We have all heard the tired arguments trotted about by theists about how Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler killed people in the name of atheism. These are all wrong, of course, (debunked here).

Some people say it does not even make sense to say that people can be killed in the name of atheism because atheism is not an ideology.

However, if someone were to begin a killing spree of religious people because they hated religion so much and wanted to get rid of it wouldn't this count as killing in the name of atheism?

I suppose it may be argued that atheism itself is just the non-belief in gods and goes no further so activity attempting to eradicate religion is something different but is that just excuses?

Essentially, if someone were to kill someone religious and afterwards state their reason was because they are an atheist and do not want religion to exist - is that killing in the name of atheism?

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These people you mentioned would be killing in the name of anti-theism. The key is "in the name of".

No...this doesn't have to do with the true scotsman fallacy. There is a very simply definition of atheism: "not believing in god".  It doesn't get much simpler than that.

If you want to say an atheist killed someone because of his atheism...I suppose you could get away with that but not "killing in the name of atheism". That's nonsensical. And in any case...anyone can kill anyone because of their anything. I can kill someone because of my left-handedness or I can kill someone because of my chronic hiccuping syndrome. 

An evolutionary scientist killing a creationist has not murdered the person "in the name of evolution". He killed the person in the name of anti-creationism or in the name of radical-scientism or in the name of his bat-shit-insanity. I suppose you could say he murdered him because of his evolutionary-beliefs...but again...anyone can kill anyone because of their anything.

If someone were to proclaim "I killed a theist in the name of atheism" it's like anyone else explaining their actions. Only they have access to their actual beliefs. Anyone else can only infer or suspect them.

There's no need to delve into the No True Scotsman fallacy. The reason someone can't be killed in the name of atheism is because atheism itself provides no impetus to do anything. There's no dogma, no system, it doesn't tell you what you should do, provides no moral system, nothing. Neither does theism.

In order to kill in the name of something, more is required.

I don't think an ideology is in and of itself necessarily a bad thing (although there are obviously many bad ones out there), but, to describe a person, the word ideologue is used pejoratively. I think this is because it implies the person is dogmatically attached to the ideas (good or bad) and that itself is not healthy. Even good ideas should be questioned because ideas always operate within a practical context. For example a lot of people think communism is actually a good idea but it never pans out in reality.

Is atheism an ideology? I don't think so for the same reason as @Davis. An ideology, to me, is something to aspire to - a positive statement not a negative one. As @Dr Bob never tires of telling us, he doesn't understand atheism because it offers nothing. As I never tire of telling him, that is the beauty of it. Starting from a blank canvas and using the same techniques (critical thinking) to evaluate everything.

I think @Davis is right. When religious nutters kill is it not only because they believe God exists but because they are doing it on His behalf, i.e. His work.

Is one who subscribes to an ideology ipso facto an ideologue, or is the insult directed toward people who hold their belief in a particular way, without giving due consideration to contrary/contradictory views/evidence?

You sound like those atheists who stand on their intellectual heads to avoid being accused of believing something, even though they believe it based on both evidence and the lack of evidence.

It's okay to believe that the notion of the existence of God is unbelievable! You're not believing it on faith, you're believing it as a rational and analytical being.

It has never made a lot of sense to me to basically say "God does not exist (but I don't believe that)."

But theism isn't an idealogy. It's the belief in god(s), that's it. Theism itself tells you absolutely nothing about what the god is like, what he/she/it wants you to do, nothing. There's no system to it. It's more or less a category - there are theistic ideologies, but they aren't theism itself. The same thing goes for atheism.

A single belief (or non-belief) is not a system, and not an ideology.

RE: Essentially, if someone were to kill someone religious and afterwards state their reason was because they are an atheist and do not want religion to exist - is that killing in the name of atheism?

I think that when the religious say they care killing in the "name" of _______ it is their deity. I think that if this hypothetical situation happened, it might be interpreted as such by the media or the religious, but....if the killer is an Atheist they wouldn't say that....

It's pretty difficult to do anything in the name of atheism except repeat the mantra that sums up the entirety of atheism: "God doesn't exist".

I think the scenario you gave would be an example of killing in the name of antitheism. Atheism itself isn't so much an attribute one can posses or identify, rather it is the lack of a particular attribute. 

There are Christians who lead exemplary lives and atheists who don't. Any atheist who believes otherwise is delusional.

I dunno...would beating Pat Robertson to death with a tire iron be killing in the name of atheism, or just a mercy killing? (the second option being merely rhetorical)

It's possible to kill in the name of radial tires or chocolate sprinkles. But nowhere is it written that chocolate sprinkles endorse killing or encourage people to act as agents to kill on their behalf. Neither does atheism. Religions do.


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