Atheism not Innocent

I’ve been reading bits and pieces from the currently famous atheists.  One of the arguments is that religion, if allowed to have influence, is bad for people and has led to mass murder in its subjugation of people.  Often mentioned is the Spanish Inquisition, which is the one of the more famous cases of mass murder.  I would like to include some numbers about mass murder committed by avowed atheist regimes. I am excluding wars from this comparison, because wars are often started for reasons that have more to do with power and conquest, and religion may be manipulated as a way to gain the cooperation of the masses.  So we will just consider mass murder for the present.

I will exclude Adolf Hitler from the discussion.  He was a psychopath, and it was very difficult to unravel what his religious beliefs actually were.  They either changed constantly, or his statements were simply made to suit the occasion.  Hitler, however, was not the biggest mass murderer.  He was responsible for 9 to 12 million mass murders.

The biggest mass murderer was undoubtedly Chairman Mao.  Varying sources estimate the numbers of his own people killed (democide) to be between 37 and 67 million.  He was undoubtedly an atheist.

Next in line would be Josef Stalin.  Estimates of his democide range between 20 and 40 million.  He was also an atheist.

Pol Pot killed between 1 and 2 million of his people, and Kim Il Sung of North Korea killed around 2 million of his.  They were atheists.

The Spanish Inquisition took place between 1476 and 1834, when the government would execute people for heresy.  Approximately 2000 people were killed by the Spanish government for heresy during those 358 years.

War, as I said earlier, is a different issue, and there are usually multiple reasons for every conflict, apparent and not so apparent.  While religion may be given as a reason, ethnic conflict is more often the real cause.  It is a fight by two groups for control of land or resources, a power grab by one of the groups, and all the usual reasons societies fight one another.  Nobody has a monopoly on starting wars–mankind itself stands guilty from as far back in history as we are able to go.

 This was an article Nonni wrote about a year ago.

Contributed by Michelle

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