I was reading an online United Kingdom newspaper which discussed a new "atheist map" showing where atheism is prominent in the world. China is prominently featured as a country where half the population is atheist.
The comments are always for me the most fascinating part of any story. I saved one from "Julia" who opined:
Depressing in our Age of Reason that so many people still believe in a sky god no one has ever seen. There will only ever be peace in our world when the whole globe is free from these myths which have caused untold bloodshed over the centuries with every religious person believing only their god is the right one and many willing to kill for it.
Ignoring the shallowness of the invisible sky god jab, what I believe is the main myth of modern atheism is the idea Julia express: if only religion was rejected in toto and atheism embraced instead, then, finally, there would be world peace and all the warring and killing would stop.
Anyone who understands human nature to any degree at all must surely realize that the true cause of "untold bloodshed" is rooted there, within a person. The dark aspect of human nature is completely compatible with unbelief as well as belief in god(s).
It seems to this blogger that an overly strong sense of ego is the root cause of violence. Being right is more important than being kind, when all is said and done. The stronger one's sense of self-importance and the rightness of their ideas, the more willing one will be to engage in aggressive and violent behavior to sustain that.
Religion will not turn nonviolent souls into aggressive killers; neither will nonbelief turn the violent into pussycats (however, both are handy excuses). In fact, I routinely see "debates" waged online that - if conducted with the same tone and measure of aggressiveness - would surely result in fisticuffs and bloodshed if they were held in person rather than online.
Age of Reason?
How about Age of Arrogance? Humans have always been more arrogant than reasonable.