Christian woman murdered by atheistic communist for distributing Bible

The Associated Press reports on a horrifying story from North Korea. (H/T 4Simpsons, Muddling Towards Maturity)

Excerpt:

A Christian woman accused of distributing the Bible, a book banned in communist North Korea, was publicly executed last month for the crime, South Korean activists said Friday.

The 33-year-old mother of three, Ri Hyon Ok, also was accused of spying for South Korea and the United States, and of organizing dissidents, a rights group said in Seoul, citing documents obtained from the North.

The Investigative Commission on Crime Against Humanity report included a copy of Ri’s government-issued photo ID and said her husband, children and parents were sent to a political prison the day after her June 16 execution.

A woman’s human rights are violated by a left-wing communist dictator. Where is the outcry from the secular left? Where is the Hollywood elite? Where is the ACLU? Is she not the right kind of victim?

Is there a difference between the atheist Kim Jong Il and other atheists like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens? Is the murder of this woman wrong, on atheism? Why is it wrong? Why is it rational to not murder innocent people, on atheism?

I wrote an entire series of posts on the problem of grounding morality rationally on atheism here.

19 thoughts on “Christian woman murdered by atheistic communist for distributing Bible”

  1. “A woman’s human rights are violated by a left-wing communist dictator. ”

    How is he left-wing? What defining qualities of his are leftist?

    Seriously asking this, by the way. I’m barely a novice at understanding politics.

    “Is there a difference between the atheist Kim Jong Il and other atheists like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens?”

    Certainly. First of all, Kim Jong Il runs a country. He also supports the idea of totalitarian rule, which I don’t believe the others support. He also supports killing people who are against him, and none of the others (as far as I know) support that.

    “Why is it rational to not murder innocent people, on atheism?”

    Atheism has nothing to do with it. There are countless rational reasons to not murder people. The most selfish, of course, being that if you avoid killing people they will be less likely to kill you.

    I can make you a list if you really need one.

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    1. Leftists try to equalize wealth inequalities by redistributing wealth via a powerful centralized government. There are some good libertarian atheists, but I am not talking about them. I like them, even though the things they affirm that I like are inconsistent with their worldview in my opinion. Can’t answer everything now. Good comment though.

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  2. Great questions, WK. The N. Korean behavior is the logical conclusion of what Hitchens, Dawkins, et al espouse. What a tragedy.

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  3. “The N. Korean behavior is the logical conclusion of what Hitchens, Dawkins, et al espouse.”

    No, actually, it isn’t.

    But if we’re going down that path, should I conclude that the Spanish Inquisition, or perhaps those who murder abortion doctors, or (since you’re using atheism) suicide bombers are the logical conclusion of what theists (Christians and Muslims specifically) espouse? Because that’s certainly the way it seems.

    The last I checked, it was religion that generally had teachings that stated certain people should not be allowed to live.

    “Leftists try to equalize wealth inequalities by redistributing wealth via a powerful centralized government. ”

    Well, I disagree with that, but still view myself as on the left and a liberal. Go figure.

    “are inconsistent with their worldview in my opinion. ”

    Perhaps you don’t understand their worldview as well as you think you do.

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    1. Please explain where the Spanish Inquisition and the murder of abortion doctors is sanctioned by the teachings of Jesus and his own life as recorded in the New Testament.

      And when you’re done with that, explain why these things are objectively wrong, on atheism.

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      1. “of Jesus and his own life as recorded in the New Testament.”

        Matthew 10:34 – “I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword”

        John 2:15 – “And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables”

        Matthew 5:18 – “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (Which means all the OT laws about killing people for disobeying the rules still apply.)

        Now, you may disagree with the interpretation of those verses, but other Christians disagree with you. And thus, they take their actions by the teachings of Jesus and the NT. And I see no reason to pick your version over theirs except for my own morality and pragmatism.

        “And when you’re done with that, explain why these things are objectively wrong, on atheism.”

        What do you mean ‘on atheism’? Atheism is merely the position on a single question.

        My own worldview, secular humanism and rationalism, has reasons why killing is wrong. As I said before, I can give you a list if you like, but the simplest answer is that if you avoid killing you make your society less likely to have killing and yourself less likely to be killed.

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        1. Here is the full context of that first verse, which is one of my favorites.

          Matthew 10:34-38 (New International Version)

          34″Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
          ” ‘a man against his father,
          a daughter against her mother,
          a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law –
          36a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.'[a]

          37″Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

          The problem with your rule is that it reduces morality to self-interest. You don’t do certain things because you are worried about the consequences coming back to you. But the problem is that there are no consequences for what the atheist did. He can escape any judgment because he has enough power. So why is rational for him to care about doing the right thing when he has nothing to fear?

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          1. I’m merely pointing out that other Christians can, and have, used those verses and others like them to justify violence in the name of their religion.

            Even in context, I don’t see how saying that he’ll turn families against each other is any better.

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    2. Atheism, or rather secularism (which really stands for secular humanism) has things that state certain people not live for example all humanists love abortion, and are generally “convinced” in the myth that their are too many people and they have the right to tell people how many kids to have, also Peter singer advocates abortion for all disabled babies and classes disabled as any one with an 1Q 120 or less and people who are likely to grow up to be less than 5ft8 as a man and 5ft as a women should be aborted. He also believes that children up to 3 years old should be allowed to be retroactively aborted as they are not “people”. He thinks that the troublemakers should be killed, and his view is the most widely held view among secular humanists.

      Atheists can be any spot or colour but secular humanists are a pretentious minority who think they speak for all atheists and very much espouse killing people as i have just mentioned.

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  4. ” As I said before, I can give you a list if you like,”

    Please do!

    …but before you do, to help you sharpen your answer, you may want to read the link at the bottom of the article.

    What Christians are you referring to, by the way, that interpret those verses the way you’d like to think that they may be interpreted? Can you reference a commentary? A pastor? Even a lay person by name? Who are these “other Christians” who “disagree” and what “interpretations” do you purport that they offer? While you’re at it, why don’t you take a look and tell us what you think the operative context is for those verses?

    You’ve presented a silly caricature, and I’m sure your atheistic buddies will pat you on the back thinking you’ve scored points, but it’s all a bit of silly nonsense, isn’t it?

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  5. “You don’t do certain things because you are worried about the consequences coming back to you.”

    Which is exactly the way you act. You just think there’s an extra consequence added in.

    “But the problem is that there are no consequences for what the atheist did. He can escape any judgment because he has enough power.”

    He might escape consequences. And that sucks, but it happens some times. I can understand wanting there to be some sort of ultimate consequence. But there isn’t.

    As it his, his consequence is the potential downfall of his regime due to a revolution of the people he hurts, and possibly other countries.

    “So why is rational for him to care about doing the right thing when he has nothing to fear?”

    He’s the ruler of a country, not an omnipotent being. So he still has plenty to fear. Whether he does fear or not depends entirely on his own intelligence and/or sanity. I have my doubts about him on that front.

    “What Christians are you referring to, by the way, that interpret those verses the way you’d like to think that they may be interpreted?”

    The Spanish Inquisition. Abortion doctor murderers. People like that.

    “You’ve presented a silly caricature,”

    Which is quite similar to what was done when the author compared Kim Jong Il to a group of Western atheist authors.

    Should I judge you as a Christian because other Christians did horrible things? Should I say that William Lane Craig is the equivalent of a suicide bomber? Both are theists, after all.

    No. Of course that comparison is wrong. But you didn’t seem to see that (assuming you see it now) until I turned it around on you.

    “Please do!”

    1. The laws of the society I exist in prohibit it.
    2. I could have retribution brought down on me by the family and/or friends of those I kill.
    3. Not murdering helps promote a society that doesn’t have as much murder. I find I am happier when people aren’t trying to kill me.
    4. I could be killed in self defense.
    5. When I have hurt people in the past (emotionally, or as a youth in fights) it has made me feel terrible. I can only extrapolate that it would feel worse to kill someone.

    Most of it stems from a simple concept: respect. A simple rule that was around long before the Bible, but which the Bible calls the golden rule: treat others the way you wish to be treated.

    Although, I think “treat others the way they wish to be treated” would be better.

    And I don’t need a god to force that rule on me. I find I am happier and healthier if I follow it.

    Maybe that’s not good enough for you. Maybe you need to believe in a god to keep from murdering people. If that is the case, please keep going to church.

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    1. Please explain how the verses support violence. None of the verses you cited supported violence, and they are at odds with clear verses that recommend loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you.

      The point is that atheists have:
      – no objective moral standard
      – no objective moral duties
      – no foundation for free will
      – no moral accountability if they are sufficiently powerful
      – no ultimate significance for their moral decisions

      Atheists cannot be moral (rationally) because there is no real way we ought to be, and no reason to “ought to do” anything unless it is in our self-interest. So that is why there is no difference with Kim Jong Il and Dawkins, etc.

      Both of them believe: there is no “right thing” and there is no reason to ought to do anything that is against self-interest. So atheists have no morality. They do what is best for them. That’s not morality.

      For William Lane Craig, his Christian theology does not justifying suicide bombing because there is a prohibition against murder. Where is the atheist prohibition against murder? Why not murder if you can get away with it, like Kim Jong Il, or the other atheists who murdered 100 million innocent people in wars? Atheism has no reason not to murder, and so atheists do murder, when it suits them.

      Your reasons not to murder boil down to 2 things:
      1) i will feel bad
      2) i might get caught

      SELF-INTEREST.

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  6. “Please explain how the verses support violence.”

    How is Jesus constructing a whip and then using it to beat the merchants until they run from the temple not violent?

    How is saying that “not a jot or tittle” of the law will change, when the law supports (for example) killing children for disobeying their parents, not violent?

    “and they are at odds with clear verses that recommend loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you.”

    Agreed. The Bible has many contradictory things in it.

    “- no objective moral standard
    – no objective moral duties”

    I think you may mean absolute. They are objective in that we can show, using evidence, why our morals are positive assuming you value certain things.

    If you value people living, then I can show why my morality is objectively good and better than certain other moralities in keeping people alive.

    As for morals being absolute, I don’t think anyone’s morals are.

    “no foundation for free will”

    What?

    We have it. Why shouldn’t we? With a God who knows everything that will ever happen, how does that give you free will?

    “and no reason to “ought to do” anything UNLESS”

    Ah, so there is a reason? You just said there wasn’t. You might not agree with the reason, but it does exist.

    “So that is why there is no difference with Kim Jong Il and Dawkins, etc.”

    Sure there is. One supports killing people who disagree. The other doesn’t.

    If you don’t see that, then you are blind, good sir.

    “there is no “right thing””

    Sure there is. It’s just harder to reach than the simplistic form used in many religions.

    You have to look at what you value. Then, based on what you value, for every decision there is a right or wrong way to help support that value. What the best values are is a different conversation.

    For example, if I think the highest thing to value is human life, and you think the highest thing to value is following your religion, we will never agree on morality where those things conflict.

    “So atheists have no morality. They do what is best for them. That’s not morality.”

    So Christians have no morality. They do what they are told to do. That’s not morality. That’s just obedience. For if, tomorrow, God told them to kill, they would.

    “For William Lane Craig, his Christian theology does not justifying suicide bombing because there is a prohibition against murder.”

    Unless God told him to murder. And what is preventing that from happening, given the book you say is a history of God has him killing everyone in the world and ordering his people to murder other nations?

    “Where is the atheist prohibition against murder?”

    Humanism has one. Atheism, again, isn’t a worldview. It is a part of many different worldviews.

    “Why not murder if you can get away with it”

    One…what do I gain from it? Would it make me feel good? How do I know I would get away with it? If I team up with other murderers, what’s to keep them from murdering me?

    “and so atheists do murder, when it suits them.”

    And Christians never do?

    “SELF-INTEREST.”

    What’s wrong with that? I haven’t killed anyone yet. And last I checked, most people in jail are religious.

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    1. “I think you may mean absolute. They are objective in that we can show, using evidence, why our morals are positive assuming you value certain things.”

      That is not objective, that is reducing morality to subjective personal preferences. That is NO MORALITY AT ALL.

      “We have it. Why shouldn’t we? With a God who knows everything that will ever happen, how does that give you free will?”

      On atheism, the material world is all there is. You are a machine. NO FREE WILL IS POSSIBLE IF MATTER IS ALL THERE IS.

      “Sure there is. One supports killing people who disagree. The other doesn’t.”

      Neither of them has a reason for not murdering when it is in their own self-interest to murder and when they can escape the consequences. The difference between them is not worldview, but power and opportunity.

      “You have to look at what you value.”

      Right. What is right is subjective, based on your personal preferences. So Kim Jong Il has as much moral justification for murdering people as you do for not murdering people. That’s your view. You support murder, slavery and everything else because you have no REASON to oppose it. You prefer not to, but on your view, other people can prefer whatever they want, and act on it if they have the power to do so. That’s your morality: subjectivism. Totally arbitrary subjectivism based on the accidents of history – where and when you were born. You have no standard other than your own opinions, and those are largely smuggled in from the Christian foundations of the West. For real atheist morality, go to North Korea and witness the triumph of atheist morality. North Korea is what happens when atheists rule. Or Cambodia, Cuba, the Soviet Union or Vietnam. Millions of innocent people die, because murder is rational, so long as you can get away with it and it is in your self-interest.

      “So Christians have no morality. They do what they are told to do.”

      It is EXACTLY morality to do the right thing. And the Designer of the universe gets to decide what the right thing is.

      “For if, tomorrow, God told them to kill, they would.”

      Atheist killed 100 million people in the last 100 years, but the Bible says “thou shalt not murder”. That cannot change and Christians have free will and are bound to obey what the Designer of the universe says or they will face the consequences, which are guaranteed to be effective.

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  7. I still think morsec0de should click the link at the bottom of your article…

    You misquote the golden rule, too. :)

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  8. “when it is in their own self-interest to murder”

    But given we are social animals, it is almost never in your own self-interest to murder. One of the few exceptions is self-defense.

    “That’s your view. ”

    So…you don’t read what I write, do you? You just say that I’m wrong about what I’m saying, when I in fact believe the straw man you construct of me.

    “And the Designer of the universe gets to decide what the right thing is.”

    Which of course means that tomorrow your designer could decide that raping babies is fine and moral. Which makes it completely arbitrary.

    That’s not morality. That’s doing things because the king says he’ll kill you if you mess with him. That’s proto-morality.

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  9. But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them–bring them here and kill them in front of me.

    Luke 19:27

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    1. Dude, that is a parable (an illustrative story that is made up) that Jesus is telling to express to people the importance of doing good things with the talents they have during their lifetimes. The “nobleman” who is doing the talking in that story symbolizes God judging people on judgment day based on whether they produced good works based on what talents they started with.

      Here’s the entire parable in context:

      The Parable of the Ten Minas
      11 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.
      12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return.
      13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas.’Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’
      14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’
      15 “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.
      16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’
      17 ” ‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’
      18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’
      19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’
      20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth.
      21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’
      22 “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow?
      23 Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’
      24 “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’
      25 ” ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’
      26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.
      27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.”

      Like

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