Friday, December 1, 2006

Atheism is the real force behind the mass murders of history

Dinesh D'Souza in the Christian Science Monitor refutes the argument [frequently made these days] that religion has caused most of the evil in history:
It's time to abandon the mindlessly repeated mantra that religious belief has been the greatest source of human conflict and violence. Atheism, not religion, is the real force behind the mass murders of history.
Earlier, he writes
Religious fanatics have done things that are impossible to defend, and some of them, mostly in the Muslim world, are still performing horrors in the name of their creed. But if religion sometimes disposes people to self-righteousness and absolutism, it also provides a moral code that condemns the slaughter of innocents. In particular, the moral teachings of Jesus provide no support for - indeed they stand as a stern rebuke to - the historical injustices perpetrated in the name of Christianity. [read the rest]

Source: Atheism, not religion, is the real force behind the mass murders of history

In the 20th century the selected governments below, within their own countries, quite apart from war, killed their own subjects as indicated:
USSR between 1917 and 1987 - 61,911,000
People’s Republic of China between 1949 and 1987 - 35,326,000
Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945 - 20,946,000
Nationalist China between 1928 and 1949 - 10,075,000

169 million in total were killed by the government ruling them in the last century. 37.4 million more were killed in wars - some started by these regimes, almost none motivated by religious doctrine.
None of these governments were motivated by religion. The USSR and Red China were explicitly anti-religious, the Nazis were enemies of Christianity and Judaism, and the Nationalists were engaged in a political effort to unify China. Their murders dwarf anything perpetrated in earlier centuries.
statistics are taken from R.J. Rummel, Death By Government,
Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick & London, 1994, pp. 1-27.

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