First let me say that I am not an atheist. I’m not a believer, either…in much of anything that I can’t see, hear, feel, or taste. That said, I believe the mere act of BEING atheist takes too much time and energy.
Secondly, there’s a common misconception that morality = religiosity. Untrue. One can have morals simply because one is raised right and knows right from wrong. Right from wrong is NOT god/devil or angel v. demon or anything. “Does my action help or hurt someone?” Simple as that. One does not have to be religious to know and do the right thing simply because it’s the right thing to do.
Third, I agree 100% that religion has caused more deaths, torture, and wars than any other concept in history. How that can be spun to be good for anybody is beyond me. The Spanish Inquisition, the Conquistadors, the Arab wars-since-time-began, the stories in the Bible, the list goes on and on.
Finally, many people find strength, comfort, and solace in religion. Anything that helps someone deal with life, feel connected to someone or something greater than oneself, or just feel centered is a very good thing. Everyone needs that or they quite simply go insane. Whether one gets that strength from religion, animal companions, personal relationships, writing, acting, painting, or anything else is the question. And nobody has the right to say what one believes in or does to find strength or comfort is wrong simply because it differs from another. Atheists included.
Getting off my soapbox now…