"Atheism has killed more people than Christianity" (1 Viewer)

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SystemShock

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This is a common argument that apologists keep bringing up over and over again, mostly - as far as I can tell - ever since Christopher Hitchens started mentioning the number of deaths caused by religion throughout the centuries, during debates, talks, and in written pieces. And the "evidence" presented for the apologist argument is always the four horsemen of the atheist apocalypse: Hitler, Stalin, Temüjin, and Zedong.

And every time I hear this argument, I want to smack apologists across the face, because none of the aforementioned ever killed anyone in the name of atheism.

Hitler was not an atheist. This is made obvious by passages written in Mein Kampf, speeches, letters to his generals, going as far as describing Jesus as being Aryan warrior. Even the belt buckles in nazi uniforms said "God is with us". So no atheism there.

The Ghengis Khan wasn't an atheist. He wasn't a Christian, but he's known to have been a Tengrist. He also is known to have been tolerant of other religions and by all accounts wanted to learn about the philosophies of religions outside the Mongol empire. So again, no atheism there.

Which brings us to the last 2, Zedong and Stalin. I put them together as both were proponents of Marxism-Leninism, and indeed there is an anti-religion facet within the Marxist-Leninist ideology. But to say both killed people in the name of atheism is not correct.

Their actions were guided not by the non-belief in a deity (which is what atheism is) but by the fact that institutionalized religion was an obstacle to the socialist revolution, which is true of any period in history, as religions - like Christianity in ancient Rome, then England, Spain, France, etc - have always aligned with emperors, kings, and tyrants, used as political tools to control and oppress the masses, as religious leaders watched the suffering of the population from the comfort and warmth of the palace, all while absolving the kings and tyrants of their sins.

So, killing in the name of a deity Yahweh still holds the title for more deaths, no contest.
 
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JLL

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It’s clear your here just to shirt on Christianity and apologist. This thesis and others you’ve made on this board are not intended to advance conversation only to “shock” those who you find petulant, along the lines of a dear diary entry....
 
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SystemShock

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It’s clear your here just to shirt on Christianity and apologist. This thesis and others you’ve made on this board are not intended to advance conversation only to “shock” those who you find petulant, along the lines of a dear diary entry....
Do you have an argument against anything I posted, or are you just going to make allegations about me?

While it is in the handle, could you please point to anything I posted that you consider "shocking"? Let's start with this post. What do you find "shocking" about it?

And lastly, could you describe what would you consider "advancing the conversation"?
 
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JLL

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This is a common argument that apologists keep bringing up over and over again, mostly - as far as I can tell - ever since Christopher Hitchens started mentioning the number of deaths caused by religion throughout the centuries, during debates, talks, and in written pieces. And the "evidence" presented for the apologist argument is always the four horsemen of the atheist apocalypse: Hitler, Stalin, Temüjin, and Zedong.

And every time I hear this argument, I want to smack apologists across the face, because none of the aforementioned ever killed anyone in the name of atheism.

Hitler was not an atheist. This is made obvious by passages written in Mein Kampf, speeches, letters to his generals, going as far as describing Jesus as being Aryan warrior. Even the belt buckles in nazi uniforms said "God is with us". So no atheism there.

The Ghengis Khan wasn't an atheist. He wasn't a Christian, but he's known to have been a Tengrist. He also is known to have been tolerant of other religions and by all accounts wanted to learn about the philosophies of religions outside the Mongol empire. So again, no atheism there.

Which brings us to the last 2, Zedong and Stalin. I put them together as both were proponents of Marxism-Leninism, and indeed there is an anti-religion facet within the Marxist-Leninist ideology. But to say both killed people in the name of atheism is not correct.

Their actions were guided not by the non-belief in a deity (which is what atheism is) but by the fact that institutionalized religion was an obstacle to the socialist revolution, which is true of any period in history, as religions have always aligned with emperors, kings, and tyrants, used as political tools to control and oppress the masses, as religious leaders watched the suffering of the population from the comfort and warmth of the palace, all while absolving the kings and tyrants of their sins.

So, killing in the name of a deity still holds the title for more deaths, no contest.
I don't know the specific argument from Hitchens your referring to. You give evidence of the apologists is Hitler, Stalin Temüjin and Zedong, and present evidence that they weren't atheists. But then you come to the conclusion that killing in the name of a deity holds the title for more deaths, no contest, but your title specifically mentions Christians. So I'm not sure the point your trying to make. Do you have a problem with religions, or Christianity in your original post?
 
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SystemShock

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I don't know the specific argument from Hitchens your referring to. You give evidence of the apologists is Hitler, Stalin Temüjin and Zedong, and present evidence that they weren't atheists. But then you come to the conclusion that killing in the name of a deity holds the title for more deaths, no contest, but your title specifically mentions Christians. So I'm not sure the point your trying to make. Do you have a problem with religions, or Christianity in your original post?
If that sentence confuses you, I'll edit it to specify Yahweh.
 

JLL

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Your not presenting any evidence that killing specifically in the name of "Yahweh", holds the title. I'm not arguing that Christians or Judeo Christian believers haven't killed. Just that specifically in the name of Yahweh argument isn't the cause of killing.
 
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SystemShock

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Your not presenting any evidence that killing specifically in the name of "Yahweh", holds the title. I'm not arguing that Christians or Judeo Christian believers haven't killed. Just that specifically in the name of Yahweh argument isn't the cause of killing.
I thought the crusades, the various inquisitions, the forced conversions of indigenous people at various points in history, which were especially bloody in the American and African continents; etc., were common knowledge.
 

JLL

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They are. Seeing that Judeo Christian religion was established over 2000 years ago, the amount of deaths contributed to the belief in Christianity, Judaism is probably statistically true. But it has also saved more souls, and lives, than those that suppress the tenets of Yahweh, no contest.
 
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SystemShock

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They are. Seeing that Judeo Christian religion was established over 2000 years ago, the amount of deaths contributed to the belief in Christianity, Judaism is probably statistically true. But it has also saved more souls, and lives, than those that suppress the tenets of Yahweh, no contest.
I am going to have to object to "saved more souls", for obvious reasons.

As for saving more lives than those that suppress the tenets of Yahweh, if you want to shift the argument from the OP, that you are going to have, if not prove, at least make some sort of argument that backs up that claim; and perhaps a new thread.
 

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I think that an important distinction needs to be made between killing for religious reasons and using religion to justify killing for non-religious reasons. The crusades and the inquisition might be considered examples of the former. What happened to native Americans in North America is an example of the latter. But even when religion is a primary mover of slaughter, political and economic considerations still weigh heavily. If people want something and are willing to kill for it, they'll find a rationale wherever they can. In the conflict with ISIS, for instance, ISIS is fighting for religious reasons to achieve political ends.
 
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SystemShock

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I think that an important distinction needs to be made between killing for religious reasons and using religion to justify killing for non-religious reasons. The crusades and the inquisition might be considered examples of the former. What happened to native Americans in North America is an example of the latter.
Yes and no.
It may be truer for the peoples the British conquered, but not for the people the Spaniards conquered. While there were not recognized as inquisitions, Spaniard monks still enslaved and tortured people into Christianity, and those who didn't, die resisting.
 

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Even the belt buckles in nazi uniforms said "God is with us". So no atheism there.

Your German needs a little work. Gott mitt uns means “God With Us” and had been part of Prussian and German military uniforms for hundreds of years before the Nazis came along.

Also, I suggest reading up on the life and, more pointedly, the ultimate fate of Maximilian Kolbe.
 
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SystemShock

SystemShock

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Your German needs a little work. Gott mitt uns means “God With Us”
How wonderfully pedantic. "God is with us", "god with us", what is the difference as it relates to what I posted? Or even verbally? Grammatically?

and had been part of Prussian and German military uniforms for hundreds of years before the Nazis came along.
And? Are you suggesting that a control freak who allegedly was killing people in the name of atheism didn't mind it? Or maybe didn't notice it?

Also, I suggest reading up on the life and, more pointedly, the ultimate fate of Maximilian Kolbe.
What am I supposed to get out of that?
 

PurpleReign

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How wonderfully pedantic. "God is with us", "god with us", what is the difference as it relates to what I posted? Or even verbally? Grammatically?


And? Are you suggesting that a control freak who allegedly was killing people in the name of atheism didn't mind it? Or maybe didn't notice it?


What am I supposed to get out of that?
You are insinuating that the Nazis were motivated by religion rather than imperialism, geopolitics, and racism. And your evidence is a 350 year old slogan on a belt buckle. Who is being pedantic?

It’s like saying someone is clearly religious if they use American currency to buy something because, you know, it says “In God we Trust” on it.
 
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SystemShock

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You are insinuating that the Nazis were motivated by religion rather than imperialism, geopolitics, and racism. And your evidence is a 350 year old slogan on a belt buckle. Who is being pedantic?

It’s like saying someone is clearly religious if they use American currency to buy something because, you know, it says “In God we Trust” on it.
I can't tell if you didn't actually read what I posted or you didn't understand it. I am not insinuating anything. I am countering the very silly apologetics argument that claims atheism has caused more deaths than Christianity.

And while the nazis weren't motivated entirely by religion, there was a religious component to their actions. But in any case, the point is, Hitler wasn't an atheist, and the nazis didn't kill anyone in the name of atheism.
 
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SystemShock

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OK, so how many deaths has Christianity caused?
Can't give you a number, but considering historical events like the crusades, inquisitions, forced conversions, ; more recent events like the Pope telling people not to wear condoms at the height of the AIDS pandemic in Africa... a whole lot.
 

PurpleReign

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Can't give you a number, but considering historical events like the crusades, inquisitions, forced conversions, ; more recent events like the Pope telling people not to wear condoms at the height of the AIDS pandemic in Africa... a whole lot.
For those historical events, I think you are overestimating death tolls. Something like the Spanish Inquisition resulted in a few thousand executions. That’s about the number of dead in a single minor Civil War battle.

As far as the Pope being responsible for the AIDS epidemic, seems kind of a reach to me.
 

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