1. The reason people cite atheist murderers is to counter the anti-religion bigotry of those who claim that ALL religion is evil because religion has been used as a reason for war. Now please do this same critique of those, even if you think that’s pointless, just so it can be linked to and cited.

  2. M

    Could someone please reply to this, I myself am an atheist but I am doing a project on whether religion is a force for good. Stalin was an incredibly unstable person and easily the biggest mass murderer in the history of mankind, perhaps the LACK of a religion denies someone the set of mainstream moral standards proposed by e.g. christianity’s ten commandments. I have read what the god delusion says, it basically says exactly the same as this article, I am not convinced by the reasoning.

    • Andrew Pritchard

      I offer Hitler as the counter to Stalin as mentioned in the article. Both were psychopaths. Both were in charge of a fundamentalist country willing to do whatever their leaders say (usually because they didn’t want to suffer the same consequences). One used religion to control their people, the other used politics.

      Religion could be a force for good. Unfortunately religion over the centuries has been used as a way of controlling the populace to do more evil than good. Taking Christianity as an example. Christ said you should look after people. Yet the fundamentalist Christian right in America will tell you that food stamps, which are keeping millions of Americans from starving to death, are evil and creating a dependency. The opposite of what Christ said.

      Perhaps you could explain the flaw in the reasoning of the article, or is it just that the truth makes you feel uncomfortable.

  3. Dave Gamble

    M … a few thoughts to ponder over.

    Being an Atheist is not a thing, it is simply a conclusion, a dismissal of the God claims, usually due to a lack of credible evidence for such assertions, and says nothing about anything else. Hence you can have believers and non-believers who are decent or complete shits.

    A “no-God” conclusion is not coupled with morality, nor is an acceptance of a belief in any way coupled with morality. People are not good or bad because they happen to hold or reject specific beliefs. To illustrate that point, do believers read the bible and think to themselves, “Well gosh, murder is wrong, I never knew that; its a good thing I read it here or I would not have known and so I might have rushed out to murder somebody”. Morality is a product of our culture and our empathy and so regardless of our individual beliefs, most embrace it, and some don’t to various degrees.

    It is possible to point to some truly obnoxious non-believers (Stalin being your example), but it is also possible to point to some truly obnoxious believers who have engaged in similar acts (Hitler) … [It is about here that some will assert "Ah but he was not a true believer / non-believer" ... because there is an assumed coupling between belief and morality that does not exist.]

    It is all tied in with your project … is belief a force for good or not.

  4. mike klein

    You misunderstand D’Souza’s point. Atheists like Hitchens use the argument that Religion is evil because of all the evil done by Christians, Muslims, etc.

    The argument is granting that criticism, which you would call a post hoc ergo promptor hoc argument, and saying if you really believe that, then you also have to accept the evils committed by atheists as well.

    If D’Souza, and Christians in general, rejected the argument that Christianity is responsible for the Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials, I quite certain that we would be attacked for that position as well.

  5. 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 democidal162 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!

    • Dave Gamble

      Both Stalin, Pol Pot and others did the abhorrent things that they did, not because they did not believe in a god, but because they promoted an irrational political belief that did not have a single jot of evidence to support it.

      This duck is dead … you can keep on bringing out a stuffed specimen if you wish, but the only person you are fooling is yourself.

Leave a Reply