I’m sorry this post is kind of all over the place. I just had to finally get this all down so I can go on and finish my work.
A benefit of being older is that, at least in my case, one is never too terribly shocked at what most find shocking.
Last week, Scott Smith murdered his wife and took his own life. She was divorcing him.
Though I’ve listened to Smith’s podcast, Recovering from Religion (now taken down from iTunes so I can’t link for you–good on you iTunes), I obviously didn’t know him.
Now, in Atheist circles, people are talking about how great a guy Smith was and how this doesn’t negate all the “good” he’s done. It’s like being in religion…it makes me want to vomit.
Yet, none of this surprises me. Not the murder, in fact, before I found out she was divorcing him I knew that she had at least threatened to leave him. Not the stereotypical behavior of Smith, though, at least this time the kids weren’t murdered, I suppose some wish me to commend him for that.
I’m not surprised that an Atheist did this. Why should I be? Evil has nothing to do only with religion, they just seem to have a monopoly on it because the majority of people are religious. Atheism doesn’t make you a good person any more than religion does, and I am not the type of Atheist who believes the world would be better without religion.
On the other hand, the problem with religion is that it makes excuses for and tolerates evil. For the most part, I have not encountered that sort of behavior in Atheism…at least until now.
I am disappointed in the people who are asking us to grieve Smith as well. But I’m not surprised they are asking that. Hopefully it’s just part of their grieving process and the more they learn the more they will realize that Smith was never who he made himself out to be. From my experience with Atheists, this will usually be enough to change their minds and their tune. Not so in religion.
The most disgusting defense, though, was someone saying that Smith had PTSD and needed help which he C0ULDN’T get. Bullshit. A guy like that could get help if he wanted. And anyway, I have PTSD and if I ever did something like this I hope I would be vilified forever. I hope that people would say horrible things about how evil I was. People who use mental illness to excuse their actions are intolerable to me.
Life sucks. People are wicked. Religion doesn’t change that, neither does non-religion. The difference, so far as I’ve seen, is religion continues to condone the evil people while Atheism, once presented with the cold-hard facts, usually changes it’s mind. And they seem to learn from it as well so that the next time it happens, they are not so prone to jump to the defense of the evil-doer.