November 19, 2008 12:43pm
|Danny, I agree with your assertion that being atheist does not make one able (or more likely) to commit atrocities. I think JPC is simply presenting evidence to counter the many atrocities that you have blamed on religion. You state, “I'm an Atheist…I have never committed a crime, nor have I ever assaulted anyone, or commit any heinous acts of violence. This alone disproves that claim of yours.” I can say exactly the same thing as a Christian, so that disproves any claim of yours that being Christian has anything to do with crimes or atrocities committed by Christians.
JPC, Winston, myself and others have been trying to show you that your sweeping generalities (or stereotypes) cannot be applied as fact to indict an entire classification of people. You continue to blast all religion as evil by citing examples of atrocities committed by people that have connections to religion (whether or not they themselves are actually truly religious). The counter argument is of course to show even one example of an atheist who has done the same thing to DISPROVE both notions. So the existence of some evil atheists does not mean all atheist are evil. The existence of some evil theists does not mean all theists are evil. Your inability to see that logic is probably what frustrates those Christians that you have debated. Every single example you have provided such as the crusades, inquisition, witch trials, and all others is due to the actions of men. Religious doctrine did not instruct people to go to war or commit atrocities.
You also say “The actions of Trotsky and Stalin had nothing to do with being Atheist, and everything to do with political fundamentalism.” I’m not exactly sure what you mean by that. Webster’s defines fundamentalism as: a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles. Political fundamentalism I assume means strict and literal adherence to a set of laws or rules (the Constitution perhaps?). I fail to see how this makes one commit crimes unless those rules or laws direct one to do it. Atrocities of Stalin, Hitler, Inquisitors, wars (including the Crusades) had to do with individuals or states seeking increase power and influence. Some used religion to gain popular support (to convince an ignorant or apathetic population that what they were doing was right).
If you find current religious doctrine that instructs and promotes members to commit crimes or atrocities, I will join you in condemning that sect. I will not condemn ALL religions (go back to paragraph to for the reason why). I know of no mainstream Christian religion that promotes any kind of violence. Even the much vilified Inquisition was not the result of doctrine that directed such atrocities. You can read online a very frank (warts and all) discussion on the topic in the Catholic Encylopedia. While you are there, look up Mosiac Legislation before you write any rebuttal citing the Old Testament.
In fact, the practice of New Testament Christian would achieve the same goal with regard to social harmony as the Venus Project of the Zeitgeist movement which states:
“The concepts presented by The Venus Project are in no way inconsistent with most of the religious teachings of the world. Perhaps the major difference is that we would like actually to transform these lofty ideals into a working reality for the nations of our planet.”
The Venus Project is the plan to achieve a system “which will continuously grow in a positive way, where negative social consequences, such as social stratification, war, biases, elitism and criminal activity will be constantly reduced and, idealistically, eventually become nonexistent within the spectrum of human behavior itself.” This is indeed a very lofty goal that admittedly no religion has accomplished on a large scale. Unfortunately, the whole concept is flawed because it oversimplifies human nature, especially the Scarcity concept.
Regarding religion, the movement also says, “It isn't the right of any person to tell another what to believe, for no human has a full understanding of anything.” That is something you should keep in mind if you respond, Danny.