For people on the cutting edge of life the virtue that religion teaches can mean the difference between life and death.
Two common teachings of the great religions are forgiveness and letting go. During my four years living in a Hindu-style letting go was the great teaching, day in and day.
We took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Those virtues are the exact opposite of the vices that now power Western society.
Atheists are particularly hostile to virtues which require sexual temperance and obedience.
But it is through poverty, chastity and obedience that the human being learns to forgive and let go. And in my case, learning those lessons literally saved my life.
Later in life, I had become a successful public school teacher and had worked with a select group of other teachers to fund and build technology laboratories that served underprivileged students.
We were allowed to work in the labs we had slaved over only for two years. Then, in the name of fairness other teachers where put in charge of the labs and we, the original designers and builders, were sent packing.
Within a year, our team leader was dead. He’d stroked out. He was only 42 years old.
I went on to build labs and LAN systems at the three other schools I taught at for the remainder of my career. In each case, the principal or district superintendent took my work and gave it to someone else after I had completed it.
Having learned to let go, I just figured it was my duty and pleasure to spread goodness everywhere I was, no matter where I was.
Of course, supervisors who take such routine and ruthless advantage of their employees kill the goose that lays the golden egg and insure that their employees work just enough to get by.
But I would forgive my tormentors and then just move on. Abuse is abuse, after all.
How does all that compare with atheist values?
It doesn’t because atheism has no values. How does the atheist learn to spread goodness in a dark and unappreciative world?
For atheism does nothing to improve the spirit, mind and body of the individual whereas, the development of the mind, body and spirit is the objective of religion.
Instead of sacrificing for the glory of God (read that, for the well being of our neighbor) under atheism, all achievement is simply self aggrandizement.
And I saw with my own eyes how self aggrandizement can lead to premature death.