A few weeks ago the Charlie Hebdo shootings were being blamed on religion. This week the Chapel Hill shootings are being blamed on atheism. Today Twitter is all a'flutter with both sides hotly debating the historical atrocities committed by both religious and atheist governments. But the truth is, all the violence and man made horrors of the world are caused by neither religion nor atheism but by both sides simply having no correct answers to the important questions in life, things like how to treat each other, good and evil, what is truth, and what is this universe anyway? Not surprisingly when you get the answers to any or all of these questions wrong, bad things happen - see the house built on sand parable.
The various religions of the world attempt to answer these important questions in their sacred texts. The problem is they were written by relatively ignorant men many many centuries ago, so it's not surprising they got them all wrong. We have learned a lot since then. Atheists on the other hand tend to reject these questions outright, believing science can't answer them so they're not worth asking in the first place, which is the same kind of blind biased faith they condemn in religious people. Blind, because science can and does answer them.
Philosophy is the science that gives simple answers to important questions. It consists of several sub branches that deal with each of them. Metaphysics deals with reality. Epistemology with perceiving it. Ethics with living in it. And Politics with sharing it.
In response to the human need to ask these questions, most religions give these answers - in metaphysics: reality is the mind of God. In epistemology: the word of God is what's true. In ethics: we must do what God commands. And in politics: we must sacrifice ourselves - and others - to God. The reason all these answers are wrong is because there is no God, so obviously none of the other answers can be right.
Most atheists, on the other hand, give these answers - in metaphysics: there is no "reality". In epistemology: the mind, like God, is a myth. In ethics: we must do science, but only in areas other than philosophy. In politics: we must sacrifice ourselves to others, not because God says so but, well...just because. The reason all these answers are wrong is because they are not answers at all but attempts to avoid the questions. And the reason religion & atheism have both lead to so much suffering is because their simple answers to the important questions, if you look closely, are pretty much the same.
Whether you believe in God or not, if you're one of those people who says "reality? what's that?" or "life is shit" or "the world's an illusion" then you are part of the problem. Without reality, which is simply, all the things that actually exist, and without our means of perceiving reality, our senses and reason, we have no truth as reference, no means of communication or of agreement with each other, which by necessity leads to force being our only means of dealing with each other & conflict our only method of resolving disputes.
This is what leads to criminal violence and wars.
Whether you're religious or not, if you believe this life isn't real or that it is shit you are hardly going to spend any time choosing the proper values for yourself in life are you? Nor will the prospect of living things - including humans - being viciously killed bother you all that much. And without a rational means of achieving the values you need to live: food, water, shelter, etc you will be forced to take these things from others. And since none of this is real anyway you won't be too picky about your methods.
This is the cause of starvation, genocide, slavery and the runaway extinction of animal species.
If you have the wrong answers or no answers to the important questions in life - if you want to save the world or even yourself and loved ones - we suggest you set about answering these questions asap. We won't tell you what the answers are. But we will say reason and science are the way to find them, and that finding the correct ones is absolutely crucial. We will, however, give you a hint: considering how much people are getting wrong in the world, how much death and destruction there is, it is very likely that what is conventionally held to be true is probably wrong.
Simple answers to the important questions in life are out there. But if we stop looking, for any reason, we simply won't find them.