Given the increasingly strong “no free will” evidence and peer-reviewed research, so-called atheists-skeptics-humanists need to evolve past the presumption of the face-validity or religious statements and claims for causes of behavior. Demonizing religion and people who say (albeit silly) religious-imaginary-magical things is dum and unscientific.
So, individuals who are murdering and killing themselves and others and claiming they do it for religious reasons – cannot be describing the actual medical-physiological-biological basis for their behaviors. They are lying. Duh..
Frankly, no individual can describe or even comprehend the causes of their own, or other’s behaviors. That is a highly technical, medical and physiological problem that hasn’t been solved for simple animals let alone mammals/primates/humans.
Still, the atheist and skeptical community accepts and understands better than any other the impossibility of free will and subjective and conscious control of behaviors. Yet, the atheist luminaries continue to demonize what are just mentally ill human beings who are killing themselves and others…likely for reasons that have nothing to do with the folklore myths and supernatural “beliefs” promoted as such.
Is someone with diagnosed delusions asked to explain their behaviors? Why would “religious” delusions be treated differently!? Sure magical, supernatural claims correlate with the destructive behaviors but correlation is not causality. Duh, again…
While the demonizing of religious statements and language is a great sales tactic for triggering fear – fear being the only real motivator — and for getting attention, it screws up problem-analysis and problem-solving. Like all lies – it wastes time. But it “sells newspapers.” Fear-mongering ALWAYS is the best strategy for selling stuff.
What we can say is that individuals killing themselves and others have a brain disorder, by definition. We can also look into the biological causes of violence in specific environments. “Kill, or be killed” is a biological imperative across species. the individual’s doing the killing are not in-human nor monsters. They are men and women with identical physiologies to all the rest of us and we can assume biological priorities. Now, that doesn’t sell newspapers and spike eyeballs, but it fits the facts.
So, will atheists and skeptics stop blaming religious statements for harmful behaviors? Probably not. The human, and we can assume other animal’s, brain(s) default to magical thinking. The core superstition of all magical beliefs is “Mind over matter.” – or really just social exchanges determine behavior, brain processes and biology – they probably don’t, much.