This is something I'm still pondering. It seems some people need god to keep them in check. I equate it to a child who only behaves only because they're scared of being disciplined. It's amazing how fast some people jump to "Oh you don't believe in god? Youre an evil person!"
Yes, Shawn this is exactly the attitude I am talking about. Like you say, they think if you don't believe in god then you must be evil. So I have been studying ethics and behavior. What makes us ethical? And how we come by our moral system.
I think we develop morals through interaction with society. We develop a moral code based on how we affect others. I don't think anyone needs an invisible sky daddy to tell them taking someones life is wrong.
I like to turn the tables right back around on em. I was was told by a friend told me "some of the worst atrocities in history were committed by atheists". So now I see she's trying to use a blanket statement to accuse all atheists of being immoral. Without pause I told her, "Well Timothy McVeigh was a Christian. Does that mean that you are going to kill people based on the fact you are a Christian as well?" She got real quiet.