A recent post on Climate Change, of all topics, brought out a fundamental difference between how religious Americans and atheists view the world. If one truly believes in an eternal afterlife then the issues facing our world today are subordinated, at least to some degree, by that reality. Most religions offer both the existence of a God, or gods, as well as the concept of eternal life if one follows certain rules or faith during life on earth. While most religions focus on specific formulas needed to obtain a favorable position after death, they often revolve around being a “good person”, while following specific rituals.
The hidden difference between atheists and those who are “religious” can be seen on issues such as the relative significance placed on solving the Climate Change riddle through Western CO2 abstinence, while our adversaries simply continue to burn more and more coal. As conflicting as it may appear, those who have only this earth and a few years of life to look forward to can have very different priorities than those who see through the lens of eternity.