What exactly makes a good person? People who believe in God will say that a nice person follows a set of morals that are based on their religion and that makes them a good person. These morals help a religious person make decisions and act respectfully to others. But, does one have to believe in God in order to be a nice and good person? I don't believe so at all. I believe that to be a good person one cannot believe in God because to be a truly good person is to understand the laws of the universe and see the beauty in life and nature.
Religious people believe in immortality and life after death. They do not feel such pride and confidence in their own lives because they believe that the after-life is where they will find true beauty and goodness. Why would a religious person be honest and respectful to others and nature in their mortal life if they know that they will live forever in a much happier place? Perhaps, they feel that in order to make it to that happier place they call heaven they will first be required to answer to God. So, is the reason why religious people feel that they are good people because they want to live forever in heaven? If heaven is their fixation, then all religious people should try to act morally and in turn be a good person. But, this is really not the case at all since our history has been painted by holy wars and religious dictatorships. In many cases religious fundamentalists have acted immorally but still believed that they will go to heaven, such as Islamic suicide bombers and their teachers as well as rapist Catholic priests.
Where do religious people get their moral base that they say they follow in order to be a good person? What exactly is it to be a moral person? I don't think religious people really know what moral reasoning they follow at all. I think that when it comes down to it they feel that as long as they believe in God their soul within them will guide them to be a good and moral person. So, religious people believe then that their moral compass comes packaged for them directly from God in the form of a soul (kind of like anticipating a Christmas present from Santa because you've been good). They believe that God has given them a chance at immortality by giving them a soul and their soul guides them to be a good person so that they can reach 'eternal bliss'. So then there really is no set of morals that religious people follow, although they say there is. Rather, it's God that is driving them to be good through the gift of a soul. That sounds like religious people feel less responsible for their actions since it is God that is guiding them to act in that way. If that's the case it does kind of make sense why Islamic suicide bombers will die for God-- they feel that it is God's power that is driving them to death. But, what about all the innocent people that they kill as well-- has God given the suicide bomber permission to kill those people because they too should die for God? Would these innocent people agree? What about the teachers of these suicide bombers-- have they too been given permission by God to tell others to kill people in the name of God? How does one obtain the status of gaining permission from God to kill other people? It sounds like a pretend game conceived by believers in God. Did God tell George Bush that it's okay to kill innocent people? I guess he believes so or he is playing the pretend game to gain support from the religious community to act in his own self-interest. This is a familiar game strategy among televangelicals, government leaders, and high status Catholics like the Pope himself. To them, religious people are fools that don't really understand what goodness is but rather that as long as religious people believe that they are good in the name of God then they will remain foolish and foolish people are less likely to initiate a revolt.
So as long as foolish people believe that their gift of a soul makes them a good person then there is little need for them to take full responsibility for their actions because their actions are guided and governed by God. And since God is all-knowing, their decisions are automatically given the status of being wise and logical. Religious people believe that because they believe in and pray to God that their soul provides them with a moral compass which makes them good people. There is no other way to be as good. But these so called good people are considered fools by the 'pretenders' and are being taken advantage of because of their believe in God. I'd like to know if they recognize that their own selfish belief in God and their good soul are influencing others to take advantage of them in order to perpetuate wars and exacerbate greed. In turn, to believe in God is to support those religious fanatics to maintain and act on their belief in God and give strength and power to the 'pretenders' like George Bush to wreak havoc around the world against rivals for their own selfish desires.