I have a feeling the majority of people know that they don’t need a god to be good. They know that killing, lying, and stealing were wrong long before it was written in the ten commandments. There are, however, people out there that feel that without a god telling you something is wrong you couldn’t make that decision yourself, or that it would be worthless. These people really scare me. They live by a completely god based reality. Whatever their god says is right is right, whatever it says is wrong is wrong. If the their holy book said “Blessed is the one who sacrifices puppies to me” then you can be damn sure they’d be killing Fido every Sunday. To these people who live by a god centric morality the only thing that keeps them from killing, raping, and stealing, is that they think an invisible man in the sky will punish them for it. To admit that you wouldn’t do these things even if you knew for sure there was no god would be to admit that morals don’t come from a “holy” book.
To exacerbate this problem, many of the people who do believe in the god-centric form of morality subscribe to the iron age desert god of the bible. Some will say “oh, but god is love!” but if you read the bible you will quickly run into atrocity after atrocity. There is a lot of morally repugnant things god does in there. He commands blood sacrifices, forces abortions, condones incest, commits a number of genocides, the list goes on. The value he places on an individuals life is pretty low. Apologists have spent centuries trying to work out complicated explanations for why god does some of these horrible things. Yet despite all their complicated answers, the simplest one is true: the god of the bible is the creation of numerous men from various iron age cultures. They wrote their views into the bible and created a god in their image, their misogynistic bloodthirsty image. The old testament just reads like a laundry list of who’s beating up on the Jews, and how they’re all going to die because of it. The god is envious, paranoid, and egotistical, just like the men who created him. Now take a character like this and apply his “morality” onto the world in the 21st century. You have a recipe for disaster, and indeed that’s what we see everyday. In the past century we’ve developed the technology needed to exterminate all life on the planet many times over. Can we really afford to entertain people who still hold iron age views on morality?