I will now answer a couple of popular objections. Remember how I started this series, quoting two of the New Atheists as they attacked religious beliefs. Christopher Hitchens titled one the chapters in his book “Religion Kills” and Richard Dawkins chose to name a chapter “Childhood, Abuse, and the Escaped from Religion.” These men and others truly believe religion is dangerous and have beliefs that have influenced people to commit violent acts throughout the centuries. They believe religious bloodshed proves God doesn’t exist. I will examine that contention.
The existence of evil proves God does not exist
There are two major problems with citing religious evil as evidence against the existence of God. The first is logical, and the second is factual.
Let’s say for sake of argument they are right; religions are responsible for the greatest amount of evil in the world (I do not agree and will soon deal with this issue). So what? How does that prove God does not exist? The point is you cannot infer God does not exist based on the actions of religious people. Here are some conclusions new atheists want us to believe:
- Some religious people are violent. Therefore, religion itself is evil.
- Some religions teach evil. Therefore, all religions are evil.
- Some religious people do evil, and some religions teach evil; therefore, God does not exist.
Just by reflection you can easily see the conclusions do not follow from the statements. Even if the statements are true the conclusions don’t follow. What these statements teach concerns people and not necessarily religious belief or the existence of God. Are religions responsible for the greatest evil to mankind? Here is where we will examine the facts.
The truth is the atheist is in no position to judge the carnage that comes as a result of religious beliefs. When we look at statistics we find atheistic ideologies in the 20th century have been responsible for the greatest killing in all history—to the tune of over 100 million bodies for communism alone.
The main difference is when someone acts against the clear teachings of the belief system, should the belief system be held accountable? The Bible teaches to “Love God and love others,” and when violence is done in the name of Christianity, is it the fault of the religion when a person acts against this teaching? Yes there have been some horrible things done by so-called Christians but they were not following the teachings of Christ. A religion should not be held hostage by its heretics.
However, it is different for Atheism. Every worldview has behaviors and lifestyles that seem to logically flow from them. Atheism doesn’t require mass murder, but it has no resources to set up a barrier against it. Joel Engels writes:
Let’s imagine six billion people who believe that flesh and blood is all there is…that Hitler and Mother Teresa, for example, both met the same ultimate fate. Commonsense would suggest that such a world would produce a lot more Hitlers and a lot fewer Mother Teresas, for the same reason that you get a lot more speeders/murderers/rapists/embezzlers when you eliminate laws, police, and punishment….Nothing clears the conscience quite like a belief in eternal nothingness.
Why would anyone expect that a world without God, heaven, or hell would lead to a world of unity and peace? The facts cannot be denied; the greatest evil has always come from a denial of God, not in pursuit of Him.
 Koukl, Greg Answering the New Atheists, Solid Ground magazine, Sept./Oct. 2008
 Engel, Joel, “Imagining ‘Imagine’,” The Weekly Standard, December 8, 2003
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