I often share on my personal Facebook page posts by Freedom From Atheism Foundation (FFAF) .
This group provides many snappy and ready quotations, slogans and images that are perfectly suited to Facebook and in general to today's many time-poor and attention-span-even-poorer people.
The problem is that somebody who hasn't bothered to take the effort to examine a topic like the existence of God needs much more than a few lines or a graphic, which is why I think that I'll put the brakes on this habit of mine.
The last straw has been the following exchange of comments after I posted the above graphic "Atheist Dark Ages":
Inge Naning Communism is a political correct religion.Has nothing to do with atheism.I was about to reply to the last comment when I realised that, if I answered each individual comment, this business could go on forever.
Nick D'Aloise Has nothing to do with atheism? That's a stretch.
Inge Naning It's about control.
Atheism is only about not to believe in a god.
Enza Ferreri Atheism is profoundly connected with communism, both ideologically (read your Marx again - or for the first time, as the case may be) and historically.
Inge Naning Karl Marx was a jew and a Bolshevik. The Eastern Orthodox Church and the Tsar was overthrown. Then the Bolsheviks came to power. If they used atheism dosent mean that atheists are communists. 90 % of inmates in a prison likes tomatoes. It doesn't mean that all people who likes tomatoes are criminals
Enza Ferreri Correlation doesn't imply causation, true. But, when Marx writes "Religion is the opium of the peoples" and later all states founded on his theories are atheist and ruthlessy persecute and massacre the faithful, you do have causation beyond the shadow of a doubt.
Louis Lalande I guess when Hitler said he was here to do the will of god that makes Christians Nazis? No? Oh, double standards.
It also made me accept that this subject is not suitabe for treatment by way of soundbites.
I don't blame these commenters for not knowing much of history, religion, logic and probably a lot more. The state of education these days is appalling. In addition, they have been subjected to atheist and communist propaganda, going hand in hand, maybe throughout their lives.
But I feel the duty to put things right. What Louis said is factually wrong and logically fallacious.
Let's start with facts. He writes: "when Hitler said he was here to do the will of god that makes Christians Nazis?".
What Hitler meant by "God" has nothing to do with Christianity. Hitler despised Christianity almost as much as Richard Dawkins does.
Nazism tried to establish a religion which was a mixture of different things, but fundamentally it was pagan, therefore much closer to current atheists' heart than to Christians'. It certainly was not Christianity. And the Nazis' actions are as diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Gospels as they can possibly be.
The Nazis were indeed enemies of Christianity and the Church.
I have already covered at length this subject, and, rather than repeating what I've written, I refer you to the articles linked to above.
This brings us to the logical defects of Louis' comment. The other commenter defending atheism, Inge, made recourse to the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy in logic when she claimed something - I'm interpreting - to the effect that the association of atheism with communism is coincidental. Very likely, judging from the context of all her comments, her total ignorance of Karl Marx and the fact that another atheist of my personal acquaintance had used exactly the same argument, this has all the appearance of a standard reply that ordinary atheists have learned from their betters (but are they their betters?).
Anyone with a minimum knowledge of Marx - Inge doesn't even have that: "Karl Marx was a Bolshevik", she shamelessly declares, whereas the Bolshevik, "majority", faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party was established in 1903, when Marx had been dead and buried in London's Highgate Cemetery for 20 years - knows that atheism is one of his foundational principles, and that any society he envisaged had to be atheist as a sine qua non: no atheism, no Marxist society.
In addition, Marx is not only the most influential communist thinker but also the only one who inspired and informed all communist societies that ever existed.
Socialism and communism in general, anyway, are awash with atheism. One of the slogans of anarchism, also called "libertarian communism", for example, is: "No God, no state, no servants or masters."
Even contemporary communists, like John Lennon, imagined
there's no heavenWhen atheists who know next to nothing about Marx are confronted with these facts, they have to resort to something else. So they come up with a parallel with a supposedly "Christian" Nazism.
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...
And no religion too...
Imagine no possessions...
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...
Beside being historically false, as I explained above, this pseudo-argument is also illogical.
I don't need to pursue this point as the claim is based on a factual untruth. But I want to, as it shows how often these supposed "freethinkers", who have made a stand for reason and logic, in defending atheism fail miserably on both.
Even if Nazism had been Christian - which is thoroughly false -, in this case postulating that the two - Nazism and Christianity - were related more than just coincidentally would indeed be a blatant example of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. There is nothing connecting them inherently, causally, ideologically, doctrinarily. So much so that it would have been impossible for Nazism to be Christian. Which is why it wasn't.