Religion’s Death Toll

James A. Haught

[This article was first published in 1990.  For that reason, neither the ongoing carnage in the middle east nor terrorist attacks in the past 25+ years are mentioned.]

Ronald Reagan often called religion the world’s mightiest force for good, “the bedrock of moral order.” George Bush said it gives people “the character they need to get through life.” This view is held by millions. But the truism isn’t true. The record of human experience shows that where religion is strong, it causes cruelty. Intense beliefs produce intense hostility. Only when faith loses its force can a society hope to become humane.

The history of religion is a horror story. If anyone doubts it, just review this chronicle of religion’s gore during the last 1,000 years or so:

— The First Crusade was launched in 1095 with the battle cry “Deus Vult” (God wills it), a mandate to destroy infidels in the Holy Land. Gathering crusaders in Germany first fell upon “the infidel among us,” Jews in the Rhine valley, thousands of whom were dragged from their homes or hiding places and hacked to death or burned alive. Then the religious legions plundered their way 2,000 miles to Jerusalem, where they killed virtually every inhabitant, “purifying” the symbolic city. Cleric Raymond of Aguilers wrote: “In the temple of Solomon, one rode in blood up to the knees and even to the horses’ bridles, by the just and marvelous judgment of God.”

— Human sacrifice blossomed in the Mayan theocracy of Central America between the 11th and 16th centuries. To appease a feathered-serpent god, maidens were drowned in sacred wells and other victims either had their hearts cut out, were shot with arrows, or were beheaded. Elsewhere, sacrifice was sporadic. In Peru, pre-Inca tribes killed children in temples called “houses of the moon.” In Tibet, Bon shamans performed ritual killings. In Borneo builders of pile houses drove the first pile through the body of a maiden to pacify the earth goddess. In India, Dravidian people offered lives to village goddesses, and followers of Kali sacrificed a male child every Friday evening.

— In the Third Crusade, after Richard the Lion-Hearted captured Acre in 1191, he ordered 3,000 captives — many of them women and children — taken outside the city and slaughtered. Some were disemboweled in a search for swallowed gems. Bishops intoned blessings. Infidel lives were of no consequence. As Saint Bernard of Clairvaux declared in launching the Second Crusade: “The Christian glories in the death of a pagan, because thereby Christ himself is glorified.”

— The Assassins were a sect of Ismaili Shi’ite Muslims whose faith required the stealthy murder of religious opponents. From the 11th to 13th centuries, they killed numerous leaders in modern-day Iran, Iraq and Syria. They finally were wiped out by conquering Mongols — but their vile name survives.

— Throughout Europe, beginning in the 1100s, tales spread that Jews were abducting Christian children, sacrificing them, and using their blood in rituals. Hundreds of massacres stemmed from this “blood libel.” Some of the supposed sacrifice victims — Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln, the holy child of LaGuardia, Simon of Trent — were beatified or commemorated with shrines that became sites of pilgrimages and miracles.

— In 1209, Pope Innocent III launched an armed crusade against Albigenses Christians in southern France. When the besieged city of Beziers fell, soldiers reportedly asked their papal adviser how to distinguish the faithful from the infidel among the captives. He commanded: “Kill them all. God will know his own.” Nearly 20,000 were slaughtered — many first blinded, mutilated, dragged behind horses, or used for target practice.

— The Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 proclaimed the doctrine of transubstantiation: that the host wafer miraculously turns into the body of Jesus during the mass. Soon rumors spread that Jews were stealing the sacred wafers and stabbing or driving nails through them to crucify Jesus again. Reports said that the pierced host bled, cried out, or emitted spirits. On this charge, Jews were burned at the stake in 1243 in Belitz, Germany — the first of many killings that continued into the 1800s. To avenge the tortured host, the German knight Rindfliesch led a brigade in 1298 that exterminated 146 defenseless Jewish communities in six months.

— In the 1200s the Incas built their empire in Peru, a society dominated by priests reading daily magical signs and offering sacrifices to appease many gods. At major ceremonies up to 200 children were burned as offerings. Special “chosen women” — comely virgins without blemish — were strangled.

— Also during the 1200s, the hunt for Albigensian heretics led to establishment of the Inquisition, which spread over Europe. Pope Innocent IV authorized torture. Under interrogation by Dominican priests, screaming victims were stretched, burned, pierced and broken on fiendish pain machines to make them confess to disbelief and to identify fellow transgressors. Inquisitor Robert le Bourge sent 183 people to the stake in a single week.

— In Spain, where many Jews and Moors had converted to escape persecution, inquisitors sought those harboring their old faith. At least 2,000 Spanish backsliders were burned. Executions in other countries included the burning of scientists such as mathematician-philosopher Giordano Bruno, who espoused Copernicus’s theory that the planets orbit the sun.

— When the Black Death swept Europe in 1348-1349, rumors alleged that it was caused by Jews poisoning wells. Hysterical mobs slaughtered thousands of Jews in several countries. In Speyer, Germany, the burned bodies were piled into giant wine casks and sent floating down the Rhine. In northern Germany Jews were walled up alive in their homes to suffocate or starve. The Flagellants, an army of penitents who whipped themselves bloody, stormed the Jewish quarter of Frankfurt in a gruesome massacre. The prince of Thuringia announced that he had burned his Jews for the honor of God.

— The Aztecs began their elaborate theocracy in the 1300s and brought human sacrifice to a golden era. About 20,000 people were killed yearly to appease gods — especially the sun god, who needed daily “nourishment” of blood. Hearts of sacrifice victims were cut out, and some bodies were eaten ceremoniously. Other victims were drowned, beheaded, burned or dropped from heights. In a rite to the rain god, shrieking children were killed at several sites so that their tears might induce rain. In a rite to the maize goddess, a virgin danced for 24 hours, then was killed and skinned; her skin was worn by a priest in further dancing. One account says that at King Ahuitzotl’s coronation, 80,000 prisoners were butchered to please the gods.

— In the 1400s, the Inquisition shifted its focus to witchcraft. Priests tortured untold thousands of women into confessing that they were witches who flew through the sky and engaged in sex with the devil — then they were burned or hanged for their confessions. Witch hysteria raged for three centuries in a dozen nations. Estimates of the number executed vary from 100,000 to 2 million. Whole villages were exterminated. In the first half of the 17th century, about 5,000 “witches” were put to death in the French province of Alsace, and 900 were burned in the Bavarian city of Bamberg. The witch craze was religious madness at its worst.

— The “Protestant Inquisition” is a term applied to the severities of John Calvin in Geneva and Queen Elizabeth I in England during the 1500s. Calvin’s followers burned 58 “heretics,” including theologian Michael Servetus, who doubted the Trinity. Elizabeth I outlawed Catholicism and executed about 200 Catholics.

— Protestant Huguenots grew into an aggressive minority in France in the 15OOs — until repeated Catholic reprisals smashed them. On Saint Bartholomew’s Day in 1572, Catherine de Medicis secretly authorized Catholic dukes to send their soldiers into Huguenot neighborhoods and slaughter families. This massacre touched off a six-week bloodbath in which Catholics murdered about 10,000 Huguenots. Other persecutions continued for two centuries, until the French Revolution. One group of Huguenots escaped to Florida; in 1565 a Spanish brigade discovered their colony, denounced their heresy, and killed them all.

— Members of lndia’s Thuggee sect strangled people as sacrifices to appease the bloodthirsty goddess Kali, a practice beginning in the 1500s. The number of victims has been estimated to be as high as 2 million. Thugs were claiming about 20,000 lives a year in the 1800s until British rulers stamped them out. At a trial in 1840, one Thug was accused of killing 931 people. Today, some Hindu priests still sacrifice goats to Kali.

— The Anabaptists, communal “rebaptizers,” were slaughtered by both Catholic and Protestant authorities. In Munster, Germany, Anabaptists took control of the city, drove out the clergymen, and proclaimed a New Zion. The bishop of Munster began an armed siege. While the townspeople starved, the Anabaptist leader proclaimed himself king and executed dissenters. When Munster finally fell, the chief Anabaptists were tortured to death with red-hot pincers and their bodies hung in iron cages from a church steeple.

— Oliver Cromwell was deemed a moderate because he massacred only Catholics and Anglicans, not other Protestants. This Puritan general commanded Bible-carrying soldiers, whom he roused to religious fervor. After decimating an Anglican army, Cromwell said, “God made them as stubble to our swords.” He demanded the beheading of the defeated King Charles I, and made himself the holy dictator of England during the 1650s. When his army crushed the hated Irish Catholics, he ordered the execution of the surrendered defenders of Drogheda and their priests, calling it “a righteous judgment of God upon these barbarous wretches.”

— Ukrainian Bogdan Chmielnicki was a Cossack Cromwell. He wore the banner of Eastern Orthodoxy in a holy war against Jews and Polish Catholics. More than 100,000 were killed in this 17th-century bloodbath, and the Ukraine was split away from Poland to become part of the Orthodox Russian empire.

— The Thirty Years’ War produced the largest religious death toll of all time. It began in 1618 when Protestant leaders threw two Catholic emissaries out of a Prague window into a dung heap. War flared between Catholic and Protestant princedoms, drawing in supportive religious armies from Germany, Spain, England, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, France and Italy. Sweden’s Protestant soldiers sang Martin Luther’s “Ein ‘Feste Burg” in battle. Three decades of combat turned central Europe into a wasteland of misery. One estimate states that Germany’s population dropped from 18 million to 4 million. In the end nothing was settled, and too few people remained to rebuild cities, plant fields, or conduct education.

— When Puritans settled in Massachusetts in the 1600s, they created a religious police state where doctrinal deviation could lead to flogging, pillorying, hanging, cutting off ears, or boring through the tongue with a hot iron. Preaching Quaker beliefs was a capital offense. Four stubborn Quakers defied this law and were hanged. In the 1690s fear of witches seized the colony. Twenty alleged witches were killed and 150 others imprisoned.

— In 1723 the bishop of Gdansk, Poland, demanded that all Jews be expelled from the city. The town council declined, but the bishop’s exhortations roused a mob that invaded the ghetto and beat the residents to death.

— Islamic jihads (holy wars), mandated by the Koran, killed millions over 12 centuries. In early years, Muslim armies spread the faith rapidly: east to India and west to Morocco. Then splintering sects branded other Muslims as infidels and declared jihads against them. The Kharijis battled Sunni rulers. The Azariqis decreed death to all “sinners” and their families. In 1804 a Sudanese holy man, Usman dan Fodio, waged a bloody jihad that broke the religious sway of the Sultan of Gobir. In the 1850s another Sudanese mystic, ‘Umar al-Hajj, led a barbaric jihad to convert pagan African tribes

— with massacres, beheadings and a mass execution of 300 hostages. In the 1880s a third Sudanese holy man, Muhammad Ahmed, commanded a jihad that destroyed a 10,000-man Egyptian army and wiped out defenders of Khartoum led by British general Charles “Chinese” Gordon.

— In 1801 Orthodox priests in Bucharest, Romania, revived the story that Jews sacrificed Christians and drank their blood. Enraged parishioners stormed the ghetto and cut the throats of 128 Jews.

— When the Baha’i faith began in Persia in 1844, the Islamic regime sought to exterminate it. The Baha’i founder was imprisoned and executed in 1850. Two years later, the religious government massacred 20,000 Baha’is. Streets of Tehran were soaked with blood. The new Baha’i leader, Baha’ullah, was tortured and exiled in foreign Muslim prisons for the rest of his life.

— Human sacrifices were still occurring in Buddhist Burma in the 1850s. When the capital was moved to Mandalay, 56 “spotless” men were buried beneath the new city walls to sanctify and protect the city. When two of the burial spots were later found empty, royal astrologers decreed that 500 men, women, boys, and girls must be killed and buried at once, or the capital must be abandoned. About 100 were actually buried before British governors stopped the ceremonies.

— In 1857 both Muslim and Hindu taboos triggered the Sepoy Mutiny in India. British rulers had given their native soldiers new paper cartridges that had to be bitten open. The cartridges were greased with animal tallow. This enraged Muslims, to whom pigs are unclean, and Hindus, to whom cows are sacred. Troops of both faiths went into a crazed mutiny, killing Europeans wantonly. At Kanpur, hundreds of European women and children were massacred after being promised safe passage.

— Late in the 19th century, with rebellion stirring in Russia, the czars attempted to divert public attention by helping anti-Semitic groups rouse Orthodox Christian hatred for Jews. Three waves of pogroms ensued — in the 1880s, from 1903 to 1906, and during the Russian Revolution. Each wave was increasingly murderous. During the final period, 530 communities were attacked and 60,000 Jews were killed.

— In the early 1900s, Muslim Turks waged genocide against Christian Armenians, and Christian Greeks and Balkans warred against the Islamic Ottoman Empire.

— When India finally won independence from Britain in 1947, the “great soul” of Mahatma Gandhi wasn’t able to prevent Hindus and Muslims from turning on one another in a killing frenzy that took perhaps 1 million lives. Even Gandhi was killed by a Hindu who thought him too pro-Muslim.

— In the 1950s and 1960s, combat between Christians, animists and Muslims in Sudan killed more than 500,000.

— In Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978, followers of the Rev. Jim Jones killed a visiting congressman and three newsmen, then administered cyanide to themselves and their children in a 900-person suicide that shocked the world.

— Islamic religious law decrees that thieves shall have their hands or feet chopped off, and unmarried lovers shall be killed. In the Sudan in 1983 and 1984, 66 thieves were axed in public. A moderate Muslim leader, Mahmoud Mohammed Taha, was hanged for heresy in 1985 because he opposed these amputations. In Saudi Arabia a teen-age princess and her lover were executed in public in 1977. In Pakistan in 1987, a 25-year-old carpenter’s daughter was sentenced to be stoned to death for engaging in unmarried sex. In the United Arab Emirates in 1984, a cook and a maid were sentenced to stoning for adultery — but, as a show of mercy, the execution was postponed until after the maid’s baby was born.

— In 1983 in Darkley, Northern Ireland, Catholic terrorists with automatic weapons burst into a Protestant church on a Sunday morning and opened fire, killing three worshipers and wounding seven. It was just one of hundreds of Catholic-Protestant ambushes that have taken 2,600 lives in Ulster since age-old religious hostility turned violent again in 1969.

— Hindu-Muslim bloodshed erupts randomly throughout India. More than 3,000 were killed in Assam province in 1983. In May 1984 Muslims hung dirty sandals on a Hindu leader’s portrait as a religious insult. This act triggered a week of arson riots that left 216 dead, 756 wounded, 13,000 homeless, and 4,100 in jail.

— Religious tribalism — segregation of sects into hostile camps — has ravaged Lebanon continuously since 1975. News reports of the civil war tell of “Maronite Christian snipers,” “Sunni Muslim suicide bombers,” “Druze machine gunners,” “Shi’ite Muslim mortar fire,” and “Alawite Muslim shootings.” Today 130,000 people are dead and a once-lovely nation is laid waste.

— In Nigeria in 1982, religious fanatic followers of Mallam Marwa killed and mutilated several hundred people as heretics and infidels. They drank the blood of some of the victims. When the militia arrived to quell the violence, the cultists sprinkled themselves with blessed powder that they thought would make them impervious to police bullets. It didn’t.

— Today’s Shi’ite theocracy in Iran — “the government of God on earth” — decreed that Baha’i believers who won’t convert shall be killed. About 200 stubborn Baha’is were executed in the early 1980s, including women and teenagers. Up to 40,000 Baha’is fled the country. Sex taboos in Iran are so severe that: (1) any woman who shows a lock of hair is jailed; (2) Western magazines being shipped into the country first go to censors who laboriously black out all women’s photos except for faces; (3) women aren’t allowed to ski with men, but have a separate slope where they may ski in shrouds.

— The lovely island nation of Sri Lanka has been turned hellish by ambushes and massacres between Buddhist Sinhalese and Hindu Tamils.

— In 1983 a revered Muslim leader, Mufti Sheikh Sa’ad e-Din el’Alami of Jerusalem, issued a fatwa (an order of divine deliverance) promising an eternal place in paradise to any Muslim assassin who would kill President Hafiz al-Assad of Syria.

— Sikhs want to create a separate theocracy, Khalistan (Land of the Pure), in the Punjab region of India. Many heed the late extremist preacher Jarnail Bhindranwale, who taught his followers that they have a “religious duty to send opponents to hell.” Throughout the 1980s they sporadically murdered Hindus to accomplish this goal. In 1984, after Sikh guards riddled prime minister Indira Gandhi with 50 bullets, Hindus went on a rampage that killed 5,000 Sikhs in three days. Mobs dragged Sikhs from homes, stores, buses and trains, chopping and pounding them to death. Some were burned alive; boys were castrated.

— In 1984 Shi’ite fanatics who killed and tortured Americans on a hijacked Kuwaiti airliner at Tehran Airport said they did it “for the pleasure of God.”

Obviously, people who think religion is a force for good are looking only at Dr. Jekyll and ignoring Mr. Hyde. They don’t see the superstitious savagery pervading both history and current events.
During the past three centuries, religion gradually lost its power over life in Europe and America, and church horrors ended in the West. But the poison lingered. The Nazi Holocaust was rooted in centuries of religious hate. Historian Dagobert Runes said the long era of church persecution killed three and a half million Jews — and Hitler’s Final Solution was a secular continuation. Meanwhile, faith remains potent in the Third World, where it still produces familiar results.

It’s fashionable among thinking people to say that religion isn’t the real cause of today’s strife in Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland, India and Iran — that sects merely provide labels for combatants. Not so. Religion keeps the groups in hostile camps. Without it, divisions would blur with passing generations; children would adapt to new times, mingle, intermarry, forget ancient wounds. But religion keeps them alien to one another.

Anything that divides people breeds inhumanity. Religion serves that ugly purpose.


  1. Have you seen what the cost of mankind in the name of Evolution is?

    In just an overall short abount of time compared to the events listed, 240,000,000 persons died.

    Plus, according to Evolutionists, we’re all just a plague on the world that needs to be maintained at a 1/4 billion people. We’re currently around 7 billion people, and you say religion is the big bad.

    • What do you mean by “in the name of evolution”? It works on it’s own. And if someone thinks a god set evolution up to run, well, they have their answer about the character of that god- brilliantly evil.

      “240,000,000 persons died”…from what? People die everyday, and…?

      Humans are a “plague” of sorts, but you won’t hear “evolutionists” say that. Antinatalists and environmentalists on the other hand, might have something to say about this. Procreation is certainly the goal of most organisms. Just how they decide to control their own numbers is beyond me. Humans have certainly failed to this, and religious people are certainly culprits in the realm of crating or replacing more than themselves on this planet. Of course we could implicate modern medicine for lowering the mortality rate.

      Religion is certainly a big bad, I’m not sure there is “A” big bad, multiple bads make the world brutal, but it’s mostly people I’m concerned about as they have the ability to make other choices (like not having children, standing armies, stealing via capitalism, and eating animals to name a few). These are human created problems, and Religion is both a problem and problem solver in that religious groups often help alleviate the pains of life. However, religions have certainly been a part of the problem as few religions have anything approaching an environmentalist or Antinatalist theory in their religion’s DNA… because religion and religious people are dumb of course because they continue to buy into children, standing armies, capitalism, carnism, speciesism….

      • Hi. You cite capitalism, carnism, speciesism, etc. as if they are evil. How? If the world is simply a chance accident, then anything goes; there would be no logical foundation for “good” or “evil.” Religion alone provides a moral standard–well, some religions. With Secularism (which is, itself, actually a religion), one cannot even begin to solve the world’s evils because there is no defined evil–just fickle social norms. And if we rely on fickle social norms to define evil…

        • “Evil” maybe, perhaps not “good” or beneficial considering the collateral damage or externalities.

          “Anything goes” hedonism or nihilism do not necessarily follow from the world being a chance accident (I assume you mean “creation” of the world here). Chance or caused it also does not follow that there would be no “logical” foundations for good and evil with Eupraxsophy or the like. In fact, the foundation of a secular morality can be very logical, whereas from religions it is not at all logical. Take the Bible or Koran for examples, one of the founding arguments for being moral is that you will burn in hell for doing or not doing xyz. How is that better than teaching we behave like xyz because it is just the right thing to do based on abc reasoning. Talk about fickle, where is the backbone and brain in just following orders versus thinking about what it is you are doing and why based on some morally consistent ground?

          “Religion alone” does not provide moral standards, in fact it just muddies the water between and within religions, and how people inside and outside of those circles can live in a civil society. Consistency is important so is a means to get buy in from “everyone” that xyz is worth following not because they are coerced or scared into it, but because we cooperate and share expectations and incentives to act civil, to form a society with a structure that points to some civil order.

          The standards of religion are much more fickle than those of a secular approach because the moral standards of a secular (or perhaps diversified or inclusive) approach can be based on reason and possibly science, not some musing from so-called holy books that can’t keep up with changing times. The Bible is a terrible moral guide depending on how you cherry-pick your moral standards from it for some sort of moral “code” that is not confusing if not vile or savage– slavery, the death penalty, war crimes, homophobia, bigotry against outsiders, and polygamy come to mind as moral codes to follow according to the bible.

          The “social norms” of Humanism are much more rigorous and rational than the countless fickle and contradictory social norms of various theisms. Rather than take or follow some religious text at face value, or whatever some religious guru dictates, we have the ability (in a chance world or caused world) to debate and research whether it is ethically consent or morally “right” to do as we please with other species, inflict pain on sentient beings or murder them, make gratuitous profit, charge gratuitous interest, or steal surplus value.

          See these for more on morality without religion:

          SCIENCE SALON # 82– Michael Shermer with Phil Zuckerman — What it Means to be Moral: Why Religion is Not Necessary for Living an Ethical Life:

          Also see: A Pathway to Objective Morality Why the Case for Scientific Humanism is Rational:

          • Hello again. Thanks for your thoughts! I was reading the first resource you provided and here are my thoughts: he lays out a very good argument against secularism. Let me explain. Till suggests that religion is unreasonable as it relies an a series of assumptions beginning with the assumption that God exists. Therefore, it follows that secularism is also unreasonable as it relies on a series of assumptions beginning with the assumption that God does not exist. As Till notes: “The fact is that no one can prove the existence of God.” Likewise, no one can disprove the existence of God.

            Till goes on to speculate that humans need no absolute morality and therefore need no God. Underlying this is the idea that there are only three options for morality: either morality is dictated by God, morality is dictated by man, or there is no morality. Obviously, the last option is impractical. After all, a world with absolutely no morals would be complete anarchy. However, we do have some form of morality. Our justice systems rely on it. This leaves morality to be either dictated by God or to be dictated by man. The latter case raises the question of who will dictate morality. Typically, it is suggested that morality would be dictated by the community as a whole. Yet, this is also impractical as it has lead to the deaths of millions during the communist purges and the death of many Jews during the Holocaust. Humanists like to suggest that man is basically good and therefore a community of good people would be able to develope a good system of morality. However, this basic assumption that man is basically good is itself faulty. After all, we do not teach our young children to lie; they do so automatically. And we do not teach our young children fight each other over a Tonka Truck. We have to teach them to keep their hands to themselves. Many of the issues we see today are man’s issues. And if man is not truely good, in what place is he to dictate morality? The only remaining option is that morality be dictated by God. Such a morality would be absolute and unchanging throughout time.

            One final note. It is often espoused that Humanism is more rational than Theism. However, as stated earlier, Humanism teaches that man is basically good. This is irrational, if not naive. Moreover, humanists are not exempt from being irrational. One quote by Richard Lewontin, a hard core Atheist, is a prime example: “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantial just-so-stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door” (Lewontin, Richard. “Billions and Billions of Demons.” The New York Review, January 9, 1997, p. 31).

            If you would like to see how science supports Biblical doctrine, check out And for a very fascinating argument for absolute truth, check out

            Again, thanks for your thoughts!

          • I disagree, you could prove that a god exists, it just hasn’t been done yet. I’m not holding my breath. You can’t necessarily prove a negative, that god does not exist, but Richard Carrier gets into it:

            Why assume there are absolutes or an absolute morality and that it is necessary? Isn’t this partly the crux of theism’s woes, the conflicts between and within religions, it’s a conflict of absolutes that render them non-absolute because there can be only one? See the problem there? Why not a morality 2.0 and 2.1…to better as humans, to improve over theism’s archaic absolutism, or absolute bullshit to some?

            I think nihilists are right, there is no morality, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do good, or be good, whatever that is. We have a blank slate if nihilists are right and can do way better than the human written mistake-laden bible. We will continue to agree to disagree. I call bullshit on theism, and think we can do better, and have certainly done better than the 10 commandments etc. Of course humans fail at both Humanism and following the biblical god’s morality of absolutes.

            “…either morality is dictated by God, morality is dictated by man, or there is no morality. Obviously, the last option is impractical. After all, a world with absolutely no morals would be complete anarchy.” Where to begin? Fuck off perhaps? Black and white thinking, either or fallacy…Further, there is a big difference between anarchy and anarchism, which is perhaps where Humanists are going. A bit much for this commentary.

            “deaths of millions” from community morality? Wait “community” is significantly different than a State, or State Communism in your example. Which could have been pro capitalist neo conservative or neo liberal fascistic states as well. How many deaths have they wrought as compared to religion? Lets keep it simple, more? regardless, any anti-humanistic State (or States in general) are wrong in that case. Also, Jesus was communist and enemy of the State, more akin to an anarcho-communist than anything we know today in the realm of what we call a capitalist.

            Do you believe in the “justice system” or that only a god judges, or a religious authority or community? I’ll go with a liberal judicial system for the time being, but think we can and should do batter than we have and better than what the bible teaches.

            I’m a humanist and I don’t for a minute think that humans are basically good, as you point out with Tonka trucks etc. But why would god be such an asshole as to not design humans better or right. Did god know better? If so, what an asshole, what a complete failure. It sounds like your god created non-perfect beings, why? Fuck him/her in that case, what a fucking sociopath. I want nothing to do with such a non-person person/god.

            “Many of the issues we see today are man’s issues. And if man is not truely [sic] good, in what place is he to dictate morality? The only remaining option is that morality be dictated by God. Such a morality would be absolute and unchanging throughout time.” Why do you think this is sound or even consistent logic? And “only remaining option”? Says you, not the only blind and small minded enough person to believe that drivel. No doubt our troubles are human created, but to me that means exactly the place to deconstruct or reconstruct a better way or means through human action. What’s the saying, “hands that help are better than lips that pray” (or prey from that matter). Human created problems can be human solved. I might not be as pessimistic as you on this front, and my faith is very weak here, but so what, try as we might and must to make a better world (with or without religion). We do have the option to of course skip Humanist principles and look in the bible, Koran or other holy books and fight about it.

            “Humanism teaches that man is basically good. This is irrational, if not naive.” Glad you got back to this. Naivety comes from the nave too. Like I said, the point is to not trust humans and question everything, anarchy if you will. And that is the point. Don’t buy what religion sells, don’t buy what humans sell. My issue is that at the end of the day what humans sell through humanism vs religion is a world apart, or better without god in the picture because questions are supposed to stop with gods because it’s absolute. There are religious people that are Humanists btw. You can be a theist and a Humanist. Anyway, I digress, doesn’t imperfect non-good humans point to an imperfect god? That is, if we think un-good (whatever that is) is human nature. If humans were made in a god’s image that god must be imperfect too, no?

            Also, god has a knowledge problem if we think about creating and knowing certain things, which hits on the issues above as well:

            I don’t see how the quote by Richard Lewontin, “a hard core Atheist,” is irrational or “a prime example” of such. Rationalism or scientism was his goal, no? Seems like a sound line of reasoning to me and doesn’t bother me.

            Science supports the bible my ass. Science supports, albeit with the tentativeness of science, materialism. The bible might have some historical and scientific truths, but I’d wager it has more mistakes, contradictions, fallacies, and ahistorical musings. Tip of the iceberg:
            and, this is handy too:

            The ICR really? Are you a young earth creationist? Young or old, I can see why you unthink like you think. Sorry.

            theist stones break bones

  2. the problem is, sir, some significant religions encourages procreation and discourages abortion – even birth control.

    • And…? That does sound like a problem to me, perhaps a significant one. But what does that have to do with the Death Toll wrought by religion then and now? Abortion doctors being killed, mothers dying trying to perform abortions on themselves, “god” killing babies himself as still born, or babies only to be born with a malady, or into a painful life or death from famine, malnutrition, or disease? Does “procreation” make up for these crimes?

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