Religion is Totalitarianism

Christopher Hitchens debates Alister McGrath

Let me start out saying that I am not a fan of Hitchens' politics. However, there is a reason why he does this for a living, while I am a mere amateur.

I would like to use this video to kick off the discussion of one of Hitchens' points. Religion is totalitarianism; it requires complete obedience to the figurehead, even to the point of outlawing certain thoughts. It utilizes a pervasive surveilance system to ensure obedience--God is always watching, always judging. It demands loyalty to the leader as the supreme in morality, over and above all other moral dictates. It has been previously argued, here and elsewhere, that religion is no worse than atheism from a moral stance, as many of the most despotic regimes of the modern world were atheist (Stalinist Soviet Union, Mao's China, Pol Pot's regime). I argue that all forms of totalitarianism are morally wrong, including religion.

Totalitarianism supercedes all moral constraints with a duty to the leader, whether that leader be god (who makes his wishes know via fallible humans or fallible revelation) or man. The Bible is full of atrocities (genocide, slavery, infaticide, etc.) performed out of loyalty to a totalitarian God, and also full of punishments for those who dare revolt against the regime. Loving Jesus himself brought about the ultimate totalitarian notion of eternal punishment for thoughtcrime--you must believe or you will burn in everlasting fire.

Stand with me in condemning totalitarianism in all its forms. Be it service to the Fuhrer or to a supposed god via his prophets and priests, it is evil and an affront to your human dignity.