Its not surprising that the percentage of Atheists in prison is very, very small. Minute, even. I go one step further: During World War 2, there’s popular saying among ground troops that, “There’re no Atheists in foxholes”.
This simply illustrates one of the main, if not the main purposes of religion: To provide people HOPE.
That’s not necessarily bad. Its just the way things are. That’s human nature.
In very difficult environments, and/or situations, MOST people, MOST of the time need something outside of their lives to cling on to. Something at a higher level, something positive. Its almost like a survival instinct: To survive in such tough environments, you need to have some positive outlook in your life. In order to have that sliver of positivity in your life, most of the time, its easy to find shelter in religion.
And not only does religion give hope, it also serves as an effective guide to MORALITY.
Morality, just like everything else, becomes bad, only when overdone. Like that corrupt Lito Atienza, for example, ‘na pa diyos-diyos pa, pa ban-ban pa daw ng “The Da Vinci Code”‘.
People need that guide, to know what is right, & what is wrong, to a certain limit. And religion, is one of the most effective, if not THE most effective tool or vehicle for morality.
‘To Each His Own’
People need to have a guide, & to have hope, to persevere thru all the evil that men do to each other, & religion is the most basic, & accessible escape for that. In that purpose, religion becomes a beacon for a majority of lost souls.
Religion, in itself only becomes evil, when it imposes its will upon others, in terms of belief & excessive morality.
When religion becomes a source of BIAS & DISCRIMINATION, then it doesn’t serve its correct purpose anymore.
Like, for example, Christian Fundamentalists starts entertaining fantasies like those “Left Behind” series of books. Or, when Muslims insists on discriminating on those not of their faith. That, is when religion becomes a BAGGAGE, instead of a beacon.
I like it how the National Geographic Channel puts it. In the recent documentaries about Christianity, they always ended it w/ a saying to something like, “It all depends, on what we choose to believe”.
So, let people believe what they want to believe. It serves a NOBLE purpose. Unless, of course, their beliefs end up NOT serving that noble purpose anymore. That will now be an entirely different matter.