A fairly common theme in many atheist blogs is that religion is a causal factor in the various atrocities committed by people who are religious. JT Eberhard makes that point at the bottom of this post when he says (sarcastically):
But Islam can’t be the cause of this barbaric behavior because the Koran has some beautiful parts.
Now my purpose here is neither to attack nor vilify JT, so let’s not focus overmuch on that post. The key idea is that:
[Religion] is the cause of [general terrible behaviour]
It’s a reasonably popular viewpoint, which should be readily apparent to anyone who frequents atheist blogs. And I think it’s problematic (and wrong) for a number of reasons.