“There has never been a more murderous ideology than atheism.
Change my mind.”
A provocative statement to make on Facebook no doubt. But what reaction did I get? Many agreed, but as you’d expect there was plenty of pushback:
“Who has ever murdered in the name of atheism? And since when is the lack of belief in something an ideology? I get that most atheists are rabid hypocrites and full of inconsistencies, but I’m not aware of murders being done in the name of an unbelief in any god or gods.”
“I really have no desire to “change your mind” about the idea. However if you were to declare that “atheists are murderous” then I would have a bit of a bone to pick with you.”
“I don’t see any historical record of atheism causing as much destruction as monotheism other than recent communism. Unless you think we are in a dark age right now, atheism is not the greatest evil.”
“It depends what you mean by atheism, and it depends what you mean by murderous, and it depends on what you mean by ideology.”
“What does THE ideology of atheism look like? Perhaps you misspoke and meant atheistic ideologies.”
“This is just divisive as fuck…You might have had me if you’d said NIHILISM instead of atheism.”
But a conversation is a two way street, and after assessing and engaging with these and other commenters I slightly shifted my stance.
Atheism technically doesn’t qualify as an ideology, but there are several ideologies that are necessarily atheistic, and these are the ones that are doing the murdering. Of course, I don’t suspect that any of my self-declared atheist friends are secretly murderous. What I believe is probably even more offensive: that they do not embody the metaphysical belief that they espouse. They act as though they believe there is a God, while saying they don’t believe there is one. But this is a topic for another debate.
The updated thought, and the heart of what I was thrusting at, perhaps too obscurely is this:
One of the dangers of not believing in God is falling into the adoption of arrogant truth claims about the nature of being and the point at which procreative cells become a person. We do not see abortion as murder because of a convenient and arbitrary distinction between pre-person living cells, and an actual person. In history, many others have been made slaves because they were conveniently and arbitrarily deemed to be subhuman.
It seems to me that, just like in the emancipation of the African American slaves, Christians are at the vanguard of protecting these lives. I believe that this is a uniquely Christian endeavour, and history supports this. I believe that a society that has moved away from the word of God as found in the Bible, has become murderous in the MILLIONS because of a phoney distinction that Christianity does not accept. Hence my correlation (though not a causation) between murderous ideologies and atheism.
The 40-50 million abortions that we see occurring globally each year are enabled by atheistic beliefs about the nature of our existence and can therefore be laid at the feet of atheistic ideologies that place self fulfilment at the centre of meaning. In the West, the last slaves are the unborn.