"Stalin's power grab was the cause of his crimes, not atheism."
I agree. But my point is its inconsistent to say atheism didn't cause Stalin's crimes but religion caused all of Christianitiy's. A Christian can say -- I think rather plausibly -- that those who burn people at the stake and otherwise use force in the name of Jesus didn't understand Jesus's message. All I'm arguing is that a rational person should apply the same standard in cases where he is defending atheism (Stalin) as in cases where he is attacking Christianity. If anything we should hold atheism to a higher standard, since its supposed to be about reason not dogma.
I agree with Dawkins on most things but this is one where I disagree a bit. To me its pointless to argue about how many crimes have been committed in the name of religion vs. atheism. I agree many more were committed in the name of religion but also as an atheist I have a natural bias to think that. And in any case it doesn't matter. Evil people can distort any belief system.
For me ALL that counts is the truth. And there are countless arguments (e.g. Dawkins God Delusion) that show that any traditional religion is just a myth people believe because of social pressure not because they came to it by reason. Atheism on the other hand is the rational conclusion I think any unbiased scientific person would make as they look at the universe.
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