Archive for the ‘the crimes of atheism’ Category

Religion poisons everything: Really?

September 15, 2011

Lying not far beneath the surface of all the neo-atheist books is the kind of historiography that many of us adopted in our hormone-disturbed adolescence, furious at the discovery that our parents sometimes told lies and violated their own precepts and rules. It can be summed up in Christopher Hitchens’s drumbeat in God Is Not Great: “Religion spoils everything.”

What? The Saint Matthew Passion? The Cathedral of Chartres? The emblematic religious person in these books seems to be a Glasgow Airport bomber—a type unrepresentative of Muslims, let alone communicants of the poor old Church of England. It is surely not news, except to someone so ignorant that he probably wouldn’t be interested in these books in the first place, that religious conflict has often been murderous and that religious people have committed hideous atrocities. But so have secularists and atheists, and though they have had less time to prove their mettle in this area, they have proved it amply. If religious belief is not synonymous with good behavior, neither is absence of belief, to put it mildly.

In fact, one can write the history of anything as a chronicle of crime and folly. Science and technology spoil everything: without trains and IG Farben, no Auschwitz; without transistor radios and mass-produced machetes, no Rwandan genocide. First you decide what you hate, and then you gather evidence for its hatefulness…

… the absence of religious faith, provided that such faith is not murderously intolerant, can have a deleterious effect upon human character and personality. If you empty the world of purpose, make it one of brute fact alone, you empty it (for many people, at any rate) of reasons for gratitude, and a sense of gratitude is necessary for both happiness and decency. For what can soon, and all too easily, replace gratitude is a sense of entitlement. Without gratitude, it is hard to appreciate, or be satisfied with, what you have: and life will become an existential shopping spree that no product satisfies.

Atheist Theodore Dalrymple being a bit more balanced than the absurd claim of Christopher Hitchens

26.3 million Chinese were killed during the regime of Mao Tse Tung betwen the years of 1949 and May 1965

October 11, 2009

26.3 million Chinese were killed during the regime of Mao Tse Tung betwen the years of 1949 and May 1965. the Walker Report published by the U.S. Senate Committee of the Judiciary in July 1971 which ‘placed the parameters of the total death toll within China since 1949 between 32.25 and 61.7 million’.

In the USSR, according to Guinness, ‘Nobel Prize winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn estimated the loss of life from state repression and terrorism from October 1917 to December 1959 under Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev at 66,700,000.’

The worst genocide as a percentage of a nation’s total population happened in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. According to Guinness, ‘More than one third of the 8 million Khmers were killed between 17 Apr 1975 and January 1979.’

During that time towns, money and property were abolished. Economic execution by bayonet and club was introduced for such offenses as falling asleep during the day, asking too many questions, playing non-communist music, being old and feeble, being the offspring of an undesirable, or being too well educated. In fact, deaths in the Tuol Sleng interrogation center in Phnom Penh, which is the capital of Kampuchea, reached 582 in a day.

Gregory Koukl (from The Guinness Book of World Records)

If only we could get rid of God, then the world would be so much better

October 11, 2009

According to the evidence released from secret archives since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, during 1937 and 1938, when the Great Terror was at its height, the security organs detained for alleged “anti-Soviet activities” 1,548,366 persons, of whom 681,692 were shot–an average of 1,000 executions a day. (For comparison, the tsarist regime between 1825 and 1910 executed for political crimes 3,922 persons.) In 1941, when Germany invaded the USSR, camps run by the Gulag, their main administrative body, held 2,350,000 inmates, or 1.4 percent of the country’s population. The slave laborers performed important economic functions, being employed on large construction projects and forced to cut timber in the far north. No one responsible for these crimes against innocent people was tried after the Soviet Union collapsed; indeed, they did not even suffer exposure or moral opprobrium but continued to lead normal lives. Censuses revealed that between 1932 and 1939 – that is, after collectivization but before World War II – the population of the Soviet Union decreased by 9 to 10 million people. This orgy of destruction defied rational explanation. Black humor told of a new prisoner arriving at a hard labor camp. Asked how long a term he had drawn, he replies, ‘Twenty-five years.’ ‘For what?’ ‘For nothing.’ ‘Impossible,’ he is told, ‘For nothing you get ten years.’

Richard Pipes, Communism: A History, New York: Modern Library, 2001, p. 66-7