A man decapitates his son to save his soul from the devil.
Sometimes, people will ask me 'why are you so concerned with religion? They are just nice people trying to do good'. My answer is that religions are so often linked to atrocities, like the above. It is entirely possible for a person to justify pretty much any horrible act through the bible (and I guess that holds true for other religious texts too)
Do I think that the texts were written with this in mind? Of course not. At the time when they were written, and to reasonable people today, the sections describing immoral behaviour are seen as allegory, hypothetical and exaggerations, but having people base their lives on this kind of stuff, then teaching them to take it literally, as the more fundamentalist branches of religion do, is bound to lead to this kind of behaviour.
On the other hand, I accept that atheists have been known to do bad things too, but I cannot think of a case where a person's lack of conviction of religion has led them to harm others. When an atheist does something terrible, it is (as far as I know) never justified through their lack of beliefs. When a religious person does something terrible, it is often justified through their religion.
In either case, I think that the person who did the act was probably suffering from some condition external to their religion/irreligion, but the religious person who justifies their actions is able to hide under their beliefs and is less likely to take responsibility for their actions. In the video above, the father feels like he has done the right thing. He is not taking responsibility for the fact that he killed his son in cold blood for a nonsense reason. Is this man going to lament and repent for what he has done? Much less, as he feels that he has done the right thing!
What's the harm?
THAT's the harm!
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