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Atheism Has Killed More People Than Religion
In his book, Why There Is No God, author Armin Navabi attempts to use semantics to claim that atheism has not influenced atrocities committed by secular tyrants.
"History if filled," he says, "with examples of the religious who beliefs were directly responsible for murder and violence." This is a true statement. Many religious people have committed horrible acts that were influenced by what they believed. However, this does not mean that their beliefs were correct, or that their beliefs were accurate representations of their faith, such as Christianity.
There is no command in the Bible that orders the death of people simply for not believing in Jesus Christ. In fact, violence as a form of religious coercion is forbidden in scripture. Navabi cannot demonstrate how biblical commands directly lead to murder. But it can be demonstrated that there are commands in the Quran to commit murder based solely on what a person believes. But Navabi forgets to make this distinction. "The violence within Christianity or Islam can often be traced back to the teachings of those religions because it is embedded in the ideology of the religions themselves." This is flat out wrong, and frankly, a lie. Navabi cannot show a single passage of Christian scripture that does this for the simple reason that it does not exist. Christianity has no embedded violent doctrines.
He goes on to say that, "The same cannot be said of atheism for the simple fact that atheism is not a religion. Atheism is a lack of belief in deities. It has no governing dogmatic principles, no rule book and no core ideology." Here, Navabi is playing with words. This is semantics. The reality is that atheism is a worldview just as Christianity and Islam are worldviews (and he uses the word, "worldview" to describe them all). This was the worldview of men like Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and many others under whom more than 20 million people were slaughtered in the 20th century alone. Their ideas stemmed from atheism. Atheism may have no formal doctrines formulated by councils or recognized teachers, but it still has them in some form. Otherwise, it would be impossible for Navabi to write a book about atheism as he has done. There are natural beliefs and behaviors that organically grow out of the assumptions of the atheist worldview.
Arguing that God doesn't exist because some of his believers may be violent is like arguing that a father doesn't exist if his kids bully someone. It is a non sequitur.