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Jerry Coyne: “Atheists Have Been Humble for Centuries”–If You Don’t Count the Last Three

Sometimes Jerry Coyne makes me spray my coffee. This gem from a post of his on detente in the new atheist-theist wars:

Atheists have been “humble” for centuries (who was more humble than Spinoza?) and it hasn’t gotten us anywhere. It’s that crop of new atheist books that have finally created a climate in which atheists need not feel like pariahs…

Humble? Atheism’s first assumption of power at the level of the nation-state was in the French Revolution. “Humility” doesn’t do justice to the carnage wrought by French atheism-in-power, nor to the Napoleonic wars and millions of dead that followed in the ensuing decades of “atheist humility.”
In the 19th century “atheist humility” incubated in the minds of men like Marx, and again gained the reins of power in 1917. The 20th century was the century of atheism in power. Here is the death toll of its “humility” (from The Black Book of Communism):

65 million dead from Atheism in People’s Republic of China

20 million dead from Atheism in Soviet Union

2 million dead from Atheism in Cambodia

2 million dead from Atheism in North Korea

1.7 million dead from Atheism in Africa

1.5 million dead from Atheism in Afghanistan

1 million dead from Atheism in the Communist states of Eastern Europe

1 million dead from Atheism in Vietnam

New Atheists like Coyne sell a toxic ideology; atheism’s transparent nastiness in “humble” exile is nothing compared to its record of totalitarianism and atrocities on assumption of power. There’s a lot more to atheism than “humble Spinoza.” Atheism-in-power is mankind’s deadliest ideology, bar none.

Michael Egnor

Senior Fellow, Center for Natural & Artificial Intelligence
Michael R. Egnor, MD, is a Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook, has served as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and award-winning brain surgeon. He was named one of New York’s best doctors by the New York Magazine in 2005. He received his medical education at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital. His research on hydrocephalus has been published in journals including Journal of Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, and Cerebrospinal Fluid Research. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Hydrocephalus Association in the United States and has lectured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.