It's inevitable whenever we have such a discussion that someone will say something like "Well, look at Hitler, he was atheist and look at what he did" (never mind that Hitler was actually Catholic - facts rarely matter in such discussions) or "Communist Russia was atheist, and see how the people suffered."
There are so many flaws with such arguments, but I think this boils them down to a nice, easily managed nugget:
"People of faith often claim that the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were the inevitable product of unbelief. The problem with fascism and communism, however, is not that they are too critical of religion; the problem is that they are too much like religions. Such regimes are dogmatic to the core and genera...lly give rise to personality cults that are indistinguishable from cults of religious hero worship. Auschwitz, the gulag and the killing fields were not examples of what happens when human beings reject religious dogma; they are examples of political, racial and nationalistic dogma run amok. There is no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too reasonable."
-- Sam Harris
What do you think? Is it the lack of organized religion that created such violent, human-rights-denying regimes? Or do you agree with Dr. Harris?Answer Question
Answer by sahmamax2 at 4:10 PM on Mar. 4, 2013
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Answer by anng.atlanta at 12:31 PM on Mar. 5, 2013