The Monkey writes << The two most obvious atheist terrorists I can think of
were Hitler and Stalin. >>

While it is certainly true that Stalin was an atheist (though the population
of the Soviet Union, steeped in 9 centuries of Orthodox Christianity prior
to the 1917 Revolution, worshipped Stalin as if he were a god himself), it
is not true that Hitler was an atheist. The claim that Hitler was an atheist
is completely untenable. Hitler made positive appeals to god-belief in his
writings and in virtually every public speech he gave, and frequently
affirmed that he believed that he was doing "the Lord's work."

Many try to make the case that Nazism arose from Nietzsche's philosophy. The
argument tends to goes something as follows: Nietzsche was a German
atheistic philosopher, therefore atheism leads to Nazism. But this kind of
"inference" (it is so weak that it can hardly be considered a legitimate
inference) misses the point that Nietzsche abhored the blossoming
anti-Semitism of German culture, and his writings make clear that he would
never have approved of the Nazi's heavy appeal to religion in order to
justify their agenda of slaughter and dictatorship.

Philosopher Doug Krueger has an article on the web which deals with these
issues (the claim that "Hitler was an atheist" and that "Nietzsche's atheism
leads to Nazism") in his response to Christian philosopher Paul Copan's
defense of Ravi Zacharias' repetition of these claims. That article can be
found here:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/doug_krueger/copin.html

So quickly do those who defend Christian theism from the very obvious
association of Nazism with Christianity forget about one of the main
wellsprings of anti-Semitic hatred in German culture: Martin Luther. Luther
was a vicious anti-Semite, and many pages of his writings blatantly drip
with this hatred. For some documentation on this, see:
http://www.nobeliefs.com/luther.htm.

Not only did Hitler appeal both to Luther's precedence and to Christianity
in his writings (_Mein Kampf_) and his speeches, Christian believers
numbered as Hitler's largest group of supporters (indeed, in Germany at the
time, one was either a Jew... or a Christian! not much else!). The Lutherans
themselves were among Hitler's staunchest supporters during his rise to
power, and numerous sources have courageously shown the silent approval of
the Vatican at the time the Nazi's rose to power (I have in mind, among
others, John Cornwell's book "Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII"
[Viking, 1999] which has been dismissed as a "comic book" by some who are
sympathetic to preserving the "good name" of the Catholic Church).

Further, part of the Nazi program was the effort to annihilate what they
termed the "godless movement" since "godlessness" (i.e., atheism) was
perceived to be incompatible with the Nazi program. (Krueger's article
documents this effort on the part of the Nazi party.) This certainly would
not have happened if Nazism was in any way sympathetic to atheism.

Some claim that Hitler was a pagan and that Nazism was largely influenced by
paganism. This may have a small degree of truth (though establishing that
Hitler himself was a pagan would be hard to reconcile with all the approving
allusions to Christianity which he interjected into his arguments and
rhetoric). However, it misses another point: pagan simply means that one is
not a Christian; paganism is not necessarily atheistic. Most pagans
worshipped gods which competed with the Christian god (hence the term still
holds a pejorative connotation to this day). According to one source
(http://dictionary.msn.com/find/entry.asp?search=pagan), the primary
definition of 'pagan' is "follower of a less popular religion" and the next
definition is "polytheist or pantheist." Clearly, the label pagan does not
necessarily indicate atheism. There is simply no way to appeal to the
evidences which we have in order to establish that Hitler was an atheist or
that Nazism arose from an "atheistic worldview." (Yet, we will still hear
religious apologists trying to make this connection.)

The Monkey asked << Why do you think that self professed theists who kill
are typical of theists in general? >>

I don't know to whom The Monkey directs this question (I don't see anyone
specifically addressed in his post), so who thinks this (and how The Monkey
establishes that somebody thinks this) is unclear.

However, there are some points to bear in mind here. Those living in the
United States have a fairly insulated view on these matters, because few
people in the US take their religion very seriously. For the vast majority
of Christians, their beliefs are treated largely as an afterthought, and
have essentially no principal value in the daily course of their lives. They
get up in the morning go to work and tend to their own selfish needs as a
general course, and this is certainly justified on an enlightened,
non-religious basis. However, it is not compatible with a view which
commands its believers to go out into the world to proselytize them and to
"occupy" (Luke 19:13) until Jesus returns by "taking no thought of the
morrow" (Matt. 6:34). Most Christians I know do think about the morrow and
indeed make long term plans (such as saving money to buy a home or investing
in mutual funds, etc.). Few Christians if any whom I have met practice the
teachings of their religion consistently (most merely repeat them and expect
others to take them seriously). Religion in the west is largely pretense for
many believers.

But in less developed, less enlightened nations where religion *is* taken
seriously, we see an unmistakable trend towards a violent culture to the
degree that the religion is taken seriously and practiced consistently to
its teachings. Indeed, if I claimed that I really believed Jeremiah 48:10
("Cursed is he who is lax in doing the Lord's work! Cursed is he who keeps
his sword from bloodshed!"), wouldn't I be a hypocrite if I did not take
this teaching seriously?

The essential truth to keep in mind is that faith and force are corollaries.
When men abandon reason, they leave themselves with no reasonable means of
dealing with each other. Disputes are not settled by negotiation or by
persuasive argument, but by the initiation of the use of force. The fact
that one cannot reasonably expect to negotiate with those things taken on
faith is modeled in the Bible's own examples (see my points in the thread
named "Abraham" in the Theism vs. Atheism web). Faith in the supernatural
always begins as faith in the superiority of others. Faith does not permit a
society of individuals who can deal with each other as equals; someone is
always seeking to dominate someone else by the threat of force. Look at the
Muslim nations today, where one would be risking his life if he dare speaks
out against the local mullahs. A woman can be beheaded for not covering
herself in public. Why? Because in those societies their religion is taken
seriously by the majority of the populace.

When Christianity was taken seriously in the west, the social landscape was
radically different from what it is now. Non-elected leaders (such as kings;
the Old and New Testaments promote king-worship throughout, and nowhere do
its authors question the morality of a monarchy) formed alliances with the
church, and both worked in tandem against the liberty of the individual.
Why? Because it was the fast track to obtaining and preserving power over
others. The power of a king was for the most part confined within his
country's borders. But the power of the church knew no borders, and was
itself an inescapable international institution. The Dark Ages, inquisitions
(whose aim was to expose and make an example of "heretics" - a formidable
means of keeping people scared to death and thus obedient to others),
crusade wars (whose aim was to convert or kill non-Christians), etc., are a
direct result of taking these religious ideas seriously and practicing them
consistently. This is largely unknown in the west now, so we tend to take
things for granted. Ignore the past at your peril.

The Monkey asked << Have you heard of inductivism? >>

Sure I have. Why don't you tell us all about this? I'd like to know what you
have to say on it.

CertainVerdict