Saturday, March 18, 2017
Are atheists non-violent?
Nowadays it has become a common practice to equate religion with violence. Many people try to make us believe that religion is the sole reason behind violence, and irreligious or atheist people are the most non-violent ones. Oh really!
Let’s look at the some of the most violent historical events:
1. Joseph Stalin’s regime killed around 50 million people in Russia. Stalin was a Communist. Communists are atheists.
2. Under Mao Tse Tung’s regime, around 45 million people in China were killed between 1958 and 1962. He was a Communist. Chinese Communists invaded Tibet, and killed around 1.2 million non-violent and religious Tibetans. Actually if you look at the mass murder records of atheists like Stalin and Mao, Hitler’s mass murder of 6 million Jews looks quite small.
3. Winston Churchill let 3 million Indians die in the Bengal Famine of 1943. It had again nothing to do with religion. He called himself an atheist and agnostic. Looks like many of the biggest mass murders of the last century were very irreligious.
4. World War 1 & 2 killed millions of people. They were fought because of colonialism and nationalism.
5. Pakistani government killed 3 million Bangladeshis in 1971. It had nothing to do with religion.
I am surrounded by hundreds of religious people. I never saw them indulge in any form of violence. Many of them are vegetarians, which means they don’t even support the killings of animals.
I feel the real reason behind violence is the human desire for power over others. That desire can use religion, nationalism, racism, communism, capitalism or any other ideology to manifest itself. If we blame religion for every act of violence, we are just telling a half-truth.