Atheism and human rights violations

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A monument to the Captive Nations stands at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C.

In the past 100 years, governments under the banner of atheistic communism have caused the death of somewhere between 40,472,000 and 259,432,000 human lives.[1] See: Atheism and communism

Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, entirely by virtue of their status as human beings (see: Atheism and human worth).

Below are some resources relating to notable instances of atheism and human rights violations.

Atheism and mass murder

See also: Atheism and mass murder and Atheist atrocities and Atheistic communism, mass murder and sociopathic leaders

Joseph Stalin's atheistic regime killed tens of millions of people.

Concerning atheism and mass murder, Christian apologist Gregory Koukl wrote that "the assertion is that religion has caused most of the killing and bloodshed in the world. There are people who make accusations and assertions that are empirically false. This is one of them."[2] Koukl details the number of people killed in various events involving theism and compares them to the much higher tens of millions of people killed under atheistic communist regimes, in which militant atheism served as the official doctrine of the state.[2] See also: Atheism and communism

Communist regimes killed 60 million in the 20th century through genocide, according to Le Monde, more than 100 million people[note 1] according to The Black Book of Communism (Courtois and Werth et al., 1997).[3] and according to Cleon Skousen[note 2] in his best-selling book The Naked Communist.[4]

It is estimated that in the past 100 years, governments under the banner of atheistic communism have caused the death of somewhere between 40,472,000 and 259,432,000 human lives.[1] Dr. R. J. Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii, is the scholar who first coined the term democide (death by government). Dr. R. J. Rummel's mid estimate regarding the range of computations of loss of life due to communism is that communism caused the death of approximately 110,286,000 people between 1917 and 1987.[5]

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![6]

The Reign of Terror of the French Revolution established a state which was anti-Roman Catholicism/Christian in nature [7] (anti-clerical deism and anti-religious atheism during the Enlightenment played a significant role in the French Revolution[8]), with the official ideology being the Cult of Reason; during this time thousands of believers were suppressed and executed by the guillotine.[note 3] Although Communism is one of the most well-known cases of atheism's ties to mass murder, the French Revolution and subsequent Reign of Terror, inspired by the works of Diderot, Voltaire, Sade, and Rousseau, managed to commit similar persecutions and exterminations of religious people and promote secularism and militant atheism. Official numbers indicate that 300,000 Frenchmen died during Robespierre's Reign of Terror, 297,000 of which were of middle-class or low-class.[9] Of the numbers murdered via the guillotine, only 8% had been of the aristocratic class, with over 30% being from the peasant class.[10]

One of the most well known cases of mass murder during the French Revolution was the genocide at Vendée, which has yet to be officially recognized as genocide. Some estimates indicated that Robespierre and the Jacobins planned to massacre well over 15,000,000 Frenchmen,[9] and that he also intended to commit genocide against the Alsace region of France due to their German-speaking populace.[10] Besides the guillotine, the French Revolution also resulted in various other deaths, including trampling children with horses, burning people in ovens, "Republican Marriages" (which involved stripping people naked, tying them together to a log in a suggestive fashion, and then putting them into the water to drown. In the event that there wasn't enough people of both sexes, they also resorted to "tying the knot" in a homosexual manner), cutting recently raped girls in half after tying them to a tree, crushing pregnant women under wine pressers, cutting up pregnant women and using bayonets to stab the fetus inside before leaving her to die, "catching" infants thrown from a balcony with their bayonets, and using shotguns to ensure people bled out to death.[10]

Although the aristocracy as well as clergy and the monarchy were the French Revolution's primary targets for extermination, they were not above slaughtering even those that acted as their own allies for the sake of it. This was chillingly shown with Commander Louis Grignon and his orders to his troops, who had uncontrollable bloodlust, that "everyone they met was to be immediately killed, even if they were Republicans."[10]

The aforementioned actions during the French Revolution, especially the Reign of Terror in 1793, would also inspire Karl Marx in composing of the Communist Manifesto, specifically telling Frederick Engels in correspondences to each other: “There is only one way of shortening, simplifying, and concentrating the bloodthirsty death-throes of the old society and the bloody birth pangs of the new—revolutionary terror. . . . [...] Once we are at the helm, we shall be obliged to reenact the year 1793. [...] We are pitiless and we ask no pity from you. When our time comes, we shall not conceal terrorism with hypocritical phrases. . . The vengeance of the people will break forth with such ferocity that not even the year 1793 enables us to envisage it...”[11]

Koukl summarized by stating:

It is true that it's possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the detail it produces evil because the individual people are actually living in a rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it can produce it, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We're talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of God.[2]

Atheistic communism and torture

See also: Atheistic communism and torture

The website of Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation declares concerning atheistic communism and the use of torture:

Significantly, communists did not merely try to block or halt religious faith but to reverse it. This was particularly true for Romania, even before the Nicolai Ceaușescu era. This meant not just forbidding religious practice and jailing ministers and believers but employing torture to force them to renounce their faith. It was not enough to contain, silence, even punish believers in prison; it was decided they must be tortured in truly unimaginably degrading ways to attempt to undo religious faith.[12]

Richard Wurmbrand, a Romanian pastor of the Underground Church, wrote in his book Tortured for Christ:

I worked in both an official and underground manner until February 29, 1948....On that Sunday, on my way to church, I was kidnapped from the street by the secret police....A van of the secret police stopped in front of me, four men jumped out and pushed me into the van. I was taken away for many years.

For over eight years, no one knew if I was alive or dead. My wife was visited by the secret police who posed as released fellow-prisoners. They told her they had attended my burial. She was heart-broken.

Thousands from churches of all denominations went to prison at that time. Not only were clergymen put in jail, but also simple peasants, young boys and girls who witnessed for their faith. The prisons were full and in Rumania, as in all communist countries, to be in prison means to be tortured....

A pastor by the name of Florescu was tortured with red-hot iron pokers and with knives. He was beaten very badly. Then starving rats were driven into his cell through a large pipe. He could not sleep.... If he rested a moment, the rats would attack him....

The communists wished to compel him to betray his brethren, but he resisted steadfastly. In the end, they brought his fourteen year-old son and began to whip the boy in front of his father, saying that they would continue to beat him until the pastor said what they wished him to say....When he could not stand it any more, he cried to his son; 'Alexander, I must say what they want! I can’t bear your beating any more.'

The son answered, 'Father, don’t do me the injustice to have a traitor as a parent. Withstand!...'

The communists, enraged, fell upon the child and beat him to death, with blood spattered over the walls of the cell. He died praising God....

Handcuffs which had sharp nails on the insides were put on our wrists. If we were totally still, they didn’t cut us. But in bitterly cold cells, when we shook with cold, our wrists would be torn by the nails.

Christians were hung upside down on ropes and beaten so severely that their bodies swung back and forth under the blows. Christians were put in ice-box 'refrigerator cells' which were so cold, frost and ice covered the inside...

We Christians were put in wooden boxes only slightly larger than we were. ... Dozens of sharp nails were driven into every side of the box, with their razor-sharp points sticking into the box....

I have seen communists torturing Christians and the faces of the torturers shone with rapturous joy. They cried out while torturing the Christians, 'We are the devil.'

'We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers of evil.' We saw that communism is not from men but from the devil. It is a spiritual force...of evil—and can only be countered by a greater spiritual force, the Spirit of God.

I often asked the torturers, 'Don’t you have pity in your hearts?' They usually answered with a quotation from Lenin that 'you cannot make omelets without breaking the shells of eggs'...

I have testified before the Internal Security Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate. There I described awful things, such as Christians tied to crosses for four days and nights. The crosses were put on the floor and hundreds of prisoners had to fulfill their bodily necessities over the faces and bodies of the crucified ones. Then the crosses were erected again and the communists jeered and mocked...[13]

Torture in the Soviet Union

The above photograph shows the Russian Nikolai Khmara, a new Baptist convert in the Soviet Union, after his arrest by the KGB. He was tortured to death and his tongue cut out.[14]

In the atheistic communist regime of the Soviet Union, torture was frequently employed to extract false confessions which were subsequently used to establish that individuals were "enemies of the people" - particularly under the militant atheist Joseph Stalin's regime.[15]

In the Soviet Union, many Orthodox priests and laymen experienced religious persecution in the form of torture and being sent to prison camps, labor camps or mental hospitals.[16]

Atheistic, Chinese communism and torture

According to a 2012 Worldwide Independent Network/Gallup International Association (WIN/GIA) poll, 47% of Chinese people were convinced atheists, and a further 30% were not religious. In comparison, only 14% considered themselves to be religious.[17] See: China and atheism

The Chinese communist regime has used beatings, harassment and torture to suppress religion in China and continues to use these practices.[18]

Atheistic communist North Vietnam and torture

From 1961 to 1973, the North Vietnamese government and Vietcong held hundreds of Americans soldiers captive. Hanoi's Ministry of Public Security's Medical Office (MPSMO) was responsible for "preparing studies and performing research on the most effective Soviet, French, Communist Chinese and other ...techniques..." of extracting information from POWs. The MPSMO "...supervised the use of torture and the use of drugs to induce [American] prisoners to cooperate." Its role also "...included working with Soviet and Communist Chinese intelligence advisors who were qualified in the use of medical techniques for intelligence purposes."[19]

North Korean communism and torture

See also: Atheism and cannibalism

North Korea practices state atheism and belief in God is actively discouraged.[note 4] Open Doors, an organization based in the United States, has put North Korea at the very top of its list of countries where Christians face significant persecution - for 12 years in a row.[20]

The Christian Post published an 2015 article entitled "North Korean defector who spent 28 years in prison camp details hunger, torture, and cannibalism in the DPRK" which stated:

More than 200,000 North Koreans, including children, are imprisoned in camps where many perish from forced labor, inadequate food, and abuse by guards, according to Human Rights Watch. The isolated, secretive nation has no media, functioning civil society, or religious freedom, and pervasive problems include arbitrary arrest, lack of due process, and torture.[21]

Atheism and slavery/forced labor

See also: Atheism and slavery and Atheism and forced labor

China, North Korea and Vietnam practice state atheism (see: State atheism).

According to the Global Slavery index website: "The Global Slavery Index estimates that on any given day in 2016 there were over 3.8 million people living in conditions of modern slavery in China, a prevalence of 2.8 victims for every thousand people in the country. This estimate does not include figures on organ trafficking."[22]

According to the Global Slavery Index website: "The newly released 2018 Global Slavery Index names North Korea and Eritrea as the two nations with the world’s highest rates of modern slavery, emphasizing how conflict and government repression contribute to the crime.[23]

In 2019, the website Global Slavery Index estimated that there are 421,000 slaves in Vietnam.[24]

Due to political repression, government corruption and the persecution of the religious, a portion of the individuals in China, North Korea and Vietnam, are under government run forced labor (see: Atheism and forced labor).

For more information, please see:

Atheistic China, political prisoners and forced labor in prisons

See also: Atheism and repressive prisons and Atheism and forced labor and Atheism and communism

According to CNN, hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of labor camps and forced labor prisons (called laogai) still exist in modern China.[25]

China has the world's largest atheist population.[26] See: China and atheism

East Asia contains about 25 percent of the world’s population. China’s population represents 20 percent of the people on earth.[27]

Razib Khan points out in Discover magazine, "most secular nations in the world are those of East Asia, in particular what are often termed “Confucian societies.” It is likely therefore that the majority of the world’s atheists are actually East Asian."[28] See: Asian atheism and Global atheism

In 1955, Chinese communist leader Zhou Enlai declared, "We Communists are atheists".[29] In 2014, the Communist Party of China reaffirmed that members of their party must be atheists.[30] See: Atheism and communism

In 2016, the International Business Times reported:

A senior Chinese advisor on religious affairs has said the country should promote atheism throughout society, in remarks that appear to reflect a deepening campaign to reinforce traditional Marxist values in China — and could add to concern about official attitudes among believers in the country’s five officially recognized religions.[31]

According to CNN, hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of labor camps and forced labor prisons (called laogai) still exist in modern China.[32] The prisons house political prisoners and dissidents alongside dangerous criminals.

The Chinese government run media outlet Xinhua reported in early 2013 that the country plans to reform its "controversial re-education through labor system this year."[33]

See also:

China and involuntary organ harvesting of prisoners

See also: China and involuntary organ harvesting

Several researchers — for example, Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas, former Canadian parliamentarian David Kilgour, and the investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann estimate that tens of thousands of Falun Gong prisoners in communist China have been killed to supply a financially lucrative trade in human organs and cadavers, and that these human rights abuses may be ongoing concern.[34]

Communist China and the consumption of powdered baby flesh

See also: Communist China and baby eating and Atheists eat babies meme

In 2014, The Washington Times reported: "China’s one child policy, baby trafficking, and sex trafficking of North Korean women aren’t the worst human rights violation happening in the country. Aborting innocent and healthy unborn children and eating them to boost one’s stamina and sexual health is.[35]

In 2014, The Washington Times reported:

China’s one child policy, baby trafficking, and sex trafficking of North Korean women aren’t the worst human rights violation happening in the country. Aborting innocent and healthy unborn children and eating them to boost one’s stamina and sexual health is.

South Korean customs officials recently seized thousands of pills filled with powdered human baby flesh arriving from China. Since August 2011, South Korean officials have intercepted more than 17000 pills smuggled from China.

South Korean officials became aware of a horrific practice of eating aborted fetuses after Seoul Broadcasting System showed a documentary on Chinese doctors who performed abortions and then ate the fetuses. One Chinese doctor on the documentary took out fetuses from his refrigerator.[36]

For additional information, please see:

Atheist controlled communist China and doctors eating aborted baby flesh

See: Atheism, Chinese doctors and baby eating

Soviet Gulags, political prisoners and forced labor

See also: Atheism and forced labor and Atheism and communism

According to the University of Cambridge, historically, the "most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power."[note 5] See also: Atheism and communism and Soviet atheism

The Gulag is the extensive network of prison camps used in the atheistic Soviet Union to imprison Joseph Stalin's political enemies. Although the prison camps housed a wide variety of criminals, it also had a large number of political prisoners, who were often abused by the common criminal inmates as punishments for often imagined violations of labor camp rules as were they elsewhere abused by common criminal convicts often used as orderlies in Soviet psychiatric prisons.

For information about forced labor in Soviet prison camps, please see: Atheistic communism and forced labor

Mass rape of German women by the Soviet army

When told that Red Army soldiers sexually assaulted German refugees, the atheist Joseph Stalin reportedly declared: "We lecture our soldiers too much; let them have their initiative."[37]

See also: Mass rape of German women by the Soviet army and Atheism and rape

The journalist Peter Hitchens is the ex-atheist brother of atheist Christopher Hitchens and he covered the Soviet Union during its latter years before it collapsed. According to Peter Hitchens, an atheistic society degraded the morals of the Russian people during the Soviet period (see: Soviet Union and morality).[38]

As Allied troops entered and occupied Germany during the latter part of World War II, mass rapes occurred in connection with combat operations and during the occupation which followed. Historians in the Western World generally conclude that the majority of the rapes were committed by Soviet servicemen. The majority of the rapes happened in the Soviet occupation zone.

Estimates of the number of German women sexually assaulted by Soviet soldiers have ranged up to 2 million.[39][40][41][42][43] The historian William Hitchcock declared that in many cases women were the victims of repeated rapes, some women experienced as many as 60 to 70 rapes.[44]

When told that Red Army soldiers sexually assaulted German refugees, the atheist Joseph Stalin reportedly declared: "We lecture our soldiers too much; let them have their initiative."[45]

For more information, please see:

Mass rape of German women by the Soviet army

Atheistic communism and religious persecution

See: Atheistic communism and religious persecution

Christian commentary on atheism and human rights

See also: Atheism and human rights and Christianity and human rights

Daniel Philpott, professor of political science and peace studies at Notre Dame

Daniel Philpott, Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies and Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the University of Notre Dame wrote:

At least three ingredients are critical to the validity of human rights. First, human rights require universal moral norms, since they are claims that every human makes upon every other human being. No person, non-state group, or political regime may torture another person or deliberately take the life of a civilian, for instance. These claims must be true for everyone, or they are not human rights.

The second ingredient is human dignity—the inestimable worth of each and every person. It is because human beings have this worth that they can justifiably demand that certain kinds of actions never be performed against them.

The third ingredient, which philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff describes brilliantly in his book, Justice, is what might be called the “trump card” status of human rights. To say that a person has a right is to say that her claim cannot be overridden by simply balancing it against a competing basket of goods. Even if governments can realize great gains in war by targeting civilians or torturing suspects, they must refrain from these actions if they are respectful of human rights...

What traditions of thought, then, assert universal norms, human dignity, and trump card status? Religions holding that God revealed certain commandments to be binding on everyone, essential for human flourishing and dignity, and admitting little room for violation or exception are strong candidates.

Theologians and philosophers in these traditions have derived a right to life from the commandment to not murder, a right to property from the commandment to not steal, and so on. In these religions, the ingredients for human rights are cemented in an eternal and unchanging being who takes an interest in every person...

It is no accident, therefore, that historically, most of the great articulators of human (or natural) rights have been theists: the early Christian fathers; medieval canon lawyers; the Spanish scholastics; Enlightenment thinkers like John Locke and Immanuel Kant; Woodrow Wilson; most of the architects of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Jacques Maritain; and contemporary Christian, Jewish, and Muslim thinkers like John Finnis, David Novak, and Abdullahi An-Na’im.

Likewise, most of the great deniers of human and natural rights have been atheists: the philosophers David Hume, Jeremy Bentham, Friedrich Nietzsche; Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin; and the postmodernist pioneers, Michel Foucault and Richard Rorty.

Just ask history’s most influential thinkers: God and human rights really do go together.[46]

Premiere Christianity website on atheism and human rights

See: Who created human rights? (and why it's a problem for atheists)

The atheist philosopher Peter Singer defends the practice of bestiality (as well as abortion, infanticide and euthanasia).[47] See also: Abortion and atheism and Atheism and infanticide and Atheism and bestiality

Despite holding these immoral views, Princeton University rewarded him with a bioethics chair.[48]

The website Premier Christianity features a 2018 article by Andy Bannister which states:

It is 70 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations. Following his Big Conversation debate with [atheist] Peter Singer, Andy Bannister says the document still poses a significant problem for atheists...

Free and equal

We’re passionate about human rights, we award Nobel Prizes for them, but a fairly basic question is often overlooked. These rights, this dignity that human beings are claimed to have—where is it located? What is its basis, its foundation? In short, however noble the UDHR may sound, is it true?

These are trickier questions to answer than you might imagine, and the options are limited. Perhaps one might suggest that human rights just are; they just exist. This was the route taken by the secular human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell whom I once debated on Premier Christian Radio’s Unbelievable? show. Tatchell is passionate about human rights, but when I pressed him on why we have them, he basically said they exist because they exist. This is hugely problematic, not just because it’s a circular argument, but because the racist can use the same rationale—they can claim to be superior to other races and[,] when we ask why, reply: 'I am because I am.'...

Invented or discovered?

But what if ethics, human rights and human dignity aren’t made up? One of the brilliant insights that the world leaders, philosophers and theologians who crafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights had was the assumption that human rights and dignity aren’t invented but discovered. During our conversation, Singer actually admitted this, remarking that he increasingly thinks that moral values and duties exist independently of us, in a 'similar way to mathematical truths existing'.

That’s a massive step for an atheist like Singer to take, for it means that as well as physical things (atoms, particles, tables, chairs, chocolate éclairs etc[.]) you also have invisible, non-physical entities floating around, principles such as 'love your neighbour'. For somebody like Singer, who believes human beings are the unpurposed product of time plus chance plus natural selection, this looks remarkably peculiar...

Where are we going

As the conversation with Singer shows, if you ultimately believe that the universe is just atoms in motion, that there is nothing intrinsically valuable about human beings, and if some humans have more value than others, because the metric you use to measure ‘worth’ or ‘personhood’ assigns them a greater score, then you have a problem.

But by stark, beautiful contrast, if the Christian story is true, then we were made with a purpose. We were made for something. Indeed, made for someone. We were made to discover God’s love, to love God in return, and to love our neighbour. If Christianity is true, love is the supreme ethic—that’s what it means to be human[,] and it gives a value, a purpose, a direction to human life—and a basis not just for human rights but also for our duties to one another.

This is why atheists face such a sharp dilemma. Only if the Christian story is true do humans have dignity and worth. And only on that basis can you talk meaningfully about rights and about responsibilities. Who created human rights? The one who created humans.[49]

The Gospel Coalition commentary on atheism and human rights

See also: Atheism and morality

In her review of the book Atheist Overreach: What Atheism Can't Deliver by Christian Smith, Rebecca McLaughlin of The Gospel Coalition wrote:

When it comes to morality, contemporary atheists are making an ambitious play. In their bold new secular world, atheists assure us, a commitment to universal human rights and equality, and sacrificial love to the poor and oppressed, will flow from secular beliefs.

For example, Smith quotes Columbia professor Phillip Kitcher’s claim that atheism compels us to become “responsive to the desires of the entire human population” and to work toward the “provision of equal opportunities for worthwhile lives for all” (14). With equivalent daring, New Atheist author Sam Harris asserts that being good without God entails promoting “happiness for the greatest number of people” and “maximiz[ing] personal and collective well-being for all humanity” (15).

But, as Smith points out, none of the atheist moralists he quotes gives convincing reasons for the universal scope of our obligations toward other humans.

Like a careful archeologist, Smith brushes the rhetorical sand off common arguments (social contract appeals, utilitarian arguments, and so on), explaining how each fails to deliver the robust moral framework that atheists promise. Sure, their arguments may motivate people out of the scrimmage of sheer self-interest to care about “a limited set of people who matter to them” (18). But they don’t come close to the end zone of universal human rights. We can imagine quite different moral conclusions from atheist starting points. Indeed, we’ve seen them play out multiple times in the last century.

To be sure, many modern Westerners take universal benevolence and human rights to be self-evident moral truths. But, as Smith reminds us, these aren’t free-standing moral facts, ready to be discovered like scientific laws. Rather, they are historically contingent beliefs growing out of Judeo-Christian tradition. Someone who “believes in a naturalistic cosmos,” he acknowledges, “is perfectly entitled to believe in and act to promote universal benevolence and human rights, but only as an arbitrary, subjective, personal preference—not as a rational, compelling, universally binding fact and obligation”...[50]

Pastor Nick Cady on atheism and human rights violations

Stand To Reason: Atheism and universal human rights

Atheist Steven Pinker vs. theist Nick Spencer: Can atheists believe in human rights?

Atheism and women's rights

See: Atheism and women's rights

See also

External links


  1. "China: 65 million deaths; USSR: 20 million deaths; North Korea: 2 million deaths; Cambodia: 2 million deaths; Africa: 1.7 million deaths; Afghanistan: 1.5 million deaths; Vietnam: 1 million deaths; Eastern Europe: 1 million deaths; Latin America: 150,000 deaths; Communist movements or parties not in power: about 10,000 deaths. "Nearly 100 million deaths. Not casualties of war, but civilian slaughter. Deaths in gulags and concentration camps. Deaths from a bullet to the head. Most of all, deaths by starvation - the result either of planned famines, meted out as punishment to internal foes (as in Stalin's USSR), or unintended consequences of central policy." Wolfe, Claire (2000). "Review of The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression by Stéphane Courtois et al., trans. by Jonathan Murphy and Mark Kramer". Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership website. Retrieved from October 23, 2007 archive at Internet Archive on May 21, 2015.
  2. Father of anti-Communist conservative libertarian survivalist author Joel Skousen.
  3. Multiple notes:
    • Adair, James (2007). Christianity: The eBook 461. JBE Online Books. Retrieved on July 18, 2014. “Although the Civil Constitution called for religious liberty, which was extended to Jews as well as Christians, many revolutionaries pushed for the establishment of a new state religion, either the Cult of Reason (atheists) or the Cult of the Supreme Being (Deists). Changes to the calendar eliminated references to Christian holidays, and even the ancient seven-day week, and a list of officially recognized saints included such famous thinkers such as Socrates, Jesus, Marcus Aurelius, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. A period of political persecution, often with religious overtones, broke out, known as the Reign of Terror. Thousands of people were executed by the guillotine, including many of the original leaders of the French Revolution.”
    • Belsham, William (1801). Memoirs of the Reign of George III. to the Session of Parliament ending A.D. 1793, Volume 5 105–6. G.G. & J. Robinson. Retrieved on July 18, 2014. “In allusion to the monstrous transactions of this portentous period, it has been eloquently and energetically observed, 'that the reign of atheism in France was avowed the reign of terror. In the full madness of their career, in the highest climax of their horrors, they shut up the temples of God, abolished His worship, and proclaimed death to be an eternal sleep:—in the very centre of Christendom, Revelation underwent a total eclipse, while atheism, performing on a darkened theatre its strange and fearful tragedy, confounded the first elements of society, blended every age, rank, and sex, in indiscriminate proscription and massacre, and convulsed all Europe to its centre, that the imperishable memorial of these events might teach the last generations of mankind to consider religion as the pillar of society, the parent of social order, and the safe-guard of nations.'
    "It is wonderful that, amid the horrors of this dismal period, while 'the death dance of democratic revolution' was still in rapid movement, among the tears of affliction, and the cries of despair, 'the masque, the song, the theatric scene, the buffoon laughter, went on as regularly as in the gay hour of festive peace.'”
    • Kilpatrick, William (2012).Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, p. 57. Retrieved on July 18, 2014  “Actually, it's helpful to think in terms of two Enlightenments: the Enlightenment that was nourished by Christianity and the Enlightenment that cut itself off from God. The former led to the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the abolition of slavery, and the civil rights movement. The latter led to the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, the suppression of church by state, and the godless philosophies of Marx and Nietzsche and their offspring—National Socialism and communism. More recently the abandonment of God has led to the regime of cultural relativism that regards rights as arbitrary constructs.
    "It's this second Enlightenment tradition that Cardinal Ratzinger referred to when he wrote, 'The radical detachment of the Enlightenment philosophy from its roots ultimately leads it to dispense with man.' Actually this transition happened not 'ultimately' but almost immediately. The first instance occurred when Enlightenment worship of abstract 'reason' and 'liberty' degenerated quickly into the mass murders committed during the antireligious Reign of Terror in France. 'Liberty, what crimes are committed in your name', said Madame Roland as she faced the statue of Liberty in the Place de la Revolution moments before her death at the guillotine. She was one of the early victims of a succession of secular systems based on rootless notions of 'liberty', 'equality', and 'reason'.
    "As many historians have pointed out, the atheist regimes of modern times are guilty of far more crimes than any committed in the name of religion. Communist governments alone were guilty of more than one hundred million murders, most of them committed against their own people.”
  4. Raum, Elizabeth (2012). Countries Around the World series, North Korea (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann), p. 28; ISBN 1432961330; "North Korea is an atheist state. This means that people do not pray in public or attend places of worship. Buddhist temples exist from earlier times. They are now preserved as historic buildings, but they are not used for worship. A few Christian churches exist, but few people attend services. North Koreans do not celebrate religious holidays."
  5. Investigating atheism: Marxism. University of Cambridge (2008). Retrieved on July 17, 2014. “The most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power. For the first time in history, atheism thus became the official ideology of a state.”


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  22. China - prevalence of slavery
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  24. Global Slavery Index = Asia and the Pacific
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  36. Chinese cannibalism of infant flesh outrages the world, Washington Times, 2014
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  38. Britain needs God
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  48. Who created human rights? (and why it's a problem for atheists)
  49. When Atheism Is Intellectually Weak by Rebecca McLaughlin