Friday, April 12, 2013

Dictator worship is a hallmark of state atheism, and is the antithesis of theocracy.

Jerry Coyne has a pretty low opinion of North Korea:

It’s a terrible state—the worst dictatorship in the world—and the citizens are best described as “starved prisoners.” Brainwashed from birth, forbidden to access the internet or news from other countries, many must surely swallow the propaganda forced down their throats daily, which makes them think that they are indeed a blessed people, that Kim Jong Un is a god, and that other countries, particularly the U.S., is constantly plotting to nuke them...

Well, at least Jerry's finally going to admit that atheism gives rise to some pretty brutal dictatorships. Oh, umm, well, maybe not...

The state is in many ways a theocracy, with its three last leaders seen as gods. Indeed, Kim il-Sung, who died in 1994, is still considered the country’s “eternal president,” and there are many miracle stories attending his birth, like birds singing his praises.

Sorry, Jerry. Believing crazy things about your atheist dictator doesn't make your atheist state a "theocracy". There was plenty of loon worship of Lenin and Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot. Atheists are prone to believing crazy shit about their dictators. But the Soviet Union and Communist China and Democratic Kampauchea were atheist to the bone. Just like the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Theocracy is rule according to an actual religion. In actual theocracies, sovereignty is ascribed to God, and leader worship is sacrilegious. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and the Vatican City are theocracies. Worshiping the pope in Vatican City will get you excommunicated. Worshiping the imam in Iran will get you hanged.

Leader worship isn't "in many ways a theocracy". It is not even analogous to theocracy. Leader worship is prohibited in theocracies. That's the point of theocracy: God, not man, rules.

Theocracy precludes leader worship. The cult of the dictator is the hallmark of state atheism.


  1. Afghanistan - a theocracy? I thought it was a democracy, of sorts, and one of the reasons why we went in there in 2001 was to get rid of the Taliban dictatorship.

    A theocracy is a dictatorship in which the dictator justifies the dictator's firm grip on absolute rule and power to decide on life and death of the subjects because the dictator has a direct line of communication with the deity of choice, which only he (I've given up trying not to use non-sexist language because theocrats are always male) can interpret. And any disobedience of the dictator usually leads to harsh reprisals because the deity is made angry.

    North Korea is a theocracy, because the dictator is a god. Treated as a god. Worshipped as a god. Like pre-late 1945 Japan, in which the emperor was a god.

    Anyway. Saudi Arabia isn't a theocracy. It's an absolute autocracy, with a king and numerous princes. The House of Saud rules with the acquiescence of militant Islam, which is able to export its brand of fanaticism supported by the money coming from the export of oil.

    So whenever you waste gasoline, you're supporting militant Islam worldwide, by keeping the price of oil higher than it should be, keeping the money flow into Saudi Arabia, and making poor countries poorer by making them pay more than they should for the oil they must buy on world markets.

  2. The fact that the man-god worshiped by Christians died 2000 years ago (If he existed at all) doesn’t make his divinity any more probable than of the man-god ruling North Korea today.


  3. I want to know politicia, people, ideology of North korea... for do my opinión...