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Presumption of Atheism

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Marek Tatraj

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Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« 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?



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Blake1960

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Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #1 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.

   

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Blake1960

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Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #2 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.

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Marek Tatraj

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« Reply #3 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.

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Blake1960

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Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #4 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.  



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SceptiKarl

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« Reply #5 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.
Philosophers have interpreted the world in many different ways. The point is, to change it.

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Blake1960

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Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #6 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?

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Marek Tatraj

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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2012, 08:01:25 am »
Karl and Blake, may I ask you to stay on topic of original post?



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phil nov

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« Reply #8 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.

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Blake1960

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Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #9 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?


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Blake1960

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Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #10 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

11
Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #11 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!”
I am a very picky and critical theist.

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Lawlessone777

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Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #12 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.
God willed both to reveal himself to man, and to give him the grace of being able to welcome this revelation in faith.(so) the proofs of God's existence, however, can predispose one to faith and help one to see that faith is not opposed to reason.

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SceptiKarl

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Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #13 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!
Philosophers have interpreted the world in many different ways. The point is, to change it.

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ian holmes

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Atheism is not cause of mass murders.
« Reply #14 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.
"No man ever believes the bible means what it says, he's always convinced that it says what he means"