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Tue Oct 28, 2014, 09:32 AM

 

The Atheist Atrocities Fallacy – Hitler, Stalin & Pol Pot

(I'm cross-posting this from the A&A Group because there often seems to be an obsession here here about the things that atheists have said and done. Just as it would be ridiculous and unfair (one might almost say "bigoted" to to counter something a believer says by replying, "Well what about Fred Phelps/Pat Robertson then?" so we atheists get fed up with hearing, "Hitler/Stalin was an atheist!" as if that proves anything. And no, it's not a crime to annoy or upset an atheist; I just thought you'd be interest in seeing the other viewpoint).

[div class="excerpt" style="background-color:#deedfc; color:#00000 0; margin-left:1em; border:1px dashed #7a7b7d ; border-radius:1em; box-shadow:4px 4px 4px #999999;"]Religious apologists, particularly those of the Christian variety, are big fans of what I have dubbed, the atheist atrocities fallacy. Christians commonly employ this fallacy to shield their egos from the harsh reality of the brutality of their own religion, by utilizing a most absurd form of the tu quoque (“you too”) fallacy, mingled with numerous other logical fallacies and historical inaccuracies. Despite the fact that the atheist atrocities fallacy has already been thoroughly exposed by Hitchens and other great thinkers, it continues to circulate amongst the desperate believers of a religion in its death throes. Should an atheist present a believer with the crimes committed by the Holy See of the Inquisition(s), the Crusaders and other faith-wielding misanthropes, they will often hear the reply; “Well, what about Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler? They were atheists, and they killed millions!”

Given the obstinate nature of religious faith and the wilful ignorance it cultivates in the mind of the believer, I am quite certain that this article will not be the final nail in this rancid and rotting coffin. Having said this, I do hope it will contribute to the arsenal required by those who value reason, facts and evidence, in their struggle against the fallacies perpetually flaunted by those who do not value the truth above their own egocentric delusions, delusions inspired by an unquenchable thirst for security, no matter how frighteningly false its foundation.

Before addressing the primary weaknesses of the atheist atrocities fallacy itself, I would like to attend to each of these three homicidal stooges; Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler, who are constantly trotted out to defend a religious worldview. I will lend Hitler the most time, as the claim that he was an atheist represents a most egregious violation of the truth.

<-snip->


This is a piece by the author Michael Sherlock:

http://michaelsherlockauthor.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/the-atheist-atrocities-fallacy-hitler-stalin-pol-pot-in-memory-of-christopher-hitchens/

42 replies, 2294 views

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Arrow 42 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Atheist Atrocities Fallacy – Hitler, Stalin & Pol Pot (Original post)
mr blur Oct 2014 OP
cleanhippie Oct 2014 #1
rug Oct 2014 #2
Maedhros Oct 2014 #4
rug Oct 2014 #5
Maedhros Oct 2014 #6
phil89 Oct 2014 #3
cbayer Oct 2014 #9
okasha Oct 2014 #30
Leontius Oct 2014 #7
cbayer Oct 2014 #8
trotsky Oct 2014 #10
rug Oct 2014 #11
edhopper Oct 2014 #14
rug Oct 2014 #15
edhopper Oct 2014 #16
rug Oct 2014 #17
edhopper Oct 2014 #18
rug Oct 2014 #19
edhopper Oct 2014 #21
rug Oct 2014 #22
edhopper Oct 2014 #23
rug Oct 2014 #24
edhopper Oct 2014 #25
rug Oct 2014 #32
edhopper Oct 2014 #33
LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineNew Reply .
rug Oct 2014 #34
Warren Stupidity Oct 2014 #28
TM99 Oct 2014 #12
cbayer Oct 2014 #13
TM99 Oct 2014 #20
Warren Stupidity Oct 2014 #29
Prophet 451 Oct 2014 #39
okasha Oct 2014 #35
cbayer Oct 2014 #36
mr_liberal Oct 2014 #26
The Magistrate Oct 2014 #27
okasha Oct 2014 #31
mr blur Oct 2014 #38
okasha Oct 2014 #42
trotsky Oct 2014 #41
struggle4progress Oct 2014 #37
Prophet 451 Oct 2014 #40


Response to mr blur (Original post)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 11:28 AM

2. You can't rebut one fallacy with another.

 

Stalin merely tore the existing religious labels off the Christian Inquisition, the enforcement of Christian orthodoxy, the Crusades, the praising of the priesthood, messianism, and Edenic ideas of a terrestrial religious-styled utopia, and re-branded them with the red of communism. Had this Christian machine not been in place, then it is more than likely Stalin wouldn’t have had the vehicle he needed to succeed in causing so much suffering in the name of his godless religion, Communism.

Communism is no more a religion than atheism.

If he were more a historian than an ideologue this would be interesting. Alas, he isn't.

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 11:32 AM

4. He makes some good points, but weakens them with his sneering rhetoric.

 

He's an Atheist Polemicist.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 11:37 AM

5. That's unkind.

 

About

michaelsherlockauthor

Bio: Hi, I am the author of a 3 volume atheist attack on the Christian religion. Thanks for visiting!

http://michaelsherlockauthor.wordpress.com/about/

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Response to rug (Reply #5)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 11:42 AM

6. I bet he's wonderful at parties... [n/t]

 

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 11:28 AM

3. Well written.

 

nice to see the nonsense deconstructed. Hope people pay attention.

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Response to phil89 (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 01:22 PM

9. "People" are more likely to pay attention when the messenger doesn't relentlessly

attack them.

Hope people will pay attention to that.

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Response to phil89 (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 07:53 PM

30. But fact-free.

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 01:00 PM

7. I have to agree 100% with this view

 

Let's not forget then that almost all of the leaders of "religious wars" were national political leaders.

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 01:19 PM

8. It comes up from time to time, but it's hardly an obsession.

It is generally in response to some broad brush claim that religion is the cause of everything bad that has ever happened in the world.

I agree that comparing all atheists it Hitler or Stalin is as objectionable as comparing all christians to Fred Phelps or Pat Robinson. Both side get equally fed up.

So let's all agree to stop doing it, what do you say?

Mr. Sherlock, whose credentials are questionable, may have some valid points here, but his hostile, antagonistic approach is likely to repel those who may most benefit from reading this.

But you can get his books on Amazon at a deeply discounted price.

Here is the description of his first book.

"I Am Christ: The Crucifixion-Painful Truths" is the first volume of a three part series which exposes the inauthenticity of the Christian belief-system.
It marks the beginning of a post-2012 cognitive revolution, in which
billions of formerly enslaved believers will strike-back at their cognitive
oppressors and break free from their cognitive prisons.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #8)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 01:38 PM

10. Could you point to just ONE post in this group...

that contains the "broad brush claim that religion is the cause of everything bad that has ever happened in the world"???

Didn't think so. But it sure helps your agenda to pretend they're all over the place, huh?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #10)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 02:05 PM

11. Gee, has "Religion poisons everything" ever been quoted here?

 

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Response to rug (Reply #11)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 02:48 PM

14. Religion poisons everything.

Not everything that is poisoned is done so by religion.

Greed poison's everything.

Bigotry poisons everything.

Do you see the difference between this and "causes all"?



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Response to edhopper (Reply #14)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 03:32 PM

15. You're slicing the baloney pretty thin here, ed.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #15)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 03:57 PM

16. No, your argument is fallacious,

Saying something poisons everything it touches is nowhere near saying every thing that is wrong is caused by that one thing.

I don't expect you to see that, or admit it if you do. But that is what is wrong with your defense of the claim that people here have said:
"It is generally in response to some broad brush claim that religion is the cause of everything bad that has ever happened in the world. "

The baloney is on your part.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #16)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 04:25 PM

17. It's not an argument at all. It's a demonstration.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #17)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 04:37 PM

18. Which failed to demonstrate the validity

of the original statement in any way.

As I said, I don't we expect you to walk back a inerrant post.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #18)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 04:46 PM

19. A distinction without a difference.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #19)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 04:58 PM

21. Pepper ruins every food.

So this means to you that all food is ruined. And even if there is nopepper on it, it is still ruined, and the cause is pepper.
No difference to you in that? I see?

Thank you for confirming my expectations of you.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #21)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 05:02 PM

22. Bullshit ruins every discussion.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #22)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 05:14 PM

23. Thank you

For staying true to form.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #23)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 05:19 PM

24. As does lame ad hominems.

 

I give clever ones a pass. No pass for you.

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Response to rug (Reply #24)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 05:27 PM

25. Uh huh.

It's like clockwork.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #25)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 09:30 PM

32. At least the hands aren't stuck, immobile, saying the same time over and over.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #32)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 10:03 PM

33. As he say the same thing

Over and over.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #33)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 10:06 PM

34. .

 

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Response to trotsky (Reply #10)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 07:13 PM

28. it was a typo

 

I think she meant "my broad brush claim that (some bad people) claim that religion is the cause of everything bad...".

That makes a bit more sense, right? I just don't understand why apatheists care so much about this issue. Seems like it should just be "like whatever".

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Response to cbayer (Reply #8)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 02:14 PM

12. Wow!

 

Here is the description of his first book.

"I Am Christ: The Crucifixion-Painful Truths" is the first volume of a three part series which exposes the inauthenticity of the Christian belief-system.
It marks the beginning of a post-2012 cognitive revolution, in which
billions of formerly enslaved believers will strike-back at their cognitive
oppressors and break free from their cognitive prisons.


Damn, that guy traded in Jesus for science/logic and is going to save believers from their 'prisons'. He is still a fundamentalist if he is going to 'save people'.

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Response to TM99 (Reply #12)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 02:25 PM

13. The third in his trilogy is called "The Gospel of Atheism and Freethought - according to Sherlock"

If he weren't so unknown, he might actually be scary.

Nice to see you again, TM99. Hope you have been well.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #13)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 04:52 PM

20. Thanks.

 

I have been doing pretty well - too much work and some of the chronic health issues - but otherwise enjoy life.

Yes, popular or not, he is a little scary.

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Response to TM99 (Reply #12)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 07:16 PM

29. He would be an evangelist if he is going to save people, not necessarily a fundamentalist.

 

Last edited Wed Oct 29, 2014, 01:26 PM - Edit history (1)

The term "fundamentalist atheist" doesn't really make sense, as there is no text about which to be fundamental.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #29)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 10:16 AM

39. "militant atheist" might work

The mentality ("I'm going to save you whether you like it or not!" is the same.

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Response to TM99 (Reply #12)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 10:11 PM

35. Hi, there!



A three-volume tantrum? I take it this drivel is self-published?

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Response to okasha (Reply #35)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 10:22 PM

36. Nope, he actually has publishers.

His first two book were published by Charles River Press.

But he switched to Dangerous Little Books for his finale.

It's a company that supports books written by atheists, some of which look pretty good.

His sales data doesn't look good, though.

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 05:54 PM

26. Its not theism that's at fault either.

People trying to force their ideologies on each other: Islamism, christianism, communism, nazism.... is the cause, not belief or disbelief in god.

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 06:07 PM

27. It Can Be Dealt With More Concisely, Sir

This was addressed some while a to a particularly obnoxious troll, now departed, who was very fond of this 'atheist fallacy'....

Your line here is a reaction to statement of a fact, variously phrased, that religion has been the motive for the killing of a great many people down the course of human history. Being a religious person, and one who conflates 'religion' with 'good and moral', this troubles you, particularly when it is stated by persons who do not believe there is any Deity, and that all religion is therefore fraud and lies. So you attempt to throw the charge back at them, and claim atheism is the motive for mass murder on a scale that dwarfs killing done from religious motives. In doing this, you engage in a variety of distortions of meaning and shadings of fact. They are pretty obvious, but worth stating openly, as you persist in them so energetically; room must be left for the possibility you really are not aware of what you are doing.

When people say religion has been the motive for killing a great many people, they do not mean that people who hold religious beliefs have killed a great many people, from whatever motive: that would be a wholly unremarkable observation, and hardly worth the typing out. They mean that people have killed other people from motives of religious belief, killed to suppress a dissident sect in their society, or to extend the range of dominion their religion exercises, or killed to enforce a code of behavior inherent to their religion, or killed as matter of religious ritual or rite. And in fact a tremendous number of people have been killed down the course of human history over these directly religious motivations. These are killings which, it could be fairly claimed, would not have taken place without religion, or more precisely, without the religious beliefs the killers felt directed them to kill others as a matter of sacred duty.

When you say in response, 'well, atheists have killed lots and lots of people,' you fail absolutely to tie this into any element of atheist doctrine or belief that requires such killing, and so do not actually mirror the statement you are attempting to defend against, that religion has been the motive for a great deal of killing, that a great deal of killing has owed to the killers subscribing to a religious belief the killing they engaged in was required by their Deity, by their holy law. Since there really is no 'doctrine' of atheism beyond the statement that there is no Deity, it is hard to see how you could tie killings by atheists into some atheist doctrine, in the way that, say, the persecution of heretics or wars of conversion can be tied directly to items of religious doctrine, or the killing of persons on a high altar by priests, or in funerary rites, can be tied directly to requirements of religious ritual or enforcement of a sacred code.

Adopting the standard you wish to apply to killing by atheists, you would have to accept that every killing throughout human history by a person who held a religious belief was a killing that should be charged up to the account of religion, and that it would owe to religion, regardless of its actual motivation. This would chalk just about every death from human agency since we first appeared as a species to the account of religion; indeed, it would include a great many of the killings you ascribe to atheism on religion's side of the ledger, since the actual agents of death, the guards in the camps, the personnel of the squads that carted away the grain, were as a matter of practical fact shot through with persons who retained religious beliefs; even if they were acting on the order of an atheist, they were the ones actually doing the killing, after all.

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Tue Oct 28, 2014, 07:59 PM

31. "Hitchens and other great thinkers"

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Response to okasha (Reply #31)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 05:16 AM

38. You think Hitchens wasn't a great thinker? You're funny.

 

Well, he was no Ben Affleck, or Ray Comfort, admittedly. But he could see through bullshit. Perhaps that's why you don't like him.

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Response to mr blur (Reply #38)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 07:08 PM

42. I don't like him

because he was a right-wing Islamophobic war monger and proponent of torture.

Perhaps you'd be happier at Free Republic if you believe such a man was a "great thinker."

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Response to okasha (Reply #31)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 10:30 AM

41. Christopher Hitchens: tributes and reactions

http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2011/dec/16/christopher-hitchens-tributes

Salman Rushdie: "Goodbye, my beloved friend. A great voice falls silent. A great heart stops."

Deputy PM Nick Clegg: "everything a great essayist should be: infuriating, brilliant, highly provocative and yet intensely serious". "My job was to fact check his articles. Since he had a photographic memory and an encyclopaedic mind it was the easiest job I've ever done," said Clegg

Stephen Fry: "Goodbye, Christopher Hitchens. You were envied, feared, adored, reviled and loved. Never ignored. Never bested. A great and marvellous man".

Prof. Brian Cox: "saddened by the loss of the great Christopher Hitchens this morning"

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 05:13 AM

37. ... Those who say “I love God,” but hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for how can they not

love a brother or sister, whom they have seen, and love God whom they have not seen? The commandment we have is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters

1 John 4

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 10:22 AM

40. Hitler was, at least nominally, Christian

How Christian he was depends on how much you believe anything the lunatic ever said.

What I think can be learned from the Stalin argument is that atheism does not necessarily make anyone a better person than a theist.

I get on with most atheists since they regard my faith (devil worshipper) as just one more belief system. It's the sneering condescension of Hitchens and some of those who follow him that irks me. Hitchens was a sneering prick. He may or may not have been right about religion but there are ways of arguing for atheism without being so obnoxious about it.

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