Well - what stops you from going out and just killing everybody?
What an interesting and yet risible question. I have even heard of this question being asked seriously by a christian who honestly claimed that, in the absence of God, they would go out on a campaign of rape and murder. I find this rather disturbing. I hope they never find out the truth about gods.
Strangely, I have never met another atheist who really understands where this question 'comes from'. Nor have I ever met one who intends to indulge in such crimes. Obviously there are bound to be psychopaths of all persuasions so it is not completely impossible that there might be such a person among the people I know, but there are laws and associated penalties for these crimes.
What a vile slur to suggest that a lack of a belief in god has any connection whatsoever with a notion of right and wrong. Somehow religious people like to claim that their own version of right and wrong was defined by god - indeed specifically by their own God rather than any other god. This claim was 'revealed' to an uneducated peasant at some time in the past and then believed by their followers. They neglect the fact that the Old Testament and Qu'ran specifically advocate stoning people for sundry misdemeanours, and in the case of christians they choose to ignore Jesus's reported words that not one jot or tittle of the law is to be changed by him. (See Do Old Testament laws still count? which refers to Matthew 5:17.)
In actual fact though, it seems perfectly clear that there are objective rights and wrongs for any society, and it seems most obvious that these have developed through the forces of evolution and subsequently been adopted by religions. Similar rights and wrongs have developed in other species. Generally speaking it would be bad for any advanced society in any species if everyone's only aim in life was to kill everyone else. Similarly, stealing each others' possessions is not likely to be good for community cohesion - although it has to be said that some form of selfishness is probably present in every society. A compromise between greed and altruism has to be reached and obviously this is not in a short-term equilibrium. The greedy get away with being that way until the other people notice, and then in a spirit of fairness the majority will eventually rebel and take action against them.
You will often hear arguments that terrible crimes have been committed 'in the name of atheism'. Strangely, when you investigate these you find that most are not 'in the name of' anything, particularly not atheism, even if they were implemented by atheistic regimes.
|God with us - proof that Hitler was christian.|
On the other hand, Hitler's Holocaust was carried out more-or-less in the name of Roman Catholicism ('Gott mit uns'), and indeed with the full approval of the Vatican.
|In the name of Catholicism!|
(Picture from here where there are many others)
When religions were strong their actions were terrible. Just because we are lucky enough to live in times when religions are not so strong we have no right to feel that religions are harmless.
More importantly, religions seem to show a complete ineptitude when they try to distinguish right from wrong and good from evil!
Last week: These so-called atheists are just rebelling against god.
Next week: You can't prove that there's no god