Perspective for Anti-theists

If you take the combined records of Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Germany, Mao’s China, and Tojo’s Japan alone, you will discover that atheists, not religions, are history’s biggest killers.

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2 thoughts on “Perspective for Anti-theists

  1. Really? Going back through known history? I get that each of the examples you cite account for millions of deaths (and not to split hairs, but I’d have to be convinced that Hitler’s brand of neo-pagan, state-as-church was non-religious), but do they really outweigh all the religiously motivated lynchings and slaying and wars?

    To come at it from a different tact, why does it matter? Man’s inhumanity to man is awful no matter what the motivating factor.

    • I’ll confess it was a back-of-the-napkin calculation, but yes, when you judge the magnitude of the post-enlightenment conflicts and atrocities against the scale of previous conflicts, pogroms, etc, it doesn’t even come close. And, while we’re picking nits, we could go back through the history of religious wars and persecutions and divide those that saw secular rulers using a religious fig-leaf to justify their conflicts from those that were truly religious in nature, and the results I suspect would redound to my side of the ledger.

      As to Nazi Germany, while the trappings may have been pagan or pseudo-religious (“Gott mit ons” on the belt-buckles was about as religious as they got,) the ethos was pure Nietzsche (“Gott ist kaput.”)

      One thing you and I agree upon – morality and history make this entire argument irrelevant. So why do anti-theists like Richard Dawkins and Chris Hitchens insist on making it?

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