"He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
People want to compare raw numbers and then blame the actions of the Communists on atheism. But the raw numbers don't take into account differing periods of history, so it's a false comparison. Not to mention that atheism was not the cause nor enabler of the brutality demonstrated by the Communists and other despots in human history.
If you want to get right down to it, I don't blame religion in general on any of the holy wars fought by man either. I blame it on man, I think we have a terrible ability to wage war and destroy and we partake in that well too often. Had religion not been there, the vast majority of those wars would still have been fought because the wars were about political power, land, money, etc. The standard sort of things that we kill each other over. I do think that sometimes the use of religion had made it easier to convince people that the war was righteous and needed to be fought. As that, I think that the underlying religion itself gets warped and abused to turn into propaganda so that the State can justify its aggression. Religion was oft used as the control mechanism. Now in the Communist regimes, atheism was not the control mechanism, it was fear...fear of this battle station. They killed people because no one could challenge the State, not even gods. The State was supreme and it ruled through an iron fist. Oppose the State and die. In any way. And even belief in a higher being was taken as opposition to the State.
I think the understanding of this abuse and misuse of their religion is what ultimately got Christianity out of government. In the end, they themselves saw theocracy as bad because the mixing of Church and State produced means by which the religion itself could be corrupted. So we removed the Church from the State and became truly secular governments. [/edit]
Last edited by Ikari; 05-04-09 at 02:12 PM.
You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo
Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
Aww, look at the cute little Freepers, joking about torture. Har har.