…not in the name of atheism

Religion is responsible for more deaths and wars in the world than any other cause, but not really.  Many Atheists will make this claim and add to it that countries which embrace atheism to greater degrees are more peaceful and bestow more rights upon their citizens than countries thick with religious belief.

The response to these claims is to bring up the atheistic governments of communist China, Russia, and the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia, to name a few.  “But wait!” says the Atheist, “the hundreds of millions killed under atheistic rule weren’t killed in the name of atheism.”  And they’re right.  However, this is a distinction without a difference.

You see, the governments were run by Atheists who essentially suppressed or outlawed religion.  The point is that if atheism led to a more moral, peaceful and more humane treatment of people, how did these genocides take place?

Comments

  1. You’re right, wars are not fought in the name of atheism. Pogroms, genocide, and ‘social cleansing’ are. In the 20th century nearly 150,000,000 people were slaughtered by their own communist governments, and this number excludes war dead. This far exceeds the number of people killed throughout history in “religions wars” which includes the slaughter of the innocent also known as “the spread of the religion of peace”

    For a breakdown of the numbers see: http://www.scottmanning.com/content/communist-body-count/

  2. False dichotomy.

    The governments who committed those acted were not motivated by their non-theism, but rather power and control, similar to any theocracy. Theocratic governments just use religious beliefs as their excuse for their atrocities.

    You sound like you’re simply arguing against someone claiming that an atheist government would be more peaceful and humane.

    If it’s all the same to you, I would rather live in a country not controlled by religious beliefs.

  3. Again – The governments who committed those acted were not motivated by their non-theism, but rather power and control, just like any theocracy. Religious or not religious, people are still motivated by power and control.

    Who is claiming that non-theistic governments would be immune to power and corruption?

    • Again if religion poisons governments and deprives of rights, governments void of religion should do the opposite.

      Whether it was in the name of atheism is irrelevant. The leaders were atheists and expelled religion. They were the most tyrannical and brutal.

      It almost sounds like youre saying the religion run countries arent run by political and power motives too. Are the religious governments and leaders better for its citizens then?

  4. I really don’t understand why you’re having such a difficult time with this, John.

    Power corrupts.

    Theocracies often use religious beliefs as an excuse for their inhumane behavior. Just because non-theistic leaders don’t use this excuse doesn’t mean they are not capable of still behaving just as inhumanely.

    Who is claiming that non-theistic governments would be immune to power and corruption?

    Again if religion poisons governments and deprives of rights, governments void of religion should do the opposite.

    Again – false dichotomy.

  5. Kendrick says:

    To your specific point, John, Whittaker Chambers’ *Witness* remains the most compelling treatment of the connection between the atheism of communism and its moral depravity. Communists, he believed, were likely to prevail because they were more determined. No moral code, except steadfast adherence to the party line, constrained them. If the party line dictated that you salute Nazi Germany and Trotsky one day, and then condemn Nazi Germany and Trotsky the next, you did both with resolution and nary a hint of cognitive dissonance. It mattered only that the party cause, and the ultimate dialectical resolution, be advanced.

    Having a clear sense of right and wrong matters. What made the Communists in Chambers’ day so formidable — what convinced him they would win — was their subordination of right and wrong to the party line. That basic impulse — understanding right and wrong, at times decency and indecency — mattered nothing to the Communists. Anything goes, so long as it advances the prosperity of the party.

    That said, and to zqtx’s point, it was not atheism per se that locked Communist ideology into its evil. It was unbridled atheism, coupled with religiously fervent belief in the triumphant end-game.

  6. It’s a strange thing to try to make the distinction at all. Why do they think it matters more in what name people are killed than who is doing the killing? Atheists have killed more (many many more) than any other type of person in history. And they did most of it in one century. Is it not enough that they did it at all? Why is it important WHO did it, only when it was religious people?

  7. Because someone will get to eventually, I want to mention that there are better ways to kill greater numbers of people in the 20th (and 21st) century, then in times before when theocratic regimes were more common. It’s not really a defense, but the atheists will use it eventually.

  8. Stalin’s five plan for atheism is always a good one to google, resulted in thousands of churches closing and the deaths of 80,000+ Orthodox Priests…of course nothing to do with atheism though.

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