One thing that differentiates Atheists from religious people is the recognition that regardless of the underlying religious doctrine, believing that one is doing things to please their God can make even good people descend into acts of unspeakable barbarity.
It is the ‘knowledge’ that one is the instrument of ‘The Almighty’ that gives people the impetus to leave their humanity behind and commit acts of unspeakable cruelty.
In many debates between famous theists and Atheists on the topic of morality: every single Christian apologists (whom I have seen – and I follow this a lot) states that ‘morality’ is what God commands.
As in, defining right from wrong is God’s prerogative – and God’s prerogative alone!
If that does not frighten you, the following bi should: many Christians truly and honestly believe that they have a personal relationship with Jesus and that he whispers right and wrong into their ears. And Jesus hardly ever whispers the same things to two different people….
Why am I going into this?
Well, non-Muslims are eager to prove – with actual quotations from their scriptures – that their faith could never be used to justify brutality in the name of their God.
Raise the Crusades with Christians and they’re apt to go off the handle about Muslim aggression and the Crusades being defensive wars. OK – that is true – for some crusades.
What about the Albigensian Crusade?
That one was fought by Catholics against Gnostic Christians who were non-violent and wanted nothing other than just to practice their own faith, without interference from the Catholics.
Or the immolation of Jan Hus and the subsequent Crusade to murder anyone who dared disagree with the immolation of the peace-loving priest? The suppression of the disciples of Hus got so brutal that simple folk would have no choice but to take up farm implements to protect themselves and their children from the aggression of the fully armoured, mounted, armed and militarily trained knights!!! Much of my own family – peaceful farmers who just happened to be in the path of the Crusaders and suspected of, may be, perhaps, because of their geopgraphic location, harbouring Hussite sympathies – were butchered in the most horrible ways possible.
These were not Muslim aggressors: these were peaceful Christians who just wanted to practice their faith unmolested by the Pope and his Church tyrants!
And, apart from wars: Christianity was used to impose a tyrannical system of peasantry on the majority of European populace: ‘as above, so below’ was the name of the doctrine which permitted the nobles to own their serfs, rape and kill them at will. It wasn’t until another one of my ancestors, Jan Sladky ‘Kozina’ invited his lord to God’s judgment – and won – that peasants realized that their suffering was not ‘God’s will’ and began the uprisings which eventually ended serfdom in Europe.
So, it comes as little surprise to me that Christianity has spawned its own ‘Christian Taliban’ group.
That is not my assessment: that is what they describe themselves as.
It’s here and it demonstrates that all belief in ‘divine-dictated-morality’ is necessarily going to lead even good people to do evil things.
‘That’s the theory. In practice, Korchynsky wants the war in eastern Ukraine to be a religious war. In his view, you have to take advantage of the situation: Many people in Ukraine are dissatisfied with the new government, its broken institutions and endemic corruption. This can only be solved, he believes, by creating a national elite composed of people determined to wage a sort of Ukrainian jihad against the Russians.
“We need to create something like a Christian Taliban,” he told me. “The Ukrainian state has no chance in a war with Russia, but the Christian Taliban can succeed, just as the Taliban are driving the Americans out of Afghanistan.”
For Korchynsky and the St. Mary’s Battalion, the Great Satan is Russia.’
Nothing like a bit of a holy ‘war’…