Re: virus: Atheism and Agnosticism (demon thread)

Pat Bunt (
Wed, 24 Apr 1996 10:04:39 -0500 (EST)

John A wrote:
>If you look at christianity's (by christianity I mean mormonism,
>catholicism, and other christian sects) track record in history, you'll
>find nothing but oppression. At first christianity brought education to
>pagan (or "uncivilized") peoples. With this, though, christianity
>brought it's doctrine. Science and truth are just fine for christianity,
>until they contradict christian doctrine. Then things get ugly. Millions

A few points. First of all, as a student of the Renaissance, I would say
that I find quite a bit besides oppression in Christianity. If you think of
all of the works of Michaelangelo, Bach, and other Christian artisis as
propaganda, then I would wonder about what art you personally enjoy. If you
think that contemporary art is free of an underlying message, think again-
modern culture is so tainted with consumerism it's sick. And consumerism
does kill people- look at Bhopal, or Baghdad.
Someone recently recommended E. Eisenstein's work on the printing
press- I followed up that lead and would repeat the recommendation.
Specifically chapter 4: Her thesis is that Christianity was relatively free
of fundamentalism until the printing press allowed Rome to strive for a new
position of real authority.

>were killed in the crusades; the inquisition took out more people than
>Hitler could handle. In more recent history, christianity has been used
>to support slavery, "manifest destiny", unequal rights for women,
>censorship and numerous other social evils. Right now there are

Where are you getting these statistics? If millions were killed in the
Levant, that would leave the region seriously depopulated. The inquisition
killed far less people than Hitler- in fact, in it's first few centuries, it
was reluctant to kill anyone, until popular pressure demanded that certain
"funny types" be killed. And even then, the inquisition didn't do the
killing- it was the secular authorities who did. So, you could look at it
both ways- was Christianity the agent of this killing, or was it the
reluctant tool? Galileo was threatened with torture, but da Vinci, Bacon,
and Darwin were not.

>I am not saying that every christian everywhere is inherently evil. When
>dealing with a religion, one must examine what is true of the religion
>as a whole. There are many christians that are very good people. The
>religion taken as a whole, however, yields what I have shown.

Emphasizing a certain aspect of a religion is not taking it "as a whole".
By saying that Christianity is a demon, don't you just mean that certain
institutions like the Crusades, the later Inquisition and a few popes were
demons? In that case, you'd have a lot of people agreeing with you-
Protestants, for instance (Check out R. W. Scribner, _For The Sake of Simple
Folk_, for a collection of political cartoons from the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries showing the popes as demons).

>We call Jeffery Dahmer a demon because he killed thrity or forty people.
>(I am not sure exactly)Christianity has killed billions. Why can't
>christianity be a demon as well?

This is blatant rhetoric. So, we're to understand that all people killed in
the name of Christianity were subsequently beheaded, frozen, and eaten?
That Christianity, as a whole, encourages sociopathic cannibalism? "Those
Christians- they seemed so normal and polite to their neighbors until..."
Most Christians are not responsible for the acts of a select few.
As an Atheist, I would personally protest being associated with the acts of
other murdering Atheists. Millions of people were killed under Stalin for
having a religion- does this make Atheism a demon?

Patrick D. Bunt,

"Homo sum. Nihil humani alienum a me puto."
-Terence, _Heauton Timorumenos_, 1.1.77.