OK, let’s look at history.
If numbers are important to you, atheistic communism stacked up bodies all the way to the sun in the 20th century, accounting for far more deaths, torture, imprisonment, and repression than all other religious belief systems combined.
In the year 1922 alone, an estimated 8,100 Russian priests, nuns, and monks were martyred for their beliefs”roughly twice the number of blacks lynched throughout American history. From 1937 to 1938, over 100,000 Russian Orthodox clergy members were shot to death. An estimated 20 million Christians were killed as a result of communist atheistic policies in the Soviet Union.
And if you believe that Jews represent members of a religion rather than an ethnic tribe, you can add six million corpses to the number of people murdered for being religious”give or take six million.
So it’s not merely religious fanatics who kill. It’s anti-religious fanatics as well. Human beings always seem to mangle their concept of the divine because they”re human. But it’s the same problem with secular humanism”humans.
I”m still undecided as to whether religion’s net effect on humanity has been positive or negative. Yes, I”m aware of all the negatives. You can”t turn on a TV or read a newspaper without being reminded of all the negatives, for Christ’s sake. But I also suspect that whether true or fraudulent, many religious systems have kept a lot of people from behaving like barbarians. As devious and sadistic as it may be, the threat of eternal hellfire likely prevented a lot of humans from acting like beasts of the field.
And I see fanaticism, whether religious or atheistic, as a sign of insecurity, of the basic fear of admitting that one likely has no freakin” idea why we”re here on this Earth, in this solar system, in this galaxy, and in this universe.
I identify as agnostic, and these days that has me getting into more arguments with atheists than believers. I think the basic tenets of the world’s major religions are ludicrous”about equally as ludicrous as the idea that all the laws of physics and logic and math sprung into existence without a lawmaker. I don”t call myself agnostic because I think the odds are 50/50 that Christianity is true, but because I honestly think that human beings may simply be too stupid to figure out the nature of existence. It’s probably right in front of our faces, but our powers of comprehension are insufficient to understand. It”d be like trying to explain lesbianism to a house cat”you can talk until your dentures fall out, but kitty still wouldn’t have a clue. I don”t view it as being scared to pick a side; I see it as being brave enough to admit I”m not smart enough to have solved the riddle.
But weak minds crave certainty, which is why most people seem to fall rigidly within one of the two camps. I only find it annoying when they get pushy about it. So whether you”re a pushy believer or a pushy atheist, I don”t discriminate”you can all go to hell.