I'm sure we've all dealt with theists debating with us that communist nations such as North Korea are atheist nations and in their view that atheism can be just as fundamentalist as religion. 

But what is the reality here?  Does communism and atheism have a connection? Or is the communism in North Korea promoted due to some other reason? Or do both sides really have their good and bad sides and we as a species generalise far too much?

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Excuse the tangent:

If a person were interested in learning about modern world history/international politics from source which is fairly unbiased, which books, journals, magazines would be a good place to start?

Many of the world's leading universities offer free courses (without credit) in virtually any subject you can imagine. For starters here is a list of offerings in political science from MIT.

For current news regarding international politics, I read Foreign Policy magazine. It comes out once every two months and is about 100 pages of nothing except text. It's expensive, but it's good.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/

Hello and welcome back Keith!

I'm sure we've all dealt with theists debating with us that communist nations such as North Korea are atheist nations and in their view that atheism can be just as fundamentalist as religion.

And here is how I argue back:

Marxist communism is not only an ideology it is a dogmatic belief exactly like religion,, and of course atheism and marxism are two different things..

I'm sure most of us have run into theists or New Age types who see a belief in using logic and scientific methods as following a dogma. A dogma that nothing is worthy of belief unless it is logical and can be scientifically proven.

This raises the question of whether dogma is bad per se or does it depend upon what dogmas you believe? 

Of course Marxism is a philosophy!

I'm not saying that all Marxists are dogmatic people. The dogmatic person is the one who is very strongly adheres to a philosophical view!

Thank you. Yes i would tend to agree with that.  I actually recall an excellent interview with Dawkins where he basically defines communism and marxism as State Religions

I don't care if communist nations are atheist or not. Not accepting religious idiocy has nothing to do with advocating a communist political philosophy. The most atheistic societies today are in Scandanavia and Japan, and they have shown no proclivity towards communism. Communist countries have oppressed religion for their own nefarious ends, just as many Western nations have exploited religion for nefarious ends. I think the sane-thinking people of the world agree that modern social democracies that ensure human rights and balance economic freedom with regulation are the best idea we've come up with to promote human flourishing. This necessarily includes both the separation of church and state and the protection of religious freedom. It is better for atheists and theists alike.

+1

Well said.

is the communism in North Korea promoted due to some other reason?

North Korea is commonly associated with being bad. If North Korea were an Atheist bastian of rationality and reason, it wouldn't be mentioned at all imo.

Communism, capitalism and socialism are economic models defined by ownership..

Under communism, resources that are important to the community well being are owned by the community, maintained by the community and shared by the community, often in a not for profit mode.

Communism is not anti business. Business models based in communist theory include Co-ops, Credit unions, mutual insurance companies and volunteer fire brigades

Communism is not anti religion. In fact, many Christian communities are based on communist principles. The Amish and Mennonite communities in the US and many of the kibbutzim in Israel value the collectivism and cooperative effort fundamental to communism.

Communism does not scale to a national level. This is due to cultural fragmentation.  Most so-called communist national governments are based on Marxism, a philosophy that using heavy handed methods to minimize and subdue regional differences through mandated uniformity. Marxism forbids religion, as it recognizes religious institutions as competing governmental systems.

  Most Marxist governments arise in nations with a large agrarian population

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