Reasonable Faith Forums

Archived => Presumption of Atheism => Topic started by: Marek Tatraj on February 11, 2012, 08:17:59 am

Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Marek Tatraj on February 11, 2012, 08:17:59 am
Hi everybody,

this is my first post and I am glad to find this forum, I hope I will be able to find answer to my questions and learn something.


I would like to find more behind of statement that atheism has something to do with mass murders for example in Soviet Russia.

So far I have heard two explanation, but I don't agree with either of them. So please feel free to correct me and/or to add another options.

1. Atheism was really important part of Communism ideology.
I would I agree with that, but this still does not make it responsible in any way for killing done in name of communism. There is no book/ guide of Atheism which would told you to kill unbelievers.

It's seems to me that by same logic, if let's say Stalin would think that being vegetarian is very important and meat eaters are dangerous and he would command to kill them, you would not say that it vegetarianism has anything to do would you? Killing of other people is not part of vegetarianism and it would be communism would be still the cause. So I don't possible see how atheisM can be accused of the same.

2. Atheism lacks moral objectivity, some guidance of what is good etc.
Yes of course it is not what it is about. Problem could be if people does not have good moral ideology and because of that they can do evil. So if some atheist will do some evil it is not because atheism but because moral guidance which they chose is bad.  e.g. some atheist my choose to believe that it is ok to kill other people for the good of state or his political ideology, but this has nothing to do with him beign atheist.

It seems to me that in order for atheism to be rightfully be accused of beign responsible of mass murders, it would have to contain some commandment to kill others, but in case of atheism this is not possible.

What do you think?


Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Blake1960 on February 15, 2012, 04:17:53 am
I think people are responsible, but also that some ideologies lend to the rationalization of evil behavior.  

   

   On atheism, there are no ultimate consequences for any behavior no matter how unrepentently cruel, unjust, or reprehensible.  Absent G-d, all things are permitted.

   

   For the mass-murderer, it's quite convenient.

   

   But which comes first, the evil heart or the atheism?  Maybe a mixture of both?

   

   Imagine the capacity for good gone to waste, George Washington versus Stalin.

   
Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Blake1960 on February 15, 2012, 04:24:56 am
Not sure atheists lack moral objectivity any more than anyone else.  There are VERY moral atheists, and there are plenty of theists who are incredibly immoral.

   

   We can only say that without G-d, objective (set in stone, absolute) moral values and duties do not exist.  Whether or not we discern those moral truths is another issue entirely.
Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Marek Tatraj on February 15, 2012, 06:54:58 am
Hi Blake1960,  

thank you for your time.

Let's say that there is really not objective morality for atheist, but still I don't see how that makes atheism responsible for crimes of some Atheist.

Even though I am not sure what else I would point to as being responsible for crimes of Stallin regime, I would guess  it could be dogma, lack of moral ideals , but that is not important.

Still unless there would be some atheist oficial rules which would say, you should kill unbelievers or that killing other people is good, I don't see how crimes of Stalim regine could be attribute to atheism.
Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Blake1960 on February 15, 2012, 01:33:54 pm
I agree.  I don't see how atheism is responsible for crimes of some atheist either.  

I would only go so far as to say that the atheism may play a factor.  You could say the same for the ideology of any evildoer.  

It does seem fair to say that absent a belief that there will be any ultimate consequences for one's behavior, a person will be less likely to avoid mistreating others than if he/she believed that their behavior would have eternal consequences.

"One death is a tragedy, a million a statistic."  Yikes.

Historical evidence is all over the map, but so far I think the Marxists have a commanding lead as far as sheer quantity of brutality, oppression, and body count (upwards of 100,000,000) are concerned.  The fascist socialists are a distant 2nd, then we have imerialism 3rd, islamism a distant 4th, followed by the inquisition and witch trials and other evil "G-d told me you are bad" heretical evil-doing.

But of course the Marxists enjoyed a much larger population, so who knows.  


Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: SceptiKarl on February 22, 2012, 03:29:11 pm
Re the OP, to argue, as some theists do, that atheism means that non-believers have no sense of moral guidance, (bring in a Dostoyevsky character), therefore anything goes, is complete nonsense. If the only reason that Christians behave well is based on their fear of hell, then what  a pathetic morality they have! Apparently only the fear of their God is holding them back from robbing, murdering, raping and goodness knows what else!  Whilst, someone like me, has never robbed, murdered or raped, and I have absolutely no fear of hell, or "being judged" by some fictional character in the "afterlife". My morality comes from the other human beings and the society around me, not from the blood thirsty tyrant of the OT.

Re Stalin, you have to appreciate that whether or not he was an atheist, he was an ambitious politician who had managed to climb the slippery pole of power to become the unquestioned leader, dictator,  of an unstable USSR. Don't forget that Stalin did 5 years training as a priest, was brought up in the Russian Orthodox tradition, and he certainly learned the lessons of unquestioning obediance demanded by the church. Stalin didn't discriminate about what kind of perceived opponents he had, whether religious, political, personal or whatever, he just had them liquidated. Lessons he put into practice when he achieved absolute power. As to whether the USSR was ever "communist", I would have to say no! Workers in Russia still worked for wages, lived in poverty and supported a privileged class of parasites above them. They also had to fight their bosses' wars for them. Not much "communism" there IMO.

Since Hitler is also often brought into this argument as an example of godless destruction, it should be pointed out that Hitler was a Catholic. He never renounced his Catholicism, was never excommunicated, and often referred to God in his speeches. Like Stalin, he used any excuse to exterminate his enemies, whether or not they were religious. His anti-semitism was a result of centuries of Christian teachings against the Jews, and was widely lapped up by the German people. Like Stalin he would pick up or drop appeals to religion as suited his perception of his power base.
Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Blake1960 on February 22, 2012, 10:51:02 pm
>>> to argue, as some theists do, that atheism means that non-believers have no sense of moral guidance

No one here has argued that, thus it is a straw man and entirely unsubstantive.

>>>
If the only reason that Christians behave well is based on their fear of hell, then what  a pathetic morality they have!

It isn't.  Truth informs all sides, not just against evil, but in favor of salvation.  It would be bizarre to pretend that the idea of suffering consequences for bad behavior ought not instruct how be behave.  It's how our justice system is designed to work after all and it's how parent raise up responsible productive children.  

"then what  a pathetic morality they have!"?

What you describe would not be "morality."  It would be "compulsion."  Strong morals instruct one to do what is right, even in the face of harmful or undesirable consequences; strong morals instruct one to avoid doing what is wrong though the reward may be great.

Your description is disdainful of Christians, certainly not irenic.

>>> Stalin...

Marxism is strongly atheist.  Period.

>>> Hitler... never excommunicated...

Why not?
Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Marek Tatraj on February 23, 2012, 08:01:25 am
Karl and Blake, may I ask you to stay on topic of original post?


Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: phil nov on February 23, 2012, 10:54:55 am
Atheism is a rejection of belief in god. It isn't an ideology. There is no doctrine. You can't do something "in the name of atheism".

I really wish this Stalin/Hitler nonsense would stop.
Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Blake1960 on February 24, 2012, 02:19:22 pm
That's a tough order Marek!    Will try.  Very tough to not respond to really misleading assertions by atheists.


Philnov,

>>> You can't do something "in the name of atheism".

Why not?  

Doesn't doing something in the name of atheistic philosophies such as "naturalism" or "nihilism" or the like qualify for that?

Would you say that one may do something in the name of "theism"?  

It is by our beliefs that we behave the way we do, yes?

If we believe that there exists no eternal soul, no G-d, and thus that are no consequences for how we behave in life, does that not affect our behavior and ancillary beliefs?

Does one need proclaim that one is behaving "in the name of..." in order to have his/her behavior attributable to their world view?

Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Blake1960 on February 24, 2012, 02:32:52 pm
>>> Atheism is a rejection of belief in god.

How do you reject belief?  

atheism (noun):
1.    a. Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods. b. The doctrine that there is no God or gods.
2.    Godlessness; immorality.

Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

atheism (noun):
  1 archaic   : ungodliness, wickedness
2 a   : a disbelief in the existence of deity b   : the doctrine that there is no deity

from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheism



disbelief (noun): the act of disbelieving : mental rejection of something as untrue

from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disbelief
Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Diego Pizarro on March 18, 2012, 02:18:26 pm

    With regards to the correlation between atheism and Communism; it would be fallaciously     simplistic to claim that atheism is the only motivating factor behind Communism     and yet, it is certainly a major factor and the very premise upon which Communist     ideology was built.

    Let us simply consider the words of Communists leaders themselves and then the opinion     of a major scholar in the research of Communism.

    Karl Marx stated,

    “Darwin’s book of Natural Selection. Although it is developed in the     crude English style, this is the book which contains the basis in natural history     for our view … Darwin’s book is very important and serves me as a basis     in natural science for the class struggle in history.”

    Leon Trotsky elucidated further in, The ABC of Materialist Dialectics:

    “We call our dialectic, materialist, since its roots are neither in heaven     nor in the depths of our ‘free will’, but in objective reality, in nature.     Consciousness grew out of the unconscious, psychology out of physiology, the organic     world out of the inorganic, the solar system out of nebulae … Darwinism …     was the highest triumph of the dialectic in the whole field of organic matter.”

    Vladimir Lenin, the first leader of the USSR who modified Marxist doctrine as a     Communist theoretician (1870–1924):

    “Social-Democracy bases its whole world-outlook on scientific socialism, i.e.,     Marxism. The philosophical basis of Marxism, as Marx and Engels repeatedly declared,     is dialectical materialism … a materialism which is absolutely atheistic     and positively hostile to all religion. Let us recall that the whole of Engels’s     Anti-Dühring, which Marx read in manuscript, is an indictment of the     materialist and atheist Dühring for not being a consistent materialist and     for leaving loopholes for religion and religious philosophy … Religion is     the opium of the people—this dictum by Marx is the corner-stone of the whole     Marxist outlook on religion … Marxism is materialism. As such, it is as relentlessly     hostile to religion as was the materialism … This is beyond doubt …     it applies the materialist philosophy to the domain of history, to the domain of     the social sciences.”

    Lenin also pointed out that “Engels frequently condemned the efforts of people     who desired … to introduce into the programme of the workers’ party     an explicit proclamation of atheism, in the sense of declaring war on religion”     because this would merely “revive interest in religion and to prevent it from     really dying out.”

   
       
           
               
               
           
       
       
           

                ‘The total body count for the ninety years between 1917 and 2007 is approximately                 148 million dead at the bloody hands of fifty-two atheists, three times more than                 all the human beings killed by war, civil war, and individual crime in the entire                 twentieth century combined.’—Vox Day

       
       
           
               
               
           
       
   

    The logical and moral absurdity of charging Leninists with “harshness”     while presupposing absolute materialism was well stated by Lenin himself, “when     people charge us with harshness we wonder how they can forget the rudiments of Marxism.”

    In this regard, it is interesting to note the words of Mao Zedong:

    “You’d better have less conscience. Some of our comrades have too much     mercy, not enough brutality, which means that they are not so Marxist. On this matter,     we indeed have no conscience! Marxism is that brutal … .We are prepared to     sacrifice 300 million Chinese for the victory of the world revolution” and “Look at World     War II, at Hitler’s cruelty. The more cruelty, the more enthusiasm for revolution.”

    Lenin considered religion “irredeemably evil” because it hindered “the     world Communist revolution”. This was because his morality was premised upon     his movement, “Whatever helps the world Communist revolution is good; whatever     hinders it is bad.”

    And this was because, “We deny all morality taken from superhuman or non-class     conceptions … In what sense do we deny ethics, morals? In the sense in which     they are preached by the bourgeoisie, which deduces these morals from god’s     commandments. Of course, we say that we do not believe in god” and “We do not believe in eternal morality,     and we expose all fables about morality.”

    Joseph Stalin became Soviet Union leader following Lenin’s death (1878–1953).     In a very odd twisting of logic, atheist professor of philosophy Daniel Dennett     argues that the atheist Stalin was a theist:

    “ … it occurred to me—let’s think about Stalin for a moment.     Was he an atheist? You might say well of course he was an atheist. No, on the contrary.     In a certain sense, he wasn’t an atheist at all. He believed in god. Not only     that, he believe in a god whose will determined what right and wrong was. And he     was sure of the existence of this god, and the god’s name was Stalin.”

    His point was to attempt, as many of atheism’s activists do, to pretend that     atheism is perfectly pure and unspotted while laying blame for Stalin’s brutality     in the camp of theism. While this is utterly irresponsible, particularly for a professor     of philosophy, may we not grant it and agree that every atheist is a theist who     sees God in their own mirrors and thus, determined what is right and wrong?    

    President and Founder of the Union of the Militant Godless, Yemilian Yaroslavsky     (né Minei Israilevich Gubelman), made it clear that Stalin,

    “At a very early age … began to read Darwin and became an atheist”     and that Stalin stated, “You know, they are fooling us, there is no God …     I’ll lend you a book to read; it will show you that the world and all living     things are quite different from what you imagine, and all this talk about God is     sheer nonsense … Darwin. You must read it.”

    Note that here again we see the connection between atheism, Darwinism and Communism.

    Therefore, he ended up combining “science” with atheism to the point     of concluding,

    “The Party cannot be neutral towards religion, and it conducts anti-religious     propaganda against all religious prejudices because it stands for science, whereas     religious prejudices run counter to science, because all religion is the antithesis     of science.”

    Time Magazine, 17 Feb. 1936, reported (“Godless Jubilee”)     that there was a, “celebration by massed Communist delegations from all over     Russia of the tenth anniversary of the founding in
    Moscow of the Union of the Militant     Godless … active profession of atheism is the badge of a Communist.”

    Darwin scholar and Marxist, Robert M. Young, wrote,

    “I want to come back to Darwinian evolution. The connection is this: science     and appeals to scientific socialism have been rooted in Darwinism by those who claimed     that it provided a basis for Marxism … Aspects of evolutionism are consistent     with Marxism. The explanation of the origins of humankind and of mind by purely     natural forces was and remains as welcome to Marxists as to any other secularists     … ”

    In the preface to The Communist Manifesto, Friedrich Engels wrote of Communism     as, “The proposition which in my opinion is destined to do for history what     Darwin’s theory has done for biology.” He also wrote:

    “The whole Darwinist teaching of the struggle for existence is simply a transference     from society to living nature of Hobbes’s doctrine of bellum omnium contra         omnes [a war of all against all] and of the bourgeois economic doctrine     of competition together with Malthus’ theory of population. When this conjuror’s     trick has been performed . . . the same theories are transferred again from organic     nature into history and it is now claimed that their validity as eternal laws of     human society has been proved.”

    Mao Zedong affirmed:

    “Chinese socialism is founded upon Darwin and the theory of evolution.”

    He further stated:

    “I do not agree with the view that to be moral, the motive of one’s     action has to be benefiting others. Morality does not have to be defined in relation     to others … People like me want to … satisfy our hearts to the full,     and in doing so we automatically have the most valuable moral codes. Of course there     are people and objects in the world, but they are all there only for me …     People like me only have a duty to ourselves; we have no duty to other people …     Some say one has a responsibility for history. I don’t believe it. I am only     concerned about developing myself.”

    Daniel J. Flynn wrote the following whilst referencing The Black Book of Communism:         Crimes, Terror, Repression,

    “The roots of Marxist-Leninism are perhaps not to be found in Marx at all,     but in a deviant version of Darwinism … applied to social questions with     the same catastrophic results that occur when such ideas are applied to racial issues     … In 1922 alone, more than 8,000 priests, monks, and nuns were executed in     the Soviet Union … In 1967, Albania declared itself the world’s first     officially atheist nation and reduced more than 2,000 churches and mosques to rubble     or expropriated them for state use [from 1917 to 1969, the Communists destroyed     41,000 of Russia’s 48,000 churches] … Almost fifty percent of all Catholics     were killed in Cambodia … Moslems saw more than 40% of their co-religionists     killed. Mosques and The Koran were burned and Pol Pot’s henchmen sadistically     forced followers of Islam to eat pork … The Romanian Secret Police encouraged     prisoners to devise ‘reeducation’ programs. The leader of one such program     named Eugen Turcanu devised especially diabolical measures to force seminarians     to renounce their faith … Some had their heads repeatedly plunged into a     bucket of urine and fecal matter while the guards intoned a parody of the baptismal     rite.”

    Trotskyite, Denzil Dean Harber (aka Paul Dixon), writes of, “the materialist     basis upon which Marxism stands” and that there were “anti-religious     tests for the Army and Civil Service” that were later abolished due to a tentative     policy which he described as due to “The Left zig-zag of the bureaucracy [which]     was inevitably followed by a turn to the right.” He also mentions that the Communist Party of     the Soviet Union established the Society of Militant Atheists which published a     journal: The Atheist.

    In 1983 Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (1918–2008) described his credentials     thus:

    “I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution;     in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies,     and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing     away the rubble left by that upheaval.”

    We therefore, come to Solzhenitsyn’s conclusion from his Templeton Address,     Men Have Forgotten         God :

   

        “It was Dostoevsky, once again, who drew from the French Revolution and its         seeming hatred of the Church the lesson that ‘revolution must necessarily         begin with atheism’. That is absolutely true. But the world had never before         known a godlessness as organized, militarized, and tenaciously malevolent as that         practiced by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin, and at         the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more         fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions. Militant atheism         is not merely incidental or marginal to Communist policy; it is not a side effect,         but the central pivot …    

   

        “But there is something they did not expect: that in a land where churches         have been leveled, where a triumphant atheism has rampaged uncontrolled for two-thirds         of a century, where the clergy is utterly humiliated and deprived of all independence,         where what remains of the Church as an institution is tolerated only for the sake         of propaganda directed at the West, where even today people are sent to the labor         camps for their faith, and where, within the camps themselves, those who gather         to pray at Easter are clapped in punishment cells—they could not suppose that         beneath this Communist steamroller the Christian tradition would survive in Russia.         It is true that millions of our countrymen have been corrupted and spiritually devastated         by an officially imposed atheism, yet there remain many millions of believers: it         is only external pressures that keep them from speaking out, but, as is always the         case in times of persecution and suffering, the awareness of God in my country has         attained great acuteness and profundity …    

   

        “The concepts of good and evil have been ridiculed for several centuries;         banished from common use, they have been replaced by political or class considerations         of short lived value. It has become embarrassing to state that evil makes its home         in the individual human heart before it enters a political system …    

   

        “Western societies are losing more and more of their religious essence as         they thoughtlessly yield up their younger generation to atheism …    

   

        “Atheist teachers in the West are bringing up a younger generation in a spirit         of hatred of their own society …    

   

        “All attempts to find a way out of the plight of today’s world are fruitless         unless we redirect our consciousness, in repentance, to the Creator of all: without         this, no exit will be illumined, and we shall seek it in vain.”


     
       
           
               
               
           
       
       
           

                ‘All attempts to find a way out of the plight of today’s world are fruitless                 unless we redirect our consciousness, in repentance, to the Creator of all: without                 this, no exit will be illumined, and we shall seek it in vain.’—Aleksandr                 Solzhenitsyn

       
       
           
               
               
           
       
   

    The best response that atheists have been able to muster against the logical, ideological     and historical correlation between atheism and Communism is to state that since     atheism is merely a lack of belief in god(s) it does nothing, inspires     nothing and is therefore, responsible for nothing. This is either the greatest scholarly     hoax since         The Jesus Seminar or the utter bankruptcy of atheist activists’ attempts     to play on the ignorance of history of their adherents. Firstly, this is only one,     conveniently self-serving, definition of “atheism”. Secondly, even granting     the lack of belief in god(s) interpretation of atheism we note that this     makes atheism a blank canvas upon which each atheist, Communist leader or not, can     paint a particular worldview of their choosing and completely unrestrained by any     god(s).

    Other atheists actually make reference to higher population levels and sophisticated     weaponry in explaining away the fact that the most secular century in human history     was also the bloodiest. That there are merely more people to murder is certainly     a fascinating excuse as bloodthirsty regimes have never been at a loss for victims.     That sophisticated weaponry is to be blamed means that atheists are blaming scientists/engineers     for inventing ever more efficient ways of committing mass murder. However, this     pseudo-counterargument does not take into consideration that one of the unique features     of Communist regimes was that millions upon millions of their comrades where not     killed whilst fighting wars but were systematically murdered by their own leaders.     And this was often carried out by very primitive means and employing very rudimentary     weapons: starvation, lack of healthcare and executions by torture and single bullets     fired from rifles or even machine guns does not need sophisticated weaponry.

    Vox Day notes:

     

        “Apparently it was just an amazing coincidence that every Communist of historical         note publicly declared his atheism … .there have been twenty-eight countries         in world history that can be confirmed to have been ruled by regimes with avowed         atheists at the helm … These twenty-eight historical regimes have been ruled         by eighty-nine atheists, of whom more than half have engaged in democidal acts of the sort committed         by Stalin and Mao … .    

   

        “The total body count for the ninety years between 1917 and 2007 is approximately         148 million dead at the bloody hands of fifty-two atheists, three times more than         all the human beings killed by war, civil war, and individual crime in the entire         twentieth century combined.    

   

        “The historical record of collective atheism is thus 182,716 times worse on         an annual basis than Christianity’s worst and most infamous misdeed, the Spanish         Inquisition. It is not only Stalin and Mao who were so murderously inclined, they         were merely the worst of the whole Hell-bound lot. For every Pol Pot whose infamous         name is still spoken with horror today, there was a Mengistu, a Bierut, and a Choibalsan,         godless men whose names are now forgotten everywhere but in the lands they once         ruled with a red hand.    

             “Is a 58 percent chance that an atheist leader will murder a noticeable percentage         of the population over which he rules sufficient evidence that atheism does, in         fact, provide a systematic influence to do bad things? If that is not deemed to         be conclusive, how about the fact that the average atheist crime against humanity         is 18.3 million percent worse than the very worst depredation committed by Christians,         even though atheists have had less than one-twentieth the number of opportunities         with which to commit them. If one considers the statistically significant size of         the historical atheist set and contrasts it with the fact that not one in a thousand         religious leaders have committed similarly large-scale atrocities, it is impossible         to conclude otherwise, even if we do not yet understand exactly why this should         be the case. Once might be an accident, even twice could be coincidence, but fifty-two         incidents in ninety years reeks of causation!”
Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Lawlessone777 on March 19, 2012, 08:16:14 am
Why did this thread get derailed so quickly into young earth creationism and evolution? To actually answer the OP's post:

I think you need to make a distinction between acts done in the name of something, and acts done due to doctrine. There have been morally reprehensible acts done in the name of atheism, such as murdering priests during the French Revolution to create a secular nation, or the atheist who walked into a church in America and gunned down people during a Sunday sermon. Stalin also murdered religious followers in an attempt to create an atheistic state. These are examples of things done in the name of atheism.

Similarly we can describe horrible acts done in the name of Christianity. The inquisition, crusades, fire bombing abortion clinics, etc. We can also describe horrible acts done in the name of sex, money, land, ethnicity, or differences of opinion.

My point is people kill each other over many stupid things. If the doctrine of Christianity supported murdering or torturing then Christianity as a belief would be held accountable and should be abandoned. If you read the Bible it's fairly obvious that Christianity is preached as a passivist religion by it's founder Jesus of Nazareth. Atheism lacks any moral groundwork, or doctrine, and so doesn't fall into the same category as religions which have a clearly spelled out list of "do's" and "do nots".

So to summarize atheism is as responsible for acts committed in the name of atheism as much as Darwinism is responsible for the horrifying acts done in it's name by men, or land is responsible for the wars that have been fought over it. Christianity is not to be held accountable for acts of brutality done in it's name since it's fairly obvious that it's doctrines preach passivism, love, equality, and self sacrifice.

For that matter if we were to ban the two things that cause more violence, murder, and atrocities in history than everything else combined we would need to ban money and sex.
Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: SceptiKarl on March 20, 2012, 04:00:54 pm

Anyone who has spent 5 minutes reading Marx can work out that Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, etc. were NOT socialists or communists at all! There it is in the Communist Manifesto of 1848: communism equals "the absence of buying and selling". Now that never happened in Russia, China, Cuba, N. Korea or anywhere else to date. Under the Tsars, and under the dictatorship of the Communist Party there were still workers supporting a privileged class of parasites in the USSR. What happened in Russia in 1917 was the equivalent of what happened in England in the 17th century, and France in the 18th century, whereby the land owning aristocrats were forced to cede their political control over the state, to the up and coming capitalist class. Is anyone here going to deny there is, and was, a capitalist class in Russia?

As to Stalin's anti religion motives. My own feeling is that having obtained supreme power, he was determined to hold onto it, at all costs. That meant eliminating all actual, and potential political enemies. These enemies of course included the reactionary Orthodox Church and its reactionary ideas, but they also included peasant farmers, military officers, doctors, politicians, bureaucrats, and anyone else whom Stalin felt threatened by, including Polit Bureau members.

And Stalin trained as a priest for 5 years!
Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: ian holmes on March 21, 2012, 12:50:50 am
SceptiKarl wrote:
Anyone who has spent 5 minutes reading Marx can work out that Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, etc. were NOT socialists or communists at all! There it is in the Communist Manifesto of 1848: communism equals "the absence of buying and selling". Now that never happened in Russia, China, Cuba, N. Korea or anywhere else to date. Under the Tsars, and under the dictatorship of the Communist Party there were still workers supporting a privileged class of parasites in the USSR. What happened in Russia in 1917 was the equivalent of what happened in England in the 17th century, and France in the 18th century, whereby the land owning aristocrats were forced to cede their political control over the state, to the up and coming capitalist class. Is anyone here going to deny there is, and was, a capitalist class in Russia?

As to Stalin's anti religion motives. My own feeling is that having obtained supreme power, he was determined to hold onto it, at all costs. That meant eliminating all actual, and potential political enemies. These enemies of course included the reactionary Orthodox Church and its reactionary ideas, but they also included peasant farmers, military officers, doctors, politicians, bureaucrats, and anyone else whom Stalin felt threatened by, including Polit Bureau members.

And Stalin trained as a priest for 5 years!


This pretty much sums it up as in those regimes it was just politically motivated atheism not atheism motivated politics.
Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: SceptiKarl on March 21, 2012, 03:53:32 pm
scepticalguy:

This pretty much sums it up as in those regimes it was just politically motivated atheism not atheism motivated politics.


Thanks scepticalguy, this must the first time someone has agreed with me here! This "den of lambs", (WLC), who would bite your leg off given half a chance!
Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: David Summers on March 27, 2012, 08:44:39 pm
SceptiKarl,

I think you are really missing the whole point here. It's not that communism=
atheism or atheism=communism, it's the whole worldview that comes from
the people who fought for and built communism. So, let us not call it
communism, shall we instead call it  I'll do it my way-ism.

Or, we could even call it Republicanism,  or Democracy.  It's not the system,
it's the people and their worldview behind the system.
Title: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: SceptiKarl on March 28, 2012, 02:26:45 pm
rdavid:


I think you are really missing the whole point here. It's not that communism=
atheism or atheism=communism, it's the whole worldview that comes from
the people who fought for and built communism. So, let us not call it
communism, shall we instead call it  I'll do it my way-ism.

Or, we could even call it Republicanism,  or Democracy.  It's not the system,
it's the people and their worldview behind the system.



Of course you are free to put whatever lable you like on things. However, unless some common ground can be reached about what the lables mean, then the exercise is pointless. As I said, the Communist Manifesto defines communism as the "absence of buying and selling". Now that never happened in the USSR, China, Cuba etc. Using that definition, we can safely assume that communism never existed in Russia and elsewhere. In fact judging by the fact that people in Russia and elsewhere worked for someone else for a wage or a salary, we can safely assume that they were workers, and that there was a privileged ruling class of capitalists. Alright the system was a bit different from "free market" USA, but still a society divided by class division of rulers and ruled, based on private property. State property in Russia was just as closely guarded as state property is in the USA. We can hardly claim Fort Knox as an example of "communism" in action. Capitalism,- state capitalism, existed in Russia etc. and still does. As I said earlier, atheism had nothing to do with Stalin's dictatorship. He discriminiated against EVERYONE whom he thought was a threat to his power base. That included the Orthodox Church. Funnily enough he made some sort of rapprochment with the OC during WW2, in the interests of "Mother" Russia and patriotism!

Cheers SK
Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: carl c on November 01, 2012, 03:30:21 am
Historical evidence is all over the map, but so far I think the Marxists have a commanding lead as far as sheer quantity of brutality, oppression, and body count (upwards of 100,000,000) are concerned.  The fascist socialists are a distant 2nd, then we have imerialism 3rd, islamism a distant 4th, followed by the inquisition and witch trials and other evil "G-d told me you are bad" heretical evil-doing.

I would agree that over the short period of time the "Marxists" do seem to be in the lead (estimated to be between 60 and 120 million) but overall  i would say that Christianity has the lead as many nations over the last thousand or so years were Christian and were hardly what you could call pleasant to their own populations let alone others. In fact we do not need to go back a thousand or so years at all to gain some figures.


The Christian British empire in India, Africa and pretty much every place else they were racked up a body count estimated at 30 to 50 million in fact in India during the British Empire rule had a life expectancy down to 23.2 and 22.8 years for men and women respectively.

The Christian Spanish in South America (estimates from 10 to 30 million).


The native American population was devastated by the christian settlers ( America's population was anywhere between 20 and 100 million). At least 90 percent of the native population were killed making the death toll between 18 to 90 million.

Nazi Germany was predominantly Christian and WW2 caused the deaths of 11.5 to 60 million people depending on how it is calculated (holocaust was over 11 million while the 60 million includes all deaths).

Obviously those are just 4 examples but they come to 70 to 230 million dead.


Now the regimes and their populations i list above were just as Christian as Mao's, Stalin's etc regimes were atheistic.

Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: John M on December 04, 2012, 06:46:24 pm
Quote
Nazi Germany was predominantly Christian and WW2 caused the deaths of 11.5 to 60 million people

I think it is a bit unfair to label the Nazi leaders, precipitators and supporters within Germany prior to and during WW2 as anything related to Christianity. Many in Nazi leadership held Nietzsche and (some of) his ideals in high regard. This Nazi philosophy also appealed to a large percentage of Germans (http://ockhamsrazormedia.wordpress.com/nietzsche-and-the-nazis/) and I think it is fair to say that Nietzsche's worldview and Nazism/National Socialism is very far from true Christianity. To say that the German atrocities can be linked to Christianity is a bit far-fetched.
Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Blake1960 on January 07, 2013, 04:43:47 am
It bears repeating:

Quote
   “The total body count for the ninety years between 1917 and 2007 is approximately         148 million dead at the bloody hands of fifty-two atheists, three times more than all the human beings killed by war, civil war, and individual crime in the entire twentieth century combined.   


“The historical record of collective atheism is thus 182,716 times worse on an annual basis than Christianity’s worst and most infamous misdeed, the Spanish Inquisition. It is not only Stalin and Mao who were so murderously inclined, they were merely the worst of the whole Hell-bound lot. For every Pol Pot whose infamous         name is still spoken with horror today, there was a Mengistu, a Bierut, and a Choibalsan,         godless men whose names are now forgotten everywhere but in the lands they once ruled with a red hand.   

“Is a 58 percent chance that an atheist leader will murder a noticeable percentage of the population over which he rules sufficient evidence that atheism does, in fact, provide a systematic influence to do bad things? If that is not deemed to be conclusive, how about the fact that the average atheist crime against humanity         is 18.3 million percent worse than the very worst depredation committed by Christians,  even though atheists have had less than one-twentieth the number of opportunities with which to commit them. If one considers the statistically significant size of the historical atheist set and contrasts it with the fact that not one in a thousand         religious leaders have committed similarly large-scale atrocities, it is impossible to conclude otherwise, even if we do not yet understand exactly why this should be the case. Once might be an accident, even twice could be coincidence, but fifty-two  incidents in ninety years reeks of causation!”
Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Tertullian on January 11, 2013, 11:53:34 am
The problem with this post is the dishonesty of atheists themselves. The argument that atheism as a belief was not responsible for the mass murder of socialist regimes because: "
It's seems to me that by same logic, if let's say Stalin would think that being vegetarian is very important and meat eaters are dangerous and he would command to kill them, you would not say that it vegetarianism has anything to do would you? Killing of other people is not part of vegetarianism and it would be communism would be still the cause. So I don't possible see how atheisM can be accused of the same. "
This is so palpably abursed no rational person should use it. I could say that if catholics are responsible for the inquistion than that would imply that if Torquemada  killed heretics because he thought they had large noseses, it means that aLargeNoseism is dangerous. This idea is ludicrous since if it were true than one could not be found guilty of being motivated to do anything. And Catholicism would be off the hook for Torquemada.
"So if some atheist will do some evil it is not because atheism but because moral guidance which they chose is bad.  e.g. some atheist my choose to believe that it is ok to kill other people for the good of state or his political ideology, but this has nothing to do with him beign atheist."
This statement is manifoldly false. Atheists do commit murder, rape and theft because the have no moral foundation. This person must not have read Marquis de Sade, Max Stirner, Nietzsche, Marx or Lenin. They all, because of their godlessness advocated murder and other immoral acts. Do you see the amish going on raping sprees like the atheists (Red Army rape of Eastern European women after WW2 see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_during_the_occupation_of_Germany
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_during_the_liberation_of_Poland)

Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings
"Yet Another Effort, Frenchmen, If You Would Become Republicans"
http://books.google.com/books?id=7T2WYXK6YFgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=philosophy+of+the+bedroom&hl=en&sa=X&ei=7KC_ULTKMOqE2QWp8ICwCg&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=philosophy%20of%20the%20bedroom&f=false
"The transgressions we are considering in this second class of man's duties toward
his fellows include actions.. prostitution, incest, rape and sodomy.  pg 314

"It is certain, that rape, an act so very rare and so very difficult to prove,
wrongs one's neighbor less than theft, since the latter is destructive to property,
the former merely damaging to it. Beyond that, what objections have you to the
ravisher? What will you say, when he replies to you that, as a matter of fact, the
injury is trifling indeed, since he has done no more than place a little sooner the
object he ahs abused in the very state in which she would soon have been put by
marraige and love." pg 325

The Birth of Tragedy & The Genealogy of Morals, Issue 677
by Friedrich Nietzsche
http://books.google.com/books?id=4Q8lWXlzpdgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=birth+of+tragedy+and+the+genealogy+of+morals&hl=en&sa=X&ei=C6G_ULinHsXErQHBsIHoCQ&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=birth%20of%20tragedy%20and%20the%20genealogy%20of%20morals&f=false

"To speak of right and wrong per se makes no sense at all. No act of violence, rape,
exploitation, destruction, is intrinsically "unjust," since life itself is violent,
rapacious, exploitative, and destructive and cannot be conceived as otherwise." pg
207

Max Stirner
THe Ego and His Own
http://books.google.com/books?id=T4SN0M7YSqMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=ego+and+his+own&hl=en&sa=X&ei=NbfAUP-aHKnY2AXzioGADA&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=entitled%20to%20murder&f=false

"I am entitled to murder if I myself do not forbid it to myself, if I myself do not
fear murder as a "wrong." ... There is no right outside me. If it is right for me,
it is right. Possibly this may not suffice to make it right for the rest; that is
their care, not mine: let them defend themselves. And if for the whole world
something were not right, but it were right for me, that is, I wanted it, then I
would ask nothing about the whole world. So every one does who knows how to value
himself, every one in the degree that he is an egoist; for might goes before right,
and that--with perfect right." pg 247

"The conflict over the "right of property" wavers in vehement commotion. The
Communists affirm that "the earth belongs rightfully to him who tills it, and its
products to those who bring them out." I think it belongs to him who knows how to
take it, or who does not let it be taken from him, does not let himself be deprived
of it. If he appropriates it, then not only the earth, but the right to it too,
belongs to him." The Ego and His Own, ed. James J. Martin (New York: Libertarian
Book Club, 1963), pg 249

Stirner's philosophy lead to a wave of atheist terrorism purpetrated by a people adhering to illegalism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegalism

Lenin

The Economic Content of Narodism and the Criticism of it in Mr. Struve?s Book
http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1894/narodniks/ch02.htm

" One therefore cannot deny the justice   of Sombart's remark that in Marxism
itself there is not a grain of ethics from beginning to end; theoretically, it
subordinates the ethical standpoint' to the principle of causality; in practice
it reduces it to the class struggle. "

"I really wish this Stalin/Hitler nonsense would stop. "
I really wish this atheist nonsense would stop.

The argument by atheist basically is any person who did anything bad as a christian did it beacause they were Christian, and any atheist who commited mass murder did not inspite of his atheism. This is ofcourse the fallacy of the double standard.

Atheism is a dogma it demands you believe that 1) life ends at death (though no one can prove it empirically), 2) matter and energy are all that exist in the universe, 3) christian morality is obsolete and to be disposed of, 4) man is his own savior etc. These are all non-negotiables for atheists if they didn't believe these things they would not be atheists.

The claim that atheist's in Russia did not murder because of their atheism is in some sense irrelevant their atheism didn't provide a strong enough moral compass to dissuade them from action. If every historical example of atheist's taking power leads to mass murder, we should not let them try again. But it is even more mendacious to claim that atheism didn't motivate them to action. It does.

Lenin:

http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1909/may/13.htm
It is the duty of a Marxist to place the success of the strike movement above everything else, vigorously to counteract the division of the workers in this struggle into atheists and Christians, vigorously to oppose any such division. Atheist propaganda in such circumstances may be both unnecessary and harmful—not from the philistine fear of scaring away the backward sections, of losing a seat in the elections, and so on, but out of consideration for the real progress of the class struggle, which in the conditions of modern capitalist society will convert Christian workers to Social-Democracy and to atheism a hundred times better than bald atheist propaganda. To preach atheism at such a moment and in such circumstances would only be playing into the hands of the priest and the priests, who desire nothing better than that the division of the workers according to their participation in the strike movement should be replaced by their division according to their belief in God. An anarchist who preached war against God at all costs would in effect be helping the priests and the bourgeoisie (as the anarchists always do help the bourgeoisie in practice). A Marxist must be a materialist, i. e., an enemy of religion, but a dialectical materialist, i. e., one who treats the struggle against religion not in an abstract way, not on the basis of remote, purely theoretical, never varying preaching, but in a concrete way, on the basis of the class struggle which is going on in practice and is educating the masses more and better than anything else could. A Marxist must be able to view the concrete situation as a whole, he must always be able to find the boundary between anarchism and opportunism (this boundary is relative, shifting and changeable, but it exists). And he must not succumb either to the abstract, verbal, but in reality empty “revolutionism’˜ of the anarchist, or to the philistinism and opportunism of the petty bourgeois or liberal intellectual, who boggles at the struggle against religion, forgets that this is his duty, reconciles himself to belief in God, and is guided not by the interests of the class struggle but by the petty and mean consideration of offending nobody, repelling nobody and scaring nobody—by the sage rule: “live and let live”, etc., etc.
http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1909/may/13.htm
Marxism is materialism. As such, it is as relentlessly hostile to religion as was the materialism of the eighteenth-century Encyclopaedists or the materialism of Feuerbach. This is beyond doubt. But the dialectical materialism of Marx and Engels goes further than the Encyclopaedists and Feuerbach, for it applies the materialist philosophy to the domain of history, to the domain of the social sciences. We must combat religion—that is the ABC of all materialism, and consequently of Marxism. But Marxism is not a materialism which has stopped at the ABC. Marxism goes further. It says: We must know how to combat religion, and in order to do so we must explain the source of faith and religion among the masses in a materialist way. The combating of religion cannot be confined to abstract ideological preaching, and it must not be reduced to such preaching. It must be linked up with the concrete practice of the class movement, which aims at eliminating the social roots of religion. Why does religion retain its hold on the backward sections of the town proletariat, on broad sections of the semi-proletariat, and on the mass of the peasantry? Because of the ignorance of the people, replies the bourgeois progressist, the radical or the bourgeois materialist. And so: “Down with religion and long live atheism; the dissemination of atheist views is our chief task!” The Marxist says that this is not true, that it is a superficial view, the view of narrow bourgeois uplifters. It does not explain the roots of religion profoundly enough; it explains them, not in a materialist but in an idealist way. In modern capitalist countries these roots are mainly social. The deepest root of religion today is the socially downtrodden condition of the working masses and their apparently complete helplessness in face of the blind forces of capitalism, which every day and every hour inflicts upon ordinary working people the most horrible suffering and the most savage torment, a thousand times more severe than those inflicted by extra-ordinary events, such as wars, earthquakes, etc. “Fear made the gods.” Fear of the blind force of capital—blind because it cannot be foreseen by the masses of the people—a force which at every step in the life of the proletarian and small proprietor threatens to inflict, and does inflict “sudden”, “unexpected”, “accidental” ruin, destruction, pauperism, prostitution, death from starvation—such is the root of modern religion which the materialist must bear in mind first and foremost, if he does not want to remain an infant-school materialist. No educational book can eradicate religion from the minds of masses who are crushed by capitalist hard labour, and who are at the mercy of the blind destructive forces of capitalism, until those masses themselves learn to fight this root of religion, fight the rule of capital in all its forms, in a united, organised, planned and conscious way.
http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1921/oct/29.htm
That is absolutely incontrovertible, and, of course, we have all learnt this from the ABC of communism, the ABC of historical materialism, and the ABC of Marxism.
Stalin
 

http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1927/09/15.HTM
A DELEGATE: I often read of expulsions from the Party because of belief in God.
STALIN: I can only repeat the conditions of membership in our Party that I have just mentioned. We have no other condition.
Does that mean the Party is neutral towards religion? No, it does not. We carry on and will continue to carry on propaganda against religious prejudices. Our legislation guaranteed to citizens the right to adhere to any religion. This is a matter for the conscience of each individual. That is precisely why we carried out the separation of the Church from the State. But in separating the Church from the State and proclaiming religious liberty we at the same time guaranteed the right of every citizen to combat by argument, by propaganda and agitation any and all religion. The Party cannot be neutral towards religion and does conduct anti-religious propaganda against all and every religious prejudice because it stands for science, while religious prejudices run counter to science, because all religion is something opposite to science. Cases such as recently occurred in America in which Darwinists were prosecuted in court, cannot occur here because the Party carries out a policy of the general defense of science. The Party cannot be neutral towards religious prejudices and it will continue to carry on propaganda against these prejudices because this is one of the best means of undermining the influence of the reactionary clergy who support the exploiting classes and who preach submission to these classes. The Party cannot be neutral towards the bearers of religious prejudices, towards the reactionary clergy who poison the minds of the toiling masses. Have we suppressed the reactionary clergy? Yes, we have. The unfortunate thing is that it has not been completely liquidated. Anti-religious propaganda is a means by which the complete liquidation of the reactionary clergy must be brought about. Cases occur when certain members of the Party hamper the complete development of anti-religious propaganda. If such members are expelled it is a good thing because there is no room for such "Communists" in the ranks of our Party.

 http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1950/jun/20.htm
It is obvious that the quotation is inappropriate, because Engels here speaks not of "class languages" but chiefly of class thoughts, ideals, customs, moral principles, religion, politics. It is perfectly true that the thoughts, ideals, customs, moral principles, religion and politics of bourgeois and proletarians are directly antithetical.
Trotsky
http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/idom/dm/14-burnham.htm
You stopped bothering yourself long ago, as you say, about the question of religion. But you stopped only for yourself. In addition to you, there exist all the others. Quite a few of them. We revolutionists never “stop” bothering ourselves about religious questions, inasmuch as our task consists in emancipating from the influence of religion, not only ourselves but also the masses. If the dialectic is a religion, how is it possible to renounce the struggle against this opium within one’s own party?
There is not a shred of evidence to support the specious claim that atheists do not murder because of their atheism, in fact their atheism impells them to murder.  We see from de Sade, Stirner, Nietzsche and Lenin that murder, rape and theft are not only morally not evil they are in some sense required by the athiest. If atheists do not murder it is because they have smuggled christian values into their world view see: Nietzsche's Twilight of
the Idols
http://books.google.com/books?id=p-b2Jn8qg_AC&printsec=frontcover&dq=twilight+of+the+idols&hl=en&sa=X&ei=gbnAUOSMBeru2QXZxoGgDw&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=christian%20god&f=false
pg 32 fifth letter to G.Eliot.
Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: :) on January 11, 2013, 03:09:46 pm
No, Atheism is not a cause of mass murders. Religion isn't either.

Any doctrine or lack of doctrine is impotent in itself. Idea's don't have causal powers. Idea's can influence or persuade people to act differently, which can be good or bad, but it's the person who holds that view that is good or bad, not the mere idea or view.

In the same way, I get confused when people say that religion has done lots of bad throughout history.
Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Tertullian on January 11, 2013, 04:24:12 pm
Watt,

When I say atheism, I mean atheists. You are technically write that ideas do not perform actions. People do. I was arguing that the logical of atheism if acted out by people have and will lead to mass murder, but technically you are correct. I should have said atheists not atheism, since an idea is not able to act. I was using atheism as a kind of short hand for atheism, people who are atheists and people who act according to the philosophical implications of atheism.
Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: :) on January 11, 2013, 05:56:40 pm
Watt,

When I say atheism, I mean atheists. You are technically write that ideas do not perform actions. People do. I was arguing that the logical of atheism if acted out by people have and will lead to mass murder, but technically you are correct. I should have said atheists not atheism, since an idea is not able to act. I was using atheism as a kind of short hand for atheism, people who are atheists and people who act according to the philosophical implications of atheism.

I do agree that the implications of atheism does lead to absurd conclusions. I think there is an undeniable link between the view of atheism and the view that morality is subjective, for example. But then, I know a few atheists personally who are generally nice people. Wether they believe in objective morality or not I do not happen to know; I wouldn't be surprised if they haven't actually thought about it seriously before or studied many implications to their belief (or lack of belief) that there is no God. They are simply good people who are atheists. Wether they have logical reasons for being good is another story.

There are plenty of people who describe themselves as devout followers of various philosophies or religious texts that often have horrendous teachings, and yet still they are nice people. Their view has no affect on whether they are a good person, because they do not follow their belief to some logical conclusions. These people are deceived or misguided, not immoral.
Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Tertullian on January 11, 2013, 07:37:53 pm
Watt,

There are individual atheists who can be nice and even have the appearance of morality, but the ideology itself is rotten and leaves only corpses in its wake. I think the friendly ones have borrowed from Christianity as Nietzsche claims in the aforementioned letter. 

You seem like a bright and friendly interlocutor, what subjects in philosophy or theology would you like to discuses? I will start a separate thread to do so, if you like?
Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Tertullian on January 11, 2013, 07:42:47 pm
"These people are deceived or misguided, not immoral."

I agree to a point. Those well meaning who fail to take their stated religion to its logical conclusion might be deceived, but the atheist's in history were not deceived and knew full well what atheism implied and lived by it as is seen by the legacy of death, murder, rapine and destruction. No ideology is a murderous and soul crushing as atheism, just look at the sorry remnant of Russia as it is today, compared to its former glories of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, Pushkin and Gogol.
Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: idunno on January 11, 2013, 07:49:17 pm
Welcome to the forum Tertullian. Most of the fighting goes on in the Choose Your Own Topic section

Go head an introduce yourself, we always like new faces  ;)
Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: :) on January 11, 2013, 09:01:26 pm
Watt,

There are individual atheists who can be nice and even have the appearance of morality, but the ideology itself is rotten and leaves only corpses in its wake. I think the friendly ones have borrowed from Christianity as Nietzsche claims in the aforementioned letter. 

You seem like a bright and friendly interlocutor, what subjects in philosophy or theology would you like to discuses? I will start a separate thread to do so, if you like?

I do admit to share a same sense of concern for the conclusions that I feel people can logically come to after daring to look truly into the face of cold, atheistic ideology. Saying that though I have faith that the large majority of atheists would truly reconsider their position if/when that happens.

And thank you very much for your kind comments! I must say that I'm here to learn more than anything else. There are a few issues about epistemology that I would like to discuss sometime and I will be sure to start a thread if I cant find anything in already discussed that will answer my questions.

I'll see you around the forums and look out for what you'll have to say. Thanks.
Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Tertullian on January 11, 2013, 09:10:34 pm
"Welcome to the forum Tertullian. Most of the fighting goes on in the Choose Your Own Topic section "

Thanks for the kind welcome.

"And thank you very much for your kind comments!"
Your Welcome
Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Branden Holmes on January 22, 2013, 07:01:21 am
I think that the distinction which we really need to make is between atheism ("I disbelieve in the existence of god") and anti-theism ("religion should be physically and/or verbally opposed"). Anti-theism is the problem, not atheism (whether anti-theism is subsumed by atheism is irrelevant in this discussion).
Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: just one on March 03, 2013, 02:52:51 am
i see wold trade centers falling and people getting killed in syria, the spanish iquisition with torture and murder, and cults killing them selves off. why are atheists killing people?
Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: just one on March 03, 2013, 03:02:03 am
i'm a doubter, as i see it theists have taken over 700-1200 years away from scientific study of our world.my favorite part of the bible is where god gives everyone free will, then drowns everyone for doing what he knew would happen, cause he loves us.
Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: Blake1960 on December 11, 2013, 08:23:19 am
Ask Stalin, Hitler, Hirohito, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, the N. Korean Kims, and all the other Marxists and Godless tyrants of the modern era.

Atheism is one of the core tenets of Marxism. Marxism, all power and reverence is for the state, is by far the leading cause of mass murder and Genocide in the world.

Some have feigned religion to support their agenda. See Hitler.

Some imagined themselves as a god. See Hirohito.

None held that they would be judged against an objective moral code by the creator of the universe.

Which person is most likely to bias his behavior away from selfishness, cold indifference, cruelty, and exploitation of others, one who believes that we will ultimately be held to account versus God and an objective moral code, or one who holds that no such consequences or supreme being exist?

The answer is clear. Psychological study after psychological study prove it. When humans perceive no consequence to their bad/cruel/immoral behavior, they are MUCH more likely to act out such bad/cruel/immoral behavior.

Prediction: You'll now avoid the topic entirely and try to divert discussion to Hitler, claiming that he was a Christian. 



Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: MichaelMullens on February 06, 2014, 07:33:59 pm
People are by our very nature; selfish, evil, and arrogant. Beliefs are not what cause crimes; but they are used as a catalyst for motivation, legitimization, and backing.

Think about early America and mid Europe around small towns burning "witches" or Hitler or Stalin or the Pope ordaining the Crusades. This shows you people are capable of atrocious things but in defense of Christianity; Jesus told us to love, forgive, turn the other cheek and in so many words said the evil will be handled by the authority. Now I in no way would tell someone I believe they should allow someone to be hurt but it comes back to eye for eye; the permitance to defend yourself of those too weak to defend their selves when attacked. You should not be the aggressor but the defender of what's right.

Title: Re: Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
Post by: UnreasonableFaith on October 20, 2016, 08:34:52 am
It's absolutely ridiculous to blame atheism for say stallinism. It's as reasonable as saying that Stalin's moustache is somehow to blame as well.

If you claim atheism is cause of stallinism you should be able to quote a passage from holybook of atheism which commands people to commit genocide.Or maybe you should be able to quote a founder of atheistic move?  You can't do it. There ain't any holy book of atheism. You may quote some book written by atheist but it would no better than quoting Main Kampf as an evidence of painters being evil. Also there is no founder of atheism since it's default position.

Atheism is just one conviction that is there is no reason to believe god exists, or to be more correct it's implausible god exists. That's everything. It's not a packet of beliefs, it's not a whole system. It's just one single belief.

You may say "oh, it's quite convenient to not believe in god, you don;t have to worry about eternal punishment" and it's obviously dumb respond. Why? Because not only it can be easily reversed but what's more important it totally misses the point. First of all it may be indeed convenient to get rid of concerns about your eternity BUT I think it's much more convenient to believe that not only you're not going to be punished in the afterlife, but you'll be even rewarded since god must be on your side. This is why saying that atheism is convenient is shooting oneself in one's foot. But there is my second objection that is this statement is off the point. The issue is: Does atheism induces crimes? And again to me the answer is obviously not. There are no atheistic authorities, there are no atheistic rituals, there are no atheistic codes or holy books. Obviously there may be people who are atheists and who try to convey how people should live according to their worldview, but again when you're atheist you're not obliged to conform to anything other atheists think and yet still be atheist.

Obviously in case of religion it's all different. You can't call yourself christian and yet say "Well I don't really care what that Jesus guy  wanted me to do" or "I'm catholic, but who cares about pope" or "Well I'm muslim but I really don't like prophet Muhammad"

That's what theists extremaly often don't understand. They think that since their whole worldview may be basically described using just one word like christian or muslim it necessarily means that the same applies to atheism. Bullshit. You can't tell anything more about atheist that he simply doesn;t believe in god and/or think god is improbable. Whereas when you call yourself christian I can easily tell what's your standpoint on homosexuals, abortion, freedom of speech with respect to your god etc. Or at least I should be able assuming you really believe what you believe. And I can do this using the book that is the basis for your religion. You can say that since I'm atheist I'm more likely to say support abortion. Statistically it's probably true, but again it's not about statisticall truths but rather whether you can say that my standpoint on this issue is predefined by my atheism and the answer is obviously not. You can be atheist and oppose abortion. The same goes for literally everything. And that's all because atheism is just one independent belief.