Peter Hitchens has replied to my critique of his blog as mentioned in tweets. In a nutshell he blames atheism for communism paying particular attention and terror to religion; with that atheism came a special zealotry to brutalise the religious and their institutions. This makes “atheism a bloodthirsty creed” for him.
My position is that Marxist ideology combined with the willingness to use terror by the Russian Communists, destroy pluralism and control all of society made religion the particular target of a totalitarian heart and mind state. Atheism was not the cause of the bloodshed but the terror totalitarian marxist ideology Bolsheviks espoused and brutally practised was.
The conversation on twitter thus far can be found here.
I blame the Bolsheviks’ means of keeping power and thought control as a terrorising totalitarian state for being bloodthirsty to religion, as their main opposition – with an enthusiasm helped by being anti religion. Peter, that atheism was at the heart of everything the communists did and terror towards religion the cause and end result.
The reason this debate between us matters, regarding Leninism and Stalinism, is that I have argued that theism or atheism alone will not determine whether you will act morally. I would not blame theism for the use of torture, or wars done in the name of a deity. That lies with those who did so in the name of their god and the religious ideas that said this was legitimate or just.
My argument would be similar with atheism. I would agree that Mr Bunker, in Hitchens’ original blog is missing the point when he says nobody has been killed in the name of atheism. Taking that line you could say that about theism too. It is where you go from these two ideas that things can be good or ill for the rest of humanity.
On that, Hitchens and I would firmly agree. Marxism is not the way to go.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog