Pol Pot was an atheist

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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.


An educated response cannot be boiled down to a simple definition of associated fallacy; rather, a legitimate concern can be formed out of the effects of a worldview:

• The belief or disbelief in a certain subject gives rise to certain conceptions within a person’s worldview • A worldview affects the thoughts and choices of an individual • Atheism and Religion both develop distinctive concepts within a worldview • Therefore, both a belief or disbelief in religious dogma effect thoughts and choice of individuals

The point of this logic does not attempt to create a blanket generalization, but insists that beliefs or lack thereof manipulate our choices. Thus both, belief and disbelief, must be held accountable for the consequences of choices affected by their particular conceptions of reality. For either one to hide behind a wall of anonymity or neutrality, claiming innocence on the basis of association (the assertion that an idea or belief can escape responsibility if the majority of participating individuals remain ethical), reduces the ability to reform or cut away false justifications. For instance, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and Witch Hunts are all dark pieces of Christian history. Not all Christians during these periods of time were to blame nor were the people who caused these events necessarily Christian, but because those individuals, who committed these crimes, held the title of Christian, the Church must assume part of the responsibility. It would be the same situation if an officer of US government wronged another country; though a large part of the responsibility lies in the officer’s hands, the US must also make amends to those offended. Atheism cannot avoid this reality, and in try to do so it only weakens its legitimacy as a worldview.

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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