New Atheists are quick to point out that they reject the violence of Stalin’s Russia, Pol Pot’s killing fields, Mao’s China, Castro’s Cuba and Kim Jim Il’s North Korea. But the problem is their rejection is wholly arbitrary for that have no objective means for opposing it. Leading atheist journalist and historian S.T. Joshi admits in his book “The Unbelievers: The Evolution of Modern Atheist”, that if you are an atheist , “…it is the brutal truth that…(a) system of morals is merely a bundle of preferences…” Joshi, like the late J.L. Mackie, Albert Camus and John Paul Sartre have the guts to admit the logical consequence of atheism is a lack of any objective moral laws and duties.
What Hitler did not believe and what Stalin did not believe and what Mao did not believe and what the SS did not believe and what the Gestapo did not believe and what the NKVD did not believe and what the commissars, functionaries, swaggering executioners, Nazi doctors, Communist Party theoreticians, intellectuals, Brown Shirts, Black Shirts, gauleiters, and a thousand party hacks did not believe was that God was watching what they were doing. And as far as we can tell, very few of those carrying out the horrors of the twentieth century worried overmuch that God was watching what they were doing either. That is, after all, the meaning of a secular society.
― David Berlinski
The Devil’s Delusion:
Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions
It is difficult to claim that Christianity has learned nothing from its past cruelty or that such cruelty is written in its laws or prescribed by its beliefs. When did Christians last burn, strangle, or imprison each other for alleged errors of faith?
By contrast, those who reject God’s absolute authority, preferring their own, are far more ready to persecute than Christians have been and have grown more inclined to do so over time. Each revolutionary generation reliably repeats the savagery.
The Bolsheviks knew all about the French revolutionary terror, but that did not stop them having their own. The Chinese Communists knew all about Stalin’s intentional famine and five-year-plans, but they repeated the barbarity with the Great Leap Forward. The Khmer Rouge were not ignorant of their revolutionary forerunners, yet they repeated the evil worse than before. The supposedly enlightened revolution Fidel Castro resorted swiftly to torture and arbitrary imprisonment and to the lawless purging and murder even of Castro’s old comrades such as Huber Matos.
By comparison, where now do we see Christian churches or factions persecuting each other as they did in the Reformation or Counter-Reformation? Nowhere. The delusion of revolutionary progress, and the ruthlessness it justifies, survives any amount of experience. This suggests that terror and slaughter are inherent in utopian materialist revolutionary movements. There will by another of these episodes along soon.
The Rage Against God
Moreover, if atheism is true, there is no moral accountability for one’s actions. Even if there were objective moral values and duties under naturalism, they are irrelevant because there is no moral accountability. If life ends at the grave, it makes no difference whether one lives as a Stalin or as a saint. As the Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky rightly said: “If there is no immortality, then all things are permitted.”
–William Lane Craig