Religion does not always correlate with ethics. Get over it.

there are good christians and bad christians. good muslims and evil muslims. there are ethical people who live without religion. and evil people who live without religion. religion does not always correlate with ethics. get over it.

  • Scote

    Uh, Bill Gates is the exemplar for an ethical atheist?????

    • Ty

      Half a billion dollars spent immunizing 3rd world countries against preventable disease is the work of an evil man?

      • Elemenope

        The cynics would argue that it is out of a self-regarding attrition that he does these things.

        I am not one of them.

      • Jabster

        For all of the shite chucked at his products (much of it unfounded) he really has done a good job with his charity work.

      • Reginald Selkirk

        “Half a billion dollars spent …”

        Money made from running Microsoft, which is a convicted monopoly.

        • Custador

          Tens of billions donated to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, convincing other super-rich people to donate literally hundreds of billions more, being the source of both drive and funding to aggressively treat, medicate and educate AIDS sufferers in Africa. I could care less where that money’s come from, in all honesty. You can’t argue that he isn’t doing a massive amount of good with it.

          • JohnMWhite

            Actually you can argue that, but if you don’t care where the money’s coming from, you aren’t really familiar with the concept of ethics. Microsoft made their money cribbing from other products, violating patents, creating their own anti-competitive patents and swallowing or destroying any competitor that stood in their way. They have been fined hundreds of millions of Euros for egregious violations of monopoly laws. Gates is not the antichrist but he’s an ordinary businessman (he invested heavily in the firms producing the vaccines he’s trying to convince countries and billionaires to buy), and far from the poster-child of secular ethics.

    • FO

      I hate MS and everything it stands for, but I will concede that Uncle Bill put some real effort.
      Now, he probably was not incredibly effective, but we can respect the genuine effort.

  • Nox

    This chart seems to be suggesting a negative correlation between mustaches and ethics.

    • Noelle

      And a positive one between glasses and good.

    • Elemenope

      And a worrying one for hats, as well.

    • Kodie

      See which side the Americans are.

      • Noelle

        well, duh :)

      • David

        To be fair, we are a more religiously diverse population than most. But, more importantly, the intended -audience- here is predominantly American and so they needed to choose figures who would be sufficiently iconic to us.

        The majority of the world’s Muslims are both by and large good and peaceful people…but also people you’ve never heard of.

  • John C

    Hmm…trying to figure out which of these cohorts I fit in with best. I think I’ll just ‘abstain’, thank you very much, ha.

    NO LABELS! (John 9:29) ha

    Let there be…Light! [shed on (y)our true identities/Origin]

    • Mahousniper

      Why did you put the word “abstain” in quotes there? I don’t understand you’re grammatical choices. Why can’t you type like a normal person?

      • Priscilla Herrington

        “You’re”??? This sentence makes no sense at all, grammatically: “I do not understand you are grammatical choices.” Perhaps you meant to use the possessive, your?

        • Kodie

          Rip his head off for a typo. Just RIIIIIIIIIP it off.

        • Len

          I don’t understand you’re grammatical choices.

          This sentence makes no sense at all, grammatically…

          Perhaps that was the idea.

        • Mahousniper

          Ahahaaaaaaa, I was sleepy. :)

        • Custador

          Oh look, a punctuation Nazi on the internet. There’s an original, novel, entertaining and endearing feature.

          • Michael

            To be fair, he did make the error in the very sentence criticizing John’s grammar choices. It was at least a little ironic.

            • Custador

              Ah – I missed that part!

            • Kodie

              How about take 2: how does putting quotes around the word “abstain” differ from saying “abstain” without quotes?
              I think I’ll just ‘abstain’.
              I think I’ll just abstain.

              Why does he do this all the time? Does he not abstain from putting himself in a category, or or or WHAT? It’s annoying. The you’re/your mistake is obviously a typo; people who don’t know the difference use “your” in every case, and even people who know the difference might make a typo. Putting quotes around words in the middle of a sentence: there’s a correct and incorrect usage, like you are not sure “which” words to quote, “you” are just being an ignorant ass; it’s not a “writing style,” and does “merit” “criticism,” when the meaning isn’t clear and we’re in a discussion, where the “user” insists on being “an” ass, and can’t seem to “construct” a “comment” where words mean what we all think they mean and don’t need to be set inside quote marks.

      • John C

        I don’t know, Mahou, perhaps because I’m not, normal that is, ha. All the best, sir!

        • Mahousniper


      • John C

        Actually, Mahou, upon further review, yesterday I only used singular ‘quote’ marks, not double “quote(s)” like you used today. Of course this is a grievous and unforgivable error on my part and for which there is no possible repentance. My grammar is certainly doomed beyond all hope.

        In some parts of the world (mostly third world, Latin-flavored nations, as I understand it) they are permitted (on Mondays only) an exception to this hard and fast grammar rule which they call the ‘Monday One Mark’ rule but its Tuesday now, Two’sday, so two marks are definitely required today (see Mark 1:2 for scriptural support here). Fortunately, this only applies to those living on federally subsidized, native American Indian reservations so I think, just maybe, we’re safe….

        And that made about as much sense as you fussing at me for typing the word ‘abstain’ in quotation marks, ha. Or was that ‘quotation mark’? (one mark, not two, oh darn…its still Tuesday, right? :).

        Mercy, Mahou, I beg your forgiveness, please, sir? :……….)

        • UrsaMinor

          I can’t speak for Mahou, but I’ll forgive you if you promise to stop using scare quotes in cases where you are, in fact, wanting the quoted word to be read in its normal literal or conventional sense.

        • Kodie

          What the hell is a latin-flavored country?

        • Len

          Ha – John C has a sense of humour. It’s at least as weird as his sense of serious, but it’s a start.

          Keep smiling John :-)

  • FO

    I’d remove that “always” in the last sentence outright.

    • David Evans

      It would be surprising if there were no correlation.

      Positive or negative, that’s another question.

  • vasaroti

    Good plus black = murdered?
    Anyhoo, I think this makes a valid point, even though we could spend hours debating the “goodness” of the people depicted, and the differences between good and ethical.

  • Leah

    Wow, typical human beings. I don’t care if the facts are totally right or not, look past that and look at the real message in this. The last line sums it up. Gosh, grow up people.

    • Sunny Day

      Intelligibility must be another one of those things you don’t care about.

      • Leah

        I do care, but instead of pessimistic atheists stepping back and thinking for a minute “Oh, wait, maybe it’s wrong of us to keep blaming religion for issues today” it’s going to be “wah wah wah this this that and that are wrong ” People against religion will never give it a chance and instead just be ridiculously stubborn.

        • Len

          Good point Leah, because it’s not like religion has had, say, 2,000 years to already make its followers good people or anything – so they wouldn’t be evil, racist, homophobic, or display any other vice or evil behaviour. Oh, wait, …
          [/sarcasm] – in case someone doesn’t get it.

        • Kodie

          Give what a chance? Religions have a lot of followers, not one of whom has provided proof. And belief doesn’t make a good person, so why believe? Belief in one unproven thing with no valid basis in reality can actually mislead someone and delude them into believing they are good merely for having the belief, for doing what they’ve been led to believe is a good thing. Who led you to believe it? And why do you? You can be a good person without belief in a deity, and you won’t be using something you can’t prove to guide you or as some sort of shitty excuse to do whatever you wanted to do anyway. If I don’t something shitty, I don’t say the devil made me do it. When Christians treat people like shit, it’s because they serve their invisible friend rather than their fellow human. What kind of god has you misplace your priorities not to serve your fellow human?

          Yeah, there’s no hell – another example of something you can’t prove in order to threaten people who aren’t hurting anyone, they’re not hurting you, they’re not hurting your marriage or your children, but you think they’re going to hell and it’s your job to save them. Point to hell on a map, ok? You’ve been led to think wrong things, and why should anyone give respect for it?

          • John C

            Kodie, Excellent point! You hit the proverbial nail on the head with this one ‘When Christians treat people like shit, it’s because they serve their invisible friend rather than their fellow human. What kind of god has you misplace your priorities not to serve your fellow human?’

            Jesus (JesUS, He’sUS) speaking of acts of mercy and compassion to those in need, said it like this, ‘I tell you the truth, in as much as you do it to the least of these, you’ve (really) done it unto Me’. (Matt 25:40).

            • Kodie

              He’s your invisible friend, I don’t care what he says.

        • Sunny Day

          You’ve already claimed that you don’t care about facts so we’re probably all wasting our time with you.

          The article was about how you shouldn’t draw conclusions about people’s morality from the religion they follow. Yet your words imply we’re blaming the problems of the world upon religion, which wasn’t part of the article at all.

          Thanks for proving the article correct by your own words.

          I can only conclude that you were replying to another post and were pulling the “fundie doesn’t know how the reply button works”. Or you are just dumb and don’t know what you are talking about and wanted to come over and razz the atheists before you go off to Sunday school and tell everyone there about how smart you are for being so gullible.

  • A

    I absolutely love this and the principle behind is definitely 100% true. In the interest of historical accuracy, though, I’d like to point out that Hitler wasn’t Christian. There are lots of records to back this up- in public Hitler made statements saying that the Nazis’ ideology fit with Christianity (to win over the mostly-Christian population of Germany at the time), but privately he understand that the two just didn’t fit together- he made disparaging comments about Christianity because he thought it was too “weak”. (On top of that, then there’s the little matter that Jesus was Jewish. Hitler would not have revered him. It just doesn’t add up.) He wasn’t a religious man- he’d fit better in the category with Stalin of evil people who lived without religion.
    There definitely have been (and still are, sadly) evil, evil people who consider themselves part of the Christian religion, but I don’t think Hitler is really a good choice of example. Maybe go with the KKK, or the people who fought the Crusades, or the Spanish Inquisition, or the Salem Witch Trials…