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Blackberry's avatar

Have any political leaders killed people solely due to their atheism?

Asked by Blackberry (29039 points ) August 9th, 2011

This is regarding the debates about Pol Pot, Mao, and others.

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10 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Now, why can’t I come up with something? I mean can’t an idiotic person argue that all secular deaths resulting from atheists count since they lack a moral compass? Oh and did a political leader that I don’t know about admit to being an atheist? Cause that’s a miracle right there.

FutureMemory's avatar

I thought Communism was against religion? Would be strange for Mao to have killed people for being atheist.

WestRiverrat's avatar

What about when the taliban was running Afghanistan?

The English burned Joan of Arc at the stake for being a witch and heretic.

The Spanish Inquisition made a living routing out pagans, heretics, and Jews.

I am sure if you look hard enough at any religion or nonreligion, you can find periods where they were the persecuted and the persecutors.

Brian1946's avatar

Perhaps Blackberry is asking if any Communist political leaders or other atheist political leaders, were driven by their own atheism to kill other people.

ETpro's avatar

The Inquisition. The Salem Witch trials. Sharia Law throughout the Muslim world. Killing people for disagreeing with the prevailing religion or God has been a common practice from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia to the Americas, with human sacrifices of those who didn’t believe in the “right” God.

Rarebear's avatar

@ETpro The Inquisition wasn’t really against atheists, but people of other religious faiths besides Catholics, namely Jews. The Salem Witch trials weren’t directly against atheists either, I don’t think.

whitenoise's avatar

I don’t think one can put forward anyone that killed, solely driven by their atheism.

Atheism, after all is not a belief system that would motivate people to behave in any certain way toward anybody else.

Some may argue that if an atheist would have been religious, say Christian, then their religion would have prevented their killing. Given the many deaths that were religiously motivated, I doubt that such a statement would hold water though.

Their have been a lot of people killed by people that we believe were atheists. My impression is that those killings were, however, driven by other factors, such as fear of loosing power and a wish to gain power. Pretty much the same reasons that religious people kill for, I guess. (Plus, of course, that some religions do actually inspire people to kill others.)

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear No revisionist history accepted. The inquisition dealt with Christians accused of being godless, of being Devil worshipers, sorcerers, infidels, anything hut the church’s rigid dogma. Don’t whitewash the event. There is more blood there than you will ever paint over.

jaytkay's avatar

The Soviet anti-religion campaigns included plenty of mass murder.

…When church leaders demanded freedom of religion under the constitution, the Communists responded with terror. They murdered the metropolitan of Kiev and executed twenty-eight bishops and 6,775 priests…

…The sixth sector of the OGPU, led by Yevgeny Tuchkov, began aggressively arresting and executing bishops, priests, and devout worshipers, such as Metropolitan Veniamin in Petrograd in 1922…Archbishop Andronik of Perm, who worked as a missionary in Japan, was buried alive. Bishop Germogen of Tobolsk, who voluntarily accompanied the czar into exile, was strapped to the paddlewheel of a streamboat and mangled by the rotating blades…

…During the purges of 1937 and 1938, church documents record that 168,300 Russian Orthodox clergy were arrested. Of these, over 100,000 were shot…

Wikipedia – Persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union

whitenoise's avatar

@Rarebear i think you’re right, since in those days atheism was so unaccepted, that there were virtually no people that dared to present themselves as that.

Even now, there are many parts of this world, where one can better present oneself as a religious person than an atheist, eve if one is an atheist. The concept of atheism is so foreign tom some societies, that they cannot even understand it. This , in my opinion is true for most parts of the Muslim world. People often cannot believe why somebody that doesn’t believe in God is motivated to do good. Atheists can therefore not be trusted.

Had the inquisition gotten their hands on any atheists, though, I am convinced they would gladly have killed them to.

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