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Atheist Myth: “No One Has Ever Killed in the Name of Atheism”

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Landon Caeli, May 18, 2020.

  1. Tambourine

    Tambourine Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the Holocaust, where the Nazis killed millions of people of Jewish faith, for being Jews.
     
  2. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    Which Post?

    Just from your posts, and as just one example, the Hitler Youth Song lyrics.

    If Weikart and you were just claiming that Hitler may not have been a lifelong Christian, I probably would not have even responded. But that is not what Weikart is claiming if your quotes are any indiction.


    I am not ignorant of the agenda of the Discovery Institute. I am well aware that it's members are not against lying to promote that agenda.
    Are you? Ignorant of their agenda?


    See above. However, at this point, I can see that I have wasted a lot of time discussing the DI's motives. You either don't want to understand it for yourself (a little research on your part should have shown you) or you fully understand their agenda and are OK with it.

    That would be like presenting scientific evidence to a Fundamentalist Creationist. You don't question anything that Weikart writes or, apparently, anything from the Discovery Institute. As you've clearly demonstrated, you don't believe anything I have to say. Creationists have their Behe, you have your Weikart.
     
  3. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    I guess you still haven't realised your mistake. Never mind, can lead a horse to water but you can't make him think.

    :facepalm: It was in the same post with the other evidence you have made about 10 posts shrilly demanding.

    I did suggest it might help you to make fewer errors, and commit fewer fallacies, if you started off by reading what was actually posted. You could learn something along the way too :wink:

    Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Volume 32, Issue 1, Spring 2018, Pages 121–122, DOI: 10.1093/hgs/dcy008

    Weikart does not absolve Christian anti-Judaism of responsibility for helping to create an environment within which Nazi antisemitism could flourish. However, he insists that Hitler’s eliminationist project was in no way beholden to Christian antecedents, but instead was rooted solidly in the biological determinism of nineteenth-century scientific racialism...

    With that, Weikart arrives by process of elimination at a conclusion adumbrated by his previous studies: that the best way to characterize Hitler’s religious outlook is as a kind of pantheism with strong social Darwinist undertones. To the extent that Hitler understood himself to be the servant of a higher power, he argues, that power was neither the God of the Judeo-Christian tradition nor the remote Creator of classical Deism but rather an impersonal force immanent in the laws of nature and the fate of the “racial community.” A defining feature of his faith was the absence of any “transcendent morality” (p. 280), and this would ultimately prove both destructive and self-destructive.

    Much of the ground Weikart covers is familiar, though few have explored it so comprehensively. The primary value of his book lies in the wealth of information it provides and the accessibility of Weikart’s presentation, which seems intended for a general readership as much as for fellow scholars.

    That Weikart frames his account in more or less thematic terms is understandable, although this necessitates some unavoidable repetition and tends to minimize consideration of the ways and/or extent to which Hitler’s views may have evolved over time. As the book’s somewhat sensationalist subtitle suggests, Weikart takes an implicitly “intentionalist” approach to his subject. Hitler’s personal thinking dominates the analysis, with comparatively little attention paid to the social dynamics by which that thinking was shaped, shared, contested, or recast by party loyalists and ordinary Germans—issues that have occupied a host of scholars in recent decades (and that Weikart touches on at least indirectly in his sure-handed account of the protracted church struggles of the 1930s). Whether it is possible in the end to fashion a definitive picture of Hitler’s religious views, which Weikart himself describes as “muddled” (pp. 219, 279), may remain open to debate. His book, however, underscores prior work by Michael Burleigh and others in showing that at a minimum those views deserve to be taken seriously. Any future inquiry will need to pay attention to Weikart’s findings, which offer further confirmation of the salient role that religious impulses played in shaping and defining the Holocaust era.



    You have made about 15 posts on the same ad hom, yet you have never addressed why, if the book is as ludicrously awful as you claim it is, such a review is possible in a secular, peer-reviewed journal.

    I wonder why that is?

    [​IMG]

    See above point.

    You also don't seem to be familiar with the concept of rational argumentation. It is generally considered to be a good thing when people provide multiple, scholarly sources to support what they say, especially when someone is obsessed with the source of the info to the extent they refuse to address its substance. Being familiar with the topic you are discussing is generally seen as a merit, apparently not where you come from though.

    There are a very weird subset of 'rationalists' here who not only dismiss evidence out of hand, but also become actively hostile to the concept of you even providing evidence to support your arguments. It is always someone who is insistent they are right because they have heard other 'sceptics' make the same point and so they assume it must be right despite the fact they (quite obviously) have no more than a superficial understanding of the issue.

    So, any advance on "Despite being totally ignorant of its content, I don't like source A. As a result scholarly and/or peer-reviewed sources B, C, D, and E which offer similar perspectives to source A also don't count?" Or perhaps you could actually try to make a case for your own claim that scholars overwhelmingly agree with you?

    My guess is no, of course not... ;)
     
  4. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Was actually referring to WW2 as being the reason why controversial domestic reforms may have been on the back burner.

    More accurately though, it was millions of people perceived to be of Jewish 'racial' lineage, as not all were of Jewish faith.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Tambourine

    Tambourine Well-Known Member

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    The Nazis didn't actually have any means to determine people's "racial lineage". They rounded up people who were of Jewish faith, or had parents who were of Jewish faith.

    They also rounded up other people, too, for a variety of reasons, be it due to political ideology (social democrats, communists, pacifists), religion (Jehova's witnesses), sexuality (homosexuals, crossdressers), or because they saw them as personification of social ills (prostitutes, Asoziale).

    And most of the time, public declarations of political dissent were already enough on their own.

    EDIT: This was all during a massive war against the world's foremost military powers. This industrial-scale murder in the concentration and annihilation camps was an enormous drain on war-critical resources, from transportation infrastructure to armed personnel, but it was kept running because it was seen as critical to the goals of Nazism - arguably as more critical than winning the war itself.

    So the war clearly was no impediment to get rid of groups of people the Nazis didn't like, on a massive quasi-industrial scale. Had they actually wanted to purge Christians from German society, they would have had the necessary means at their disposal at any time 1933-1945. But they didn't.
     
    #305 Tambourine, May 24, 2020
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
  6. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    They did try to find methods of scientifically determining if someone was Jewish or not (of course they were unsuccessful in this).

    The point is though it wasn't about their Jewish faith, it was about their perceived Jewish racial lineage. A 3rd generation Christian convert was still a 'Jew' because the classification was seen as biological, not specifically religious.

    Purging minorities is one thing, purging the vast majority of your society is something completely different.

    Look at the Soviet Union who actively had been purging Christians from their society for decades, even they stopped doing this during the war. Even a totalitarian dictator doesn't have a completely free hand, you have to deal with the reality as it is.

    If, for the sake of discussion, we assume they were indeed aiming to eradicate Christianity, do you seriously believe they would have tried to do this in a couple of years during the war? It would take a generation or 2 minimum while you wait for the older generation to die out, and whittle away at the existing establishment.
     
  7. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    You have a dull habit of saying it was there (someplace) but you are never able to actually show the post number. I wonder why?

    Nah. I don't waste my time reading walls of copy/paste nonsense from Creationists. To suggest there is anything to learn from Creationists is ludicrous. We already know the DI and it's writers are not above lying.
     
  8. Tambourine

    Tambourine Well-Known Member

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    But they didn't have those methods when they started rounding up people and sending them to the camps. And wouldn't have been able to apply them because, well, it was all subjective nonsense with no basis in reality in the first place.

    Religion, however, could be objectively verified due to existing data on the population available to the government. And that's what they did.

    The point I have been trying to make (and which I apparently failed to convey properly) is that the Nazis never stopped purging people they saw as "undesirable" during the war. In fact, the war only served to redouble their efforts in this regard.

    The idea that the Nazis would refrain from their mass murders during a major war sounds logical on the surface, but it's not consistent with available facts. The Nazis did not refrain from conducting industrial scale murder even while they were fighting a total war.
     
    #308 Tambourine, May 24, 2020
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  9. gnomon

    gnomon Well-Known Member

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    Why should anyone respond to a garbage laundry list?
     
  10. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    It's better than a dull habit of pretending information doesn't exist as you lack the wit to respond to it with rational argumentation .

    1st time it was posted: Atheist Myth: “No One Has Ever Killed in the Name of Atheism”
    2nd time it was posted: Atheist Myth: “No One Has Ever Killed in the Name of Atheism”
    3rd time: :handpointdown:

    Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Volume 32, Issue 1, Spring 2018, Pages 121–122, DOI: 10.1093/hgs/dcy008

    Weikart does not absolve Christian anti-Judaism of responsibility for helping to create an environment within which Nazi antisemitism could flourish. However, he insists that Hitler’s eliminationist project was in no way beholden to Christian antecedents, but instead was rooted solidly in the biological determinism of nineteenth-century scientific racialism...

    With that, Weikart arrives by process of elimination at a conclusion adumbrated by his previous studies: that the best way to characterize Hitler’s religious outlook is as a kind of pantheism with strong social Darwinist undertones. To the extent that Hitler understood himself to be the servant of a higher power, he argues, that power was neither the God of the Judeo-Christian tradition nor the remote Creator of classical Deism but rather an impersonal force immanent in the laws of nature and the fate of the “racial community.” A defining feature of his faith was the absence of any “transcendent morality” (p. 280), and this would ultimately prove both destructive and self-destructive.

    Much of the ground Weikart covers is familiar, though few have explored it so comprehensively. The primary value of his book lies in the wealth of information it provides and the accessibility of Weikart’s presentation, which seems intended for a general readership as much as for fellow scholars.

    That Weikart frames his account in more or less thematic terms is understandable, although this necessitates some unavoidable repetition and tends to minimize consideration of the ways and/or extent to which Hitler’s views may have evolved over time. As the book’s somewhat sensationalist subtitle suggests, Weikart takes an implicitly “intentionalist” approach to his subject. Hitler’s personal thinking dominates the analysis, with comparatively little attention paid to the social dynamics by which that thinking was shaped, shared, contested, or recast by party loyalists and ordinary Germans—issues that have occupied a host of scholars in recent decades (and that Weikart touches on at least indirectly in his sure-handed account of the protracted church struggles of the 1930s). Whether it is possible in the end to fashion a definitive picture of Hitler’s religious views, which Weikart himself describes as “muddled” (pp. 219, 279), may remain open to debate. His book, however, underscores prior work by Michael Burleigh and others in showing that at a minimum those views deserve to be taken seriously. Any future inquiry will need to pay attention to Weikart’s findings, which offer further confirmation of the salient role that religious impulses played in shaping and defining the Holocaust era.
     
  11. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    "Rational argumentation" coming from a self-proclaimed atheist who uses DI and it's writers as a source. That's tragically funny.

    At least I can understand the rationale of a fundamentalist Christian looking to DI as a source. An alleged atheist looking at DI as a legitimate source is not rational.
     
  12. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    4th time...

    Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Volume 32, Issue 1, Spring 2018, Pages 121–122, DOI: 10.1093/hgs/dcy008

    Weikart does not absolve Christian anti-Judaism of responsibility for helping to create an environment within which Nazi antisemitism could flourish. However, he insists that Hitler’s eliminationist project was in no way beholden to Christian antecedents, but instead was rooted solidly in the biological determinism of nineteenth-century scientific racialism...

    With that, Weikart arrives by process of elimination at a conclusion adumbrated by his previous studies: that the best way to characterize Hitler’s religious outlook is as a kind of pantheism with strong social Darwinist undertones. To the extent that Hitler understood himself to be the servant of a higher power, he argues, that power was neither the God of the Judeo-Christian tradition nor the remote Creator of classical Deism but rather an impersonal force immanent in the laws of nature and the fate of the “racial community.” A defining feature of his faith was the absence of any “transcendent morality” (p. 280), and this would ultimately prove both destructive and self-destructive.

    Much of the ground Weikart covers is familiar, though few have explored it so comprehensively. The primary value of his book lies in the wealth of information it provides and the accessibility of Weikart’s presentation, which seems intended for a general readership as much as for fellow scholars.

    That Weikart frames his account in more or less thematic terms is understandable, although this necessitates some unavoidable repetition and tends to minimize consideration of the ways and/or extent to which Hitler’s views may have evolved over time. As the book’s somewhat sensationalist subtitle suggests, Weikart takes an implicitly “intentionalist” approach to his subject. Hitler’s personal thinking dominates the analysis, with comparatively little attention paid to the social dynamics by which that thinking was shaped, shared, contested, or recast by party loyalists and ordinary Germans—issues that have occupied a host of scholars in recent decades (and that Weikart touches on at least indirectly in his sure-handed account of the protracted church struggles of the 1930s). Whether it is possible in the end to fashion a definitive picture of Hitler’s religious views, which Weikart himself describes as “muddled” (pp. 219, 279), may remain open to debate. His book, however, underscores prior work by Michael Burleigh and others in showing that at a minimum those views deserve to be taken seriously. Any future inquiry will need to pay attention to Weikart’s findings, which offer further confirmation of the salient role that religious impulses played in shaping and defining the Holocaust era.
     
  13. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member
    Premium Member It's My Birthday!

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    After you listed all those political systems and philosophies, you forgot to list an instance of mass killings specifically in the name of atheism.
     
  14. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Sorry, forgot to reply to this before.

    But they weren't doing this to identify religious Jews, they were using it as a method to identify what they perceived as racial Jews. This is how a 3rd generation Christian could still be a 'Jew'. Jews were also linked to 'godless communism' which shows that they were not a group defined by religion but by 'blood'.

    At times, the Khmer Rouge identified 'intellectuals' for punishment/execution based on them wearing glasses or having soft hands. They were still being persecuted for being intellectuals though, no matter how they were identified as being intellectuals.

    Jewish people were persecuted for their perceived race, not adherence to the wrong religion as had been true with historic anti-Jewish pogroms.

    The term anti-semitism was specifically coined in response to the classification of Jews as a an inferior 'race' in comparison with 'Aryans' so people were clearly making the distinction back then.


    They didn't stop persecuting (certain) Christians either or reducing the influence of Christianity on society (see for example my earlier post about military chaplains). What they didn't do was to engage in a foolhardy attempt to eradicate the religion instantly and during a war.


    In a review of Holy Reich (a text I quoted earlier) for the Journal of Contemporary History, Ernst Piper notes:

    On no account, therefore, can one infer a positive relationship Christianity from Hitler's restraint vis-a-vis the Churches. Instead, he regarded the great Christian Churches as enemies which for the time being were too strong for him to risk a final confrontation with, since more than 95 per of Germans belonged to them. He did not mince his words in his Table talk:

    'Once the war is over, that's the end of the Concordat', to secure long term
    National Socialist domination it was necessary, as Frank-Lothar Kroll put it,
    'to do away with all ideologies which opposed and resisted National
    Socialism'," amongst which, judging by its substantial support, Christianity
    was the most significant and therefore the most dangerous. There would be a
    reckoning after the war...

    the contention that National Socialism was a profoundly anti-Christian movement endured for so long not because it was convenient for researchers not to prove otherwise but because it is a fact
     
  15. gnomon

    gnomon Well-Known Member

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  16. Tambourine

    Tambourine Well-Known Member

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    How many 3rd generation Jewish people were actually targetted, compared to practicing Jews? (This is an honest question, I haven't been successful in finding any relevant sources on the subject.)

    My argment isn't about the Khmer Rouge, it's about the Nazis, and I don't find this analogy particularly convincing in the first place. The two were so ideologically and materially distinct that I find it problematic to make them analogous in the first place, except perhaps in the broadest sense of both being totalitarian regimes based on ideology and rhetoric with nationalist elements.

    Being of Jewish religion was a reason to be transported to a concentration camp. Anti-Jewish pogroms under the Nazi regime similarly targetted people of Jewish religion predominantly.

    All people of Jewish religion were considered part of the "Jewish race" by German race theorists. The two aren't separate to the degree you're argueing that they are. And in material practice, there were even fewer distinctions to be made, as the Nazis had no reliable means to identify people of "Jewish race" than by their religion, or their parentage (which was indirectly also based on religion, as people would be categorized as "Jewish" or "half Jewish" based on what religion their parents practiced).

    In Austria (and IIRC a few other countries as well), this was even more pronounced, as birth records typically were not kept by state officials, and so the Nazis had to rely almost completely on records kept by religious institutions there.


    They did, however, engage in an attempt to eradicate the Jewish religion instantly and during a war, thus refuting the claim that Christians specifically were a Nazi target.

    While I agree with his claim that National Socialism was not a Christian movement, I find Piper's argument here unconvincing, especially in light of his reliance on Kroll, a self-proclaimed Christian Conservative with connections to German nationalist networks.

    As an aside, I find it strange that on one hand, you try to argue that the Nazis targetted Jews based on race rather than religion, while on the other hand classifying the Christian victims of Nazism based entirely on their religion, rather than any status the Nazis actually gave them, which generally had nothing to do with their Christian religion. For example, for concentration camp victims, the Nazis had no separate designation for Christians; they did, however, have designations for Jews and Jehova's Witnesses.
     
    #316 Tambourine, May 29, 2020
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  17. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Very few as 3rd generation converts with 3 Jewish grandparents didn't form a large section of society. Overall, Christian and non-religious 'Jews' would have formed a not inconsiderable number, although most victims would have been practicing Jews.

    The point wasn't to compare the 2 ideologies, the point was to show how people may "characteristic X" can be used as a marker for "characteristic Y" without 'characteristic X' being the thing they are actually discriminating against.

    I understand they were using religious records to target Jews and that there was no way to 'scientifically' identify racial Jews. That doesn't mean they were targeting them because of their religious beliefs like was the case in medieval Europe. Just like the KR weren't killing people because they hated glasses and soft hands, but because these were markers of belonging to the bourgeoisie.

    Medieval Christians: You hold the wrong beliefs, therefore unless you convert to the 'true religion' you will be killed (i.e. they were striving for religious conformity. Assimilation of converted Jews is a good thing)
    Nazis: You belong to an 'inferior' racial group based on bloodlines, there is nothing you can do to change this so you will be killed (i.e. they were striving for racial purity. Assimilation of converted Jews is an existential threat to the nation)

    The term anti-semitism was coined to reflect the latter attitude: hostility towards 'racial Jewishness' distinct for religion. This results from the emergence and widespread acceptance of scientific racialism in the late 19th and early 20th C among the intelligentsia and broader population.

    Reinhard Heydrich, who was one of the key orchestrators of the holocaust, was dogged by allegations of Jewish ancestry throughout his early career and was even investigated for this reason.

    No one was accusing him of being a religious Jew, no one was accusing him of not being a true Nazi in his beliefs, the alleged 'sin' was to be of the wrong 'blood'. This fits in precisely with the Nazi 'blood and soil' nationalism and persecution of other minority groups.

    They tried to eradicate the Jewish race. Certain Christians were a Nazi target, when their religious beliefs were seen to threaten Nazi ideology (for example Jehovah's Witnesses for their pacifism).

    Christianity wasn't a race though, it was a belief system, so you are comparing apples and oranges even before the ludicrous expectation that the Nazis declare war on almost their entire population. Beliefs can be changed over time, and don't need to be actively targeted unless they threaten your ideological goals.

    The Nazis even had to limit their anti-Semitism until the time was 'right' as they were worried about a backlash (for example after Kristalnacht). Being a dictator doesn't make you omnipotent.

    Are you seriously saying it is comparable to try to eradicate a small 'racial' minority who have been demonised and scapegoated and whose whose wealth you can steal to help meet your goals, and to trying to eradicate 90% of your population during the biggest war in history?

    What do you think is the more rational course of action for a group who genuinely does want to eradicate Christianity during the biggest war in history:

    1. Do it gradually, starting with the political/military elites and younger generation, while trying to get as many Christians as possible to support your overall goals and only oppressing those who actively oppose you.
    2. Try to instantly change the beliefs of 90% of the population despite knowing this is impossible and kill anyone who opposes you no matter the cost.

    Hypothetically, what would you do?

    In your opinion, who is ideologically pure enough to comment on a quote by Hitler without it overshadowing the quote by Hitler? Are only liberal atheists fair minded enough? Can Jews comment without being irredeemably 'biased'? Anyone but conservative Christians?

    If you have a negative attitude towards religion does that mean we should dismiss whatever you say out of hand too?

    I'm sure you would find it preferable that people focus on your arguments, not your identity and whatever they mind-read about you based on this.
     
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