It is often argued by humanists and atheists that religion is responsible for most of the suffering caused by war in human history. It is often argued specifically that religious violence proves God does not exist.* While it is true that religious wars have been notoriously bloody, and waged so contrary to their founders' teachings, religion's followers have no exclusive corner on the market when it comes to creating suffering. Atheism it seems is at least as bad, if not worse. What follows is a brief, tongue-in-cheek, rebuttal to humanism's utopian hope for a peaceful world through the elimination of all religion. (BTW, a related book review of Who Really Cares? reports statistical studies which show that religious people are actually more charitable towards the poor than non-religious people:http://www.booksandculture.com/articles/2008/janfeb/8.11.html )
Proof # 666 - Atheism's Body Count *
It is obvious that Atheism cannot be true; for if it were, it would produce a more humane world, since it values only this life and is not swayed by the foolish beliefs of primitive superstitions and religions. However, the opposite proves to be true. Rather than providing the utopia of idealism, it has produced a body count second to none. With recent documents uncovered for the Maoist and Stalinist regimes, it now seems the high end of estimates of 250 million dead (between 1900-1987) are closer to the mark. The Stalinist Purges produced 61 million dead and Mao's Cultural Revolution produced 70 million casualties. These murders are all upon their own people! This number does not include the countless dead in their wars of outward aggression waged in the name of the purity of atheism's world view. China invades its peaceful, but religious neighbor, Tibet; supports N. Korea in its war against its southern neighbor and in its merciless oppression of its own people; and Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge kill up to 6 million with Chinese support. All of these actions done "in the name of the people" to create a better world.
Atheism's Tendency Towards Totalitarianism Rather Than Freedom
What is so strange and odd that in spite of their outward rejection of religion and all its superstitions, they feel compelled to set up cults of personality and worship of the State and its leaders that is so totalitarian that the leaders are not satisfied with mere outward obedience; rather they insist on total mind control and control of thoughts, ideas and beliefs. They institute Gulags and "re-education" centers to indoctrinate anyone who even would dare question any action or declaration of the "Dear Leader." Even the Spanish Inquisition cannot compare to the ruthlessness and methodical efficiency of these programs conducted on so massive a scale. While proclaiming freedom to the masses, they institute the most methodical efforts to completely eliminate freedom from the people, and they do so all "on behalf" of the proletariat. A completely ordered and totally unfree totalitarian State is routinely set up in place of religion, because it is obviously so profoundly better society. It is also strange that Stalin was a seminarian who rejected Christianity and went on to set up himself as an object of worship. It seems that impulse to religious devotion is present in all, whether that be in traditional forms or secular inventions.
And while it is often said that Hitler was a Christian, the Nuremberg documents clearly reveal the heart of this ruthless man who believed in social Darwinism and had devised plans to completely eliminate Christianity after the Third Reich was firmly established. He wanted to use religion to subvert it for his own political purposes, but he had rejected his Catholic heritage long before. What should be of concern to every atheist is that Hitler thought he could best succeed if he eliminated the Church's influence on politics. He promised not to persecute Catholics if the Catholic Church agreed to stay out of politics. However, many Protestants could not accept Hitler's claim to be a German Messiah or submit to an absolute allegiance to the German State, and many Protestants and Catholics were put into Concentration Camps along with the Jews for their resistance to the Fhrer.
Hitler's view of the Master Race was highly influenced by both Nietzschean Philosophy and modern, Darwinian evolutionary view of science. So we can also obviously see that evolution must be wrong because it led to more than 6 million Jews and 5 million non-Jews murdered in this quest for Fhrer worship and absolute power.
My point is this: you cannot say anything about the existence or non-existence of God by comparative body counts. What people do in the name of religion is no worse than what people do in the name of atheism. All it proves is that human beings are capable of unspeakable evils, regardless of their affections or faiths. The Book of James says as much that people use the cloak of religion to hide their greed and oppress one another:
"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Aren't they caused by the selfish desires that fight to control you? You want what you don't have, so you commit murder. You're determined to have things, but you can't get what you want. You quarrel and fight. You don't have the things you want, because you don't pray for them. When you pray for things, you don't get them because you want them for the wrong reason--for your own pleasure." James 4:1-3, GWV.
While the desire to see justice on this earth is understandable, and the desire laudable, the lack of justice actually points more to the existence of God. Why? Because of our innate sense of injustice when things go wrong. Why in a universe of chance and accident, where morals are the mere fictions of weak willed and weak minded men, deceived by superstitions, should banal ideas of "justice" stand in the way of the success of the Supermen, who possess superior intellect and who are not bound by the trifling morals of lesser men?
"Pay attention to this if you're rich. Cry and moan about the misery that is coming to you. Your riches have decayed, and your clothes have been eaten by moths. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be used as evidence against you. Like fire, it will destroy your body. You have stored up riches in these last days. The wages you refused to pay the people who harvested your fields shout to God against you. The Lord of Armies has heard the cries of those who gather the crops. You have lived in luxury and pleasure here on earth. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered people who have God's approval, even though they didn't resist you." James 5:1-6, GWV.
Hitler's 11 million dead:
www.papillonsartpalace.com/endC.htm (inactive link)
Mao's 70 million dead:
Stalin's purges kill 61 million
* There is a whole website dedicated to proving God's non-existence by suggesting that because God doesn't heal amputees, he does not exist. This website has an almost religious, evangelistic zeal to argue that God is imaginary and gives numbered proofs as to why this is so. What is interesting is that these arguments are posted verbatim on many forums and is an organized attack, even though many of the arguments are totally specious. Its methodology is the methodology of conversion. It does what it so often criticizes in religious organizations: evangelism.
For a good response to the premises of their argumentations, go to Why Doesn't God Heal Stupidity?