Posted: Oct 02, 2014 3:14 am
by Nicko
chairman bill wrote:
carl wrote:<snip 'misinformed bollocks'>

Let's take it from the top, shall we
- Karl Marx: Had nothing to do with the death of anyone

- Friedrich Nietzsche: Had nothing to do with the death of anyone

- Vladimir Lenin: The first country to legalise homosexuality & abortion, was Lenin's Soviet Union. He also introduced free universal health care, no-fault divorce, free education, land reform, and a general modernisation, and the establishment of a free market economy. All that in the midst or just after world war, invasion, and civil war. No genocide.

- Leon Trotsky: An anti-war socialist, and a Jew, who had a religious wedding. He didn't oversee genocide. Yes, there was starvation in Russia, but funnily enough, it was during war time. It was not policy.

- Benito Mussolini: Catholic. Baptized in 1927. Had Catholic clerics in the Fascist Party, and Pope Pius XI called Mussolini "the Man of Providence"

- Joseph Stalin: All-round nasty bastard, who had been in training for the priesthood. And yes, he declared himself an atheist, though atheism wasn't the reason for his murderousness.

- Margaret Sanger: Not actually responsible for the death of any living persons.

- Mao Zedong: It's true that his regime caused the deaths of 40 to 70 million people by starvation, torture, and executions. The Chinese population also grew by some 350 million, with education, free universal healthcare, and so on. Nobody died because of his atheism.

- Jim Jones: Mad man, with a range of weird beliefs, including that he was Ghandi reincarnated, that he was a reincarnation of Jesus, and Lenin, was God ... and he killed lots of people.

- Pol Pot: Nasty bastard, guilty of genocide. I've no idea of his beliefs. He did suppress religious organisations, and anything else that offered any alternative point of view to his own.

And the one you missed was Hitler, who was a Catholic.


To which I would add that the staggeringly huge numbers of people killed by people like Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot is purely a function of technology and larger modern populations. If modern technology and populations were present during, say, the Protestant Reformation then a similar body count would have been observed.

The common threads in most cases of genocide are things like ideology, dogma and fanatical tribalism. Certainly one can have these things in the absence of religious belief; the problem with religion is that it raises these things to the level of a virtue.

The secular regimes in the 20th Century that carried out these atrocities did so because they were behaving like religions, not out of any "excess" of free thought or rational inquiry.