Is belief in life after death more important than belief in god?

I have long felt that the appeal of religion lies more with the promise of life after death, the idea that people will live on forever, than on having a belief in god. The idea that we will never be forgotten and that our lives matter and that one day be reunited with those we love is a much more appealing prospect than hanging out with a god whom one does not know. The appeal of a belief in god seems more like a fear-driven negative one, whose purpose is to stave off the chance of being in hell for eternity.
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NYC mayor caves in to Orthodox Jews and risks children’s lives

In some Orthodox Jewish circles, it is the practice for infant boys to be circumcised, not by a doctor in sanitary conditions, but by a religious person known as a mohel who then sucks out some blood from the penis with his mouth. This extremely unhygienic practice can lead, and has led, to serious infections, and “City health officials linked 17 cases of neonatal herpes to direct oral suction in the last 15 years. Of those, two have died and two more suffered brain damage.”
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Is it now the turn of atheists to condemn killings?

The murder of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina by an outspoken atheist has raised the issue of whether they were killed because of their religion by someone who seemed to hate religion.

It is taken for granted that when a member of the majority (whether it be ethnic or race or religion or any other defining characteristic) does something heinous, the perpetrator is not taken as representing the entire community and no one calls upon its members to explicitly denounce the acts. But when such an action is committed by a member of a minority community, then it is expected that all members of the minority, and especially its ‘leaders’ and celebrities, must explicitly denounce the acts or otherwise be suspected of condoning it.
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A pathetic response to Stephen Fry’s castigation of god

Stephen Fry’s recent lambasting in a widely-viewed televised interview of god as an “evil, capricious, monstrous, maniac” because of the fact that the world he supposedly created has all manner of evils (as one example he mentioned an insect that makes children blind by burrowing in their eyes) was bound to elicit responses from god-apologists.
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What Stephen Fry would say if he faced god

This video of Stephen Fry has been making the rounds. He was being interviewed by Gay Byrne as part of an ongoing series for an Irish TV program called The Meaning of Life, with this episode to be aired on Sunday 1st February at 10.30 pm. Fry is asked that old chestnut about what he would say to god if, upon his death, he discovered that god existed and he was in his presence.
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Never trust people who say that god has forgiven them

One rule of thumb that I have is that you have to be wary of people who say that they have changed and have stopped doing the bad things they once did. It is not that people cannot change. They can, but the most convincing testimony to that effect is that coming from other people, especially those who were the victims of that past behavior, not themselves.
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Fear is the key to belief in god

As someone who was a very religious (but not fundamentalist) Christian before becoming an atheist, I am drawn to other similar conversion stories. Daniel C. Maguire, a professor of theology at the Jesuit Marquette University has written a book Christianity without God: Moving beyond the Dogmas and Retrieving the Epic Moral Narrative describing his own similar journey.
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