Pol Pot was an atheist

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Pol Pot, also known as Saloth Sar, was the leader of the communist party of Cambodia from, and served as the Prime Minister from 1976-to 1979 in the Democratic Kampuchea. In his reign he attempted to purify Cambodia, through an Agrarian Socialism, which forced people to move into the country to restart Cambodian civilization. This led to a poor infrastructure and a mass genocide, killing 1.7 to 2.5 million people. With the poor quality of living and the mass murder of people, a total of 21% of the Cambodian population died. Pol Pot lost his power after the Vietnam invaded in 1979, during the Cambodian-Vietnam War. This forced him to flee into the southwestern jungle of the border between Cambodia and Thailand. Pol Pot died in 1998 under house arrest of the Ta Mok faction of the Khmer Rouge.
 
Pol Pot, also known as Saloth Sar, was the leader of the communist party of Cambodia from, and served as the Prime Minister from 1976-to 1979 in the Democratic Kampuchea. In his reign he attempted to purify Cambodia, through an Agrarian Socialism, which forced people to move into the country to restart Cambodian civilization. This led to a poor infrastructure and a mass genocide, killing 1.7 to 2.5 million people. With the poor quality of living and the mass murder of people, a total of 21% of the Cambodian population died. Pol Pot lost his power after the Vietnam invaded in 1979, during the Cambodian-Vietnam War. This forced him to flee into the southwestern jungle of the border between Cambodia and Thailand. Pol Pot died in 1998 under house arrest of the Ta Mok faction of the Khmer Rouge.
  
===Counter Apologetics===
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===Apologetics===
  
Yes, it is true that Pol Pot was an [[atheist]], but that did not influence him to make bad decisions, or to be a bad person. He can justifiably be accused of being a terrible human being, but his atheism, as a simple lack of belief, cannot be blamed for it, as [[Atheism causes evil|actions can only be caused by things one ''does'' believe]]. His lack of belief in a god is just as to blame for his actions as his lack of belief in unicorns, leprechauns or bigfoots.  If he was a [[Buddhist]], an athiest religion, he wouldn't have done the horrible things he did either, but no one is stating that he was evil ''because'' he was not a Buddhist.
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Apologists often point to people like Pol Pot, trying to make a point about atheism:
  
===Apologetic Response===
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* Pol Pot was an evil murderer.
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* Pol Pot was an atheist.
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* Thus, Pol Pot's atheism has something to do with him being an evil murderer.
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* Therefore, atheism causes evil.
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The point of the argument is to try establish that it's wrong to be an atheist, because if too many people are atheists, bad things will happen.
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===Counter Apologetics===
  
There is no way to exclude the fact that Atheism, or any worldview, attributes certain mind sets that affect decisions; Pol Pot is no exception to this rule. His decisions were not induced out of thin air; instead, Pol Pot’s background and worldview influenced his choices and actions. So atheism, a disbelief in religious dogma, had a part to play in his conduct, yet it would be incorrect to assume that atheism is the sole reason why Pol Pot became a mass murderer! Atheism imparts no reason to kill someone, but in claiming impartiality it implies the absence of other reasons. The neutrality of disbelief finds itself scrambling to construct a reason why life should be defended; rather, atheism only conducts itself from an empty ethic, which can neither support nor reject the action of murder. This means that actions can be brought about by disbelief. For example, to disbelieve in the existence of a good reason not to kill, would justify the opposing view. Disbelief gives rise to belief or is a form of belief itself, and thus the origins of causation, for a certain action, can be derived from disbelief. This fact falls into the historical narrative of Pol Pot, giving a legitimate case for why atheism, a disbelief in all religious dogmas and concepts of god, must assume a piece of responsibility in Pol Pot’s choices. To say that atheism escaped liability because of its neutral stance, only conveys an utter stupidity and ignorance. Every belief and disbelief, experience and thought affects choices and actions of each individual human. There are no exceptions, not for Pol Pot nor any other human.  
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This apologetic is an example of an [[association fallacy]]. If Pol Pot had a mustache, we wouldn't conclude that anyone with a mustache is like Pol Pot. This particular implementation of the fallacy is rampant, whether the example is Pol Pot, [[Stalin]] or [[Hitler]] (though he wasn't actually an atheist).
  
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The claim that [[atheism causes evil]] is a subtle, but ultimately refutable claim.
  
[[Category:People]]
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[[Category:Criticisms of atheism]]

Latest revision as of 10:15, 12 March 2012

Background History

Pol Pot, also known as Saloth Sar, was the leader of the communist party of Cambodia from, and served as the Prime Minister from 1976-to 1979 in the Democratic Kampuchea. In his reign he attempted to purify Cambodia, through an Agrarian Socialism, which forced people to move into the country to restart Cambodian civilization. This led to a poor infrastructure and a mass genocide, killing 1.7 to 2.5 million people. With the poor quality of living and the mass murder of people, a total of 21% of the Cambodian population died. Pol Pot lost his power after the Vietnam invaded in 1979, during the Cambodian-Vietnam War. This forced him to flee into the southwestern jungle of the border between Cambodia and Thailand. Pol Pot died in 1998 under house arrest of the Ta Mok faction of the Khmer Rouge.

Apologetics

Apologists often point to people like Pol Pot, trying to make a point about atheism:

  • Pol Pot was an evil murderer.
  • Pol Pot was an atheist.
  • Thus, Pol Pot's atheism has something to do with him being an evil murderer.
  • Therefore, atheism causes evil.

The point of the argument is to try establish that it's wrong to be an atheist, because if too many people are atheists, bad things will happen.

Counter Apologetics

This apologetic is an example of an association fallacy. If Pol Pot had a mustache, we wouldn't conclude that anyone with a mustache is like Pol Pot. This particular implementation of the fallacy is rampant, whether the example is Pol Pot, Stalin or Hitler (though he wasn't actually an atheist).

The claim that atheism causes evil is a subtle, but ultimately refutable claim.

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