourages it. Their lives are worth nothing compared to the perceived family or tribe ‘honour’. Why that honour needs to lie on a woman’s hymen (or in some cases, a man’s denial of his love for another man), is an idea that is rooted deeply in the constantly perpetuated cultist ideologies that stretch throughout every religion. Every religion has honour killing cases. You know who doesn’t have institutionalised killing in the name of arbitrary honour or rituals? Humanistic atheists.
You may be a very moderate Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jew or one of the many other religions out there, you may condemn honour killings, but in being a part of that religion, you allow yourself to be associated with the horrid killings of innocent men and women. In all honesty, atheism gives us a better standard of living and a moralistic principle of ensuring that those who are here now, in the one life we have, have the best possible circumstances to live in, without fear of death for loving those whom they feel right.
Atheism does not demand your obedience, or your love. It demands a finite outlook on life.