This is the first installment in a series of 6 posts I’ll be writing regarding apologetics. In our world of social media, blogs, and the like, debating is becoming much more abbreviated and widespread. Instead of a few people writing a bunch, there are a bunch of people writing very little. My intent is to contribute – specifically to the world of religious debate – through these brief responses to some common critiques of religion/Christianity that show up in online forums. I hope they’ll help to sharpen the thinking of the religious as well as challenge the propositions of the non-/anti-religious. Comments and more critiques are welcomed, but I make no promise to respond to all of them. I will reject/delete comments that become overly abrasive, so please be civil.
Religion has produced genocidal campaigns (i.e. the Crusades) and therefore should be left behind before it can do more harm to humanity.
The problem with this critique is that an atheist has no basis to declare genocide to be wrong. In order to use this against the religious, our critic has to somehow prove that killing and oppressing a large group of people in the name of religion is morally wrong (Machiavelli, a famous atheist philosopher from the Renaissance, actually considered large-scale oppression to be good). There is no empirical evidence to show that genocide is evil and so, with a godless worldview, it cannot be denounced. In fact, with all of the talk about over-population, couldn’t genocide be a tool in the hand of natural selection?
(Side note: I absolutely believe that all genocide is a great evil. It is not my intention to talk about these atrocities as though they’re trivial. Unfortunately, atheism and disbelief in absolute moral law do trivialize such horrific acts.)