… Now it seems that Dawkins is being somewhat more open and consistent in the application of his evolutionary atheism. Eugenics is the ‘science’ developed by Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton (see Eugenics … death of the defenceless). Based on the principles of ruthless selection, it advocates strengthening the human population, either by culling the ‘less fit’ or by forced sterilization.

After the gruesome unveiling of the Nazi death camps following Allied liberation, eugenics and other forms of social Darwinism slunk shamefacedly into the shadows (note that Darwin himself was definitely a social Darwinist). But they are so utterly, logically consistent with evolutionism that in an ever-more-evolution-believing world, they could not stay down for ever, it seems.

Dawkins himself now says that the eugenic ideas that fuelled the Nazi’s thinking, including their notorious ‘racial hygiene’ and ‘breeding superhumans’ programs, may not be all that bad, after all. In a letter to the editor of the Sunday Herald (Scotland), Dawkins says that while one would not want to be seen agreeing with Hitler, eugenics is practical and desirable. He says that ‘if you can breed cattle for milk yield, horses for running speed, and dogs for herding skill, why on Earth should it be impossible to breed humans for mathematical, musical or athletic ability?’

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In recent months, a spate of atheist books have argued that religion represents, as “End of Faith” author Sam Harris puts it, “the most potent source of human conflict, past and present.”

Columnist Robert Kuttner gives the familiar litany. “The Crusades slaughtered millions in the name of Jesus. The Inquisition brought the torture and murder of millions more. After Martin Luther, Christians did bloody battle with other Christians for another three centuries.”

In his bestseller “The God Delusion,” Richard Dawkins contends that most of the world’s recent conflicts – in the Middle East, in the Balkans, in Northern Ireland, in Kashmir, and in Sri Lanka – show the vitality of religion’s murderous impulse.

The problem with this critique is that it exaggerates the crimes attributed to religion, while ignoring the greater crimes of secular fanaticism. The best example of religious persecution in America is the Salem witch trials. How many people were killed in those trials? Thousands? Hundreds? Actually, fewer than 25. Yet the event still haunts the liberal imagination.

The crimes of atheism have generally been perpetrated through a hubristic ideology that sees man, not God, as the creator of values. Using the latest techniques of science and technology, man seeks to displace God and create a secular utopia here on earth. Of course if some people – the Jews, the landowners, the unfit, or the handicapped – have to be eliminated in order to achieve this utopia, this is a price the atheist tyrants and their apologists have shown themselves quite willing to pay. Thus they confirm the truth of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s dictum, “If God is not, everything is permitted.”

Whatever the motives for atheist bloodthirstiness, the indisputable fact is that all the religions of the world put together have in 2,000 years not managed to kill as many people as have been killed in the name of atheism in the past few decades.

It’s time to abandon the mindlessly repeated mantra that religious belief has been the greatest source of human conflict and violence. Atheism, not religion, is the real force behind the mass murders of history.

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Just a few stories to ponder…

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