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Nevertheless, atheists claim that people of faith are to blame for mass amounts of people's lives being taken. This is not based on facts.
How many people in Communist Russia and China have been killed because of atheism and secularism?
How can that be? After all, millions and millions of people died in Russia and China under communist governments — and those governments were both secular and atheistic, right? So weren't all of those people killed because of atheism — indeed, in the name of atheism and secularism?
No, that conclusion does not follow. Atheism itself isn't a principle, cause, philosophy, or belief system which people fight, die, or kill for. Being killed by an atheist is no more being killed in the name of atheism than being killed by a tall person is being killed in the name of tallness.
People were killed in communist nations for a lot of different reasons.
Some were communists who disagreed with those in power and were killed because of that. Some were anti-communists opposed the government and were killed for that. Some were simply in the way or inconvenient and were killed for that. These are political disagreements that people were being killed over, not murder in the name of atheism.
But weren't a lot of people killed because they were Christian? Certainly — but not simply because they were Christian. Communists typically regarded religious organizations as a hinderance towards the creation of a worker's paradise. Some religious groups also opposed the communists. Once again, we are generally looking at political issues, not a question of atheism.
Even if some people were killed simply because they followed a religion, it does not follow that they were killed in the name of atheism. Why? Because atheism is not inherently opposed to religion: it is possible to be both an atheist and religious and some religions are themselves atheistic. Atheism also isn't a belief system or ideology which can, by itself, inspire people to do things — good or bad.
To understand this better, consider times in the past when religion has been involved with violence — the Inquisition would be good. How many people were killed during the Inquisition in the name of theism? None. Those doing the killing acted not because of theism, but rather because of Christian doctrines. The belief system is what inspired people to act (sometimes for good, sometimes for ill). The single belief of theism, however, did not.
Similarly, communism certainly inspired people to act and gave them motivations to do certain things, but atheism — which is the absence of a belief and not even a belief itself — did not. The assumption that people in Russia and China were killed merely on account of atheism is based upon two other myths: first, that atheism is itself some sort of philosophy or belief system which can motivate people, and second that atheism is somehow interchangeable with the actual belief system of communism. It also pretends that all the various elements of communist totalitarianism were irrelevant to what happened — which is utter nonsense.
The aforementioned parallel explains why this response is not one which religious theists can use to deny their religion's responsibility for violence in the past. Atheism and theism may not themselves be sufficient to justify violence and murder (or good behavior, for that matter), but belief systems which incorporate them are more than sufficient. Communism (or at least certain forms of it) can be blamed for communist violence; Christianity (or at least certain forms of it) can also be blamed for Christian violence. As a belief system with specific doctrines that were openly held up as justifying or sanctioning violence, religion must be held responsible for the violence committed in its name.
Whether theism can be slightly more culpable than atheism is a matter of dispute. Not being any belief at all, atheism can't motivate anyone in any direction to do anything. Theism is a belief, however, so at least the potential for some sort of motivation in some direction exists. It's been argued, for example, that monotheism is inherently more prone to violence because of the way it tends to be exclusivist — unlike polytheism, which tends to be more tolerant of cultural and religious differences.
It's difficult to say, though, how many of these problems are really inherent in the type of theism and how many are cultural products of the religious belief systems that incorporate them. Whatever culpability theism itself might have, it's likely small enough to dismiss, allowing us to treat it and atheism as functionally equal in this context.
Atheism, not religion, is the real force behind the mass murders of history
By Dinesh D'Souza
RANCHO SANTA FE, CALIF. – In recent months, a spate of atheist books have argued that religion represents, as "End of Faith" author Sam Harris puts it, "the most potent source of human conflict, past and present."
Columnist Robert Kuttner gives the familiar litany. "The Crusades slaughtered millions in the name of Jesus. The Inquisition brought the torture and murder of millions more. After Martin Luther, Christians did bloody battle with other Christians for another three centuries."
In his bestseller "The God Delusion," Richard Dawkins contends that most of the world's recent conflicts - in the Middle East, in the Balkans, in Northern Ireland, in Kashmir, and in Sri Lanka - show the vitality of religion's murderous impulse.
The problem with this critique is that it exaggerates the crimes attributed to religion, while ignoring the greater crimes of secular fanaticism. The best example of religious persecution in America is the Salem witch trials. How many people were killed in those trials? Thousands? Hundreds? Actually, fewer than 25. Yet the event still haunts the liberal imagination.
It is strange to witness the passion with which some secular figures rail against the misdeeds of the Crusaders and Inquisitors more than 500 years ago. The number sentenced to death by the Spanish Inquisition appears to be about 10,000. Some historians contend that an additional 100,000 died in jail due to malnutrition or illness.
These figures are tragic, and of course population levels were much lower at the time. But even so, they are minuscule compared with the death tolls produced by the atheist despotisms of the 20th century. In the name of creating their version of a religion-free utopia, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong produced the kind of mass slaughter that no Inquisitor could possibly match. Collectively these atheist tyrants murdered more than 100 million people.
Moreover, many of the conflicts that are counted as "religious wars" were not fought over religion. They were mainly fought over rival claims to territory and power. Can the wars between England and France be called religious wars because the English were Protestants and the French were Catholics? Hardly.
The same is true today. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not, at its core, a religious one. It arises out of a dispute over self-determination and land. Hamas and the extreme orthodox parties in Israel may advance theological claims - "God gave us this land" and so forth - but the conflict would remain essentially the same even without these religious motives. Ethnic rivalry, not religion, is the source of the tension in Northern Ireland and the Balkans.
Blindly blaming religion for conflict
Yet today's atheists insist on making religion the culprit. Consider Mr. Harris's analysis of the conflict in Sri Lanka. "While the motivations of the Tamil Tigers are not explicitly religious," he informs us, "they are Hindus who undoubtedly believe many improbable things about the nature of life and death." In other words, while the Tigers see themselves as combatants in a secular political struggle, Harris detects a religious motive because these people happen to be Hindu and surely there must be some underlying religious craziness that explains their fanaticism.
Harris can go on forever in this vein. Seeking to exonerate secularism and atheism from the horrors perpetrated in their name, he argues that Stalinism and Maoism were in reality "little more than a political religion." As for Nazism, "while the hatred of Jews in Germany expressed itself in a predominantly secular way, it was a direct inheritance from medieval Christianity." Indeed, "The holocaust marked the culmination of ... two thousand years of Christian fulminating against the Jews."
One finds the same inanities in Mr. Dawkins's work. Don't be fooled by this rhetorical legerdemain. Dawkins and Harris cannot explain why, if Nazism was directly descended from medieval Christianity, medieval Christianity did not produce a Hitler. How can a self-proclaimed atheist ideology, advanced by Hitler as a repudiation of Christianity, be a "culmination" of 2,000 years of Christianity? Dawkins and Harris are employing a transparent sleight of hand that holds Christianity responsible for the crimes committed in its name, while exonerating secularism and atheism for the greater crimes committed in their name.
Religious fanatics have done things that are impossible to defend, and some of them, mostly in the Muslim world, are still performing horrors in the name of their creed. But if religion sometimes disposes people to self-righteousness and absolutism, it also provides a moral code that condemns the slaughter of innocents. In particular, the moral teachings of Jesus provide no support for - indeed they stand as a stern rebuke to - the historical injustices perpetrated in the name of Christianity.
The crimes of atheism have generally been perpetrated through a hubristic ideology that sees man, not God, as the creator of values. Using the latest techniques of science and technology, man seeks to displace God and create a secular utopia here on earth. Of course if some people - the Jews, the landowners, the unfit, or the handicapped - have to be eliminated in order to achieve this utopia, this is a price the atheist tyrants and their apologists have shown themselves quite willing to pay. Thus they confirm the truth of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's dictum, "If God is not, everything is permitted."
Whatever the motives for atheist bloodthirstiness, the indisputable fact is that all the religions of the world put together have in 2,000 years not managed to kill as many people as have been killed in the name of atheism in the past few decades.
It's time to abandon the mindlessly repeated mantra that religious belief has been the greatest source of human conflict and violence. Atheism, not religion, is the real force behind the mass murders of history.
Patriots and Liberty
Agenda 21, Secular Humanism, and the Animalization of Americans
The murderous secular humanist religions of Communism and Nazism were spawned by the anti-God/utopian tradition of Revolutionary France. The Black Book of Communism, an 800-page compendium of the crimes of Communist regimes worldwide, graphically details the terror, torture, man-made famine, mass deportations, starvation, and massacres undertaken on behalf of revolutionary utopian ideals. The reality of Communism, which claimed to be an emissary of the Enlightenment, of universal brotherhood, and of happiness for all as envisioned by Gracchus Babeuf, turned out to be not only a sadistic engine for unimaginable evil but also the creator of hells on earth.
The book’s authors point to Communism’s “biological and zoological strain of thinking” as the engine of evil that proved itself to be a most effective means of denying the humanity of Communism’s millions of victims. “This strain of thinking,” explained Stephane Courtois, “is why so many of the crimes of Communism were crimes against humanity, and how Marxist-Leninist ideology managed to justify these crimes to its followers.” (The Black Book of Communism; p. 751)
Biocentrism: the Biological/Zoological Strain of Thinking
Biocentrism or ecocentrism, terms synonymous with today’s sustainable development/global warming crowd, is the “biological and zoological strain of thinking” in disguise. Biocentrism is antithetical to America’s Judeo-Christian worldview in that it not only reduces man to a soulless ape, but makes his life less valuable than cockroaches, earthworms, spotted owls, trash fish, grizzlies, alligators, and wolves. Those who trace the genesis of ideas, such as Donald Worster, point to Charles Darwin as the most important spokesman for the biocentrism attitude. In short, Darwin’s theory of evolution, the malignant heart of biocentrism, leads to contempt and even hatred towards humanity.
“Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs.”
(Earth First! Journal editor, John Daily)
“To feed a starving child is to exacerbate the world population problem.”
(Yale professor Lamont Cole)
Biocentrism and its morally-warped system of philosophy and morality thrive right here in America. Communism (multiculturalism/Cultural Marxism) and its diabolical mother, Secular Humanism, plus its twisted sisters, Postmodernism and Cosmic Humanism (New Age global warming crowd) are now the predominant way of thinking in most of America’s power centers. At the heart of each of these systems beats the black heart of Darwinian biocentrism.
Dr. James Dobson notes, “The Secular Humanist system…has outstripped Judeo-Christian precepts in the universities…judiciary…federal bureaucracy, in business, medicine, law, psychology, sociology…arts, in many public schools, and to be sure, in the halls of Congress.” (Understanding the Times; David A. Noebel; p. 7)
The problem with this critique is that it exaggerates the crimes attributed to religion, while ignoring the greater crimes of secular fanaticism. The best example of religious persecution in America is the Salem witch trials. How many people were killed in those trials? Thousands? Hundreds? Actually, fewer than 25.
Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong produced the kind of mass slaughter that no Inquisitor could possibly match. Collectively these atheist tyrants murdered more than 100 million people.
Every day in our public schools, America’s children are ‘animalized’ through the teaching of Darwinian evolutionary propaganda.
THE END DAYS
The Confessions of a Communist Agent On The Attempt to Destroy the Roman Catholic Church from Within
This is the story of a Communist agent who infiltrated into the Catholic Church in 1938, went to the Seminary, became a Priest who wielded enormous power behind the scene, participated in the Second Vatican Council, and without the intervention of Pope Paul VI himself he would have destroyed its works. He succeeded, however, in fostering the adoption of ambiguous Council documents which laid the ground work for future experiments by unsuspecting Prelates and Priests. These experiments based on the "Spirit of the Council" are destroying the 2,000-year Traditions of the Church, leading the Catholic faithful on the road to the Great Apostasy, and preparing the Church for the election of the Anti-Pope and for the reception of the coming Anti-Christ. He stated: "'The Spirit of the Council' has become for me a master-trump." The reader should observe that many harmful changes that the agent proposed have been implemented, some in direct disobedience to the the Pope, at the local dioceses throughout the world.
This agent had no name, only a code number AA-1025 given by the Russian Secret Police, meaning the Anti-Apostle number 1025. There had been 1024 agents like him before him. By now there must have been at least several thousands of them in the Catholic Church. Some must have risen to the rank of Archbishop and Cardinal, many of whom could have been heads of Departments in the Curia (Papal government) and religious Congregations. No wonder the 2000-year Traditions of the Church are being slowly demolished and replaced by heresies like Modernism, Arianism, Pelagian, Protestantism, Atheism, Liberation Theology. Nevertheless, Our Lord stated: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18).
Originally posted by Critical
I think the ideal religion would be one in which the people who suffer the most would be considered the most "holy". People who suffer deserve happiness more than people that dont. It doesnt matter if youve "sinned", just the pain that you experience. The problem with this is if people tried to suffer, it defeats the purpose of living.
Its just a silly thought. Dont make me feel bad with criticism please. This is not worthy of a thread to itself like yours is.
Originally posted by bigbert81
WELCOME to the religion of the future. A religion that focuses more on people rather than deities. A religion that promotes togetherness instead of segregation. A religion that focuses on the good aspects of man, and not the bad.