That's fundamentally the position of most atheists: That all the God talk of the popes and priests, theologians, rabbis, imams, gurus and assorted prophets is just that: bullshit, through and through. Arguing that religious bullshit comes in a variety of flavors doesn't help. Arguing that some particular atheist has misidentified some precise flavor of bullshit doesn't help. Whatever these guys (and they're mostly guys, surprise surprise) have to say, you can take the God bullshit out of it and they're saying the same thing, except without divine authority.
The point is not that people who bullshit others, have been bullshitted, or have bullshitted themselves cannot do good things. They can, of course. They can at times even bullshit themselves into doing good things. The point is that whatever good the religious do, they could do the exact same thing without the bullshit, and almost always do it better. Indeed, what's the point of telling me that you're doing something good only because you've bullshitted yourself into thinking that an omnipotent god has bullied or guilted you into doing it? Until you told me that, I kinda liked you for doing something nice; now you tell me you didn't really care about the nice, you cared about the God behind the nice.
You might as well tell me, "I got a nice necklace for my wife."
"Oh, how thoughtful of you."
"No, I hate the bitch, but if I don't suck up to her, she'll divorce me and take the kids and all the money."
"Well, aren't you the model husband."
One thing that strikes me, and I would imagine strikes many other atheists, is how religion is not just bullshit, but such obvious and egregious bullshit. And Carlin's caricature of religious belief,
An invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money!is the best the religious have to offer; all the dodges and metaphysical work-arounds are even worse bullshit.
It really is astonishing, and the first thing that comes to my mind is: If you believe that — if you're proud you believe that — you could believe anything. It's the intellectual equivalent of stumbling across Dexter's bodies: If you can do that, you can do anything. How can I trust anything you say or do? It's not a matter of making a mistake, or a moment of weakness, or of not thinking something all the way through: It's an intentional and conscious abandonment of basic intellectual standards of critical thinking: the admission that you find critical thinking is at best optional, perhaps accidental, and at worst contemptible:
Reason is the Devil’s greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil’s appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom… Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism… She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets.The topic of the resurrection has come up in comments. But if a person supposedly rose from the dead today, I would need the entire weight of the scientific community, (with James Randi and Penn and Teller for good measure) working for years to substantiate the event for me to believe it. If I merely saw it with my own eyes, I wouldn't believe it. Not because I have some sort of bias, but because it would be more plausible that I had been fooled and tricked in some clever way, as clever stage magicians have fooled and tricked me a thousand times before. Bury the event two thousand years in the past in a pre-technological, pre-scientific society, and it's completely unrealistic to hope for even the preponderance of evidence, much less proof beyond a reasonable doubt. If your religious belief, how you live your life, who you marry and love and hate and give your loyalty to, depends on the fact of the resurrection, and depends on proving that fact according to ordinary standards of historical investigation, you're doomed from the start. We can barely make a credible — albeit controversial — case that any such person as Jesus actually existed; how can you even hope to make a credible case that an event that contradicts everything we know about biology and physics using that same body of evidence? Just undertaking the project with any degree of seriousness undermines any claim the investigator might have to a commitment to critical, rational thought.
It is the "if you believe that, you could believe anything" notion that fills many atheists with an outrage born of fear. Critical thought isn't perfect, of course, and many critical thinkers have done abominable things, but without critical thought, what hope do we have of ever improving? Throughout history it has always been the realization that, "Hey, wait a minute, that [women are inferior/blacks should be enslaved/Jews drink the blood of babies/etc./ad nauseam] just doesn't make any fucking sense, no matter what the priest says God says," that has begun any moral transformation. Critical thinking isn't a panacea, but it's the only treatment we know that can work, to lasting effect.