Atheism and morality

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The perverse and cruel atheist Marquis de Sade in prison, 18th century line engraving.

Not possessing a religious basis for morality, which can provide a basis for objective morality, atheism is fundamentally incapable of providing a coherent system of morality.[1] See also: Atheism and ethics and Atheism and the problem of evil

For example, atheists have been the biggest mass murderers in history (see: Atheism and mass murder). Dr. R. J. Rummel's mid estimate regarding the loss of life due to atheistic communism is that communism caused the death of approximately 110,286,000 people between 1917 and 1987 (See also: Atheism and communism).[2]

See also:

Contents

Atheism and morality: Lack of objective morality

See also: Objective morality and Atheism and ethics and Atheism and meaninglessness

Dr. Paul Copan wrote: "...the existence of a personal God is crucial for a coherent understanding of objective morality."[3]

Ethics is the branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles.[4]

Regarding atheism and ethics, under an atheist worldview, there is no logical basis for objective morality or ultimate meaning and purpose.[5]

Atheism and moral relativism

See also: Atheism and morality quotes

Dr. Phil Fernandes says concerning atheism and moral relativism:

Nietzsche preached that a group of "supermen" must arise with the courage to create their own values through their "will to power." Nietzsche rejected the "soft" values of Christianity (brotherly love, turning the other cheek, charity, compassion, etc.); he felt they hindered man's creativity and potential....

Many other atheists agree with Nietzsche concerning moral relativism. British philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) once wrote, "Outside human desires there is no moral standard." A. J. Ayer believed that moral commands did not result from any objective standard above man. Instead, Ayer stated that moral commands merely express one's subjective feelings. When one says that murder is wrong, one is merely saying that he or she feels that murder is wrong. Jean-Paul Sartre, a French existentialist, believed that there is no objective meaning to life. Therefore, according to Sartre, man must create his own values.

There are many different ways that moral relativists attempt to determine what action should be taken. Hedonism is probably the most extreme. It declares that whatever brings the most pleasure is right. In other words, if it feels good, do it. If this position is true, then there is no basis from which to judge the actions of Adolf Hitler as being evil.[6]

New Atheism and objective morality

See also: New Atheism and morality and New Atheism

Craig Hazen wrote:

It’s been fascinating to watch the very vocal and prolific new atheists, such as Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins, make a case for objective morality. The phrase “objective morality” is a way of indicating that some behaviors are right (truth telling, kindness, tolerance) and some behaviors are wrong (rape, murder, racism) — for real. Morality is not just a matter of personal preference and choice (akin to liking peanuts better than almonds), but rather laws that are real and true and binding no matter what one thinks about them or whether one chooses to follow them.

The reason it has been fun to watch the new atheists defend this idea is because atheists of an earlier generation (such as J.L. Mackie and Bertrand Russell) thought it folly to do so. Classic atheists from the mid-20th century were very reluctant to grant that there was an objective moral law because they saw that it was just too compelling for believers to take the easy step from the moral law to God who was the “moral law giver.” Accepting a real objective moral law would be giving far, far too much ground to the Christians and other theists.

In my view, this shift in attitude toward moral values among the new atheists is an indicator that our work in Christian apologetics and philosophy has had an impact. I can’t count the times when in forums on various college campuses more traditional atheists and agnostics have had to squirm under the questioning from me or my colleagues about basic moral questions.

“Is it wrong to torture babies for fun?” “Is it wrong to treat a person as subhuman because she has darker skin?” As you can imagine, if an atheist were to answer “no,” or “well, it depends,” or “I prefer not to do these things, but how can I judge others,” to these questions he would be running into some real trouble with the audience. Whether the audience is filled with conservative Christians or radical unbelievers, people in our culture have an aversion to those who waffle or dodge on such fundamental and obvious moral values.

I think the new atheists got tired of being in such a public relations conundrum, so they began embracing basic morality as some sort of natural feature of the physical universe. They now tend to maintain that there are objective morals, but that these morals did not come from God. Is it wrong to torture babies for fun? Of course it’s wrong, says the new atheist. Goal accomplished. No more looking like an uncaring monster on stage in debates with Christians.

On the one hand, I think the new atheists have been helped in public discourse by their recent adoption of rudimentary moral values. One rarely feels now like one is being addressed by an amoral scoundrel when a new atheist is speaking in public. On the other hand, the new atheist now suffers from a problem that the old atheists would have quickly warned them about: How in the world are we going to explain where these objective moral values came from?

...the daunting problem for the new atheist is the nature and source (ontology) of the moral law. Here are some questions you can ask Richard Dawkins the next time you sit next to him on a bus:

• If everything ultimately must be explained by the laws of physics and chemistry, help me understand what a moral value is (does it have mass, occupy space, hold a charge, have wavelength)?

• How did matter, energy, time and chance result in a set of objective moral values? Did the big bang really spew forth “love your enemy?” If so, you have to help me understand that.

• What makes your moral standard more than a subjective opinion or personal preference? What makes it truly binding or obligatory? Why can’t I just ignore it? Won’t our end be the same (death and the grave) either way?[7]

Atheism and the problem of evil:

See also: Theodicy

Barna Group studies related to atheism and morality

Barna Group study on behavior of atheists vs. evangelical Christians

Richard Deem wrote:

A random sample of 1003 adults were surveyed in May, 2008 by The Barna Group for their participation in a number of negative behaviors within the previous week. The results showed that there were vast differences in the behaviors of evangelicals compared to agnostics/atheists.

These results show that atheists/agnostics participate in morally questionable behaviors to a much greater degree than evangelical Christians - an average of nearly five times the frequency![8]

Barna Group study related to atheist beliefs about behaviors

The Barna Group found that atheists and agnostics in America were more likely, than theists in America, to look upon the following behaviors as morally acceptable: illegal drug use; excessive drinking; sexual relationships outside of marriage; abortion; cohabitating with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage; obscene language; gambling; pornography and obscene sexual behavior; and engaging in homosexuality/bisexuality.[9]

Given the many diseases associated with homosexuality, the biblical prohibition against homosexuality is quite arguably one of the many examples where the Bible exhibited knowledge that was ahead of its time. See also: Atheism and sexual immorality

Atheist morality statistics

University study: Public perception of atheist morality

In 2014, a University of Kentucky study was published by Will M. Gervais, which was entitled "Everything is permitted? People intuitively judge immorality as representative of atheists", and the study indicated that "even atheist participants viewed immorality as significantly more representative of atheists than of other people."[10]

Secular values and 20th century atrocities

See also: Atheism and mass murder and Atheist atrocities and Atheism and violence

Vox Day

The ex-atheist Theodore Beale notes concerning atheism and mass murder:

Apparently it was just an amazing coincidence that every Communist of historical note publicly declared his atheism … .there have been twenty-eight countries in world history that can be confirmed to have been ruled by regimes with avowed atheists at the helm … These twenty-eight historical regimes have been ruled by eighty-nine atheists, of whom more than half have engaged in democidal acts of the sort committed by Stalin and Mao

The total body count for the ninety years between 1917 and 2007 is approximately 148 million dead at the bloody hands of fifty-two atheists, three times more than all the human beings killed by war, civil war, and individual crime in the entire twentieth century combined.

The historical record of collective atheism is thus 182,716 times worse on an annual basis than Christianity’s worst and most infamous misdeed, the Spanish Inquisition. It is not only Stalin and Mao who were so murderously inclined, they were merely the worst of the whole Hell-bound lot. For every Pol Pot whose infamous name is still spoken with horror today, there was a Mengistu, a Bierut, and a Choibalsan, godless men whose names are now forgotten everywhere but in the lands they once ruled with a red hand.

Is a 58 percent chance that an atheist leader will murder a noticeable percentage of the population over which he rules sufficient evidence that atheism does, in fact, provide a systematic influence to do bad things? If that is not deemed to be conclusive, how about the fact that the average atheist crime against humanity is 18.3 million percent worse than the very worst depredation committed by Christians, even though atheists have had less than one-twentieth the number of opportunities with which to commit them. If one considers the statistically significant size of the historical atheist set and contrasts it with the fact that not one in a thousand religious leaders have committed similarly large-scale atrocities, it is impossible to conclude otherwise, even if we do not yet understand exactly why this should be the case. Once might be an accident, even twice could be coincidence, but fifty-two incidents in ninety years reeks of causation![11]

Eryn Sun writes at the Christian Post:

Morals aren't begotten from religion, but secular moral philosophy, jurisprudence and dinner table conversation, renowned atheist Richard Dawkins recently argued at the Jaipur Literature Festival in India.

Criticizing ethical systems based on religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam, The God Delusion author continued to uphold the view that ethics came from secular values and not godly ones.

"We are the 21st century moralists and atheists," Dawkins told listeners Tuesday, according to Indo-Asian News Service.

"We don't need to get morals from our religions ... We don't want to find morals from the holy books. We can have our own enlightened secular values," he emphasized, referring to the Humanist Manifesto III, a document outlining the conceptual boundaries of humanism, published by the American Humanist Association, of which Dawkins was a signatory.

The manifesto maintained that ethical values were derived from human need and interest as tested by experience and that working to benefit society maximized individual happiness among other beliefs.

Joseph Stalin's atheistic regime killed tens of millions of people. See: Atheism and mass murder

Craig J. Hazen, founder and director of the MA program in Christian apologetics at Biola University, told The Christian Post that Dawkins' comments on morality and ethics showed his "desperate need for a broader education."

"Dawkins has obviously spent far too much time looking at genes and not enough time stepping back from the microscope to examine human society and history," he shared. "If he did he would know that human beings have tried using 'enlightened secular values' to fix what's wrong with the world in no-holds-barred experiments."

And the results were "off-the-charts horrendous," the author of the novel Five Sacred Crossings explained to CP in an email, citing Hitler's Holocaust, Stalin's Five Year Plan, Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution, and Pol Pot's Killing Fields.

"Dawkins and his like-minded 'new atheists' are not just wrong about this. Indeed, they are literally laying the naïve intellectual groundwork for the next secular genocide," Hazen added.[12]

Atheism and the decline of morality in the Soviet Union

See also: Soviet Union and morality

Atheist Christopher Hitchens is known for having a history of heavy drinking.[13]

Peter Hitchens is the ex-atheist brother of atheist Christopher Hitchens. In an article entitled Britain needs God Dominic Statham wrote about Peter Hitchens:

Peter wrote that his views changed slowly, as he came to see the fruit of atheism. Part of this realisation came when he was working as a journalist in Moscow, during the final years of the Soviet Union. His depiction of this godless society was sobering. He wrote of the riots that broke out when the vodka ration was cancelled one week; the bribes required to obtain anaesthetics at the dentist or antibiotics at the hospital; the frightening levels of divorce and abortion; the mistrust and surveillance; the unending official lies, manipulation and oppression; the squalor, desperation and harsh incivility. Peter wrote of how traffic stops dead in Moscow when rain begins to fall, as every driver fetches wind-screen wipers from their hiding places and quickly fits them to their holders. Any wipers left in place when the car is parked are stolen as a matter of course.

The atheist, humanistic ideology of the state, he believed, had even affected the Russian language. Peter spoke to a descendant of an exile, whose grandparents had fled Moscow in the days of Lenin. Having been brought up to speak pure Russian in his American home—the elegant, literary language of his parents—he was shocked when he visited Russia to hear the coarse, ugly, slang-infested and bureaucratic tongue that was now spoken, even by educated professionals.[14]

Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was asked to account for the great tragedies that occurred under the brutal communist regime he and fellow citizens suffered under.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn offered the following explanation:

Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: 'Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.'

Since then I have spend well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: 'Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.' [15]

For more information please see: Atheism and mass murder

Richard Dawkins commentary on the morality of Adolf Hitler

See also: Richard Dawkins and morality

The evolutionist and new atheist Richard Dawkins stated in an interview: “What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question."[16] The interviewer wrote, regarding the Hitler comment, "I was stupefied. He had readily conceded that his own philosophical position did not offer a rational basis for moral judgments. His intellectual honesty was refreshing, if somewhat disturbing on this point."[16]

Atheism and slavery/forced labor

Atheism and charity

See also: Atheism and charity and Atheist nonprofit scandals and Atheism, uncharitableness and depression
A child in Thailand where the nontheistic form of Buddhism called the Theravada school of Buddhism is prevalent. In 2010, the Pew Research Forum indicated that 93.2% of the people of Thailand were Buddhists.[17] A comprehensive study by Harvard University professor Robert Putnam found that religious people are more charitable than their irreligious counterparts.[18] See: Atheism and uncharitableness

Concerning the issue of atheism and uncharitableness, the evidence indicates that per capita charitable giving by atheists and agnostics in America is significantly less than by theists, according to a study by the Barna Group:

The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults.[19]

A comprehensive study by Harvard University professor Robert Putnam found that religious people are more charitable than their irreligious counterparts.[18]

See also: Atheism, social justice and hypocrisy

Atheism and lower empathy

See: Atheism and lower empathy

Church-state issues emphasis. Charity low priority

See also: Atheism and uncharitableness and Western atheism and race and Atheism and love

In June 2014, the African-American atheist woman Sikivu Hutchinson wrote in the Washington Post that atheist organizations generally focus on church-state separation and creationism issues and not the concerns the less affluent African American population faces.[20] Hutchinson also mentioned that church organizations do focus on helping poor African Americans.[20]

Atheist nonprofit scandals

See also: Atheist nonprofit scandals and Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science - Embezzlement allegation

Two atheist nonprofit scandals which recently received some publicity were the organizations Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science and the We Are Atheism organization.[21]

In addition, David Gorski at Scienceblogs indicated that many atheist/skeptic organizations are poorly run from a financial standpoint.[22]

For more information, please see: Atheist nonprofit scandals

Atheist fundraising vs. Religious fundraising

See: Atheist fundraising vs. religious fundraising

Atheism and pornography

See also: Atheism and pornography

One of the causes of atheism is a hedonistic lifestyle. See: Atheism and hedonism.

The infamous pornographers Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt are both atheists.[24]

In 2003, Arena magazine magazine listed Flynt as #1 on the "50 Powerful People in Porn" list.[25] Flynt is paralyzed from the waist down due to injuries sustained from a 1978 assassination attempt by the serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin.[26]

Atheism and child pornography

See also: Atheism and child pornography

In 2005 Denmark was ranked the third most atheistic country in the world and the website adherents.com reported that in 2005 43 - 80% of Danes are agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[27]

The 2003 book entitled Overcoming Violence Against Women and Girls: The International Campaign to Eradicate a Worldwide Problem written by authors Rahel Nardos; Mary K. Radpour; William S. Hatcher and Michael L. Penn, declared:

The largest source of commercial child pornography is Denmark. Denmark became the world's leading producer of child pornography when, in 1969, it removed all restrictions on the production and sale of any type of pornographic material. "The result," notes Tim Tate, "was a short-lived explosion in adult pornography, and the birth of commercial child pornography. ....by 1979 when Denmark finally banned the production and sale of child pornography it had already become such a financial success on the international market that it has proven to be nearly impossible to bring its spread under control.[28]

Suzanne Ost, in her 2009 book Child Pornography and Sexual Grooming: Legal and Societal Responses published by Cambridge University Press, wrote about the child pornography created by Denmark/Holland during this period: "Taylor and Quayle note that the material produced during this period still constitutes the largest part of child pornography that is currently available, having been transferred into digital format and uploaded onto the internet."[29]

Other atheistic countries and child pornography/child prostitution:

Atheism, pedophilia and NAMBLA

See also: Atheism, pederasty and NAMBLA and Teenage homosexuality and Homosexuality and pedophilia

Many consider atheist Harry Hay to be the founder of the American homosexual movement.

The North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) was founded in December 1978 and is an activist homosexuality and pedophilia/pederasty coalition group.

Some of the well known atheist advocates of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) are:

1. The atheist and homosexual David Thorstad was a founding member of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).[30]

2. Harry Hay (1912 - 2002) was an liberal advocate of statutory rape and the widely acknowledged founder and progenitor of the activist homosexual agenda in the United States. Hay joined the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) in 1934.[31] Harry Hay was an atheist.[32] He was a vociferous advocate of man/boy love.[33] In 1986, Hay marched in a gay parade wearing a shirt emblazoned with the words "NAMBLA walks with me."[34]

3. The writer Samuel R. Delany is an atheist and a homosexual.[35] Delaney said he was a supporter of NAMBLA.[36]

See also: Richard Dawkins on child molestation and so called "gentle pedophiles" and John Maynard Keynes and pederasty


Atheism and bestiality

See also: Atheism and bestiality and Moral failures of the atheist population

Bestiality and secular Europe

See also: Bestiality and secular Europe and Secular Europe

A 2015 Jerusalem Post article indicates "Copenhagen has for long been the bestiality capital of Europe and has attracted many tourists mainly visiting to have sex with animals. Legislation against this practice was only enacted this year."[37]

From a global perspective, Europe is more secular/atheistic than the rest of the world although it does have a considerable amount of religious immigrants who have higher birth rates (see: Atheist population and Global atheism).

Vice News, a global news channel which broadcasts documentaries about current topics, reported in 2014 about secular Europe:

Bestiality is having a weird renaissance in Europe. Perhaps ironically, it kicked off when activists succeeded in banning the practice in places like Germany and Norway. In the background, something else emerged simultaneously: an animal-sex-tourism industry, which has been blossoming in Denmark.[38]

A 2015 Jerusalem Post article indicates "Copenhagen has for long been the bestiality capital of Europe and has attracted many tourists mainly visiting to have sex with animals. Legislation against this practice was only enacted this year."[37]

Bestiality, secular European countries and other areas

In areas of the Western World where there is a significant amount of atheists and evolutionary belief, there have been notable problems related to bestiality (see: Bestiality and various geographic areas).

The first "bestiality rights" organization was founded in secular Europe

The first so called "bestiality/zoophile rights" group, called Equality for All, has its roots in secular Europe and formed in the '90s.[39] It is located in the Czech Republic. According to a 2010 Eurobarometer poll, 16% of Czech citizens responded that "they believe there is a God" which the lowest rate among the countries of the European Union.[40]

Atheism and cannibalism

The serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer engaged in cannibalism. He was an atheist while he committed these acts.[41]

See also: Atheism and cannibalism

The historical records indicate that there have been multiple instances of cannabalism during atheistic communist regimes (see: Atheism and cannibalism).[42][43]

The serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer engaged in cannibalism. He was an atheist while he committed these acts.[41]

John Attarian wrote concering the atheist Marquis de Sade: "For the Sadean egotist, then, everything is permitted. Sade incessantly rationalized the most depraved and libertine sexuality, and every crime including cannibalism and murder.[44]

The YouTube channel TheAmazingAtheist is the most popular atheist YouTube channel run by an atheist and it has over 1,078,038 subscribers as of March 2018 .[45] . TheAmazingAtheist produced a video entitled Atheist Libertarian Defends Incest, Polygamy and Cannibalism!.[46]


Atheism and abortion

The Journal of Medical Ethics declared concerning the atheist and sadist Marquis de Sade:

In 1795 the Marquis de Sade published his La Philosophic dans le boudoir, in which he proposed the use of induced abortion for social reasons and as a means of population control. It is from this time that medical and social acceptance of abortion can be dated, although previously the subject had not been discussed in public in modern times. It is suggested that it was largely due to de Sade's writing that induced abortion received the impetus which resulted in its subsequent spread in western society.[47]

Population control is based on pseudoscience and ill founded economic assumptions.[48] CBS News reported: "According to a mail-in survey of nearly 4,000 British doctors, those who were atheist or agnostic were almost twice as willing to take actions designed to hasten the end of life."[49]

Irreligion and drug addiction

Studies indicate that religious individuals are less likely to engage in illegal drug use than atheists/nonreligious.[50][51][52]

See also: Atheism and drug addiction

Studies indicate that religious individuals are less likely to engage in illegal drug use than atheists/nonreligious.[50][51]

According to Science Daily:

Young Swiss men who say that they believe in God are less likely to smoke cigarettes or pot or take ecstasy pills than Swiss men of the same age group who describe themselves as atheists. Belief is a protective factor against addictive behaviour. This is the conclusion reached by a study funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.[53]

Prominent atheists and immorality

See also: Atheist movement and Atheist organizations

James Randi is a prominent atheist within the atheist movement. Brian Thompson, former James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) Outreach Coordinator, wrote:

But I no longer identify with this community of benevolent know-it-alls, because not all of them are the best folks in the world. In fact, a good percentage of the top ten worst humans I’ve ever met are prominent members of the skeptics’ club. They’re dishonest, mean-spirited, narcissistic, misogynistic. Pick a personality flaw, and I can probably point you to someone who epitomizes it. And that person has probably had a speaking slot at a major skeptical conference.

I grew particularly disgusted with the boys’ club attitude I saw among skeptical leaders and luminaries. The kind of attitude that’s dismissive of women, sexually predatory, and downright gross. When I first started going to skeptical conferences as a fresh-faced know-it-all, I started hearing things about people I once admired. Then I started seeing things myself. Then I got a job with the JREF, and the pattern continued.[54]

Commentary on the immorality of prominent atheists

The atheist philosopher Peter Singer defends the practice of bestiality (as well as abortion, infanticide and euthanasia). Despite holding these immoral views the liberal and pro-evolution academic establishment rewarded his views with a bioethics chair at Princeton University.[55]

See also: Atheism, polyamory and other immoral relationships

An essay by the Christian apologist Dr. James Spiegel examines the morality of some well known atheists. Dr. Spiegel describes Bertrand Russell as a "misogynistic and a serial adulterer; a chronic seducer of women, especially very young women, even in his old age."[56] Spiegel refers to the atheist Karl Marx as a "fiercely anti-semitic; egocentric, slothful, and lecherous; exploitive of friends and unfaithful to his wife; sired an illegitimate son, whom he refused to acknowledge."[56] In addition, Spiegel refers to atheist Jean-Paul Sartre in the following manner: "Jean-Paul Sartre—notorious for his sexual escapades with female students, often procured by his colleague and lover Simone de Beauvoir."[56]

See also:

Marquis de Sade advocated a law that every citizen would have a right of free access to the body of every other citizen

See also: Atheism and rape

The American sociologist Peter L. Berger wrote concerning the Marquis de Sade:

The infamous Marquis de Sade was residing in a lunatic asylum when he penned his last work, a tract entitled “One More Effort and You will be True Republicans”. That effort was for a law that every citizen would have a right of free access to the body of every other citizen.[57]

Atheism, moral duties, moral accountability and free will

The Christian apologetics website Wintery Knight declares about atheism and morality:

Moral duties (moral obligations) refer to the actions that are obligatory based on the moral values defined in 1). Suppose we spot you 1) as an atheist. Why are you obligated to do the good thing, rather than the bad thing? To whom is this obligation owed? Why is rational for you to limit your actions based upon this obligation when it is against your self-interest? Why let other people’s expectations decide what is good for you, especially if you can avoid the consequences of their disapproval?...

Moral accountability

Suppose we spot you 1) and 2) as an atheist. What difference does it make to you if you just go ahead and disregard your moral obligations to whomever? Is there any reward or punishment for your choice to do right or do wrong? What’s in it for you?...

Free will

In order for agents to make free moral choices, they must be able to act or abstain from acting by exercising their free will. If there is no free will, then moral choices are impossible. If there are no moral choices, then no one can be held responsible for anything they do. If there is no moral responsibility, then there can be no praise and blame. But then it becomes impossible to praise any action as good or evil....

Here’s prominent atheist Jerry Coyne’s editorial in USA Today to explain why atheists can’t ground free will.

Excerpt:

And that’s what neurobiology is telling us: Our brains are simply meat computers that, like real computers, are programmed by our genes and experiences to convert an array of inputs into a predetermined output. Recent experiments involving brain scans show that when a subject “decides” to push a button on the left or right side of a computer, the choice can be predicted by brain activity at least seven seconds before the subject is consciously aware of having made it. (These studies use crude imaging techniques based on blood flow, and I suspect that future understanding of the brain will allow us to predict many of our decisions far earlier than seven seconds in advance.) “Decisions” made like that aren’t conscious ones. And if our choices are unconscious, with some determined well before the moment we think we’ve made them, then we don’t have free will in any meaningful sense.

If you don’t have free will, then you can’t make moral choices, and you can’t be held morally responsible. No free will means no morality.

Here are some more atheists to explain how atheists view morality.

William Provine says atheists have no free will, no moral accountability and no moral significance:

Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.

Richard Dawkins says atheists have no objective moral standards:

In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, or any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference… DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music. (Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (1995))

When village atheists talk about how they can be moral without God, it’s important to ask them to justify the minimum requirements for rational morality. Atheists may act inconsistently with their worldview, believing in free will, expecting praise and blame for complying with the arbitrary standards of their peer group, etc. But there is nothing more to morality on atheism that imitating the herd – at least when the herd is around to watch them. And when the herd loses its Judeo-Christian foundation – watch out. That’s when the real atheism comes out, and you can see it on display in the Planned Parenthood videos. When God disappears from a society, anything is permissible.[58]

Atheism, morality and the evolutionary worldview

See also: Atheism, evolution and morality and Social effects of the theory of evolution

Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists and agnostics.[59]

Dr. Greg Bahnsen became known as "the man atheists fear most" due to Michael Martin's cancellation of their scheduled debate.[60][61]

Dr. Georgia Purdom and Dr. Jason Lisle wrote in an article entitled Morality and the Irrationality of an Evolutionary Worldview:

Christian philosopher Dr. Greg Bahnsen (1948–95) states, “What does the unbeliever [person who rejects the biblical God] mean by ‘good,’ or by what standard does the unbeliever determine what counts as ‘good’ (so that ‘evil’ is accordingly defined or identified)? What are the presuppositions in terms of which the unbeliever makes any moral judgments whatsoever?” Although unbelievers may classify actions as good or evil, they do not have an ultimate foundation for defining what is good and evil.

In fact, many evolutionists are quite clear that evolution does not provide a basis for morality. William Provine, evolutionist and biology professor at Cornell University, states in referring to the implications of Darwinism, “No ultimate foundations for ethics exist, no ultimate meaning in life exists, and free will is merely a human myth.” Thus, if evolution is true, then there can be no universal moral code that all people should adhere to.

If human beings are merely the inevitable result of the laws of physics and chemistry acting over time, then how can people have any genuine choice in what they do? If the decisions people make are simply the deterministic outworking of electrochemical reactions in a brain—which is itself allegedly the mindless outworking of billions of random chance copying errors in our DNA—then how would it make sense to hold people responsible for their “decisions”?

After all, we do not attempt to punish the planet Venus for spinning backwards. And we do not get angry at baking soda for reacting with vinegar. This is just what necessarily happens in the universe given the laws of nature. So why would an evolutionist be angry at anything one human being does to another (such as creationists supposedly “lying” to children), if we are all nothing more than complex chemical reactions? If we are simply evolved animals, why should we hold to a code of conduct in this “dog-eat-dog” world? After all, what one animal does to another is morally irrelevant.

When evolutionists attempt to be moral, they are “borrowing” from the Christian worldview.

The Christian worldview accounts not only for morality but also for why evolutionists behave the way they do. Even those who have no basis for morality within their own professed worldview nonetheless hold to a moral code; this is because in their heart of hearts they really do know the God of creation, despite their profession to the contrary. Scripture tells us that everyone knows the biblical God, but that they suppress the truth about God (Romans 1:18-21).[62]

Theo Hobson writes:

The trouble is that too many atheists simply assume the truth of secular humanism, that it is the axiomatic ideology: just there, our natural condition, once religious error is removed. They think morality just comes naturally. It bubbles up, it’s instinctive, not taught as part of a cultural tradition. In The God Delusion Richard Dawkins tries to strengthen this claim using his biological expertise, arguing that humans have evolved to be altruistic because it ultimately helps their genes to survive. But in the end, he admits that no firm case can be made concerning the evolutionary basis of morality. He’s just gesturing with his expertise, rather than really applying it to the issue at hand...

The Dawkins muddle has further dimensions. He argues that morality just comes naturally to all of us, yet it’s distorted by religion. But given that almost all human cultures have been religious, where does that leave us? Are we to believe that morality comes naturally, but only when atheism liberates it to come naturally? It’s comically flimsy.[63]

Atheist philosopher Michael Ruse on atheism and morality

Atheist philosopher Michael Ruse declared:

“Morality is just a matter of emotions, like liking ice cream and sex and hating toothaches and marking student papers…Now that you know that morality is an illusion put in place by your genes to make you a social cooperator, what’s to stop you behaving like an ancient Roman [raping and pillaging]? Well, nothing in an objective sense.”[64]

Atheists adopting theistic morality from their theistic cultures

See also: Atheists adopting theistic morality and Protestant cultural legacies

Christian apologists and others frequently argue that atheists appropriate their moral values from the theistic cultures in which they reside and they often do not have a strictly atheistic morality.[64][65][66]

William Lane Craig, citing research published by author Arthur C. Brooks, points out that atheists raised in religious households are twice as likely to give to charity than those raised in nonreligious households (see: Atheism and charity).[67]

Atheism and the decline of morality in the United Kingdom

See also: Britain and morality

In 2011 and in recent years, there have been number of reports on the decline of morality in Britain.[68] As noted above, Peter Hitchens is the ex-atheist brother of atheist Christopher Hitchens. In the aforementioned article entitled Britain needs God Dominic Statham wrote:

Peter also wrote of what he saw as the growing public discourtesy and incivility in Britain. When he returned to London, after a five-year absence, he was shocked by the decline in people’s behaviour. He commented, “The rapid vanishing of Christianity from public consciousness and life, as the last fully Christian generation ages and disappears, seems to me to be a major part of it. I do not think I would have been half so shocked by the squalor and rudeness of 1990 Moscow, if I had not come from a country where Christian forbearance was still well-established. If I had then been able to see the London of 2010, I would have been equally shocked.” In many respects, Peter’s book is a warning to people, as to the kind of society they can expect if they continue to reject Christian beliefs.[14]
An essay by the Christian apologist Dr. James Spiegel describes the British, skeptic Bertrand Russell as a "misogynistic and a serial adulterer; a chronic seducer of women, especially very young women, even in his old age."[69]

In an article entitled Why is England burning? Creation Ministries International wrote:

Few will have missed the shocking reports of the riots seen recently throughout England. Gangs of young adults and teenagers have been on the rampage, smashing windows, looting shops, and burning cars and warehouses. Even large deployments of police have been unable to contain them.

Many have been asking why all this is happening. Some reply that it is due to deep anger and frustration amongst youth, who feel they have no future, no possibility of getting a job and no stake in society. Others claim it is simply rebellion against authority and wanton criminality. Conservatives point to the disruption of family life, the promotion of single motherhood, the lack of discipline in schools and the ‘rights culture’. Liberals blame the lack of equality in society and say the answer lies in providing the young with more opportunities and better education. While there is some truth in all these views, they all fail to address the deeper issues and the true root cause of Britain’s moral and social decline.

What is happening in England is the inevitable consequence of a nation rejecting God and His Word. Instead of believing what God has said, people readily believe the modern academics and politicians, who assure us that the Bible is no more than a book of myths and that we can forge a better society based on secularism. Accepting this view has led to there being no final authority, no absolute basis for morality and no clarity about who or what we are...

When I was at school in the 1960s and 1970s, the Christian thinking and values of previous generations were still evident. General behaviour, truthfulness and respect were still considered more important than academic or material success. This was based on the view that we were made in the image of God, and good character was necessary to preserve this...

In contrast to all this, much of today’s educational system places little if any value on such biblical ideas. This is not surprising; if even many church leaders claim Genesis is not real history, then original sin is but a myth. In fact, it is quite likely that the ‘progressive’ educationist will take a different view simply because they think that, if the Bible teaches something, it is probably wrong. The teachers know that they themselves lie, and the head teacher lies—so why should they expect their pupils not to lie? Indeed, a recent New Scientist article actually argued, from an evolutionary standpoint, that lying in our personal, professional and social lives is a strategy for survival! The objective of education is no longer to equip young people to serve in the community, but to maximize their ‘potential for self-fulfillment’. The great heroes of the modern age are not those who have sacrificially given themselves for others, but those who have fought for themselves and their ‘rights’. Humanists, in defiance of the true history in Genesis 3, assert the doctrine of the intrinsic goodness of humanity and see no need to teach right and wrong.[70]

Atheism and its inability to explain love

See also: Atheism and love

From a metaphysical, moral and spiritual perspective, atheists have an inability to satisfactorily explain the existence of love.[71][72] See: Atheism and love

Atheism and hypocrisy

See also: Atheist hypocrisy

In order to attempt to justify their atheism, atheists often engage in hypocritical argumentation. In addition, atheists often engage in hypocritical behavior. Please see: Atheist hypocrisy

Atheism and social justice

See also: Atheism and social justice

Historically, the secular left has been dominant within the atheist community (see: Atheism and politics).

According to leading progressive/leftists websites, progressive values include: freedom; opportunity; responsibility; cooperation/community; caring and responsibility, carried out with strength; protection/fairness; honesty and open communication.[73][74] These practices are often seen as being conducive to social justice.

The atheists population has not lived up to these standards.

Moral depravity as a causal factor for atheism

See also: Causes of atheism and Atheism and moral depravity

The history of the atheist community and various studies concerning the atheist community point to moral depravity being a causal factor for atheism.[75][76][77][78][79]

In addition, there is the historical matter of deceit being used in a major way to propagate atheism from the time of Ernst Haeckel onward. Francis Thompson wrote: "Maybe the atheist cannot find God for the same reason a thief cannot find a policeman."

The Bible asserts that "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good." (Psalms 14:1 (KJV)).

The biblical fool is said to be lacking in sound judgment and the biblical fool is also associated with moral depravity. For example, the biblical book of Proverbs states: "A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, But a fool is arrogant and careless. A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of evil devices is hated. The naive inherit foolishness, But the sensible are crowned with knowledge."(Proverbs 14:16-18 (NASB)).

The book of Proverbs also has strong words regarding the depravity of biblical fools: "The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but [it is] abomination to fools to depart from evil." (Proverbs 13:9 (KJV)).

Regarding the deceitfulness of fools Proverbs states: "The wisdom of the sensible is to understand his way, But the foolishness of fools is deceit." (Proverbs 14:8 (KJV)). Noted Bible commentator and clergyman Matthew Henry wrote regarding atheism: "A man that is endued with the powers of reason, by which he is capable of knowing, serving, glorifying, and enjoying his Maker, and yet lives without God in the world, is certainly the most despicable and the most miserable animal under the sun."[80]

There are multiple historical instances of atheists engaging in gross immorality (see: Atheism and hedonism).

A listing of the moral failures of the atheist population

Denmark is the third most atheistic country in the world and the website adherents.com reports that 43 - 80% of Danes are agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[81]

In 2009, Suzanne Ost reported in her book published by Cambridge University Press, that the child pornography material produced in Denmark (and Holland) still constituted the largest part of child pornography that was currently available, having been transferred into digital format and uploaded onto the internet.[82]

See also: Moral failures of the atheist population

Articles related to atheism and sexual immorality:


Article related to atheism and uncharitableness:


Atheism and alcohol abuse:


Atheism and illegal drug use and addiction:

Atheist Sikivu Hutchinson says that atheist organizations generally focus on church/state separation and creationism issues and not on the concerns the less affluent African-American population faces.[83] Hutchinson also mentioned that church organizations significantly help poor African-Americans.[83] See also: Atheism and uncharitablenss


Atheism and violence:

Atheism and slavery/forced labor:

Atheism and unsportsmanlike conduct:


Atheist hypocrisy:


Atheism and pride


Atheism and intolerance:


Atheism and bitterness/anger/resentment/unforgiveness:

Joseph Stalin, the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953, patronised the League of Militant Atheists, whose chief aim, under the leadership of Yemelyan Yaroslavsky, was to propagate militant atheism and eradicate religion.[84]


Atheism and lying:


Atheism and envy/covetiousness:


Protestant work ethic vs. work ethic in many atheistic countries:


Articles related to atheism and gluttony/sloth:


Sweden is one of the most atheistic countries in the world.[81] In Sweden, 81 percent of women said they had been harassed at some point after the age of 15 - compared to the EU average of 55 percent.[85] See: Irreligion and domestic violence

Atheism and sexism:


Atheism and poor marital/family relationships:


Irreligion and crime:


Atheism/agnosticism and racism


Atheism and cannibalism:


Atheism and unreasonableness and willful ignorance:

Autumn foliage is one of the many of examples of beauty in God's creation. See also: Argument from beauty


Atheism and cowardice


Atheism and suicide


Atheism and apathy:


Atheist organizations and dysfunction:

Atheism and morality are not compatible

Atheist objections to biblical morality

See also: Atheism and the Bible

Books

See also: Books on the causes of atheism

  • Immorality and pride, the great causes of atheism a sermon preach'd at the cathedral-church of St. Paul, January the 8th 1697/8 : the first of the lecture for that year, founded by the Honourable Robert Boyle, Esq. / by John Harris, Publisher: BiblioBazaar, 2011 ISBN 1240832273, 9781240832279 [1]

See also

External links

Notes

  1. Paul Copan
  2. Rummel, R. J. (November 1993). "How many did communist regimes murder?" University of Hawaii website; Freedom, Democracy, Peace; Power, Democide, and War. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  3. Can Moral Objectivism Do Without God? by Peter S. Williams, Bethinking.org
  4. Oxford Living Dictionaries
  5. http://instituteofbiblicaldefense.com/1997/05/refuting-moral-relativism/
  6. Can We Be Good Without God? by Craig J. Hazen, Biola University
  7. Atheism Doesn't Lead to Immoral Behavior - Or Does It? by Richard Deem
  8. Practical outcomes replace biblical principles as the moral standard, Barna Group
  9. Gervais, Will M. (April 9, 2014). "Everything is permitted? People intuitively judge immorality as representative of atheists". PLOS ONE, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092302.
  10. Atheism article - communism section - Vox Day quote
  11. [Richard Dawkins: Morals Come From Enlightened Secular Values, Not Religion] by Eryn Sun, Christian Post
  12. http://www.counterpunch.org/mccarthy02212003.html
  13. 14.0 14.1 Britain needs God
  14. http://www.icr.org/article/stalins-brutal-faith/
  15. 16.0 16.1 http://byfaithonline.com/page/in-the-world/richard-dawkins-the-atheist-evangelist
  16. Pew Research Center - Global Religious Landscape 2010 - religious composition by country.
  17. 18.0 18.1 Multiple references:
  18. "Atheists and agnostics take aim at Christians" (June 11, 2007). Barna Update.
  19. 20.0 20.1 Hutchinson, Sikivu (June 16, 2014). "Atheism has a big race problem that no one’s talking about". Washington Post website.
  20. Richard Dawkins Drops His Lawsuit Against Former Employee
  21. Richard Dawkins sues Josh Timonen, Posted by David Gorski on October 24, 2010
  22. Multiple references:
    • Flynt writes, "I have left my religious conversion behind and settled into a comfortable state of atheism": see the epilogue of Flynt, Larry and Ross, Kenneth (June 1, 2008). An Unseemly Man: My Life as Pornographer, Pundit, and Social Outcast.
    • "I am not saying he don't believe in God. I am just saying I don't believe in God. That puts me at odds with him." "Larry Flynt and Jerry Falwell" [transcript] (January 10, 1996). Larry King Live. Transcript from CNN.com on October 3, 2014.
  23. Multiple references:
    • Gottesdiener, Laura (February 23, 2010). "10 celebs you didn't know were atheists". Salon.
    • Flynt writes, "I have left my religious conversion behind and settled into a comfortable state of atheism": see the epilogue of Flynt, Larry and Ross, Kenneth (June 1, 2008). An Unseemly Man: My Life as Pornographer, Pundit, and Social Outcast.
    • "I am not saying he don't believe in God. I am just saying I don't believe in God. That puts me at odds with him." "Larry Flynt and Jerry Falwell" [transcript] (January 10, 1996). Larry King Live. Transcript from CNN.com
  24. "Larry Flynt". One News Page.
  25. Multiple references:
    • Flynt, Larry and Ross, Kenneth (June 1, 2008). An Unseemly Man: My Life as Pornographer, Pundit, and Social Outcast, pp. 170–171.
    • "Larry Flynt". One News Page.
  26. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  27. Nardos, Rahel, et. al. (2003). Overcoming Violence Against Women and Girls: The International Campaign to Eradicate a Worldwide Problem, p. 59.
  28. Child Pornography and Sexual Grooming: Legal and Societal Responses by Suzanne Ost, Cambridge University Press, page 29, 2009
  29. Abbott, Matt C. (August 22, 2010). "The mind of a pederast". RenewAmerica.
  30. Bronski, Michael (October 31, 2002). "The real Harry Hay". The Phoenix.com.
  31. Kincaid, Cliff, Accuracy in Media (January 7, 2010). "Twisted: administration's 'safe schools czar' and the North American Man-Boy Love Association". WorldTribune.com.
  32. Multiple references:
  33. Baldwin, Hon. Steve (2002). "Child molestation and the homosexual movement". Regent University Law Review, vol. 14, pp. 267-282. The Architecture of Modern Political Power
  34. Multiple references:
    • Delany, Samuel R. (2006). About Writing: Seven Essays, Four Letters, and Five Interviews (Middletown: Wesleyan), p. 36.
    • "Introduction" (2001). Contemporary Literary Criticism, ed. Hunter, Jeffrey W., vol. 141 (Gale Cengage). eNotes.com
  35. Freedman, Carl (2009). Conversations with Samuel R. Delany (Jackson: Univ. Press of Mississippi), p. 143.
  36. 37.0 37.1 Suggestions for the anti-Semitic slurs list by By MANFRED GERSTENFELD Jerusalem Post, 2015
  37. Secular Europe's weird bestiality renaissance
  38. Aug 20 2009 article at Browardbeach.com entitled Those Who Practice Bestiality Say They're Part of the Next Sexual Rights Movement
  39. Eurobarometer Poll in 2010
  40. 41.0 41.1 Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer blames Atheism and Evolution belief for Murders
  41. Atheistic cannibalism: How atheism can turn Man into a beast, Source: "The Black Bible of Communism" (Greek edition), Athens 2006. Excerpt taken from pages 504, 505. of the 4th edition
  42. Cannibalism in the Soviet Union' by Kerry Kubulius
  43. Dostoevsky vs. Marquis de Sade by John Attarian (MA 46:4, Fall 2004) - 08/01/08
  44. About TheAmazingAtheist YouTube channel
  45. Atheist Libertarian Defends Incest, Polygamy and Cannibalism!
  46. http://jme.bmj.com/content/6/1/7.abstract
  47. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/11/pz_myers_on_abortion040971.html
  48. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20014770-10391704.html
  49. 50.0 50.1 Believers Consume Fewer Drugs Than Atheists, Christian Post, By Jim Denison, Christian Post Columnist, October 9, 2013|9:47 am
  50. 51.0 51.1 Believers consume fewer drugs than atheists, Science Daily, Date:October 3, 2013, Source: Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Foerderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung]
  51. Multiple references:
  52. Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Foerderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung [Swiss National Science Foundation] (October 3, 2013). "Believers consume fewer drugs than atheists". Science Daily website/Science News.
  53. When will this situation improve?
  54. 56.0 56.1 56.2 https://web.archive.org/web/20130506122558/http://apologetics.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=469:the-causes-of-atheism&catid=96:bonus-content&Itemid=80
  55. Have Secularists Won the Culture War? by Peter Berger
  56. Atheist Jerry Coyne explains why morality is impossible for atheists, Christian apologetics website - Wintery Knight
  57. Bahsen at the Stein debate by John Frame
  58. The Great Debate: Greg Bahnsen vs Gordon Stein
  59. Morality and the Irrationality of an Evolutionary Worldview by Dr. Georgia Purdom and Dr. Jason Lisle on May 13, 2009
  60. [The return of God: atheism's crisis of faith] by Theo Hobson, The Spectator
  61. 64.0 64.1 The Judeo-Christian Atheist by Moshe Avarick, THE ALGEMEINER
  62. BreakPoint This Week: Stealing from God - The New Atheists by John Stonestreet
  63. Ken Ham: Atheists 'Borrow Christian Worldview' but Reject God, Since Secular Worldview Is 'Meaningless' by Ken Ham, Christian Post
  64. Christians Give more to Charity than Atheists (YouTube video featuring an audio clip of Dr. William Lane Craig)
  65. The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief By James Spiegel, page 72, Moody Publishers, 2010
  66. Why is England burning?
  67. How do atheists define love?
  68. What is love? how materialist atheism fails to have a satisfactory answer, July 9, 2014
  69. What It Means To Be A Progressive: A Manifesto, Thinkprogress.org
  70. What are Progressive Values, Dailykos.com
  71. http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5527
  72. http://www.apologetics.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=469:the-causes-of-atheism&catid=96:bonus-content&Itemid=80 The causes of atheism
  73. http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/58-practical-outcomes-replace-biblical-principles-as-the-moral-standard
  74. http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Story?id=2682730&page=2
  75. http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/12-faithspirituality/102-atheists-and-agnostics-take-aim-at-christians
  76. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/henry/mhc1.ii.html
  77. 81.0 81.1 "Top 50 countries with highest proportion of atheists/agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)". Chris and Terri Chapman. Retrieved on September 10, 2014.
  78. Ost, Suzanne (2009). Child Pornography and Sexual Grooming: Legal and Societal Responses (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press), p. 29.
  79. 83.0 83.1 Atheism has a big race problem that no one’s talking about by Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson, Washington Post June 16, 2014
  80. Multiple references:
    • Hesemann, Michael and Strieber, Whitley (2000). The Fatima Secret (New York, NY: Random House Digital). Retrieved on October 9, 2011. "Lenin's death in 1924 was followed by the rise of Joseph Stalin, 'the man of steel,' who founded the 'Union of Militant Atheists,' whose chief aim was to spread atheism and eradicate religion. In the following years it devastated hundreds of churches, destroyed old icons and relics, and persecuted the clergy with unimaginable brutality."
    • Steeves, Paul D. (1989). Keeping the Faiths: Religion and Ideology in the Soviet Union (New York, NY: Holmes & Meier), p. 88. Retrieved on July 4, 2013. "The League of Militant Atheists was formed in 1926 and by 1930 had recruited three million members. Five years later there were 50,000 local groups affiliated to the League and the nominal membership had risen to five million. Children from 8-14 years of age were enrolled in Groups of Godless Youth, and the League of Communist Youth (Komsomol) took a vigorous antireligious line. Several antireligious museums were opened in former churches and a number of Chairs of Atheism were established in Soviet universities. Prizes were offered for the best 'Godless hymns' and for alternative versions of the Bible from which ... the leader of the League of Militant Atheists, Yemelian Yaroslavsky, said: 'When a priest is deprived of his congregation, that does not mean that he stops being a priest. He changes into an itinerant priest. He travels around with his primitive tools in the villages, performs religious rites, reads prayers, baptizes children. Such wandering priests are at times more dangerous than those who carry on their work at a designated place of residence.' The intensified persecution, which was a part of the general terror inflicted upon Soviet society by Stalin's policy, ...."
  81. Törnkvist, Ann (March 5, 2014, 8:34). "Sweden stands out in domestic violence study". The Local. Retrieved on October 25, 2014.