One of the most often used attacks against Atheists is to try and associate them with the French revolution and Communism. The “argument” goes something like this:
“The French revolution and Communism were run by Atheists and they killed millions of people! Therefore Atheism is evil and morally bankrupt.”
This claim is ridiculous on so many levels, yet this does not stop people from hurling it at Atheists. So, where many leaders of the French revolution Atheists? Yes. Were some leaders of communism Atheist? Yes. So that’s checkmate for the Atheists right? No.
There is a very important point that people repeatable fail to recognize: Killing is one thing, killing in the name of something else is another.
This is very important because although the French revolution and communism killed a lot of people, they did not do it in the name of Atheism. Religious fanatics on the other hand have been killing people for thousands of years in the name of their religion, because of their religion.
This is not to say that the killing done by the French revolution and communism should be dismissed, but that you’re comparing apples to oranges. People who killed other people and happened to be Atheists vs people who killed other people because of their religion. In fact, this is an extremely slippery slope for religious people to go down. If they want to claim that Atheism is bad because some people who happened to be Atheists committed crimes, then they are completely damning themselves for this simple reason:
There has always been more religious people than Atheists. Because of Atheism’s smaller population, inevitably more people have been killed throughout history by those who happened to be religious. This includes all murders done by religious people for religious AND non-religious motives. Comparatively murders committed by Atheists are fewer in number, and murders done by Atheists for religious reasons fewer still.
“Well, ok, so there are more theists than Atheists, I bet proportionally the numbers are still equal.” Wrong. When you average out the data to see the ratio of murders done by Atheists per population of Atheists to murders done by theists per population of theists, Atheists commit fewer crimes than theists.