I should cover quickly some of the incorrect, misleading and deliberately false statements made about atheism and atheists. There are a number of people wheeled out as evil atheist killers that history to show how immoral atheists are but the historical evidence doesn’t support the claims of “killing for atheism” made against them, some are not and can never even be considered atheist. I need to address this before moving on because I am certain there have been atheist killers but atheist or theist, a persons belief is not always the reason for their actions, only the excuse they use. In the case of atheism atheism is never to my knowledge, or any historical reference I know of, the excuse for killing. With no atheist doctrine saying we should kill it would seem to be impossible to say someone killed in the name of atheism, it is far more common to find people actually reporting that they killed in the name of their chosen doctrine (political or religious). I want to discuss moderates but first I have to dispelled some of the false information in the world today.

Science, not required for atheism but not a danger to atheism.

Science, not required for atheism but not a danger to atheism.

The the politics l ideology of Marxism and some of the people accused of killing for atheism is a big one so let’s start Marxism itself. Karl Marx was a remarkable and prolific writer, brilliant economist and renowned philosopher who formulated the ideological basis for what we know to be communism. Marx, regardless of how people may think of him, was a very clever and thoughtful writer who like most theoretical economists was an idealist. His choice of ideal came to be the power majority, the working classes. It is often said that communists are atheist and this may be true to some degree but when a theist use this argument they use it dishonestly as an excuse to accuse atheists of being mass murderers without morals. Karl Marx, the father of communism did indeed suggested that to change there needed to be bloody revolution and no power but the worker state be allowed to retain the states power. Communism as Marx saw it is blood soaked but that is not atheism. Marx recognized the power of the people running the state with their military and police forces and said the masses need to rise up quickly and violently to overcome them and that is the heart of his writing on churches and religion. Oddly enough many christians still think the same way as Marx. Look towards the USA and who shouts the loudest about having guns to maybe one day take over the state, you will find a whole lot of christians in that mix. Marx also recognized the power of the church on people and said they need to fall to refocus peoples attention on the state, replacing god with state being his intention. There is a suggestion that state imposed atheism is a best option but the intent is to direct people to believe the state comes before god. Again a very christian ideal, in the christian bible a guy names jesus said something similar when the suggested you pay Rome what is rightfully Rome’s. Technically and theoretically, on the division of power, Marx was not wrong churches wield a great deal of unwarranted unelected power in our societies. In practice communism like capitalism and all pure forms of economic theory has the ability to turn ugly when people come to be part of the equation. What we find looking at Marxism is that its not really atheism he was arguing but the replacement of god-religion with state-religion, the state to effectively become a god to the people. What happened when people were added was personality cult and power grabbing not dissimilar from any other human power structure. When it comes to the anti-theism of pure communism it is about breaking down powerful church organizations and far less about destroying personal belief. Power as the focus of the anti-theist ideology, both Mao and Stalin, major players in communism, allowed religion to exist where it benefited them and their cause. Marx may have been and is well noted as being atheist but atheism was not his goal nor the reason behind his writing. At worst Marx’s outsider perspective as an atheist gave him a clearer view of religion and how it held and wielded power on which to build parts of his socio-economic vision.

Next let’s address the one person who was surely atheist in his destructive years, he man made clear his lack of belief but he wasn’t always that way or educated that way. Joseph Stalin may be best described as a mad monk turned politician. We can’t ignore how a person learned to hate enough to be willing to kill on mass or how he came to decide it was political necessity. I have some Marx in my personal library (I have many historically important books) and have read other of his works. He does suggest that because of the nature of the wealthy to have military and police strength the only way for radical change is revolution but that can’t be the only factor leading to mass killing post revolution Stalin undertook. I have read Marx and other philosophies of the time and I don’t want to kill or think of people of other races as lesser than myself, lessons easily learned from many of the philosophers of the 19th century theist and atheist. Atheism as I have previously mentioned has no doctrines so “kill everyone” can’t be atheist doctrine, I would need to adopt an ideology (or go insane) to want to kill and my atheism has not given me any special

I own a copy of this historical book and can read how christian Hitler was. What's your ignorance based on if you believe he wasn't.

I own a copy of this historical book and can read how christian Hitler was. What’s your ignorance based on if you believe he wasn’t.

reason adopt any ideology in its entirety. Stalin identified as atheist but the ideology of communism is not atheism. Somehow Stalin not only became atheist but adopted communism as his ideology. Stalin’s formal years of education are well known, Stalin was well educated and on his way to the priesthood when he turned to politics. Is it here perhaps that he learned to hate, to refute god and with communism thrown in gain the power to enact his hate. Every one of us is the culmination of our life’s experiences and it is lucky for christians that we will never know how his training as a priest changed Stalin or why he became a power hungry paranoid killer. In the end we know Stalin was insane with his need to retain power and under pressure internationally to renounce communism (which may have enhanced the need in him to retain power through killing). We know the historical fact of Russia, the revolution, the progression from communism to Leninism to Stalinism and how dirtied ideology of worker state became. We know Stalin’s actions were in the name of communism but nothing he did was in the name of atheism though he was openly critical of religion. We also know Stalin was the atheist was the same man who knowing the power of the church, reformed the Russian Orthodox church to build public support in the fight against Nazi Germany (and gaining Vatican approval). It is impossible to know what drove Stalin to be who he became but we do know atheism and christianity both played roles in his life as a communist.

Leading on from Stalin, Adolph Hitler. This one is easy. I have a copy of Mien Kampf in my personal library and the man is well documented as being Roman catholic. His speeches, articles, books, radio recordings and film stock all show a man declaring his christianity and his work being that of god. It is hard to work out why so many theists bring Hitler up when trying to tarnish atheism. There are some writings at the end of his life, as his world collapses, where he expresses doubt but still no outright rejection of belief. Until the faith shaking realization there may not be a god on his side in the war he started, Hitler is very much a Roman Catholic christian. His doubt can not be seen as atheism and nothing in his life suggests he fully understood, if understood at all, the concept of no god only the wrong gods. Not only is Hitler well known but the vatican gave him the power to choose German church leaders. The pope of the time, like many people of the time, did not like the separatist nature of some communities – especially some religious ones – in their midst which was often expressed as anti-semitism (though WWII all but ended gypsy existence in mainland Europe and Hitler also targeted homosexuals). At that time in history it was a very christian thing to hate anyone not christian and white with violent intent if not actions, WWII rocketed us along the road less hateful.

Pol Pot. This man is a mixed up creation. Like Stalin his actions were communist but his level of non belief is an unknown from the information I and most people can access. Pot was born buddhist and educated christian, he later became communist and for reasons unknown (as they can’t have presented that much of a threat to his power) took to killing people in quite horrible ways. I am not even going to guess where Pot got his mindset but it was a sick one he managed to get away with. Pot’s communist empire fell and the people who followed him to power allowed him to live out his life basically unpunished. Certainly unpunished for the level of suffering he caused. I am not even sure how to judge the people who failed to punish Pot or what their beliefs may be, I am certainly willing to say that their beliefs or lack of beliefs may not be the criteria best used to judge them.

Mao Zedong, China’s hero, was a buddhist before becoming communist. Revolution in China with it’s population and poverty, the 1936 invasion on China by the Japanese who killed far more Chinese people than all the people Hitler had killed in his lifetime, and the problems of western support of imperial China, nothing about a Chinese revolution was going to be clean. There were certainly strange policies leading to death in China, the Great Leap Forward was meant to revolutionize agriculture as had been done in Russia and ended up starving million to death. The following youth movement implemented to boost support after such a failed policy kills many more. To say that Mao meant to kill people in villages would I think be over stating his actions, it was simply a very bad poorly implemented policy and a power structure slow to change. Bad politics is not atheism any more than it is buddhism. I can’t get in the head of the long dead chairman but today the Chinese people love him, even those who suffered now credit him with bringing the country from abject poverty and foreign domination to the level of potential first works country. Admittedly his record is whitewashed in China, something that may backfire on the regime if the people ever learn how whitewashed; a problem for another day. Would I be happy to say China today is atheist, an evil atheist nation? No. The China of Mao practices a blend of atheism, ancestor worship and buddhism. Hospitals have Chinese medicine wards where pseudo-medicine is practised, pseudo-medical pressure point massage is huge business and crackers go off daily to scare of spirits and bring luck to businesses. Western religion and its powerful churches may not play a part but I don’t know that we can judge Mao’s actions or China as being atheist, only communist.

Why theists play these games is beyond me but pushed for an answer I would say they hope their followers don’t read. It takes a 30 second google search to find historical references that refute many of the claims so the people they are talking to must not even read that far (which I guess is why Answers in Genesis and Conservapedia exist, to save googling information you don’t want and re-enforce the lies some preacher told you).

This line of argument is foolish because it doesn’t take long for an atheist to dig up examples of religious killing. People who did directly say they killed for god are easy to find; Adolph Hitler afore mentioned, any number of people currently in prisons world wide, and some of the most repulsive periods of human history such as the dark ages, various which hunts and the fictional flood of Noah Abrahamic theists believe in. It isn’t just the people (and fictional gods) committing the crime who present the public face of religious killing, finding people defending the murderous actions if other believers (or their god) is as easy as breathing.

When you build a false argument that is easily refuted you don’t do yourself any favors. The theist argument puts believers who have a simplistic view of the world in danger of presenting these arguments in places where they will be presented with the facts and counter argument. I have met many an atheist who said that learning the truth of things they had been told by a religious leader was what made them question their beliefs. By presenting these arguments you weekend your own cause, honesty is and will always be a better weapon in the battle to save theism from its long slow death.

Again I do not understand why these arguments exist, I for one prefer honesty in all things. The people who originally built them must have had the intelligence to research their subject and must have known that being caught in a lie can be detrimental. I can only guess stupidity and education are lacking in the people they aimed it at. I guess it also shouldn’t surprise me, I have known most of my life that religion targeted the young, stupid and the vulnerable. The young and stupid would certainly be more susceptible to this level of argument from an authority figure.

May your gods remain fictional,

The Antitheocrat.

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