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Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:59 PM

The Ol' "Atheist commies killed people more than religion" argument....

.... is raging (if that's the right word) again over in "that other forum" again.

I know...yawn! But after being asked for proof that more people have died because of religion I looked for some proof.

So I post it here for those who might want it in the future. Anyone have better (and I'm sure there is better), post it too! Though of course it has made no difference to the true believers. But at least here are some numbers....

*******************

"I heard a while back that more people had died in the name of Jesus than in the name of Hitler. Id always wondered if it was true, it seemed perfectly plausible given the persistence and viciousness of the Vatican during the Crusades. Unfortunately, I had found it difficult to find a number of deaths from the Crusades. But, I found in Google Answers, this webpage that chronicles numerous human conflicts and includes a category for religious conflicts. The numbers are hazy, of course, when were speaking about conflicts hundreds or thousands of years ago when death tallies were not a priority or of mild interest like they are today.

In short, 809 million people have died in religious wars. Thats nearly a billion people.

Oftentimes, a retort is that secular ideals and Godless Communism have killed many more. It is true that Stalin, among others, slaughtered his own people by the millions during the industrialization of Soviet Russia. By comparison, 209 million have died in the name of Communism. Some 62 million died during World War II, civilian and military, on all sides. Conclusively, more people have died in the name of religion than in the name of Communism or Hitler, or the two combined times two."


from: http://www.bookrateblog.com/2006/07/22/deaths-over-history-religious-vs-nonreligous/



Because the above is only Religious conflicts, be sure to add:

Human sacrifice and ritual suicide

This section lists deaths from the systematic practice of human sacrifice or suicide.
Lowest estimate Highest estimate Description Group Location From To Notes
300,000 1,500,000 Human sacrifice in Aztec culture Aztecs Mexico 14th century 1521 Up to 250,000 sacrificed yearly

13,000 13,000 Human sacrifice Shang dynasty China BC1300 BC1050 Last 250 years of rule
7,941 7,941 Ritual suicides Sati Bengal, India 1815 1828
3,912 3,912 Kamikaze suicide pilots Imperial Japanese AF Pacific theatre 1944 1945
913 913 Jonestown murder-suicide The Peoples Temple cult Jonestown Nov 18, 1978 Nov 19, 1978 The event was the largest loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster until the September 11, 2001 attacks.

I don't want to format the chart... so if you want to see the actual chart it is here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_and_anthropogenic_disasters_by_death_toll

a little more than halfway down the page.

32 replies, 7462 views

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Ol' "Atheist commies killed people more than religion" argument.... (Original post)
AlbertCat Nov 2012 OP
rexcat Nov 2012 #1
AlbertCat Nov 2012 #2
JoeyT Nov 2012 #3
DavidDvorkin Nov 2012 #4
Warpy Nov 2012 #7
bobclark86 Nov 2012 #10
skepticscott Jun 2013 #17
Curmudgeoness Nov 2012 #5
AlbertCat Nov 2012 #8
trotsky Nov 2012 #6
Arugula Latte Nov 2012 #9
Laochtine Dec 2012 #13
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #11
AlbertCat Dec 2012 #12
LineReply d
nglf Jun 2013 #14
TeamPooka Jun 2013 #15
hrmjustin Jun 2013 #16
arely staircase Jun 2013 #18
Iggo Jun 2013 #19
amuse bouche Jun 2013 #32
AtheistCrusader Jun 2013 #20
arely staircase Jun 2013 #21
AlbertCat Jun 2013 #22
arely staircase Jun 2013 #23
AlbertCat Jun 2013 #24
arely staircase Jun 2013 #25
AlbertCat Jun 2013 #26
LiberalAndProud Jun 2013 #27
AlbertCat Jun 2013 #28
LiberalAndProud Jun 2013 #30
onager Jun 2013 #29
LiberalAndProud Jun 2013 #31

Response to AlbertCat (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:26 PM

1. There are some...

Last edited Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:43 PM - Edit history (1)

posters in the religion forum that are not worth responding to and the one you referenced is definitely one of them. Just be glad he is banned here! We don't have to read his dribble.

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Response to rexcat (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:43 PM

2. We don't have to read (h)is dribble.

Indeed.

But I thought having some real numbers might help if it comes up anywhere.

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Response to AlbertCat (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:53 PM

3. I suspect the largest numbers are going to be uncountable.

The number of lives lost due to religion holding back medical advancement and the lives lost by religion keeping monarchies in power.

The former meant centuries longer of believing witchcraft or evil spirits were responsible for your family or animals getting sick. (Or just bad weather) Which meant that whatever peasants survived this plague, they'd go right on ahead and start a new one by doing exactly what caused the last one.

The latter would be pretty much everything that happened to the peasantry(including famines) who were generally afraid to strike back because the nobility had been put there by god.

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Response to AlbertCat (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:11 PM

4. Stalin didn't murder people because of his atheism

Deaths caused by Stalin can't be ascribed to atheism. Deaths in the Crusades, for example, can be ascribed to religion. That's the big difference.

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:32 AM

7. Most of the deaths attributed to Stalin

were due to bad harvests produced by a combination of bad weather and collectivization, the former more important than the latter.

They weren't murdered so much as they starved.

Dead is dead and his hamfisted collectivization plus his idea of settling the unsettled Siberia with convicts were big contributors to the toll, but they were dwarfed by starvation and the diseases that found a reservoir in the starving.

I'm afraid that's too nuanced for a Christian soldier, though.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:18 PM

10. Oh, there were plenty...

killed in the gulags and deportations, but bad harvests were a HUGE part of it. As usual, more than just one factor.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 03:13 PM

17. In some cases

particularly the Ukraine "famines" of the 30's, they didn't just starve, they were starved. Their deaths were the results of a deliberate and premeditated campaign of political repression, and had nothing to do with their religion or Stalin's atheism at all.

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Response to AlbertCat (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:44 PM

5. You are mentioning many Christian atrocities

in discussing the "religious" killing, but there are so many other religions that have had their own holy wars, including many of the recent wars and killings related to Islam. And even the Holocaust can be considered a "religious war", since it was perpetrated on the Jews because they were Jews.

What war in history was perpetrated by atheists? (And don't you dare answer "the war on Christmas"!) There have been wars started by people who were atheists, but that had nothing to do with the reason for the war---which was always power/empire building/territory.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:38 AM

8. You are mentioning many Christian atrocities

Really?

Where?

The Aztecs?

The Japanese AF?

Besides, I was cutting and pasting from other web sites, like Wiki.

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Response to AlbertCat (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:45 PM

6. I especially love how the millions of Russians who died of starvation...

because of the horrible famines caused by central planning in the Soviet Union are somehow due to Stalin's atheism, too.

I don't even see his posts anymore thanks to DU's wonderful ignore feature, but I know who you're talking about.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:02 PM

9. Yeah, & you'd think if god existed it would step in and help a bit during famine, ya know?

How anyone can worship an absent psychopath like "god" is beyond me.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 04:51 PM

13. The famines caused by the scorched Earth policy

To stop the Germans from pillaging supplies had a lot to do with the peasants dying during the 40's.

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Response to AlbertCat (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:34 PM

11. Nothing you could do, say, post, or argue, will ever change the humble one's tune about Stalin...

Mao, or the dreaded MILITANT ATHEISTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


It's become, no he has become, a joke right up there with Ray Comfort and Ken Ham and whats-his-face from Growing Pains, Kirk Cameron.

That and the "other ways of knowing" schtick, while humorous, are old, stale, and tired. I recommend not feeding the trolls, but just pointing and laughing.

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Response to AlbertCat (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 01:04 PM

12. Of course, think logically....

.... which is of no importance to the religious... but if you take their argument to its logical conclusion:

In the 20th century you have 2 or 3 communists "groups" who have killed a lot of folks, directly and indirectly, because of their "Communist manifestos" of which atheism is only one part.

But there are no "Communists" from the 19th century on back. So that leaves all governments with some religious component to their philosophies and claims of leadership for all those centuries from the 20th century on back... into BCE centuries. I don't think one as to add up the individual deaths to safely conclude the number is more, way more, than the number of 2 or 3 "groups" in a single century no matter how big that sample is.

But the minute one included "logic" into the mix.... one lost the religious.

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Response to AlbertCat (Original post)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 02:41 PM

14. d

This is a good post but like another poster said, the minute you bring logic into it you have lost the religious!
Surely the point is that religion shouldn't have killed anybody. It's the hypocrisy of the religious which gets to me. All this holier than thou attitude, and they are right up there in the statistics killing in the millions.
What's the point if religion if it only adds to the death toll?

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Response to nglf (Reply #14)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 02:42 PM

15. welcome to DU!

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Response to nglf (Reply #14)


Response to AlbertCat (Original post)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 08:24 PM

18. there has been oppression in the name of all religions

and oppression in the name of atheistic ideologies. I (a Christian) think all oppression is wrong and so does every atheist I know.

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Response to AlbertCat (Original post)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 10:03 PM

19. Trashing thread.

Nothing against you.

It's just that I'd rather keep this shit where it belongs...in the shithole.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #19)

Thu Jun 6, 2013, 09:45 AM

32. Why does it belong "in the shithole"?

Do explain

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Response to AlbertCat (Original post)

Mon Jun 3, 2013, 04:43 PM

20. The wehrmacht's belt buckles read "Gott Mitt Uns"

I'll let you guess which god.

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Response to AlbertCat (Original post)

Mon Jun 3, 2013, 08:36 PM

21. I think killing or persecuting anyone because of their religious beliefs, or lack

Last edited Mon Jun 3, 2013, 09:58 PM - Edit history (1)

thereof is an abomination.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #21)

Mon Jun 3, 2013, 08:44 PM

22. I think killing, persecuting, or ridiculing anyone because of their religious beliefs, or lack

Killing and persecuting certainly.

But, get real....Mormons and Scientologists deserve all the ridiculing they can get. There's simply no excuse for such foolishness. (Except money)

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #22)

Mon Jun 3, 2013, 08:53 PM

23. their beliefs, no

but if their beliefs lead them to act in such a way that they don't give their kids medicine or whatever, sure.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #23)

Mon Jun 3, 2013, 09:12 PM

24. their beliefs,

I'm sorry, but some beliefs don't deserve respect. Like crop circles are from outer space, or blacks are inferior, or vaccines are really dangerous, or Barack Obama is a Muslim fascist commie socialist, or that anyone goes to anyplace like hell after they die....

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #24)

Mon Jun 3, 2013, 09:56 PM

25. i will edit to remove the ridicule part

you make a good point.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #25)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 12:59 PM

26. One trouble with religions (and other things too)

There's a thing Susan Blackmore calls a "memeplex". It's a group of memes (ideas) that travel along together and get spread together. A religion is a memeplex with many good ideas and MANY BAD ONES that all travel along together.

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Response to AlbertCat (Original post)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 04:28 PM

27. The loss of life that should be attributed to regressive Christians is incalculable.

I experience deep and ponderous grief that the Church fomented the destruction of Library of Alexandria, caused the vicious torture and murder of Hypatia and then canonized Cyril. The cumulative cost to the human endeavor is not knowable. Our societal and scientific evolution has been set back by generations repeatedly in human history by religious zealots. It has happened in our past, and if the Church has its way, it will happen again

and again

until the end of days, which will be hastened by the superstitious fear and loathing of the Christian endeavor.

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #27)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 06:59 PM

28. caused the vicious torture and murder of Hypatia and then canonized Cyril.

Now now...

Christians have come a long way since then. They don't flay people alive with oyster shells anymore....

They shoot them in church or at their clinic.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #28)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 01:17 AM

30. Right?

Yet, for liberal Christians, the institution must be divorced from its abhorrent past, accepting no responsibility, offering no apology. "It wasn't us" is good enough. Or even worse, it was justified and directed by God. WTF? If that is God, they can keep it; I want no part of it. Destructive, classist, misogynist, social engineering bullshit from beginning to end.

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Response to LiberalAndProud (Reply #27)

Tue Jun 4, 2013, 08:52 PM

29. Come over here and gloat with me...

Before Cyril, the Bishop of Alexandria was another one of those Great & Learned Fathers of the Church - Athanasius.

E.M. Forster, in his very entertaining book "Alexandria: A History and a Guide," describes Athanasius somewhat differently - as a sleazy con man and thug.

He hired gangs of street brawlers to attack his "heretical" enemies, the Arians. And when their leader Arius died, Athanasius is said to have danced for joy thru the streets of Alexandria.

Even Wikipedia notes: There were allegations of defiling an altar, selling Church grain that had been meant to feed the poor for his own personal gain, and for suppressing dissent through violence and murder.

Anyway, after Athanasius died circa 373 CE, Alexandria got a big church named for him...

...until 641 CE, when a Muslim army came along and a brand new god took up residence in the city. Ever since, the former Church of Athanasius has been known as the Attarine Mosque.

Gloat, gloat, gloat...though it would have been a lot better if the Church had been turned into a library. (I lived in Alexandria from 2005-09 and often walked thru this part of the city. Nowadays it's full of interesting antique/junk shops.)

Attarine Mosque:




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Response to onager (Reply #29)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 01:29 AM

31. I appreciate the brief history, though I can't share the gloat.

I truly believe that if the history of religion were conscientiously taught, our world would be blighted by far fewer fanatics, and there would be far fewer believers on the whole. or maybe not?

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