Instigator / Pro
Points: 2

Atheism and Humanism are the Bloodiest Religion Ever

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 1 vote the winner is ...
sylweb
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
History
Time for argument
Two weeks
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
30,000
Contender / Con
Points: 7
Description
How Humanism (atheism, Nazism, communism, naturalism, evolution) has destroyed millions of lives.
Round 1
Published:
Since, in a secular humanistic worldview, God is not in charge, then by default, man is. Secular Humanism is the religion that sets man above God.

What is "Good"?

The first Humanist Manifesto states that, "The goal of humanism is a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently co-operate for the common good." Can this statement be true if "good" is subjective? In a humanist world view one person's "good" could be someone else's "evil". If secular humanists say it is an objective standard then they are borrowing from the Biblical God.
Evolutionary humanism touts "death" as the hero of the tale with no hope of future prosperity or a common good. Here are some numbers from conflicts started by leaders with evolutionary, humanistic worldviews. (These are estimates since sources will vary)

Pre-Hitler Germany: 8,500,000 World Book Encyclopedia, Volume 21, Entry: World War II, p. 467
Hitler and Nazis: 70 million
Leon Trotsky and Vladimir Lenin: 15,000,000 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Civil_War
Mao Zedong: 14,000,000-20,000,000 http://www.moreorless.au.com/killers/mao.html
Korean War: 2,500,000? Different sources give different estimates
Vietnam War: 4,000,000-5,000,000 Vietnamese; 1,500,000-2,000,000 Lao and Cambodia http://vietnamwar.com/
Pol Pot: 750,000-1,700,000 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pol_Pot

Since Charles Darwin popularized the evolution theory his teaching have influenced Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin and others. Let us see some of these people more closely.

At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries , the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes...will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

Charles Darwin ( The Descent of Man [New York: A.L. Burr, 1874, 2nd ed.], p. 178.)

Germany Before WWI

Germany was committed to expanding not only their territory, but also their "race".

"In discussions of the background of the war much has been said of Pan-Germanism, which was the spirit of national consciousness carried to the extreme limit. The Pan-Germans, who included not only militarists, but historians, scientists, educators and statesmen, conceived the German people, no matter where they located, as permanently retaining their nationality. The most ambitious of this group believed that it was their mission of Germans to extend their kultur (culture) over the world, and to accomplish this by conquest if necessary, In this connection the theory was advanced that the German was a superior being, destined to dominate other peoples, most of whom were thought of as decadent." (The American Educator Encyclopedia [Chicago, IL: The United Educators, Inc., 1936], p. 3914 entry "World War.")

Germany was already drinking out of the Darwinian kool-aid way before Hitler.

Hitler and the Nazis

The Nazis opposed theological influence to create a perfect society and instead relied on science and reason to better their country. Therefore they rejected religion and embraced Secular Humanism.
The Nazi program Lebensborn was to exterminate the "weaker" races and create a world were only the Aryan race existed, creating a perfect race to live in a perfect world.
Who helped implement this program? Scientists and the academic establishment. These intellectual people, devoid of any Biblical beliefs, applied social Darwinism on Jews, Slaves, Poles and others.

Communism

Karl Marx believed that man was not created by God, but instead came about by natural processes. Man is not important, he is an accident who's sole purpose is to reproduce himself and fulfill his desires. Atheism and evolution are essential to communism. Communism denies man's sinfulness, man's dignity and man's right to private property, all things that are valued in Christianity. Lenin and Stalin were great persecutors of Christianity and sought to destroy it. Marx built his idea of Communism on naturalism and materialism. At Marx's funeral, his friend, Freidrich Engels said, "Just as Darwin discovered the law if evolution in organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of evolution in human history." (Gertrude Himmelfarb, Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution [London: Chatto & Windus, 1959], p. 348) Trotsky said about Darwin, "Darwin stood for me like a mighty doorkeeper at the entrance to the temple of the universe. I was intoxicated with his minute, precise, conscientious and at the same time powerful, thought. I was the more astonished when I read...that he had preserved his belief in God. I absolutely declined to understand how a theory of the origin of species by way of natural selection and sexual selection and a belief in God could find room in one and the same head." (Mark Eastman, Leon Trotsky: The Portrait of a Youth [New York: Greenburg, 1925], p. 117-118)

Abortion

Ernst Haeckel made fake drawings of embryos to "show" that babies are only going through animal phases in the womb. Interestingly this hoax is still shown in 21st century textbooks even though the drawings have been proven inaccurate since Haeckel showed them to the scientific community in the late 1800's. The scientists of the 21st century have used old, fake drawings to continue the murder of babies.

Conclusion

Is Atheism and Secular Humanism the cause of wars and murder? Of course not, these things come about because of sin, but they have added fuel to the fire.





Published:

0.0 Problems with the topic itself

Side proposition advances a core claim that is itself flawed. He claims that “Atheism and Humanism are the Bloodiest Religion Ever.” This is flawed because:
  1. Atheism and humanism are not the same. Some religious people adopt humanistic standpoints,[1] and although most atheists are also humanists, atheism itself makes no inherent moral claims.
  2. Neither atheism nor humanism is a religion. Neither has a central creed or set of central dogmas; all it takes to be an atheist is to reject the existence of deities, while all it takes to be humanist is to accept some form of moral philosophy “centered on human interests or values.”[2] 

Side proposition fails to provide a specific definition of humanism. A reasonable definition of humanism as it relates to ethics is provided by Humanist Canada: “[Humanism] affirms the worth, dignity and autonomy of the individual and the right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others. Humanists have a duty of care to all of humanity including future generations. Humanists believe that morality is an intrinsic part of human nature based on understanding and a concern for others, needing no external sanction.”[3] 

0.1 The burdens of proof in this debate

In this debate, side proposition, as the one making the positive claim, has the burden of proof. In order to show that “atheism and humanism is the bloodiest religion ever,” side proposition must demonstrate that atheism and humanism have caused more deaths than any religion, and also that there is a real causal relationship between atheism or humanism and the deaths. This would entail showing not only that the people who committed the killings were atheists but that they were also spurred by their atheism into committing the killings.

We see right here that proposition does not meet the burden of proof. Right off the bat, proposition fails to compare the supposed death toll of atheism to the death toll of various religions; thus, even if every argument proposition makes stood, proposition still has not met the burden of proof. 

1.0 Rebuttal

The key problem with side proposition’s list of atrocities is that, while they come from ideologies that are secular, their connection to atheism or humanism specifically is very tenuous. As Pro himself notes, “Is Atheism and Secular Humanism the cause of wars and murder? Of course not, these things come about because of sin, but they have added fuel to the fire.” But “adding fuel to the fire” is a very indirect cause-and-effect relationship, which does not fulfill the claim that “atheism and humanism are the bloodiest religion”, a claim that connotes a direct link between atheism and humanism and mass killings. 

Humanism and atheism are not centrally-organized religions. This means that there is a wide variation in beliefs that themselves constitute distinct ideologies. An atheist could be a liberal, conservative, libertarian, fascist, or communist. Given that many of the ideas, such as racism and anti-semitism, implicated in proposition’s death toll are specific to certain ideologies, it would be much more accurate to attribute these deaths to those specific ideologies. 

Proposition’s burden, then, becomes proving that these ideologies were caused primarily by atheism or secular humanism. In other words, proposition must prove that those deaths would not have happened but for atheism and secular humanism. This would be very hard for Pro, since extreme ideologies like fascism and communism mainly caught on during the political turmoil of the First World War and interwar period Europe, so they could have come to be even without atheism. 

After eliminating the deaths without a valid link to atheism, the death toll of atheism falls to close to zero. 

1.1 Evolution and the Nazis

Claim: Evolutionary humanism touts "death" as the hero of the tale with no hope of future prosperity or a common good. 

Objection: This is a strawman. Humanism is simply an umbrella term for any moral philosophy “centered on human interests or values.”[2] Working for human interests entails “[aspiring] to the greater good.”[4] 

Objection: Proposition does not provide quotes of any authors representative of “evolutionary humanism” in general that support this claim, nor does he establish that “evolutionary humanism” exists as a specific ideology. 

Objection: Proposition contradicts himself by citing groups like the Nazis that work for a twisted form of “common good” and “future prosperity”. For instance, he claims: “The Nazi program Lebensborn was to exterminate the "weaker" races and create a world were only the Aryan race existed, creating a perfect race to live in a perfect world.

Claim: Charles Darwin was racist, so the theory of evolution caused the Nazis and atheism/secular humanism is responsible

Objection: Charles Darwin’s writings are not atheism, secular humanism or the theory of evolution, but rather an expression of his opinions, findings, or claims. Darwin was certainly racist just like everyone else at that time, but it was not the theory of evolution that created racism, nor is racism an integral part of the theory of evolution. This is because evolution itself does not make metaphysical claims about the worthiness of individual races to exist; all it claims is that individuals with traits that are conducive to life and reproduction are more likely to survive. It does not claim that they should be more likely to survive. The claim that individual races are more worthy to exist is an ideological addition to evolution, which itself is an optional addition to atheism.

Objection: Darwinian evolution is not the same as atheism or secular humanism. The Soviet Union rejected Darwinian evolution in favour of Lysenkoism but are still decidedly atheist; the Catholic Church and mainline Protestants accept theistic evolution but are decidedly not atheist.

Objection: Creationists and atheists have very similar beliefs regarding the divergence of the races of man. The part of evolutionary theory relevant to this topic is microevolution (the divergence of races within a kind), which creationists also accept—indeed, it is in the Bible that the races of man diverged after Noah’s flood. Thus, the part of evolutionary theory that is actually relevant to racism is not meaningfully connected to atheism.

Objection: The Nazis arose in a historical context of antisemitism that was ultimately caused by religion. The reason why Hitler was able to scapegoat the Jews was because the Jews were outsiders; had they been seen as a good and integral part of society, Hitler would not have been taken seriously. The reason for this, in turn, was religious differences. 

For a long time, Jews were routinely expelled and attacked in pogroms in Christian Europe; they were accused of Deicide—being responsible for the killing of Jesus.[5] This sentiment is reflected in the writings of Christian authors: 

Burn down their synagogues, forbid all that I enumerated earlier, force them to work, and deal harshly with them, as Moses did in the wilderness, slaying three thousand lest the whole people perish. (From The Jews & Their Lies by Martin Luther [6])

While Hitler was most likely not actually a Christian, he did appeal to Christianity in his speeches in order to justify his antisemitism:

My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice. And as a man I have the duty to see to it that human society does not suffer the same catastrophic collapse as did the civilization of the ancient world some two thousand years ago—a civilization which was driven to its ruin through this same Jewish people. (Adolf Hitler’s speech at Munich on 12 April 1922 [7])

Hitler was also willing to work with conservative Christian elements to spread fascism, such as when he gave support to the fascist side in the Spanish civil war.[8]

It was in the context of this widespread antisemitism that western countries,which were neither Nazi nor atheist, turned away and interned Jewish refugees.[9] 

Objection: National Socialism opposes the core values of humanism. Humanism claims that morality, as an “intrinsic part of human nature”, demands protecting the “right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others.”[3] This is something that death camps clearly violate. Since the topic is about evaluating “atheism and humanism” as a singular “religion”, the entire death toll of the Nazis should be excluded from this list since although some Nazis may have been atheists, their actions are not justified by humanism.

Proposition could argue that in the absence of a God, there is no objectively good definition for human rights that humanists could muster, so Naziism could still be counted under humanism. We would counter that firstly, morality is intrinsic to the human conscience, which is counter to Naziism. We must accept human nature as a strong basis for morality because divinely-commanded morality is not true morality: the Euthyphro dilemma demonstrates that morality must exist externally of God.

  1. If things are good because God commands them, then morality is arbitrary; God could, at any point, declare murder to be right and charity to be wrong, and it would become the case.
  2. If God commands certain things because they are good, then morality is simply an attribute of events, actions, and intentions that can exist independently of God.[10]
  3. If God is inherently good and therefore will only command things that are good, then morality is arbitrary again: in lieu of an external source of morality, what makes God good? Is God good because he just is? Then why can’t we define certain moral principles as being things that just are correct? 

If we are to get real about things, we must conclude that we consider things right or wrong because our consciences tell us so; indeed, the reason why the “if God doesn’t exist, then where did objective morality come from” argument works is because the arguer can safely assume that the listener accepts certain moral precepts. Thus, we see that humanism is a valid moral system, and therefore we are able to exclude Naziism from humanism. 

Verdict: The death toll of the Holocaust is better attributed to Christianity than to atheism, since it was Christianity that made Jews outsiders in the first place. Jews did not magically become outsiders once evolution appeared; instead, Jews were seen as outsiders for millenia because of religion.  

While evolution was indeed appealed to to justify the claim of Jewish inferiority and the idea that eugenics can be used to improve the human species, it was a part of evolution (microevolution) that Christians also accept and is therefore not inherently part of atheism or humanism.

1.2 Communism

Claim: 
P1. Atheism caused communism
Evidence for P1: The importance of materialism to Communism; communism’s denial of man’s sinfulness, man’s dignity, and man’s right to private property; the praise given by communist writers to Darwinian evolution
P2. Communism caused mass killings and starvation 
C. Atheism caused mass killings and starvation 

Objection: While atheism plays an integral role in communist thought, it would not be correct to say that atheism caused the mass killings and starvation of Communism, for it arose in the midst of the abuses of the industrial revolution and therefore had economic and ideological motivations in addition to atheism. 

Objection: Something similar to communism could have arisen in lieu of atheism. In other words, the ideology communism in its real-life form is intrinsically atheist, but the core idea of communism is not. One piece of evidence for this is that some early Christians practiced communal living based on the Communist idea of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need:”

42 They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayer. 43 Fear came on every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 All who believed were together, and had all things in common. 45 They sold their possessions and goods, and distributed them to all, according as anyone had need. 46 Day by day, continuing steadfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. The Lord added to the assembly day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47 WEB)

Socialists also agree with the Biblical principle that people are obligated to work to benefit their society: “If anyone is not willing to work, don’t let him eat.”(2 Thessalonians 3:10 WEB)[11]

Given that the core economic ideas of Communism are not intrinsically atheist, it is incorrect to claim that atheism caused Communism.

Counter-Objection: Pro could instead argue that while the core ideas of Communism are not atheist, it was atheism that allowed the Communists to engage in wanton killing, since it absolved them of their moral obligations.

To respond to this counter-objection, we must dissect what made Communism so deadly. Communism caused deaths in two ways: starvation caused by the economic principles of communism (e.g. the Collectivization) and the use of violence to maintain power (e.g. the gulags, the Cultural Revolution, Tiananmen Square).

We see that, in the first case, it was the economic principles that are at fault. Since we have established that the economic principles of Communism are not intrinsically atheist, atheism is not at fault.
In the second case, communist leaders simply used tools that all authoritarians have used, including the Christian monarchs that purged the opposing denominations in the wake of the Protestant Reformation. This is likewise not related to atheism. 

Objection: Communism’s rejection of human rights excludes it from humanism, which accepts that morality, as an “intrinsic part of human nature”, demands protecting the “right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others.”[3]

1.3 Abortion

Claim: Haeckel’s falsified drawings are used to justify abortion, even today

Objection: Proposition uses this argument to attribute all the abortions that he enumerates to atheism. This is clearly a non-sequitur: abortion is caused by many factors, including socioeconomic ones. Realistically, the women who conducted abortion in rural China would not have known of Haeckel’s drawings. 68% of women who engage in abortion are religious.[12] And Christian-majority Western Countries, until the past century, held that fetuses could be aborted up to the “quickening” (when the fetus begins to move).[13] The idea that all of the abortions enumerated by proposition can be attributed to atheism is preposterous, since abortions have been around for a very long time and are motivated by various practical factors. 

Objection: Evolutionary scientists like Stephen Jay Gould have long rejected Haeckel’s drawings as exaggerated.[14] The claim that they are still using them to justify abortion is false. 

Objection: Modern science continues to demonstrate that, though they were exaggerated by Haeckel, there are similarities between the embryos of different animals, such as a notochord and a tail. The molecular biology (Hox genes) involved in these similarities is explained by evolution.[14]

Objection: Proposition counts abortions as deaths without establishing the personhood of aborted fetuses.

2.0 Positive Case
2.1 Claim: Christianity was bloodier than Atheism throughout history

Throughout history, Christianity has been used to justify a great number of killings. These deaths include wars between Christians, such as those that occurred in the wake of the Protestant Reformation; conflicts provoked by insurgencies initiated by Christian sects, such as the Taiping Rebellion; wars between Christians and those of other faiths, such as the Crusades; and deaths caused by cultural conditions promoted by Christianity, such as deaths caused by antisemitism. 

While Proposition could argue that these deaths were caused by false Christians, misinterpretations of Christianity, or cults based on Christianity, this would not be a sufficient argument to detach Christianity from these deaths. Firstly, atheists would not accept the examples given by Proposition as representative of atheism either, and they would call those acts misrepresentations of atheism; thus, if we would attribute deaths caused by misrepresentations of or fringe interpretations of atheism to atheism, then we should attribute deaths caused by fringe interpretations of Christianity to Christianity. Secondly, the examples that I give are more directly linked to Christianity than Pro’s examples are to atheism: even though the deaths may have been caused by theologically incorrect interpretations of Christianity, it was ultimately Christianity that was used to justify these killings. Thus, we can see that these examples are valid ones.

Enumerating the deaths:
(If a source gives a range of death tolls, the mean of the two is taken)

Deaths in the wake of the Protestant Reformation:
Thirty Years’ War: 8,000,000 [15]
French Wars of Religion: 3,000,000 [16]
War of the Three Kingdoms: 591,500 [16]
Eighty Years’ War: 650,000 [16]
German Peasants’ War: 150,000 [16]

Deaths caused by Christian insurgencies:
Irish Republican Army (Protestant-Catholic tensions): 3,700 [17]
Taiping Rebellion (instigated by a sect/cult derived from Christianity): 31,622,777 [18]

Deaths caused by Christian wars with other religions:
Crusades: 2,000,000 [18]

Deaths caused by cultural conditions promoted by Christianity:
Witchcraft trials: 45,000 [19]
Encomienda system, made possible by enmity against Muslims and South American indigenous groups caused in part by their lack of Christian belief: 8,500,000 [20]

Total death toll
Adding the above numbers together, I arrive at the death toll of 5,356,2977 (~53 million). This is decidedly higher than the death toll of atheism arrived at by removing the deaths that are irrelevant to atheism from the list given by Proposition. 

[1] “What Is Humanism?,” American Humanist Association. [Online]. Available: https://americanhumanist.org/what-is-humanism/edwords-what-is-humanism/. [Accessed: 09-Nov-2019].
[2] “Definition of HUMANISM.” [Online]. Available: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/humanism. [Accessed: 09-Nov-2019].
[3] “What is Humanism?,” Humanist Canada. .
[4] “Definition of Humanism,” American Humanist Association. [Online]. Available: https://americanhumanist.org/what-is-humanism/definition-of-humanism/. [Accessed: 09-Nov-2019].
[5] “Medieval antisemitism,” Wikipedia. 20-Oct-2019.
[6] “Martin Luther - ‘The Jews & Their Lies.’” [Online]. Available: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/martin-luther-quot-the-jews-and-their-lies-quot. [Accessed: 09-Nov-2019].
[7] Norman H. Baynes, ed. and  ed Norman H. Baynes, The Speeches of Adolf Hitler: April 1922-August 1939, vol. 1. New York: Oxford University Press, 1942.
[8] “Spanish Civil War.” [Online]. Available: https://www2.gwu.edu/~erpapers/teachinger/glossary/spanish-civil-war.cfm. [Accessed: 09-Nov-2019].
[9] V. H. E. Centre, “‘Enemy Aliens’: The Internment of Jewish Refugees in Canada, 1940-1943.” [Online]. Available: http://www.museevirtuel.ca/edu/ViewLoitCollection.do?method=preview&lang=EN&id=25457. [Accessed: 09-Nov-2019].
[10] “Euthyphro dilemma - RationalWiki.” [Online]. Available: https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Euthyphro_dilemma#Third_horn:_Special_Pleading. [Accessed: 09-Nov-2019].
[11] “He who does not work, neither shall he eat,” Wikipedia. 15-Apr-2019.
[12] “Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients in 2014 and Changes Since 2008,” Guttmacher Institute, 21-Apr-2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.guttmacher.org/report/characteristics-us-abortion-patients-2014. [Accessed: 09-Nov-2019].
[13] “Abolishing Abortion: The History of the Pro-Life Movement in America | The American Historian.” [Online]. Available: https://www.oah.org/tah/issues/2016/november/abolishing-abortion-the-history-of-the-pro-life-movement-in-america/. [Accessed: 09-Nov-2019].
[14] “Wells and Haeckel’s Embryos.” [Online]. Available: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/wells/haeckel.html. [Accessed: 09-Nov-2019].
[15] “Thirty Years’ War,” Wikipedia. 28-Oct-2019.
[16] “European wars of religion,” Wikipedia. 04-Nov-2019.
[17] “9/11 not as bad as IRA, says Doris Lessing,” 23-Oct-2007.
[18] “List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll - Wikipedia.” [Online]. Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_and_anthropogenic_disasters_by_death_toll. [Accessed: 08-Nov-2019].
[19] “List of people executed for witchcraft,” Wikipedia. 08-Oct-2019.
[20] “Encomienda,” Wikipedia. 08-Nov-2019.


Round 2
Published:
Is Atheism and Secular Humanism the Same?

I realize that secular humanism and atheism are not the same. I messed up on the title, saying Religion when I meant Religions.

Are Atheism and Secular Humanism Religions?

Con states that Atheism and Secular Humanism are not religions, However, if something is not religious, then it cannot oppose religious claims. Secular Humanism and atheism oppose the creation of the world in six literal days, thus making their views religious. To say one is not religious and then go and judge religious topics is making a religious statement. Therefore, atheism ans secular humanism are religious because they try to refute religious views. 
Also the US Supreme Court, in Torcaso v. Watkins, ruled that Secular Humanism is a religion. Also let us be reminded that Secular Humanism and other religions do not have a belief in God's existence get the same tax benefits as Methodists, Catholics, Baptists and Muslims. Lastly, there are even secular and atheist chaplains in the Armed Forces.

Definition of Secular Humanism

A Secular Humanist is one who puts man's ideas above God's.

Darwin and Racism

“Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1859, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory” Stephen J. Gould

The start for all the mass killings was based on the Darwinian belief that man has evolved over time and that the different races are in a struggle to see who can survive the best or 'survival of the fittest'. Before Darwin, "racism" was not very prevalent in the world. One can go as far back in history to see that people were hardly ever described  by their physical appearance unless it was important to what they were talking about. Even as late as the American Revolution, this was so. An example would be Crispus Attucks, first to day in the American Revolution, was mentioned in northern newspapers with reference to skin color. Why was this so? Why was color of skin not as important before Darwin as it was after? Because as Stephen J. Gould admitted, "Nearly all scientists were creationists before 1859, and most did not become polygenists (belief that man was another created race of man)”. Biblical Christianity teaches that all men are descended from Adam and Eve are there for all men, no matter their color, are our brothers. Judeo-Christianity has always believed this and those who Christians who believed otherwise (that God created other races or that a certain race was cursed) were few in number before 1859. Carl Linnaeus was the first to classify men into different groups. After him came his pupil Fabricus who ascertained that Negros came about from cross-breeding between whites and apes with Voltaire basically seconding the motion when he said,“the white man is to the Black as the Black is to the monkey. Prejudices before 1859 had to do more with culture and language than the color of one's skin. Proof of this is shown from the fact that men had no problem having children from Blacks (ie., Thomas Jefferson or his cousins and nephews), from the fact that America contained a large population of free blacks since Jamestown and that 20% of America was Black.
On the Origin of Species by Means of the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life increased the idea among scientists that the different colors of men showed how man had evolved. Black were seen at the bottom of the evolutionary ladder and the white were at the top. Why? Because according to those who espoused Darwin White were intellectually more advanced. Shamefully many Christians dumped the old belief that all men were created equal and fell for the "science".
One of Darwin's cousins who espoused Evolution and dumped his Anglican faith was Sir Francis Galton. Galton decided to do something about the innumerable "inferior races" and also the corrupted white humans that were going to be detrimental to White society. He came up with the idea of eugenics and won a knighthood for it. Galton's ideas were consumed in America and Germany and were hailed by scientists as the greatest discovery of all time.
Scientists now know that biological "races" do not exist and to say that humans have micro-evolved is pure nonsense. Humans of all colors have so much in common that any differences are minuscule. While there are 206 breeds of dogs, science has shown that there is only one "breed" of humans.
Therefore, science has proven that the Bible was correct and that all humans are brothers and sisters. We are not to judge people by their skin color but by their character and what is in their heart.

Evolution and WWI

Nazism, communism and fascism rose up in Europe because Christianity declined. As seen above Christianity believed that all men were brothers and there were no "races". Con mentions anti-semitism in Europe, which is true, but this was not based on race, but based on cultural or religious reasons. One has to remember that by this time that most Western countries allowed for freedom of religion and the Jews, even in Germany were doing quite well.  Hitler's extermination of the Jews was based on them being an "inferior race" in the evolutionary ladder, not because they had crucified Jesus. To better understand racism and anti-semitism in Nazi Germany we have to go back in time to before WWI. Germany expanded its empire because they wanted to implement "Social Darwinism". According to Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Darwin's theory spread across Western Europe and the US “where it exerted a considerable influence, before reaching its apogee in the radical racialist theories of National Socialism (the Nazis)”(1) General Bernhardi wrote a book in 1913 titled Vom Heutigen Kriege, which gave reasons on why war was a biological necessity to get rid of the less fit. This view wasn't held only by crazy people that might look like the Red Skull, but journalist, scientists, academics and politicians held this view (The US made war against the Philippines based on the idea that they were unfit to govern themselves). At the start of WWI the German chancellor, Bethmann-Hollweg, made clear that war was inevitable between the the "superior" and "lesser" races.(2) The German monarch even said in 1912 that the war a "selectionist racial war" to exterminate the "inferior" Slavs and other races.(3) Ted Holden notes the "widespread and complacent attitude that war was inevitable, natural, and beneficial in weeding out the inferior races, is generally cited as one of the many causes of the first world war by careful authors. An American, Colonel House, was appalled by the attitude of resigned complacency and bellicosity he saw when he visited Europe in 1913, and which was to a very large extent the fault of Darwin’s writings. Further evidence of how seriously Social Darwinism was taken at the turn of the century is provided by the propaganda issued by the Pan-German league and other groups within Germany ".(4) Germany therefore borrowed from Darwinism to terminate all "inferior races" in Europe. if the Germans had believed that all men are brothers and should be treated with respect and fairness, Would there have been a WWI?

Deaths: 8,500,000 World Book Encyclopedia, Volume 21, Entry: World War II, p. 467

Evolution and Hitler

The Nazis rejected Christianity, that much is certain. While Hitler may have courted them, most Christians strongly opposed him. If there is a reason why Hitler came to power it is because of 1.) the suffering caused by the Treaty of Versailles and 2.) because of the secularism and rejection of Christianity. As seen above, Darwin's cousin Sir Francis Galton started the eugenics movement in an attempt to bring about a "superior race" of men that could survive and extinguish the "lesser races". Hitler put eugenics to work in Germany. According to Norman Cohn, Hitler believed "only a tiny part of what is usually regarded as mankind consists of human beings — notably those whom he imagined to be of Nordic descent. . . . The rest — what he called racial mish-mash — belongs not to mankind but to an inferior species . . . simply animals disguised as human beings."(5) This "scientific truth" was preached by intelligentsia of Germany throughout Europe. The Germans believed that all non-Aryan and non-Nordic "races" were not only "inferior" but that they were subhuman and that Nature had made them look human. While Con wants to limit the genocide by the Nazis to the Jews to prove that they were killed because they crucified Jesus, but this ignores that Poles, Gypsies and Slaves were also killed, not because they crucified Jesus, but because they were "inferior" and could not survive and therefore must be eliminated in order to create a "superior race". Hitler didn't hate the Jews because they crucified Jesus, Hitler hated them because they were contaminating the German race (although one could argue he hated them because they were successful businessmen as well). Hitler did not want "inferior races" to breed with "superior" ones. For Hitler the Jews Negroes and Gypsies were all "inferior" races. Tannenbaum said, “The political philosophy of the . . . German state was built on the ideas of struggle, selection, and survival of the fittest, all notions and observations arrived at . . . by Darwin”.(6) Darwinism was important to Nazism for if the Nazis had been Christians they would have seen all humans as brothers that are equal before God. History has shown how Darwinism is incompatible with Christianity and many scientists have pointed it out. Sir Arthur Keith, who was knighted because of his scientific achievements said,“Christianity makes no distinction of race or of color; it seeks to break down all racial barriers. In this respect, the hand of Christianity is against that of Nature [evolution], for are not the races of mankind the evolutionary harvest which Nature has toiled through long ages to produce?”(7) Scientists of the past disregarded Christianity as unscientific and that it was against evolution and the struggle of the fittest. They said that Nature would get rid of the weak and what could not survive while Christianity stated that one must help the weak and take care of those who are in need. Hitler did not like the missionary activities in Africa because he said that the Negroes were “monstrosities half way between man and ape.” The Nazis opposed Christianity because to them science proved the Bible wrong that man was descended from Adam and Eve and instead was a creature that was evolving. They wrote 13 scientific journal to back up their conclusions that were accepted by scientists all over the Western World. While Germany ended up being hated for what it was doing, they only applied the same techniques others were doing in Britain and the US, but at a massive scale (more about eugenics and Margaret Sanger later). If the Nazis would have believed, as the Bible teaches, that all men are brothers and equal before God, Would there have been a Holocaust?

Hitler and Nazis: 70 million World Book Encyclopedia, Volume 21, Entry: World War II, p. 467
*I want to highlight that Con puts the number of total deaths from "Christianity" at over 53 million in a time span of centuries. I am only in 1945 and already have 20 million more than him in only 31 years and am still not done.

Evolution and Communism

Stalin, Lenin, Marx, Mao, and Engel started out as creationists, but once introduced to evolution they put away these beliefs and embraced naturalism and atheism. Cons claim that Communism had nothing to do with atheism is false. Article 124 of the USSR Constitution that says, “In order to ensure citizen’s freedom of conscience, the church in the USSR is separated from the state, and the school from the church. Freedom of religious worship and freedom of antireligious propaganda is recognized for all citizens.” "Freedom of antireligious propaganda" allowed professors to attack theism in universities and schools. The US Constitution does not have "separation of church and state" in it. Thomas Jefferson mentioned this phrase in a letter to Danbury Baptists to assure them that the State would not interfere with the Church. The communist idea of the strong overthrowing the weak in a violent revolution comes from the Darwinian idea of "survival of the fittest". Evolution was central to Marxism. To them evolution had happened "all biology had evolved spontaneously upward, and that in-between links (or less evolved types) should be actively eradicated. They believed that natural selection could and should be actively aided, and therefore instituted political measures to eradicate . . . [those] whom they considered as 'underdeveloped'"(8) Terence Ball writes, “for nearly a century the names of Karl Marx and Charles Darwin have been linked in an apparently indissoluble union”(9) Karl Marx even said, “Nothing ever gives me greater pleasure than to have my name linked onto Darwin’s. His wonderful work makes my own absolutely impregnable. Darwin may not know it, but he belongs to the Social Revolution”(10) Stalin also affirmed that, “neo-Darwinism . . . evolution prepares for [communist] revolution and creates the ground for it; revolution consummates the process of evolution and facilitates its further activity . . . Marxism rests on Darwinism and treats it uncritically”(11) Marx liked Darwin's book because it got rid of the Bible's authority and the belief in God and instead showed that science was the answer. Both Marx and Engel said throughout their lives that Darwin's work was very important to them.
While Hitler and Marx agreed that "survival of the fittest" was the triumph of the strong over the weak, as evolution taught, both disagreed on where it should be applied. For Hitler it was between the races, but for Marx it was between the social classes. "Like Darwin, Marx thought he had discovered the law of development. He saw history in stages, as the Darwinists saw geological strata and successive forms of life . . . both Marx and Darwin made struggle the means of development. Again, the measure of value in Darwin is survival with reproduction — an absolute fact occurring in time and which wholly disregards the moral or aesthetic quality of the product. In Marx the measure of value is expended labor — an absolute fact occurring in time, which also disregards the utility of the product. Both Darwin and Marx [also] tended to hedge and modify their mechanical absolution in the face of objections,"(12) wrote Jacques Barzun. According to Marx The Origin of Species, "is very important and serves me as a basis in natural selection for the class struggle in history . . . not only is it [Darwin’s book] a death blow . . . to ‘Teleology’ in the natural sciences but their rational meaning is empirically explained". Marx liked Darwin's book so much he read it twice and gave a copy of his book Das Kapital to Darwin. He also said that Darwin's book was confirmation on his own views on natural sciences. Marx also referenced Darwin's book twice in his historical section in Das Kapital and attended lectures by Huxley that promoted evolution. Today many Marxists and socialist praise Marx's role in spreading Darwinism. Marx stopped believing in supernatural causes and said that religion was the "opiate of the people". Marx, Engel, Lenin and Stalin gave credit to Darwin for his book and the influence it had on their writings. According to Cliff Conner, "The socialist movement recognized Darwinism as an important element in its general world outlook right from the start. When Darwin published his Origin of Species in 1859, Karl Marx wrote a letter to Frederick Engels in which he said, “. . . this is the book which contains the basis in natural history for our view.” . . . And of all those eminent researchers of the nineteenth century who have left us such a rich heritage of knowledge, we are especially grateful to Charles Darwin for opening our way to an evolutionary, dialectical understanding of nature."(13)
Friedrich Engel, who influenced Marx greatly, was raised in a Christian home, but began doubting his faith while studying under liberal theologians who were also influenced by Darwin. Engel gave credit to Darwinism for his becoming an atheist. He said, "Nowadays, in our evolutionary conception of the universe, there is absolutely no room for either a Creator or a Ruler...there is no creator and no Ruler of the universe . . . matter and energy can neither be created nor annihilated. . . . mind is a mode of energy, a function of the brain; all we know is that the material world is governed by immutable laws. . . . Thus . . . scientific man . . . is a materialist; outside his science, in spheres about which he knows nothing, he translates his ignorance into Greek and calls it agnosticism."(14) 
For some reason evolution led many scientists to atheism. Marx insisted that the masses (workers) would rise up against the bourgeoisie (landowners and entrepreneurs). After a dictatorship was set up by the proletariat, they would abolish private property and everyone would share the land and the fruit of their labor. The poor people liked this idea and during the revolution began destroying businesses that many people had worked hard to create. Much bloodshed happened when the business owners put up resistance, but one the workers won and were put in charge of the businesses the economy began to collapse beg=cause many people did not know how to run them.
Marx believed that the key to succeeding was to get rid of religion because it enriched the church and left the people in poverty (which leaves the question of why, if Marx used the Bible for his idea of Communism, would he be so anti-religious? I hope Con explains). Marx decided that indoctrination against religion especially Jewish, Christian and Muslim was necessary since these religions taught that killing people and stealing their property was morally wrong and a sin. Also these religions say that one should stand up for what is right, but that justice is not guaranteed until God returns with His reward. Con states some "communist" examples in the Bible, however Con fails to mention that these examples were not forced and that they remained within the Church. The Bible does say that care should be given to the poor, to widows, criminals and orphans, but nowhere does it advocate for killing people to get their fruit of labour. The communist ideal of "each takes according to his needs, and each gives according to his abilities" turned into “take whatever you can, and give back as little as you can.”

I will end it right here since I do not have space or time for more. In the next Round I will get into Lenin, Stalin, Mao and hopefully abortions.


1. 1985. The German Empire, 1871–1918. Translated from the German by Kim Traynor. Dover,: Berg Publishers, pg. 179.
2. Carr, William. 1979. A History of Germany 1815–1945. New York: St. Martin’s Press, pgs. 216-219
3. Kellogg, Vernon. 1917. Headquarters Nights. Boston, MA: Atlantic Monthly Press
4. Holden, Ted. 2000. “Is the Theory of Evolution a Source of Racism and Evil?” Unpublished Manuscript
5. Cohn, Norman. 1967. Warrant for Genocide. New York: Harper and Row, pg. 187
6. Tennenbaum, Joseph. 1956. Race and Reich. New York: Twayne Publishers, pg. 211
7. Keith, Arthur. 1946. Evolution and Ethics. New York: G.P. Putnam and Sons, pg. 72
8. Wilder-Smith, Beate. 1982. The Day Nazi Germany Died. San Diego, CA: Master Books, pg. 27
9. Ball, Terence. 1979. “Marx and Darwin: A Reconsideration.” Political Theory, November 4, 7(4):469–483
10. Weikart, Richard. 1999. Socialist Darwinism. Lanham, MD: International Scholars Publications, pg. 15
11. 1954. J.V. Stalin, Works. Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, Vol. 1
12. Barzun, Jacques. 1958. Darwin, Marx, Wagner: Critique of a Heritage. 2nd ed. Garden City, NY: Doubleday
13. Conner, Cliff. 1980. “Evolution vs. Creationism: In Defense of Scientific Thinking.” International Socialist Review (Monthly Magazine Supplement to The Militant), Nov.
14. 1907. Socialism: Utopian and Scientific. Chicago, IL: Charles H. Kerr & Company. Translated by Edward Aveling
Published:
Introduction

Over the years, religion has been used to justify many atrocities, but no atrocity has been justified in the name of atheism, for atheism makes no dogmatic claims about anything. Under atheism, you cannot say that “God is telling me to commit this atrocity”. All atrocities committed by secular ideologues have instead been justified using ideologies that are added on to atheism, and could just as easily be instead added on to religion. The resolution continues to be negated.

Just like my opponent, I will not have the space to respond fully to the entire debate in this round. The nature of this debate—a debate revolving around examples rather than principles—necessarily causes rebuttals to snowball around each example, so neither of us will be able to fully broach the entire debate in every round. 

Fundamental issues

There are many fundamental issues that Pro’s side suffers from. The rest of my round serves to clarify these fundamental issues.

Firstly, atheism makes no claims or commandments beyond that there is no God, so any death caused by an ideology that happens to be atheistic should be attributed to that ideology and not to atheism. I also extend my argument that humanism, by definition, seeks to protect the rights of all humans [1], and as argued below, the definition provided by Pro is utterly biased and should be instantly thrown out. Thus, ideologies like Naziism are not part of humanism, and the death toll of atheism and humanism remain zero.  

Secondly, Pro fails to prove a causal link between atheism and abhorrent ideologies. It could be that abhorrent ideologues in the 20th century were more likely to be atheist because appealing to science had become more effective, but had the same ideologues existed in the 16th century, they could have appealed to religion to the same effect. Pro needs to show that had it not been for atheism, these ideologues would not have been able to do as much damage, and provide a concrete, justified numerical answer as to the difference between the but-for scenario and the actual scenario.

Thirdly, Pro continues to muddle evolution, atheism, and eugenics. In reality, evolution does not require atheism, and the basic ideas (e.g. cultivation and artificial selection) behind eugenics existed long before Darwinian evolution.

Please note that, even if my opponent’s arguments were all correct, his death toll would remain absurdly exaggerated. Even if atheism did have a significant causal role in creating the ideologies that were behind WWI and WWII, it would be preposterous to jump from one tenuous link to another in order to attribute the entirety of the death tolls of WWI and WWII to atheism without weighing ideological factors with factors like societal and economic issues. Thus, his death tolls should be entirely thrown out, until he can provide more reasonable estimates of exactly how much atheism was allegedly responsible. 

Clarifying the topic and creating a principle: the direction of causality

Atheism makes only one claim — that God does not exist. This means that a variety of ideologies can be held without contradicting atheism, including abhorrent ones. The question, then, is whether atheism can be said to be the cause of or a significant factor in the adoption of abhorrent ideologies. If it is not the cause of abhorrent ideologies, then it cannot be called the bloodiest ideology ever, since it would not be responsible for the violent acts.

It is easy to see how an abhorrent ideology could butt heads against religion. The abhorrent ideology makes truth claims that are counter to the moral systems of any sane person, including those of religious people. Thus, to continue holding to the abhorrent ideology, one must distort religion or remove it entirely. Thus, it may be plausible to argue for the following causal relation:

Abhorrent ideology → Atheism/distortion of religion

The question, then, is whether the flexibility accorded by atheism can in any way be called the cause of these abhorrent ideologies. To clear up this question, I will consider two cases: an ideologue like Hitler who wishes to justify abhorrent actions, and an average atheist who became atheist because he does not find religious claims convincing.

  1. The ideologue

An ideologue like Hitler wants to justify an abhorrent act or ideological viewpoint. What’s the relation with atheism?

Atheism would not have been the reason why the desire to do the abhorrent act or support the abhorrent ideology arose in the first place. In the case of immoral acts, it would likely be a carnal desire that would have arisen regardless of religious belief. As Pro states in Round 1, immorality “[comes] about because of sin.” In the case of abhorrent ideologies, it would likely be economic or social factors. For instance, Naziism arose in a context of economic turmoil in Weimar Germany and historical antisemitism that extends back through the history of Christian Europe. In fact, the person who creates the abhorrent ideology does not need to begin as an atheist at all; for instance, Hitler was raised in a religious family, although he most likely didn’t stay truly religious for long [2].

With the desire to support an abhorrent ideology cemented, the ideologue moves on to try to justify it to himself and to others, who are attracted because they are affected by the same factors that caused the original ideologue to create his ideology in the first place. Thus, each person the ideology spreads to can be seen as similar to the original ideologue, and they will not be considered separately.

The ideologue, in order to make his ideology justifiable, must get rid of ideas that contradict his ideology. In the present-day first world, scientific progress is sufficient to convincingly support atheism, so an ideologue might go down that route. But an ideologue could just as easily distort religion to fit his purposes, which has happened in places like China, where Hong Xiuquan justified a deadly uprising by claiming to be the brother of Jesus [3]. In fact, Hitler himself appealed to religious people when he made his screeds:

“In the first place it is Christians and not international atheists who now stand at the head of Germany. I do not merely talk of Christianity, no, I also profess that I will never ally myself with the parties which destroy Christianity."— Adolf Hitler in February 1933 [4]

Here, we can see Hitler distorting Christianity to use it against the “international atheists”, which is an attack against communism and cosmopolitanism, which was associated with the Jewish people. In the 1933 election, Protestants disproportionately voted for the Nazi Party [5]. A close inspection of the demographics of Germany shows that voting for the Nazi Party among Protestants was positively associated with religiosity, and Protestant theologians expressed such opinions as “Our Protestant churches have greeted the turning point of 1933 [the seizure of power by the Nazi Party] as a gift and miracle of God” [5]. Thus, we can see that religion can just as easily be used to facilitate the acceptance of an abhorrent ideology. 

I would advance the argument that the reason why recent secular ideologues have been more deadly than religious ideologues is because being a secular ideologue was not possible until recently, and the world’s population [6] and the deadliness of weapons have increased greatly. Had World War II occurred during the Protestant Reformation, it would not have had the same death toll.

In this situation, I would argue that atheism is not culpable, since it appears as a result of the abhorrent ideology, and the abhorrent ideology could have just as easily been justified using a distortion of religion. In the case of using religion to justify an abhorrent ideology, however, religion would be partially responsible for the abhorrent ideology, since the idea that “God is telling me to follow Hitler” is far more dogmatic and effective than “my atheism means there is no religious objection I could make against Hitler.” Thus, my claims regarding religion being responsible for deaths like in the Taiping Rebellion and in the wake of the Protestant Reformation still stand and are not contradicted by my analysis here.

  1. The regular atheist

The regular atheist, on the other hand, does not have any motivation to accept an abhorrent ideology, and has developed his own personal conscience that goes against abhorrent ideologies. If he does develop an abhorrent ideology, it would be because of factors like economic turmoil or racial divides. In this case, he would have to alter his own personal conscience to allow himself to accept that abhorrent ideology. One might argue that religion provides a counterweight against modifying your conscience to suit an abhorrent ideology, but Hitler demonstrated that this is untrue by exploiting propaganda and a history of antisemitism to convince swaths of devout Protestants to join his side [5]. Thus, on balance, the effect of atheism is nil.

From this analysis, it can be seen that Pro has avoided the topic: instead of drawing a causal link between atheism and abhorrent ideologies, Pro cites evidence that some ideologues were deeply entwined with atheist thought. This is insufficient to prove that atheism caused the abhorrent ideologies; as I have argued in the previous round and continue to argue in this round, these ideologies had a variety of historical and social causes, and their founders could have just as easily appealed to a religious justification to make their ideologies stand. 

Rebuttal

Topic 1: Are secular humanism and atheism religions?

Pro makes the argument that secular humanism and atheism should be considered religions because they make claims that are in the domain of religion (by making claims that oppose religious claims)  and also because they are legally considered religions.

This is untrue for two reasons. One is that it creates logical absurdities. The “Genesis II Church of Health and Healing” is technically a religious organization, and it makes the scientifically-unsupported claim that their “miracle mineral solution” (actually a form of bleach) cures all sorts of ailments [7]. This claim is opposed by medical science. It would, however, be absurd to say that medical science is a religion because it makes claims opposing the claims made by a legally-recognized religious institution. Another is that different fields of inquiry can simply overlap. 

Finally, even if there is a reasonable definition of religion that would allow you to consider atheism and secular humanism as religions, it would still be a form of equivocation to do so in the context of this debate, and such a definition would not be fair in the context of this debate. This is because atheism and humanism are flexible and not dogmatic in nature. When a distortion of a typical dogmatic religion is made to justify an abhorrent ideology, its pretended divine authority is part of the effectiveness of the distortion. On the other hand, pure atheism simply allows abhorrent ideologies to exist without placing any divine authority behind it, so the harms of such abhorrent ideologies are better attributed to the ideologies themselves rather than to atheism.

Topic 2: Pro’s definition of secular humanism

Pro tries to reject my objection that Naziism and Communism’s atrocities are contrary to humanism’s demand for respecting humans by providing, without justification, the definition that “A Secular Humanist is one who puts man's ideas above God's.” 

This definition is patently biased, since it basically translates into “secular humanism means rejecting moral claims even though they are absolutely true.” Such a baseless and biased definition should be instantly thrown out. I would like to instead continue my previous definition, in which humanism as it relates to morality is defined in the authoritative Amsterdam Declaration, cited in my previous round: 

[Humanism] affirms the worth, dignity and autonomy of the individual and the right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others. Humanists have a duty of care to all of humanity including future generations. Humanists believe that morality is an intrinsic part of human nature based on understanding and a concern for others, needing no external sanction.[1]

Topic 3: Evolution’s effects

Pro’s sections on evolution and WWI and evolution and Hitler both base themselves on the claim that evolution is related to racism. Thus, I divide Pro’s case into “evolution and racism” and “evolution and communism.” Just as Pro did not have enough space to address the whole topic in this round, I will not have enough space to cover communism in this round. 

Topic 3.1: Evolution and racism

By discussing evolution instead of atheism or humanism, Pro has veered off-topic. While evolution is accepted by many atheists and secular humanists, evolution itself does not opine on the existence of God—that’s why some denominations can accept theistic evolution—and is therefore neither atheism nor secular humanism. Thus, any harms it may have caused should not directly be attributed to atheism or secular humanism, especially if it is caused by a branch of evolution that does not require you to be an atheist to accept. 

The branch of evolution concerning eugenics—evolution within species—is universally accepted, even by creationists. Eugenics seeks to increase intelligence or to create a “master race”, both of which do not create a new species and are therefore, in principle, accepted by creationists as possible. Secular evolution and creationism differ over how the first ancestors of man came about, but both agree that the different races diverged by heredity as people dispersed over the Earth, be it propitiated by natural geographical divides or by the divinely-induced dispersion post Noah’s flood and the tower of Babel. Thus, any discussion of eugenics based on Darwinism is not relevant to atheism or humanism, since it concerns a part of Darwinism (that geographical genetic differences evolved from a common ancestor after his emergence) whose factual claims are not substantively different from those of Christianity. 

The basic idea that a species can be artificially changed was not invented by atheism or humanism, and it wasn’t even Darwin’s idea. For instance, documents from Ancient Greece indicate that brassica oleracea was subjected to plant eugenics (human cultivation and selection), eventually creating vegetables as varied as brussels sprouts, gai lan, broccoli, and kale [8]. Even Genesis 30 describes a situation where the characteristics of sheep are changed, though not by artificial selection. 

In conclusion, Pro’s current line of reasoning is based on the claim that atheism perpetuated the idea of eugenics, which wrong because (1) evolution isn’t the same as atheism, (2) the part of evolution that claims species can be artificially changed is universally accepted by all religions, and (3) the idea that you can change a species artificially dates to before evolution. The ideologues in all likelihood appealed to Darwin because that was the science available at that time, and if Darwin hadn’t existed they would have appealed to dog breeding or other forms of eugenics that existed long before Darwin.

The question, then, is not whether atheism created the idea of eugenics, but rather whether it had a causal role in distorting morality in order to make the idea of human eugenics palatable, a question that Pro’s arguments fail to answer.

3.1.1: Is evolution itself racist?

No. Evolution makes no moral claims. All claims about superiority and inferiority based on evolution are based on additional ideologically-motivated criteria.

3.1.2: Is atheism the reason why racism became worse, causing people to interpret evolution in a way that caused WWI and WWII?

Pro makes the argument that evolution was invoked in the prelude to WWI and WWII to justify German nationalism. Here, several responses need to be made. 

Firstly, while social Darwinism was used nationalistically, social Darwinism is not the same as Darwinian evolution, nor is it the same as atheism.  Darwin was not an atheistic prophet, and the ideas behind social Darwinism could have just as easily been arrived at by citing similar ideas like dog breeding. Pro provides no credible link between atheism and a degradation of ethics as it relates to artificial selection, a field that existed long before modern humanism and modern Darwinian evolution. 

Secondly, Evolution does not imply social Darwinism, and social Darwinism is not supported by the claims of Evolution. Evolution merely says that genetic variations that make an individual more likely to survive become more common in the population, and it doesn’t make any moral claim about whether we should help this process out, nor does it say that the characteristics that make you more likely to survive are superior characteristics [9]. Indeed, if a certain “master race” did have genetic characteristics making it more likely to survive, it wouldn’t need artificial eugenics in the first place. 

In fact, the best argument for eugenics is, perhaps, that the fittest humans are not the superior humans. Here, we see that far from being a “natural” way of weeding out inferior races, as claimed by social Darwinists, eugenics seeks to go against Darwinian evolution, a process more similar to pre-existing ideas like dog breeding or the domestication of cabbage.

A proper ideological inference from Darwinian theory might instead be that cooperation is better than eugenics and genocide, proposed by theorists who have concluded that cooperation is an evolutionarily-beneficial strategy [9].  

Thus, it is clear that evolutionary theory was not behind the creation of social Darwinism, since Darwinian evolution does not imply the claims of social Darwinism. Thus, a far better explanation would be that the nationalists promoted nationalism to fulfil their geopolitical ambitions, and when they needed to justify their ideas, they appealed to the current state of science, which happened to be the theory of Darwinian evolution. And that theory had so little a role in their original intention to be nationalists that they needed to distort it to state something unsupported by Darwinian evolution itself. 

3.1.3: Can the entire death toll of WWI and WWII be credibly attributed to atheism? 

The simple answer is no. 

Pro has shown, at best, that Darwinian evolution was invoked to justify social Darwinism, which in turn justified nationalism. But even there, Pro does not credibly show that the logical conclusion of evolution is social Darwinism. Indeed, as the above analysis has shown, it is not: justifying social Darwinism using evolution requires severe distortions, and ultimately an ideologue would have to invoke the claim that we must reverse the course of evolution and create our own course, thereby being little different from ideas like dog breeding that existed a long time ago. It would be a better explanation that a variety of political and economic factors promoted nationalism, which took an ill-fitting theory as justification.

Pro fails to justify the claim that atheism specifically was behind social Darwinism, which is based on hereditarian ideas that are accepted by creationists as well.

And even if atheism did allow for the creation of ideologies like Naziism, the simple fact remains that WWI and WWII occurred for a variety of reasons, and the ideology was simply used to rile people up and could have been replaced with any number of populist ideologies that would have worked just as well.

Causes of WWI other than atheism: [10], [11]
  • Mutual defense alliances that helped expand the scope of what could have been a local war 
  • Imperialism causing conflict between the various world powers over foreign holdings
    • It is of note that European empires began holding foreign territories long before Darwin
  • Militarism causing arms buildup
  • Independence movements in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Causes of WWII other than atheism: [12]
  • Resentment in Germany over the Treaty of Versailles, which blamed the war on Germany and racked Germany economic burden for reparations
  • The economic failure of Weimar Germany
  • The failure of the League of Nations to act against Japan and Italy for their imperialist actions, which emboldened the fascist dictators

For Pro to rewrite history to say that WWI and WWII’s entire death tolls can be attributed to atheism is preposterous, and it would require rejecting historical evidence that political and economic factors played a large role. 

3.1.4 Miscellaneous claims about evolution

Scientists now know that biological "races" do not exist and to say that humans have micro-evolved is pure nonsense. Humans of all colors have so much in common that any differences are minuscule. While there are 206 breeds of dogs, science has shown that there is only one "breed" of humans. Therefore, science has proven that the Bible was correct and that all humans are brothers and sisters. 

  • Pro fails to mention that it was evolutionary scientists themselves who refuted pseudoscientific racist claims. For instance, in the context of the Stephen J. Gould quote that Pro cites, Gould himself argues that the “data [in support of racism] were worthless” [13]. That’s why the biological field, dominated by scientists who accept the overwhelming evidence for evolution, has helped overturn racism.
  • While race indeed only exists as a social construct, it is incorrect to say that microevolution did not occur to humans. When we say that races do not exist, we mean that they are a bad way of dividing geographically-linked genetic differences [14]. We do not mean that genetic differences caused by microevolution do not exist over geographical regions, because they do—people from Africa, on average, have darker skin than people from Europe.

[1] “What is Humanism? - Humanist Canada.” [Online]. Available: https://www.humanistcanada.ca/about/humanism/. [Accessed: 23-Nov-2019].
[2] “Religious views of Adolf Hitler,” Wikipedia. 20-Nov-2019.
[3] C. Gracie, “The Chinese rebel who thought he was Jesus’s brother,” BBC News, 18-Oct-2012.
[4] Norman H. Baynes, ed. and  ed Norman H. Baynes, “Speech Delivered at Stuttgart 15 February 1933,” in The Speeches of Adolf Hitler: April 1922-August 1939, vol. 1, New York: Howard Fertig, 1969, p. 240.
[5] R. Steigmann-Gall, “Apostasy or religiosity? The cultural meanings of the Protestant vote for Hitler,” Soc. Hist., vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 267–284, Oct. 2000.
[6] “World population - Wikipedia.” [Online]. Available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population. [Accessed: 23-Nov-2019].
[7] “Bleaching away what ails you: The Genesis II Church is still selling Miracle Mineral Supplement as a cure-all – Science-Based Medicine.” [Online]. Available: https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/miracle-mineral-supplement-as-a-cure-all/. [Accessed: 23-Nov-2019].
[8] L. Maggioni, R. von Bothmer, G. Poulsen, and E. Lipman, “Domestication, diversity and use of Brassica oleracea L., based on ancient Greek and Latin texts,” Genet. Resour. Crop Evol., vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 137–159, Jan. 2018.
[9] “Evolution and Philosophy: Social Darwinism.” [Online]. Available: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil/social.html. [Accessed: 24-Nov-2019].
[10] “What were the causes of World War One? - BBC Bitesize.” [Online]. Available: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zqhyb9q/articles/znhhrj6. [Accessed: 24-Nov-2019].
[11] B. Blomberg, “CAUSES OF WORLD WAR I,” p. 31.
[12] “World War Two - Causes,” History, 06-Jun-2014. [Online]. Available: https://www.historyonthenet.com/world-war-two-causes. [Accessed: 24-Nov-2019].
[13] S. J. Gould, in Ontogeny and Phylogeny, p. 127.
[14] T.-N. Coates, “What We Mean When We Say ‘Race Is a Social Construct,’” The Atlantic, 15-May-2013. [Online]. Available: https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/05/what-we-mean-when-we-say-race-is-a-social-construct/275872/. [Accessed: 24-Nov-2019].

Round 3
Published:
I am going to forfeit this round because I was not able to get to it and I will be busy the next 23 hrs I have left. Sorry.
Published:
This argument seems to revolve around examples rather than general principles. The thing about debating examples rather than principles is that for every example, the back-and-forth rebuttals can snowball. One example might require 20 words to assert, but 300 words to prove the necessary context and information to rebut it.

Thus, for the sake of fairness, I will not substantively rebut my opponent’s examples in this round, as that might put him at a disadvantage, since he would end up having less space to contribute to the snowballing on his side.

Instead, I will clarify my general principle that has been a running theme throughout the debate, but perhaps has not been entirely clear. This is to the benefit of both debaters, as it will give my opponent a chance to rebut a succinct version of this general principle. Most of this round consists of summarization and clarification of what has been said in the previous rounds.

What do we mean when we say that atheism and humanism are bloody? When we say that, we mean that it substantively contributed to bloodshed. A religious or philosophical system can cause bloodshed by directly advocating violence or by creating an environment that encourages it. The latter, by the way, is why I counted cults derived from Christianity in the Christianity death toll: Christianity provided a way to justify the cults’ teachings.

I do not see any good evidence for the former way of causing bloodshed. Atheism and humanism make very few specific claims, and none of them is “go out and kill people.” Things like Social Darwinism are not good examples because (1) they are not atheism or secular humanism and (2) they are based on an ideological misreading of evolution, making them an ideology in addition to atheism or secular humanism. 

When it comes to the latter, however, Pro might seem to have more of a point. Atheism and humanism certainly are compatible with a greater number of ideologies, including abhorrent ones, precisely because they stipulate very few things. However, people usually do not hold atheism or secular humanism alone. They will also hold philosophical beliefs based on their personal conscience, which is difficult to ignore. 

Thus, secular humanists do not usually wake up one day and decide to turn into Hitler. Instead, what happens is that forces like economic depression, political turmoil, ethnic strife, and personal gain promote the creation of abhorrent ideologies. We must remember that, for instance, Hitler arose in a Weimar Germany that was burdened with reparation payments and suffered from political extremism on the left and right. These abhorrent ideologies, propelled by these powerful forces, cause the suppression of whatever basis of morality one might have, be it secular personal conscience or a religious moral code. Thus, it may be true that abhorrent ideologies sometimes cause a distortion or rejection of religion, but this does not mean a rejection of religion causes abhorrent ideologies. To prove that, Pro would need to prove that the personal conscience is significantly weaker than religious moral codes at preventing the formation of abhorrent ideologies, which he has not done.
Indeed, the reason why abhorrent ideologies today rely on rejecting religion rather than distorting religion is likely because today’s scientific advancements have permitted that to be the case. Before that, they would have instead appealed to religion for support, and distorted it to fit their goals. This is what happened in the aftermath of the Protestant Reformation and what continues to happen today in the Middle East. In the case of religion, however, it can be said that religion remains culpable when this type of distortion of religion occurs, since religion is dogmatic by nature and the distortion of religion is therefore more resistant to reason and personal conscience than a simple replacement thereof with a secular ideology. 

Round 4
Published:
Perhaps simpler will explain more: The murder of people in atheistic and humanistic religions is consistent with their beliefs since they teach that man is no more than an animal and has been evolving as the millions of years have gone forward with the Caucasians at the top and blacks and indians at the bottom of the evolutionary process. In order to break from our ancestral past one must eliminate those who are closest to the ape and produce only the fittest that can survive for a better race. These religions take out God from society leaving it in the hands of men. These religions embrace the evolutionary theory that has debased certain humans putting the in a category of less than human.

Religious wars started by "Christians" are not consistent with Christianity.
Forfeited
Round 5
Forfeited
Forfeited
Added:
--> @SirAnonymous
That's literally the first thing con does.
#2
Added:
This debate seems like it needs a K to point out that atheism and humanism aren't the same thing, so it's impossible for them to be the bloodiest religion ever.
#1
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
0 Problems with the topic itself
Con does the logical thing in pointing out extra layers of the resolution, namely that for pro to win he must prove that non-religions are actually a singular religion.
I’ll fully forgive pro the plurality error.
The defense that all those groups are religions, remains dubious. Con repeats his bit here that they fail to have dogma to justify and reinforce their crimes; rather they must look outside themselves such as to “societal and economic issues.”
1. Rebuttal
Con immediately catches that pro’s claims outright refuse to draw a connection in support of the resolution (even under pro’s understanding), claiming sin did it, instead of priests of atheism or whatever.
Massive credit to con for translating different claims into testable syllogisms. One highlight which stands out under this is “68% of women who engage in abortion are religious.”
2. Christianity
Con shows a causal link between the deaths and a religion. That he accurately predicts the defense (‘Religious wars started by "Christians" are not consistent with Christianity.’ AKA they weren’t True Scotsmen!), and pre-refutes it with both logical support of the connection, and the fairness angle (pro wants a double standard).
---
Arguments:
See above review of key points. A lot of points spiraled out of control, leaving key needed replies absent or even single line in a much later round. This is why Gish Gallops are best avoided.
It needs to be said that pro returning in R4 did not offer any substantive defense of his case, which he had promised two rounds prior.
Sources:
Giving this to con. Mainly I could actually read his sources. Pro’s made his argument feel potentially copy/pasted from somewhere else. On con’s, a key thing became his sources on abortion which pro claims religious people do not get (and oddly counts it among the death toll), in spite of the direct evidence offered. The Guttmacher Institute one gave con a massive lead here, and I found OAH one extremely interesting for teaching me about the former abortion laws with particular note of the Quickening rule.
Conduct:
Each side missed two rounds. This leans slightly in pro’s favor for having waived one of them instead of outright forfeiting.