The Instigator
RedEye
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
ILoveCheese
Con (against)
Winning
51 Points

Atheism is the cause of histories greatest atrocities.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/19/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,717 times Debate No: 4447
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (68)
Votes (21)

 

RedEye

Pro

Ladies and Gentleman, for the first round I will merely use a premise/syllogistic argument, then move to in the following rounds my contentions.

Premise 1: According to History, the greatest evils have resulted in the most loss of life.
2: Atheism has caused the greatest amount of death in history.
3: Therefore, Atheism has caused the greatest evils/atrocities in history.

Affirmative and Negative Burden: Prove or disprove this syllogism in the following rounds.

I thank whoever decides to debate this.
ILoveCheese

Con

I am going to anticipate that you are referring to the Former Soviet Union and China, with combined deaths of 60-200 million.

It was not atheism that was the cause, it was Marxism. Atheism is a result of Marxism, not the cause.
Debate Round No. 1
RedEye

Pro

Thank you for accepting.

Rebuttal and Case:

ok, my opponent has already claimed that warrants for my case, he has agreed with the following:

1)Soviet Union: 140 million deaths
2)China: 100 million deaths
3)Sub-Communist Nations: 50 million deaths
4)Nazi Germany: 15 million deaths
5)Sub-atheist totalitarian regimes: 5 million deaths

Total: 310 million deaths

For these reasons I affirm.
===============================================================================
My opponent has not undermined the burden, so thats the burden for the round. I have proved the burden, therefore you can affirm right here.
===============================================================================
However, he makes his own case, away from the burden, so for the sake of a 3 round debate, I'll refute his case.

This is the premise of his case: "It was not atheism that was the cause, it was Marxism. Atheism is a result of Marxism, not the cause."

I will respond in numerically.

1) Atheism is the belief in no god, therefore higher judgment on a nation is null and void. Any action can be done because morality does not exist. There is no greater responsibility for ones actions. Therefore, atheism is a root cause.

2) He claims that Marxism is the cause. First off, this can only be applied to Communist Nations, this excludes totalitarian regimes. However, according to Marx: "Religion is the opiate of the masses." Atheism is a prime doctrine of Marxism. Linking with #1, you can infer that atheism is a cause of the deaths.

3)By claiming that Marxism is the root, then he is automatically saying that atheism is the cause as well.

Syllogism:

1) Atheism is a prime doctrine of Marxism; the government doesn't have a moral authoritative being on top of them
2) Marxism has caused more then 200 million deaths (There is no moral law against killing, because of assertion of #1)
3) Therefore Atheism is the root a cause of the deaths
===============================================================================

Thank you ladies and gentleman.
ILoveCheese

Con

My previous post undermines your first post because it puts into question your basic premise that the cause for atrocities was Atheism when it could be more accurately be Marxism.

Your inclusion of Fascist states only continue to undermine the initial error.

If we wanted, we could consider any 'state' as 'atheist'. Assuredly, in practice the notion of seperation of church and state has been to err on the side of no god.

Atheism does not necessarily lead to violence. Marxism, by design must lead to violence. The fact, Marxism forces people to be atheist does not mean that it is the 'atheism' that is causing the violence.
Debate Round No. 2
RedEye

Pro

I'll attack my opponents case then move to defend my own.

"If we wanted, we could consider any 'state' as 'atheist'. Assuredly, in practice the notion of separation of church and state has been to err on the side of no god."

My Response: This is true and not true. Take the US for example. We have separation of church and state, yet our basic principles are from Judeo-Christian roots. I'm not talking about the state literally, I'm talking about the basic principles in that form of government.

"Atheism does not necessarily lead to violence. Marxism, by design must lead to violence. The fact, Marxism forces people to be atheist does not mean that it is the 'atheism' that is causing the violence."

My Response: Atheism as a principal promotes individual action without regard for other people. By this idea, atheism promotes/condones violence on the fact no moral authority is in place. Also, I already responded to the Marxist point on the fact that Marxism promotes atheism. Since, Marxism promotes atheism then it promotes the idea of no greater moral being.
===============================================================================

My opponent has failed to attack, my 3 attack points plus my supporting syllogism. So you can extend this.

I urge you to affirm.
ILoveCheese

Con

"Atheism as a principal promotes individual action without regard for other people. By this idea, atheism promotes/condones violence on the fact no moral authority is in place. Also, I already responded to the Marxist point on the fact that Marxism promotes atheism. Since, Marxism promotes atheism then it promotes the idea of no greater moral being."

Atheism does not necessarily mean "promotes individual action without regard for other people. ".

There are many different belief systems. Some are atheistic and others are not. Religions span the deistic count from zero to several, such as: Christianity, Islam and Judeaism, Buddhism, Shinto, Hindu etc. These are organized religions.

State based belief systems include Monarchies, Faith based nations, Marxism, Radical Secularism as practiced by Europeans and to a lesser extent the US in the form of representational democracies.

Someone who is an atheist can be a Buddhist, moral relativist(found in radical secularlits states), utilitarian, etc.

Not believing in a god does not mean one is 'against' other people nor 'out only for oneself' nor 'abstain from collective action'.

One can be either an atheist or not. Either way one can commit atrocities or one may not. The atrocities were a function of Marxism, not a function of being Buddhist or Utilitarian; meaning the atrocities had no connection to whether or not the people were atheist.
Debate Round No. 3
68 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by PublicForumG-d 8 years ago
PublicForumG-d
Sing piggy, sing!

2am on debate.org lololol
Posted by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
Haha and I do accept that. Just not in the terms you are putting it. It's been fun Beem0r, I'm heading to bed.
Posted by beem0r 8 years ago
beem0r
Anti-belief can only turn into violence if you add a sinister ideology to the mix.

It might be a supremacist ideology, it might be prejudice, it might be intolerance. These are what should take the blame. I have said that time and time again.

Also, it's odd that you state in your first paragraph that you're willing to accept that neither should have blame. That's what we've been arguing, and you've been fervently arguing against us. Not only that, but you then proceed to again argue against that, claiming that while religion cannot be blamed for murders, atheism can.

You not putting cookies out for Santa is a DIRECT result of not believing in him. It would not make sense for you to do anything else. Therefore, not believing in Santa does lead to not putting cookies out for him, rather directly. There is no other philosophy besides A-Santaism that is making you not put cookies out for him.
However, atheism does not lead to atrocities. On its own, without the influence of psychotic people or sinister philosophies, atheism will not lead to atrocities. Neither will any religion, except when they actually encourage atrocities [it's possible, though I'm not sure any such religions are popular]. To blame them for it is senseless - the blame lies on the psychotic mind or the sinister philosophies that ARE encouraging atrocious acts.

Not like it matters, you've already "agreed" with me.
"You, or maybe pub, have already stated that neither should be blamed for the atrocities that occurred. I am willing to accept that." - You
Posted by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
Actually this all stemmed from me stating that if we critique atheism in the same way religion is critiqued then atheism is responsible for histories greatest atrocities. Realistically speaking, if religion is to take blame for any crime "done in its name", then atheism should take its share of blame. You, or maybe pub, have already stated that neither should be blamed for the atrocities that occurred. I am willing to accept that.

When I was explaining to you the syllogism, using ACTUAL definitions of cause and blame, you started using "no-control" and inanimate fallacies.
Christianity CANNOT be blamed for murder, because murder is incompatible with it. That is, it is a contradiction of Christianity. That was my point. Atheism has but one teaching, no belief in god(s). So there is only one thing that is incompatible with atheism because it is a contradiction: belief in god(s).
You said yourself that some atheists are active in disbelief. This active disbelief can turn into a determined anti-belief. Anti-belief can turn into violence. How do you not see that? I have not changed my definition of cause/blame. I have only restated it in different ways to show you why you are missing the boat with your analogies. Fists are "no-control", bullets are "inanimate." Ideologies are a chosen set of beliefs. Key word is "chosen."

Then you tried the Christian analogy and I said that supremacy is in contradiction with Christianity so it cannot be blamed on Christianity. Supremacy, however, is compatible with Atheism because it is not in contradiction with it.

And no I do not want to blame a philosophy that has NO teachings (it does in fact have one, no belief in god(s)). Quite frankly, I do not care. I am merely showing that it is possible to make the connection of blame. I blame my not putting cookies out for Santa clause on my disbelief that Santa clause exists. WOW! I have shown you a new concept, a disbelief in something CAN be blamed for things.

limit
Posted by beem0r 8 years ago
beem0r
Then what was the point of you brining it up in the first place? True, supremacy might not be a Christian teaching, but neither is it an atheist teaching. If you absolve Christianity of blame for the wrongdoing of Christian-supremacists, you should also absolve atheism of blame for the wrongdoing of Atheist-supremacists.

Unless, of course, you decide to add yet one more nonsensical stipulation to the definition of blame/cause.

After I [and probably Pub] showed that atheism was not the direct cause, you decided to continue justifying your position by claiming that X can be blamed for Y's wrongdoing as long as Y can't exist without X.

Then, when this was shown faulty by analogies [Hitler couldn't have committed atrocities if he was not human, but do we blame human-ness for his actions?, etc.] you decided to change the definition once more. Now, X can be blamed for Y's wrongdoings as long as Y can't exist without X AND X is something that is chosen [Hitler didn't choose to be a human]. So that was all well and good, right?

But then I brought up Christian-supremacists. Apparently, Christianity is not responsible for any wrongdoing Christian-supremacists cause, even though it fits the definition above [if we assume that Christianity can indeed be 'chosen']. Why? Because Christianity does not teach supremacist thinking. But when we point out that atheism doesn't teach supremacy/intolerance/prejudice, it changes once more.

Now, we don't blame Christianity for Christian-supremacy because Christianity supposedly teaches AGAINST it. So now, atheism is expected to teach AGAINST these things too, by this ridiculous definition, even though atheism has no teachings.

So why all this mess? Because you want to BLAME a philosophy that has NO teachings? That already doesn't make sense on its surface, which is why you required such ridiculous manipulation of the definition of blame to reach your intended conclusion.
Posted by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
The criterion I gave was following christ. And I said that "it" cannot be considered Christian, the sin itself. Love can be considered Christian - as it was a fundamental tenet of Christ. Sin most definitely cannot.
Posted by beem0r 8 years ago
beem0r
"That is you cannot sin and claim it to be christian - for you are not following Christ."

By your definition, there are none who can call themselves Christians.

You've proposed one criterion for being a Christian: not contradicting the bible in any way. However, since everyone sins, that's impossible.

I provide a better criterion: believing that Jesus is the son of God.

If that's the case, it's quite possible for Christian-sinners to exist, as it is for Christian-supremacists.
Posted by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
At this point it seems we are both repeating ourselves. Let us simply disagree.

But in response to you Christian sin example. There are such thing as Christian sinners, that is, Christians who have sinned. But, I am not saying that Christians do not sin, but that the particular sin is not Christian. Sin and Christianity are mutually exclusive. That is you cannot sin and claim it to be christian - for you are not following Christ.
Posted by beem0r 8 years ago
beem0r
Re: your first paragraph. That is like saying "Christian sinners" don't exist. Yes, sin might be contrary to the principles of Christianity, but that doesn't stop christians from sinning.

The way my mind works, and the way I would assume most people's minds work, is as follows. I cannot base my belief on simply wanting to believe. If I am not swayed by the arguments for Christianity, I can't simply decide to be a Christian. Just as you presumably can't simply decide not to believe in God tomorrow. You find the arguments and/or other evidence compelling, so you believe. You don't just 'decide' to take it up, like most philosophies. Or at least, I don't.

Cause [Transitive verb form]
1 : to serve as a cause or occasion of <cause an accident> 2 : to compel by command, authority, or force <caused him to resign>

My fists exist in a way that enables me to punch a wall, but they aren't the cause. Christianity exists in a way that enables Christian-supremacy groups to form, but they are not a cause [supremacist ideals are the cause]. To cause something is to actively work toward making it a reality. Causing an accident is to make an accident happen. Tires don't cause accidents, but accidents certainly wouldn't happen if tires/wheels weren't around.

There is nothing about disbelief in god that can compel people to kill. The Jokela HS shooting you bring up - I assume some atheist shooter killed some people because they were religious? He did not do this because he is an atheist, he did it because he is A> psychotic, and B> intolerant. Atheism does not cause either of those.
Posted by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
Pub, If you have nothing nice to say please don't say it at all. Beem0r is at least playing nice - a courtesy I've never witnessed you employ. If you think I am making some egregious logical errors, kindly point them out. Otherwise, keep your internal inconsistencies to yourself.
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