This is a sensitive topic about murder, so please be warned.
The mass murders in the news are just terrible. In discussing murderers with comedian and avowed atheist Ricky Gervais, famed biologist Dr. Richard Dawkins said,
“I feel as though I have free will, even if I don’t. […] It wasn’t “me” that did the murder…it was my neurons and my genes.”
Under the view of atheism, we know all about the physical universe, and we know that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. As such, free will is a mere illusion. Why?
Because there is no disembodied “spirit” telling your body what to do. How could this invisible “force” control the chemical reactions in the brain to guide it into doing anything? How can there be such a thing as a spirit? It may seem that we have one, but on determinism, you are really nothing more than an equal and opposite reaction of incredible complexity.
As the late Stephen Hawking remarked,
“Given the state of the universe at one time, a complete set of laws fully determines both the future and the past. […] It is hard to see how free will can operate if our behavior is determined by physical law, so it seems we are no more than biological machines and that free will is just an illusion.”
So mass murders, under the view of atheism, are rationally neither evil nor good, but mere working of biological machinery; actions in response to stimuli, albeit complex.
With love, always,