Reuters and the The Age report that the Infallible head of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict says that atheism is responsible for injustice and cruelty. Lenin and Marx are mentioned in reference to atrocities committed in the name of Marxism.

This is a common argument you hear from time to time. “If you want to live in an Atheist society, move to North Korea” is an old favourite. However, in societies such as North Korea, religion is replaced by a cult of personality and their own system of belief. These belief systems have the hallmarks of Religion including being idealistic, utopian & dogmatic.

One thing they don’t have, is people doing evil things “In the Name of Atheism”. The argument is old and busted.

Atheism encourages rational inquiry over superstition and it can hardly be said that societies such as North Korea or Nazism or people like Lenin or Stalin or Chairman Mao were suffering from an excess of rationalism.

Aside from being incorrect, it’s typically hypocritical. This is the organisation which protected child molesters from discovery and prosecution, the organisation which facilitates the spread of AIDS throughout Africa and other devout but poor countries by banning the use of condoms. This same organisation criticises Amnesty International for supporting the victims of rape during war who choose abortion. And that’s only in the last 15 years!

On the same front page of The Age, we get this, another example of what happens when you mix ignorance and faith. It should remind us of what the Dark Ages might have been like.

You might well say not all ( or even most ) religious people behave in this way. But this is exactly what “Faith” enables – people believing nonsense ( in this case, that their god would be offended that a teacher allowed children to name a teddy bear Mohammed, the most common name in the Islamic world ) with such fervour that they’ll call for the killing of a teacher. It allows people to fly planes into buildings and murder doctors specialising in abortion and believe that they’ll go to heaven for doing God’s work. You cannot argue with them, because their beliefs are not rational, it’s their interpretation of their holy book.