Bone writes << The difference between
crusades, inquisitions, holy wars
initiated by theists and the deaths caused by Stalin et al. was that Stalin,
in no way, was concerned with advancing the banner of atheism, but with
simply consolidating his power.>>
Thanks for your comments, Bone. I would say that consolidating power (and
preserving it once it was consolidated) is the goal of any collectivist,
whether theist or atheist. In this sense, the communists are merely
competitors of the religionists, and both are at enmity with each other
since each aims to collect on the sacrifices which they expect individuals
to make in obeisance to their moral doctrines. Even with theistic tyrannies,
the spread of god-belief is merely a means to an end, not an end in itself.
In either case, religious tyranny or non-religious dictatorship, the common
denominator is the lust for power over others.
The point which I was making in my earlier post today is that atheism as
such is no guarantee against a society of men who seek to rule others by
force, since one can be an atheist, and still lust for power over others.
Bone wrote << The French Revolution is a good example of atheists committing
atrocities in the name of atheism. >>
I did not understand that the French Revolution was engaged in the name of
atheism as such, but for independence from (or removal of) despotic kings.
Perhaps I'm mistaken on this? How do you establish that the French
Revolution was fought in the name of atheism, or that the atrocities
committed in this revolution were committed in the name of atheism? A few
quotes from self-identified atheists in favor of the revolution does not
seem adequate to establish that it was fought in the name of atheism (unless
one can produce quotes from its instigators stating this explicitly).
Bone wrote << Remember Voltaire's "Man will not be free until the last king
is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." >>
Thanks for recalling this quote. However, I do not think a quote expressing
frustration with the church is sufficient to establish that the impetus for
the French Revolution was for atheism as such. Do you have any more quotes
which can establish this causal connection which you seem to have in mind?
Bone wrote << Of course, the monarchy and the church were terrible to the
population and some degree of backlash was to be expected. >>
This seems to have been the case with most European monarchies until well
after the enlightenment.
Bone wrote << But it got out of hand. >>
I think it still is out of hand.