Is Atheism Evil?

Tolerance-is-giving-to1Is Atheism Evil?

For those that are wondering and can’t contain their suspense, the TL;DR; version is …. (insert drum roll here) … “no”.

OK, so I’ve been inspired/provoked into writing a few comments in reply to a Huff Po article entitled “Is Atheism Evil?” by a chap called James Clark Kelly whose line is “Interfaith”, and so naturally his end conclusion is also “No’, and yet I must take issue with a few of the steps he takes along the road that gets him there, and also with the specific detail of the end-conclusion that he arrives at.

His platform is of course Mr Higgs (sigh! … this nonsense is not going to go away soon is it?) and he launches his article like this …

I’m going out on a limb here but I speculate that when atheist Hicks pulled the trigger and killed three innocent Muslims, it wasn’t really over a parking space. 

The hate crimes committed by the radical atheist Hicks beg the question, is atheism evil?

Ah, now this is where we have a special deeply technical word that accurately describes this, and that word is “bullshit”. He has exactly zero basis for making that claim, the evidence that this was a religiously motivated hate crime is exactly zero, and so as I’ve previously pointed out, using a similar logic, all of the following are equally credible …

He was a football fan and his neighbours did not support the same team, so you could also run with …

Football fan guns down fans of opposing team

He loved guns and apparently was renowned for wandering around carrying one on his hip, so you could go with …

Pro-Gun supporter guns down Anti-Gun lobby members

He was a student, and so were his neighbours, so you could go with …

Student brawl ends in 3 deaths

.. so why the religious twist, because all of the above is also on the Facebook page belonging to Mr Higgs as well.

Mr Clark does not stop with this, he also plays this old canard …

The atheist Hicks’s actions are part and parcel of atheism’s bloody history. There were well over 100 million victims of communism in Stalin’s Soviet Union and Mao’s China. While many victims were merely capitalists, in the Soviet Union alone between 12-20 million Christians were killed. During China’s “liberation” of Tibet, thousands of Tibetan Buddhists were killed and nearly every monastery was destroyed. In Cambodia, Pol Pot massacred about 25,000 Buddhist monks (and millions of other people); the Khmer Rouge also forced Muslims to eat pork and shot those who refused.

Nope, sorry but the non-‘belief of political communist fanatics was not an inspiration or motivator for the atrocities that took place, rather it was their fanatical and utterly irrational political beliefs that did that.

Oh but Wait…

Mr Clark is of course not really suggesting the above at all within his article, but rather is attempting to provoke an emotional response (quite successfully) and so he suddenly turns halfway through and says …

If you, an American atheist, were dismayed, shocked, angered, outraged even by these opening sentences, then you have some small sense of the feelings of the more than a billion peace-loving Muslims every time a so-called Muslim kills someone

and so his real message here is that we should suspend judgement when it comes to Islam.

Alas, it is not as simple as that

Non-belief is just that … a rejection of beliefs for a wide and often diverse range of reasons. There is no dogma, no book, and it does not in any way make anybody immune to being a complete dick (case in point is of course Mr Higgs).

In stark contrast, Islam is a vastly diverse collection of conflicting beliefs that consists of many different sects. There are variations that renounce all violence, and others that embrace violence as a necessity, and so the deployment of the term “Islam” as an attempt to describe one unified belief is indeed a rather flawed approach … and so I would like to hope that Mr Clark gets that rather basic observation right, even if he does not articulate it within his article.

So is it just a tiny minority that gives the rest a bad name?

I would wish with all my heart that it was indeed just a tiny fringe minority within Islam and that the vast majority are peace loving individuals who wish no harm to anybody, but alas I need to come to terms with the statistics from the 2012 survey that tell a rather different story …

There is however some good news here, it means that despite their belief teaching them that murdering people for simply leaving Islam is what Allah wants, 64% of them reject that idea, and that is encouraging because it means that the majority are decent human beings.

Mr Clark states that …

Muslims, like most of us, simply want a more peaceful and prosperous life for their children.

… and so I do agree that is true, but if that is to become a reality then it means that the 64% needs to persuade the other 34% to not persist in being obnoxious intolerant religious twits.

The hope for a better world rests not just with us, but also with that 64%.

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