The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
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15-01-2017, 09:38 AM
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
(15-01-2017 09:30 AM)ImFred Wrote:  As a group atheists may or may not be the shittiest people on the planet.

Being underrepresented in prison population at least in USA show that atheist aren't shittiest people on the planet. Or that they are law abiding jerks.

Quote:What does that have to do with the fact that there is no God?

Nothing. Trying to blame atheists for crimes of believers is dishonest though and that is reason enough to oppose such notion.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

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15-01-2017, 09:45 AM
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
Quote:Being underrepresented in prison population at least in USA show that atheist aren't shittiest people on the planet. Or that they are law abiding jerks.

Or maybe theists are stupider and therefore more likely to get caught. Or prison makes people crazy. I'm guessing the last one. Even ex-cons laugh when their locked up friends go through the "Jesus" and/or the "Allah" phase.
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15-01-2017, 09:48 AM
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
(15-01-2017 09:45 AM)ImFred Wrote:  
Quote:Being underrepresented in prison population at least in USA show that atheist aren't shittiest people on the planet. Or that they are law abiding jerks.

Or maybe theists are stupider and therefore more likely to get caught. Or prison makes people crazy. I'm guessing the last one. Even ex-cons laugh when their locked up friends go through the "Jesus" and/or the "Allah" phase.

Atheist being smart enough in their masses to get so low incarceration rate would imply that they are far from being shittiest people on the planet, at least in wits department.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

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15-01-2017, 10:02 AM
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
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15-01-2017, 11:22 AM
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
(15-01-2017 08:59 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  
(15-01-2017 08:01 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  Been at debating religion online just about every single day for 16 years, if you think nobody ever equates Hitler to atheists, that would be a mistake.

What your debating religion online had to do with OP in where Hitler was not mentioned?

Believers sometime claim that Hitler was atheist but OP didn't mention him.

Quote:Hitler has to be mentioned when we discuss what theists claim far too often as "godless means oppressive", when what they don't see is that the religious of those horrible states simply have a different interpretation of a religion.

I don't really see such need. One has just remind theists that Russia wasn't atheist society, first they had their orthodox faith after that marxism-leninism. Most importantly I don't see the need to mention Hitler in context of this thread but that's minor quibble.



(15-01-2017 08:32 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  Don't care if you could prove Stalin wasn't an atheist, it has been argued both ways.

Never seen serious argument for him being atheist. Hint - calling him atheist cause he was communist isn't serious argument, just as saying that his lack of belief in christian god makes him atheist. Stalin had his own god and from what I know calling him atheist is just ridiculous.

To be fair I seen interpretations in which he wasn't convinced marxist but rather someone using doctrine as justification. For me though these interpretation rings hollow as they show him as amoral and rather stupid gangster (Baberowski, Verbrannte Erde. Stalins Herrschaft der Gewalt) which was hardly the case or near genius level politician working in confines of ideology (Snyder, Stalin and Europe. Imitation and Domination, 1928-1953) which is simply laughable when one remember the farce that was beginning of German invasion or crimes of Great Hunger or Great Terror. Him being faithful disciple of marxism-leninism allow for good and convincing explanation of his behavior and when one takes into account fact that his enemies were showing same traits then his rise to power and remaining at the top aren't surprising - by styling himself arch priest he silenced dissent.

Interpretation of Stalin that I find most convincing can be found in Montefiore Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar even if for some things one has to support if with Oleg Khlevniuk Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator.

Quote:The point of all those countries is to PROVE there is not one nation that is superstition free.

Maybe to you. I just follow the evidence trail and conclusion is that Stalin was believer in society full of believers.

Quote:He still had a theology degree, and that is far more important to me than proving he was a theist of some sort. It still helped him shape an authoritarian view.

I don't much care for his beliefs, it's truth that matter. As far as I know he was believer.

(15-01-2017 08:36 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  No sorry. Hitler WAS a monster, so was Stalin, so is the Un Family and Castro family too. Now again, that does NOT make every single individual living under them bad, but just the leaders being good at manipulating people and being shitty to human rights.

No that does not mean the west gets everything right by default. We've have also done some shitty things in American history too. It merely means we have more ability to hold power to account and advocate for a more open society to fix problems and stop transgressions. No, it is not perfect.

You're feeling better after calling Hitler a monster or something? He was just human and by demonizing him and naming him as a thing meant to be scary we are making understanding his motivation harder. Also by calling him and others dictators monsters we try to hide unpleasant notion that they was just another human beings, ones with warped morals but human nonetheless - this mechanism had more sense when used to describe dictators henchman's as evil though. Like they were evil, so there is no risk that I good citizen could do something like them.

It's simplification - by giving historical mass murderers and their henchman's simple descriptors like monster or evil, people try to escape unpleasant notion that it could be them doing bloody deeds if circumstances would be right or rather wrong.

Name calling is useless when one target is understanding, when one is just venting it is understandable if not really desirable.

As for west? It has nothing to do with subject so I see no need to comment.

What the fuck does him being a mere human, which nobody is arguing, make what he did credible valid or moral? NO do not excuse, normalize or sanitize genocidal maniac.

NOW if you want to say his upbringing by an overbearing father, and poverty climate when he first started making noise, allowed for the rise for his power, that would be a valid argument. But no, he was STILL A MONSTER.

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15-01-2017, 11:22 AM
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
(15-01-2017 07:53 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  Stalin wasn't atheist, look to my earlier post and linked article. [...]

Opinion differs, but this is pretty convincing that he was effectively an atheist...

"Had Stalin inherited a purely rational secular edifice, one established upon the ethos espoused by the likes of Lucretius, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Einstein and other free thinking and rational secularists, then the apologist's argument would hold slightly more weight, but such wasn't the case. 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."

Michael A Sherlock, atheistrepublic.com

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15-01-2017, 11:37 AM (This post was last modified: 15-01-2017 12:02 PM by Szuchow.)
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
(15-01-2017 11:22 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  What the fuck does him being a mere human, which nobody is arguing, make what he did credible valid or moral?

Go fuck yourself nut or at lest learn to build better straw man. Where did I write that Hitler or other dictators crimes were something other than crimes?

Quote:NO do not excuse, normalize or sanitize genocidal maniac.

Or what? You will use allcap more often? Also I excuse it how? By refusing to engage in childish name calling?

You're playing at childish name calling. Neither Hitler, nor Stalin or Mao were monsters but humans with warped morals. Labeling them as monsters serve no purpose, with exception of venting perhaps.

Quote:NOW if you want to say his upbringing by an overbearing father, and poverty climate when he first started making noise, allowed for the rise for his power, that would be a valid argument.

It was economic crisis and hopelessness of German people that allowed his rise to power, not to mention his knack on playing on longing for so called Volksgemeinschaft and fear of communism.

Edit: Even then he would still fail on his own, it's elites who thought that he will be a good puppet chancellor. Hitler was co opted to power and only then he used it to do what he not his sponsors wanted.
Quote:But no, he was STILL A MONSTER.

You writing word monster using allcap convinced me of validity of using it Rolleyes

Beyond your emotion you have nothing. But historic persons should be judged sine et ira studio - as this would allow for explanation being something more than moral condemnation.

You also forget one thing in your petulant rage - calling Hitler monster is useless given that his deeds speak for themselves.

(15-01-2017 11:22 AM)SYZ Wrote:  Opinion differs, but this is pretty convincing that he was effectively an atheist...

"Had Stalin inherited a purely rational secular edifice, one established upon the ethos espoused by the likes of Lucretius, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Einstein and other free thinking and rational secularists, then the apologist's argument would hold slightly more weight, but such wasn't the case. 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."

Michael A Sherlock, atheistrepublic.com

I don't see this as supporting Stalin atheism, just his tyranny. One has to remember that marxism-leninism was faith with saints, prophets, devils, chosen people and promise of better life, though not in heaven but rather here.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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15-01-2017, 04:34 PM
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
I wouldn't call prison religion a "phase", in the normal sense of the word.

More accurately, they tend to rediscover latent religious ideologies they had set aside while "on the streets". They sober up, realize the dire straits they're in, and turn back to faith as a comfort. They were religious before, and become actively religious on the inside.

Some people, of course, are natural predators who take advantage of the faithful to advance their own agenda and gain social power and control over others.

(That happens in prison, too.)

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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15-01-2017, 05:48 PM
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
(13-01-2017 09:25 AM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  One of the criticisms of atheism that's often trotted out goes along these lines:

Quote:"You only have to look at atheistic societies to see what happens. The USSR murdered millions of its own people. China did the same. The horrors in Cambodia, led by Pol Pot, an avowed atheist, are well documented."
(I've actually been to the killing fields in Cambodia and to say it's chilling is the understatement of understatements.)

My response is usually something like this:

Quote:"Those states - and I agree they were atheist states - substituted devotion to a divine superintelligence to devotion to the state and that state's ideology. The fact that Stalin spent his formative years in a seminary and Pol Pot was at one time a devout Buddhist shows that they were taught religious doctrine and used those teachings as a way to control their populations."

Then I rely on Hitchens:
Quote:"Show me a state which has thrown off the shackles of religion and lived by the principles of the Enlightenment, of liberty, of justice, of freedom of conscience, of Jefferson, of Paine, and still perpetrated horrors, then you might have an argument. But as it is, you (the theist) have no argument."
Alas, I find both those refutations hollow (even though I use them).

They do not address what is, I believe, the core of the argument: that those leaders who believe they have no retribution to fear from a divine superintelligence have no qualms about murdering millions.

I need a better argument.

Undoubtedly you, too, have heard similar or identical statements. How did you refute them?

The populations of those states were not generally atheist, hence they were not atheist societies. The argument is a non-starter.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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