I'm an atheist myself, but I don't bash religious people (much) or try to persuade them to give up their faith. Morality is an essential value for every living person, and religion can provide it. There are drawbacks to the use of faith, rather than reason, in the establishment of moral standards, but they are small potatoes compared to what happens to most people who simply abandon religion, and have nothing to replace it with.
Quoting my own review of my favorite book on Amazon:
"Little children learn morality from their parents: things are good or bad because Mommy and Daddy SAID so. A little later, they may be taught that things are good or bad because God SAID so, in some Holy Book. And still later, when they are taught "civics" in government schools, they will be taught that things are good or bad because "It's the law." (And it's GOOD to obey the law, BAD to break it.") But "the law" is just whatever politicians SAY it is.
A person becomes an adult when he outgrows the need to be given moral commandments from people he thinks of as "authorities," and learns to judge for himself what is right or wrong. (full review found here)
All the young people who reject the idea of God like they reject the idea of Santa Claus -- do you think they are intellectually ready to formulate sensible individual moral systems to supersede their religion? Nah, they just look around for a new Authority to take the place of God. And since at that time of their lives they're being bossed around by schoolteachers, the new Authority they choose is usually the State. Government, they think, is very real. And unlike prayers to God, Government can really give you stuff! So they become socialists. Statists, really.
Their new superstition is the belief that some men have a moral right to rule others -- and THAT, my friends, IS the most dangerous superstition.
Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...
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