Generally speaking, atheists and Christians alike are peace loving people. However, multiple times in history, both sides have been used in order to justify some horrific atrocities throughout the ages.
Although you cannot blame either Christianity or Atheism completely, both world views have been at the heart of countries and kingdoms which have gone on to commit some of the most evil acts against their fellow man.
To be clear, it is not Atheism or Christianity on their own that can become a danger to our society, but it is the ideologies that can be built around them which can, and have posed a serious threat to the world we live in.
Let’s examine why each could potentially become dangerous and then we can come to a conclusion as to which is potentially more poisonous for our society.
The Dangers Of Christianity
We will start with Christianity since it has proven to be misused by zealots much earlier than atheism has. Christianity has been a source for good on numerous occasions and it can be hard to understand how it could ever be used for bad.
However, history shows us that even the most commendable beliefs can be twisted by the powers that be in order for them to get their own way.
The crusades are a prime example of what can happen when people abuse an ideology that is widely renowned by a large following. It shows that even the most peaceful and well meaning of ideas can be corrupted by power.
The crusades became a battle between religions – Both Islam and Christians would fight for what they believed to be the ‘holy land’, Jerusalem. Countries across Europe would travel from their homeland to Jerusalem in order to retake it from the heathens that occupied it.
In return, the soldiers were promised by the pope himself, that he would cleanse all of their sins and guarantee their entry into the kingdom of heavens. This ignores completely the concept of Christianity, which is that only Jesus can forgive sins and he does that through his ransom sacrifice, making all sins forgivable. The pope also ignored the fact that violence is widely condemned by Jesus in all forms.
Baby baptism is and was, for years, the most effective form of brainwash this world has seen. Again, the Catholic church (as well as the church of England) used threats in order to make the population obey. If they did not baptize their babies then they could end up in purgatory.
This ensured that they would always have a loyal following throughout the ages since they would be indoctrinated to believe from birth. This in itself is not dangerous, but if you take away a persons ability to think critically, then you could get them to believe in anything.
The Doctrine Of Hell
Possibly the most effective form of population control that the earth has seen was the doctrine of hell. If you went against the church, sin, or question the teachings of the church then you would be classed as a heathen and would spend an eternity in hell for your sins.
You can imagine how effective that would be in a world full of people who believed in an afterlife and feared the consequences of their actions. Again, this kind of teaching is a fantastic way to convince a generation of believers into doing whatever you want them to do.
The church used this power to accrue donations and support for their unholy wars in Jerusalem and surrounding areas. The amount of control that the church had on the dwellers of Europe was mind boggling and it lasted for almost 1,000 years.
The Dangers Of Atheism
There can be no doubt that atheism has the potential to be a serious threat to our society. Let’s examine why we could end up in a very dark world hypothetically if atheism was the ideology of the world.
Survival Of The Fittest
Atheism is closely linked with the belief in survival of the fittest. This term is used in the animal kingdom generally but is also used when referring to human societies. It breeds competition everywhere and when translating that into modern life, we can see that this part of atheism could cause serious social problems.
If every country adopted this trend, then there would be massive exploitation of resources and land. Even within societies themselves, it causes endless social problems. Unhealthy competition between our fellow man encourages us to want what is someone else. Whether that be a job, a partner, their livelihoods or anything else, survival of the fittest is a very dangerous concept indeed.
It is true that the survival of the fittest attitude in humans exists regardless of whether it is taught or not, but imagine how much worse it could get if we condoned such action.
If everyone truly believed that there was no afterlife and that you only lived once, then this has the potential to destroy a nation. Hopelessness is what eventually destroyed the soviet union. The people of that country could not see a future for themselves or their children and so they gave up, this ultimately led to the surrender of the soviet union and the end of the cold war.
Imagine an entire world which believed that they only have one life. Many would still go on to live normal, happy and peaceful lives but a lot more may end up ‘living life to the full’ and at the expense of others.
The logical conclusion to atheism is anarchy. If there is nothing higher, then we cannot be judged for our actions by someone who is equal to us. The law is based on religious values and without those guidelines, who knows where we could end up? We could easily argue that if there is nothing higher, then how can anyone tell us what is right and what is wrong?
This is clearly a dangerous road to go down, from here we could justify anything and everything in our own minds to get what we want. Again, many people would still go on to apply the ‘golden rule’ of life, but there would be many more who would opportunistically and self righteously apply their own rules to their own existence.