Its easy to see why believers think that atheists are immoral. It is a fallacy that they cannot avoid making because theists are not allowed free thought or consideration for others. However being considerate is a hallmark of courtesy, and I think in many ways morality. If one does not view another as his equal at least on a humanistic level, consideration for that person's thoughts, rights and even general well being are easily thrown under the bus.
Western monotheisms have failed in this regard because the moral pronouncements (not moral systems, as I do not believe that they exist here) have failed to make people behave better towards one another. The opposite is often true for reasons that anyone reading this post is certainly aware of and has heard many times. The doctrinal problem for these religions is that the believers have already received the truth from their god. The end. Period. Goodbye. This is a serious problem if we are ever going to have even basic equality in this world.
In the east, the problem is slightly different. If we use Buddhism for an example, the concept of suffering is not just used as an explanatory tool for the believer. Suffering is absolutely central to one's being. An intense masochism unfolds for those who live in poverty, or suffer illness or affliction because they have been reincarnated in this state for a reason. The wealthy who adhere to this belief can take on a sense of entitlement and false pride for having been OH-SO good in a past life. Burma is a stark example of this, where societal ills are not being fixed. The government rules with an iron fist there, the people are largely complacent, and I cannot help but feel the cruel hand of religion here. While correlation does not show causation, it is hard not to wonder if these beliefs are the cause.
In the west, the problem is they used bullshit as an explanatory tool for the believer. Suffering is absolutely central to one's being when you're a dummy because of xyz influences and slavery (be it mental or physical through shitty privatized hell). An intense hatred and sadism unfolds for those who live in poverty, or suffer illness or affliction because they have been given guns and bombs by faith-based warlords that got them from some state for a reason. ...
because.. it's moot now. god is dead.
.. and the world should own a copy of The Magic of Reality and Demon Haunted World. . . and many more. surely.
In the case of Myanmar (Burma), I don't think the general masses are allowed to own guns. If they had guns, they would be free from that military junta by now for sure. That whole country is ripe for Marxism and that might not be the worst thing to ever happen. At least not when you have multi-million dollar mansions next to dilapidated shithole lean-tos never meant for human habitation. Buddhism hasn't done them any favors. And even I don't have a copy of Demon Haunted World. I doubt that literacy is a strong point there anyway. In that place you have to start paying for school half way through, and even if you go, its all totalitarian propaganda and a little math and state history. That's it.
Eastern religions and secular Humanism simply fail to recognise that they are not godless... it's simply a different definition of god... instead of a sky daddy, it's an earthly god... be he fat or resembling oneself. They are no less religious. Adulation is adulation, no matter what the object of the idolatry looks like. Idolatry is the most fundamental aspect of religion.
I'm with you, and offer just a minor dissent: I do think that the Abrahamic religions constitute a moral system of sorts -- just an externally imposed one beneficial only to those who lack personally developed morals, and of course their handlers. That is, it can be (but often fails to be) a pragmatic boon in prisons, Indian reservations and among other marginalized groups. The stick of religion is control, and the carrot self-realization. It's not hard to see how far to the carrot side eastern religions are compared to western religions. That doesn't make any of them worthwhile, but goes some way to explain their social acceptance. It's lovely to imagine a time when humanity outgrows religion entirely, but that time is not now. Until then, we humans largely distrust the evolved instincts that have brought us this far, and many need the crutch of religion to make sense of the source of their values. I want to shout, "PEOPLE, IT'S NOT THAT DAMN HARD!", but shouting usually accomplishes the opposite of its goal.
I agree with almost everything you're saying. Prisons are DEFINITELY no better for a surplus of religion.