So, the Islamic extremist's are at it again, and all in the name of God no less, but this is what I don't understand about it, if they really believed in an all powerful deity, why do they need to carry out his 'work'? Surely if he/she or it is so powerful, he/she or it can fight their own battles and take care of all those terrifying cartoonists with their pens or all those scary girls who want to read books, get an education and learn to think for themselves.
We here in the west act a whole lot of smug over this but at the end of the day, the good Christians of the west have been party to some fairly horrific acts themselves over the centuries. I think Islam is going through the same crisis that Christianity went through in the 16th Century and it will probably implode at some point and most of those believers will eventually become like the rest of us and drift towards passive atheism, once they realize that the worst terrors of hell are man made, not God made.
It would be interesting to see, if people weren't indoctrinated into religion by their parents, how many of us would end up believing in God? I think too often religion and religious belief is used by people to absolve themselves of responsibility. They use their religion as an excuse for acting/not acting or behaving in a certain way and by following the tenets of their 'faith', they don't have to think or act for themselves. By focusing all their attention on some heavenly afterlife, they ignore the reality of life as it is. If there was no such thing as the belief in a better life to come, after you're dead ????( just writing that makes me realize how ridiculous the whole idea is), then maybe they would do something about the here and now and try and make it as good and enjoyable as possible for everyone.
I mean life is really not that long, why waste the 3 score years and ten (if you're lucky) with all the negatives of human behaviour, tolerating the most miserable situations, and all in the name of religion? And if we were weren't meant to think for ourselves, then why do we all have a brain of our own?