Is the world crueler for atheism?


These days, atheism is the the Vatican’s whipping boy it seems. ABC News reports that the Pope Says Atheism Led to ‘Greatest Cruelty’. So much for interfaith respect, so much for getting a “senior Vatican official” to urge that “Muslims must respect people of all faiths and not exclude them on the grounds of religion, race or any other personal characteristic.”

According to the article, the Pope says “it had led to some of the “greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice” ever known to mankind.”

Really, is atheism the only beast that had eroded moral values and degraded society? I beg to differ. History too begs a differing record for this perennial deathmatch between fidels and infidels. And we do not have to go far back. America, that bastion of freespeech, progress and power, is still in a deadlocked stalemate between religion and the state. Most overtly, the religious overtones that George Bush, President of the United States, has lacquered the War on Terror with could do with a few repaints to cover the cracks in his reasoning. What has this War, initiated and managed by Mr Bush brought to the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, America and the rest of the world?

I respect an individual’s right to belief, to choice. But here’s the leader of the one of the leading religions of the world laying humanity’s problems at the door of atheism, while calling for a rival religion to respect diversity. In the face of humanity’s collective track-record, saturated with violence and war in the name of religion, that just cracks the facade of inter-faith respect that much more. Holy Wars, anyone? Specifically, how about that series of holy wars called the Crusades?

In the article,the Pope “sharply criticizes Marx and the 19th and 20th century atheism spawned by his revolution, although he acknowledges that both were responding to the deep injustices of the time.”

Time… time should have been taken to reflect on the whys and wherefore of those deep injustices before, during and after those times before laying anything on atheism. You know… “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and yadayadadada.

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11 responses to “Is the world crueler for atheism?

  1. But it is so easy for us to just be judgmental without looking at the plank in our own eye. Really, who wants to admit that the group they are affiliated with has done anything wrong?

  2. Looking at the truth is hard – it exposes what we’d rather not see. The words of Christ are not easily lived…and just because someone claims to be his follower doesn’t necessarily mean its true. He said, that a tree is known by its fruit. The crusades and other black marks in some eras of “Christian history” are hard – but genuine Christians aren’t afraid to look at them and respond to them in truth.

    Marx and Stalin were declared atheists. They founded their philosophy and state on the premise that there is no supernatural being, but rather that man and his authority were highest. Then they followed them to their obvious conclusion – embrace the philosophy of atheism and Marxism or you will be imprisoned and/or killed. There are over 17 million people whose deaths testify to this truth.

    I would encourage you to take an honest look at Jesus Christ and what He says in the Bible – and a good look at the writing of Marx and Stalin – then draw your conclusions about what someone else says about them.

    Just a thought…

    Why not

  3. You wrote: “These days…” The Vatican has fought atheism for centuries. Catholics and Christians want to convert everyone to accept Jesus Christ to “help them go to heaven.”

    And not just the Vatican picks on atheists. Christians, Muslims, etc… Check out what this kid posted as a question: Do you think that atheists are retarded people?
    http://sodahead.com/poll/30450/

  4. You could easily say that everyone picks on everyone if they’re provided a reason and the proper excuse. If they even care about a reason or an excuse.

  5. nope, never listen to someone that wants everyone to think like they do, they show themselves as ignorant and unhappy by that proposition.

  6. Well written Calsifer.
    Everyone has done evil to everyone else, its never just about spiritual inclination although a lack of it or too much of it provides a convenient excuse to kill people.
    I blame the fundamentalists. ( Yes G.W.B 2 is a fundamentalist)
    I used to think that religon only was the way to co-ordinate people to kill on a large scale but theres def. more to it.
    Still reckon the Crusades are an embarassment to Christianity. Lest We forget.

  7. “never listen to someone that wants everyone to think like they do”.

    Now there’s a pearl of wisdom. I think that everyone has a right to life. I think that stealing is wrong. I want everyone to believe that, too. Clearly I must be “ignorant and unhappy”.

  8. Inquisition and the Witch’s Hammer…done by Catholics.
    Reconquest of Spain and the killing of non-coverted Jews and Muslims…done by Catholics.
    Crusades…done by Catholics.
    Being quiet and not taking a stand against facism or naziism…done by Catholics.
    The expulsion of the Huguenots (French Protestants)…Catholics.
    The war going on in Northern Ireland…Catholics (yes, and Protestants).
    Some civil wars occurred in England, as well as the reason for the Anglican Schism…Catholics.

    No, I am not anti-Catholic (half my family is Catholic, and I am Catholic by heritage on my mother’s side)…but see where I am going, Pope Benedict?

  9. I have no problems regarding some religious people (Christians, Muslims etc) as decent or good people, and others as vile and evil. Why shouldn’t this attitude apply to atheists too, instead of the dubious tactic of tarring atheists with the black brush of Marx and Stalin?

  10. Whether religious or atheist or whatever, it’s about power, money, control on this earth. To confuse Stalin with the philosopher Marx would be like confusing the crusader kings with the teachings of Mark. The problem with Marx is he didn’t give enough credit to what religion has tried to address from the beginning. What motivates people? Religion has tried to get people to cast aside the trappings of this earth and think about the afterlife. We should do this as best we can and when we help someone, make sure we’re not hurting someone else.

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