David Berlinski Destroys Secularism

Bismillah was-salaatu was-salaamu ‘ala Rasoolillah.

One of my favorite writers and speakers about science and religion is David Berlinski. He’s Jewish himself, and he wrote a devastating critique of “New” Atheism called The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions.

This is an excerpt from that book:

What Hitler did not believe and what Stalin did not believe and what Mao did not believe and what the SS did not believe and what the Gestapo did not believe and what the NKVD did not believe and what the commissars, functionaries, swaggering executioners, Nazi doctors, Communist Party theoreticians, intellectuals, Brown Shirts, Black Shirts, gauleiters, and a thousand party hacks did not believe was that God was watching what they were doing. And as far as we can tell, very few of those carrying out the horrors of the twentieth century worried overmuch that God was watching what they were doing either. That is, after all, the meaning of a secular society.

‘Nuff said.

Salaam,

Yousuf

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5 thoughts on “David Berlinski Destroys Secularism”

  1. What Joshua, Hitler, Moses and others _did_ believe is that they were acting in the name of their god, that they were doing their god’s work, when they killed thousands or millions. The genocide in Rwanda was religiously motivated and so many more atrocities were sanctioned by the church. Your argument falls flat before it gets any traction. The believe in a god or not is not the only motivational factor in life. We humans do not act because of what we do not believe, rather we act based on what we do believe. There has never been a case of someone acting badly because they don’t believe in the tooth fairy or because they don’t believe in invisible pink unicorns. Your premise is false, completely so.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. I think the point the author was trying to make was that, when you consider the scale, atrocities committed by secular people are much, much worse than those committed by religious people. Also, your facts are inaccurate: Hitler was an atheist, though he did use Christian rhetoric sometimes. See this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Adolf_Hitler. He justified his policies using science, and specifically Darwin’s theory.
      Also, if I’m not mistaken, Rwanda was about ethnicity/tribe not religion.

      That being said, I agree that there indeed have been atrocities committed by religious people in the name of their god(s). I don’t deny this at all and neither did the author of that quote. We’re just pointing out the hypocrisy of atheists who constantly rant about these crimes as a proof against religion, while overlooking atrocities on a larger scale committed by their co-atheists.

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