Moral Argument from Atrocities 5: Conclusion – Crusaders, Lenin and Dawkins

As noted the Nazis are only useful in judging their actions from the standpoint of National Socialism since it is a unique, composite system; though they are self-consistent monsters they are not germane to this discussion. As we noted, the crusaders were inconsistent monsters and the Soviets were self-consistent monsters. But what do we do with that data? How do we sum up the argument?

The proper term for inconsistent monsters is “hypocrite.” Because the crusaders and other citable examples were inconsistent monsters, we cannot extrapolate the point that Biblical Christianity condones or leads to atrocities. Atheists might argue that Christianity creates the possibility of misinterpretation or grounds for a charismatic person to twist Christian doctrines, but the same can be said of any institution, religious or irreligious. After all, sometimes religion is used as a justification after the thought. Christians then can commit atrocities but must forget their core principles in order to do so. The atheistic argument from atrocities should therefore be considered a point of rhetoric rather than a serious argument.

On the other hand, Christians cannot argue that atheism per se leads to atrocities. For example, some atheists might like to pet bunnies, and this may be self-consistent with atheistic beliefs (as atheism does not argue that it is wrong to pet bunnies), but it does not mean atheism will lead to bunny petting, as not petting bunnies is also consistent with atheism. Likewise, committing atrocities and refusing to commit atrocities are both ultimately self-consistent for the atheist. Thus, for Christians, we must be careful not to imitate atheists in their use of the consequence fallacy.

Yet, atheism is not incidental to Lenin’s crimes. Atheistic views of morality are ultimately issues of expediency: without a moral absolute, choosing to murder or not to murder becomes ultimately a personal preference. One can kill innocents as an atheist without violating atheism’s core principles. Communism is a derivative of atheism, best conceptualized in terms of a denomination. Just as Baptists are expressions of Biblical Christianity, Communism is an expression of atheism, but not necessarily the only one. Communism developed variations of atheistic ideals that are not common to all atheists: the assumption that these deaths were necessary for the greater good of the collective.

At best then, Christians can (and I believe should) argue that atheistic bomb-throwers might lead to atrocities. This analysis is drawn from Christian presuppositions. Christians assume that man has a conscience, but without Christ this conscience will degrade over time, atheism’s influence on atrocities is indirect because it weakens the conscious, opening the door to radical acts.

As an addendum, however, many modern atheists now argue that religion is dangerous to society. This is very similar to the Communist assumption that Christians and other religious groups were a danger to the good of the collective. Given that the new radical atheists of our current day have similar views to the Marxists about the origin of our concept of rights, and Dawkin’s concept of ideas being transmitted as “Memes,” the actual question is whether they will have the courage of their convictions to follow their ideas to their logical conclusions. If they do, it might very well result in a bloodbath.

The militant atheists were for a long time considered to be the lunatic fringe of the atheistic movement precisely because of the memories of Lenin, Stalin and Hitler, but men like Richard Dawkins indicate that the lunatics are now running the asylum, and history indicates that this is dangerous.

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