The Atheist Atrocities Fallacy – Hitler, Stalin & Pol Pot

Oct 23, 2014

By Michael Sherlock

Religious apologists, particularly those of the Christian variety, are big fans of what I have dubbed, the atheist atrocities fallacy. Christians commonly employ this fallacy to shield their egos from the harsh reality of the brutality of their own religion, by utilizing a most absurd form of the tu quoque (“you too”) fallacy, mingled with numerous other logical fallacies and historical inaccuracies.  Despite the fact that the atheist atrocities fallacy has already been thoroughly exposed by Hitchens and other great thinkers, it continues to circulate amongst the desperate believers of a religion in its death throes.  Should an atheist present a believer with the crimes committed by the Holy See of the Inquisition(s), the Crusaders and other faith-wielding misanthropes, they will often hear the reply; “Well, what about Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler? They were atheists, and they killed millions!”

Given the obstinate nature of religious faith and the wilful ignorance it cultivates in the mind of the believer, I am quite certain that this article will not be the final nail in this rancid and rotting coffin.  Having said this, I do hope it will contribute to the arsenal required by those who value reason, facts and evidence, in their struggle against the fallacies perpetually flaunted by those who do not value the truth above their own egocentric delusions, delusions inspired by an unquenchable thirst for security, no matter how frighteningly false its foundation.

Before addressing the primary weaknesses of the atheist atrocities fallacy itself, I would like to attend to each of these three homicidal stooges; Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler, who are constantly trotted out to defend a religious worldview.  I will lend Hitler the most time, as the claim that he was an atheist represents a most egregious violation of the truth.

HITLER

“Besides that, I believe one thing: there is a Lord God! And this Lord God creates the peoples.”  [1]    ~Adolf Hitler

 “We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations; we have stamped it out” [2]   ~Adolf Hitler

Hitler was a Christian.  This undeniable fact couldn’t be made any clearer than by his own confessions.  Yet, I will not merely present you with these testimonies, as damning as they happen to be on their own, but I also intend on furnishing you with a brief history of the inherent anti-Semitism of the Christian religion.  I will do so to demonstrate beyond any reasonable doubt that Hitler and his Christian Nazi Party were acting in complete concordance with traditional Christian anti-Semitism.


 

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140 comments on “The Atheist Atrocities Fallacy – Hitler, Stalin & Pol Pot

  • @OP – Hitler was a Christian. This undeniable fact couldn’t be made any clearer than by his own confessions.

    Hitler was brought up a Catholic and he was never excommunicated, but also drew support from Protestant churches.

    Although Hitler’s inspiration for the Nazi swastika is uncertain, it may have been influenced by the swastika displayed at the Benedictine monastery where Hitler served as an altar boy. Whenever Hitler attened mass, he had to pass beneath the Benedictine swastika graven in the stone escutcheon of the abbey portal. Considering that Hitler once wanted to become a Benedictine monk, it is possible that this swastika stuck in his mind and later influenced his design for the Nazi swastika.

    http://nobeliefs.com/mementoes.htm

    The Deutsche Christen (German Christians) were a German Protestantism movement aligned towards antisemetic principles of Nazism. The DC were sympathetic to Hitler’s goal of uniting the individual Protestant churches into a single Reich church.

    The DC was first formed in 1931 and the flag was flown during marches and demonstrations.

    Hitler and NAZI Christian connections are preserved in the flags and badges of the organisations! – Shown on the link!



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  • There is a similar article on this topic here!

    http://www.examiner.com/article/refuting-the-myth-that-hitler-stalin-and-pol-pot-were-atheists-1

    Joseph Stalin was raised to be a Catholic Priest and I remain curious as to why his Christianity is shoved aside in all these arguments. Yes, there is no way to get around the fact that in his early career, Stalin made a vast effort to rid Russia of religion, but that had nothing to do with atheism. It was the only way he knew to seize power of the country.

    For generations the entire populace of Russia had been taught that the head of state was supposed to be close to god. At the time in question, the head of the church in Russia was a tyrant. The Russians were already disposed to servility and all Stalin did was exploit these two facts, and place himself in the position of god. Once Stalin was firmly seated in office, he revived the Russian Orthodox Church in order to intensify patriotic support for the war effort.



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  • To be fair to the Christians, Hitler did his evils because he was Hitler, not because he was Christian.

  • Hi Roedy,
    you make a good point, however I often feel we focus far too much on the Nutter at the top instead of the conditions within the society in which they are allowed to reach ascendancy. A significant amount of people had to think sufficiently like him or use him cynically to allow him to come to power. In this sense I think the influence the church had on anti-Semitism in the general population allowed this to occur so it doesn’t let them off the hook. There may have been a Hitler, there may have been a holocaust, but the flavour of the holocaust we got certainly has religious origins.

    Anyone who has belonged to any club or organisation will know that there are Hilters everywhere, they just normally don’t get to exercise much in the way of power other than potentially destroying said club or organisation. In Australia over the last decade or so our ugly underbelly of racism has been used by both sides of politics again and again, it has gotten to the point where any signs of nationalism make me feel slightly queasy.

    But you are right I think a fair case can be made that he was just plain nuts. The difference between someone like him being considered a fringe figure or conspiracy nut case and gaining the keys to power I think does have a lot to do with ideology, and religion plays right into that.



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  • Thanks Michael Sherlock. That’s a comprehensive argument to whip out when we hear that old refrain. It’s tiresome that the need is still there, but an attempt to rewrite history is constantly being put to us.
    I had not realised Pol Pot was a Buddhist. A handy piece of information to have.



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  • 8
    maria melo says:

    I am not sure if Hitler was a christian, but I am sure he was mad, what role would the recovery of ancient germanic mythology play in nazism ? I confess I have bought a magazine issue about that and I will look for some sort of answer.
    That´s part of language evolution that certain words change the meaning, commonly, that means morality, and that´s not by any means associated with such dictators, that´s normal in common minds/language (not all people are not rigorous historians/history students).



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  • ‘Look at those Atheist coffee creamer tops!’ was not the headline given this news item.

    Naturally, it would be ludicrous to make such statement, as it as false as the other claim: Hitler et.al. = atheism. Folks, take a few minutes to think it through with reason, as opposed to the easy way – guilty by association.



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  • 10
    This Is Not A Meme says:

    The Cristero War in Mexico is often overlooked, and I think make the best argument for an atrocity perpetrated in the name of secularism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cristero_War

    Personally, I take an exception to a rule as proof of a rule. Over the course of time, the likelihood of any event approaches 1. Of course, I’m not entirely resigned to this being such an example. I’m curious to hear thoughts on it.



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  • Thanks for this great takedown of the tired old Trinity of Evil trope. Inevitably, when all other arguments fail them, the Christians I encounter fall back on this trope. “You say religion causes all sorts of atrocities – what about Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot?!!!?” It’s nice to have such a clear-cut rebuttal at hand, even though most Christians don’t seem to care about actual facts, real history, or the finer points of logic.

    Especially telling is the fact, nicely brought out in this article, that each of these dictators – regardless of their personal beliefs – stepped into a situation ready-made for a tyrant: A society primed with centuries or even millennia of religious indoctrination that could be used to enable and enhance the tyrant’s own goals. This is a point often overlooked in such “atheism = evil” arguments.



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  • The liars for Jesus unconvinced by the utter lack of evidence for their own claims are too readily convinced by their fallacies of even recent history. Viewing all things with the equanimity of total ignorance.



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  • At the end of this excellent and enlightening piece I found myself put in mind of that ugly, agglomerative, verbally deflective concoction “Islamophobia.”

    And I just love the argument from fallacy!

    This, I have to commit to memory and carry with me at all times.

    Incidentally, the other day I had an interesting heartening conversation with my ninety two year old neighbour, who was a navigator in Avro Lancasters in the WW2; he’s physically broken but mentally extremely astute.

    A joy.



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  • Very good article, and a very solid job of breaking down the individual components of how fallacious the claims are.

    It is sadly entirely too common for people to automatically assume that atheism is merely an opposite mirror of religion when in reality it is merely the negation of any kind of theological belief and nothing else. No belief system of its own, no doctrines or propitiations, merely a position that there is no reason to belief in any theistic position.

    It is also a big part of why it is impossible to expect every atheist will argue a given position the same way because it is due to what information they have and what effort they go through to debunk an argument rather than just quote mining a religious text which the religious are prone to do instead of arguing from fact.

    The key in all instances is knowledge. Hitler was Christian. Stalin was raised Christian and thrived in a country based on those very values. Pol Pot was very likely Buddhist and at the very least usurped ideals from Buddhism to further his own agenda.

    Where precisely is the atheism here? How can you argue these points repeatedly unless you wish to ignore the religious background of each dictator in favor of setting up countless strawmen to support an unsupportable position?

    It baffles me.



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  • 16
    Light Wave says:

    They didn’t all commit genocidal mass murder while evoking some mantra of atheism….there was no atheist movement or in fact any shared political doctrine but they were all on the other hand megalomaniacal individuals who defied religions, political systems, monarchy and human rights in general – some being especially prejudiced against the scapegoat groups they labelled as to blame for the Inequality they experienced in their countries.



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  • I’ve re-read chapter seventeen of “God Is Not Great”, and although I lack the scholarship to question much of it, after having read this article I’m very much inclined to stop suspecting myself of confirmation bias when I accept its contents.

    Further, in “Religion and Morals” (1952) Russell says “I admit at once that new systems of dogma, such as those of the Nazis and Communists, are even worse than the old systems, but they could never have acquired a hold over men’s minds if orthodox dogmatic habits had not been instilled in youth.”

    So, despite my eternally vigilant scepticism, I am now ready to state, in my own right, and unequivocally, that organized religion is the worst self inflicted wound humanity suffers.

    That is not in any way shape or form to indict the individual religious believer; they are its victims.



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  • As has often been pointed out, atheism is not a creed or ideology. There is no atheist morality, Therefore, nobody can be said to be implementing this non-existent moral code.



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  • I wasn’t aware how widespread the Atheist Atrocities Fallacy is out there in the discourse between Christian apologists and atheists. Frankly, I would attribute all atrocities to basic evil, regardless of the excuse.

    Furthermore, to simply connect the various barbaric deeds, inflammatory statements, or even antisemitic rhetoric and actions in such a knee-jerk manner with Christianity also promotes a fallacy. When such malevolent actions or rants that were targeted against Jews, or any other group for that matter, are measured against what Jesus and his apostles preached, as recorded in the New Testament, the disconnect between actual deed and the meaning of Christianity is stark. It doesn’t matter who the actors were (or are) from the Pope on down, their actions (or lack thereof) have to analyzed in light of what the book says.

    Thus, so what if Hitler was claimed to be a “Catholic”, or “fighting for Christ” against the Jews to avenge his death. His “piety” was only an excuse, a facade to cover his barbarity against not only the Jews, but all manner of those considered ill fit to share in the “glory” of the coming thousand-year Reich. Hitler certainly was religious; he worshiped himself, and be damned to anyone who got in his way. The same goes for Stalin, Pol Pot, or any other megalomaniac on the world stage. Whatever idea or belief they had in a supernatural power, or even in the God of the Bible, it was “hit the road Jack, get out of the way, you’re history” for such a deity. If Hitler had claimed to be a duck, would someone stand around with baited breath to hear him quack? (Unfortunately, there may have been a few.)

    As far as New Testament Christianity fostering antisemitism, I don’t see it. In fact, various references (Romans 5:8, for example) declare that the one ultimately responsible for Christ’s death on Earth was God the Father. Thus, any so-called Christian wishing ill on the Jews has his/her anger misplaced. They should be shaking their fists at God instead. (I realize that many reading this argument consider the God of the Bible or such events as the crucifixion/resurection to be fantasy, but I’m simply trying to show the inconsistency between what is written and the actions or statements of various persons, even those who profess the Christian label.)

    So who is a a true Christian? God only knows.



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  • The prefix ‘A’ means ‘without’ or ‘not’, and that’s all it means. What’s wrong with that? Why do people get their knickers in a twist about it?

    Perhaps it’s because they have a dependency, a habit, which needs a fix every so often, – usually about once a week, but in some cases five times a day, – and they envy those who don’t need a crutch to get through life.

    And I know from bitter experience that if it’s mentioned to someone who has a drink problem, even light-heartedly, that perhaps they over did it the previous evening, they tend to fly off the handle.

    Isn’t that what religious individuals have a tendency to do when their beliefs are questioned?

    Witness the tremendous row about “Life of Brian”.

    And what is to be made of someone who is perfectly able in body and mind but uses a crutch anyway?

    Isn’t that some kind of affectation?

    ‘Affectation’ : n. behaviour, speech, or writing that is artificial and designed to impress; Concise Oxford English Dictionary.

    And aren’t such facades sometimes used to hide pernicious conduct?

    Just a few thoughts.



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  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2014/10/man-who-drove-a-car-into-the-oklahoma-ten-commandments-monument-is-a-christian/

    Was going to post an update to the OK City ten-commandments controversy, but discovered Patheos ran with it. Rubs eyes, did the author really say he and Hemant presumed the accused was an Atheist?? does.not.compute. Considering all the variables re perpetrator, wait for facts.

    Also, the tone of the article seems to be ha ha, score one for Atheism, yes!! Although I concede that ‘bragging rights’ is a perfectly natural, human state of mind (e.g. wow, a ten-pointer!).



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  • 23
    maria melo says:

    *

    So who is a a true Christian? God only knows.

    *

    During all middle ages period, kings were obliged to treat all men like brothers, that was a morality code certainly.
    Even when atrocities occured and the clergy were responsive, people commonly didn t consider atrocity qas “christian”, so there is some more solid than what you d think, centuries



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  • maria melo Oct 27, 2014 at 7:39 am

    During all middle ages period, kings were obliged to treat all men like brothers, that was a morality code certainly.

    Kings had “a divine right”, to do what they liked as absolute rulers!
    The code of chivalry, only applied to knights/aristocrats (who could be held for ransom). Peasants were just slaughtered in battles between robber barons, while kings demanded whatever they liked and absolute loyalty, from anyone who had property.

    Robber barons commonly bought “forgiveness” for their abuses, by funding church-building projects.



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  • 25
    maria melo says:

    “Kings had “a divine right”, to do what they liked as absolute rulers!”

    No they did not, not even could the king intevene in a family chief decisions (that´s why family right evolved become private right).
    Perhaps the russian czar was a divine figure himself, not most of kings of medieal europe, kings were not divine themselves but vicars -representants of christ.



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  • maria melo Oct 27, 2014 at 8:59 am

    “Kings had “a divine right”, to do what they liked as absolute rulers!”

    No they did not, not even could the king intevene in a family chief decisions (that´s why family right evolve for private right).

    In some countries, churches, nobles, or parliaments tried to restrict the domain of kings, but the “divine right” is clear!

    http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_right_of_kings
    The divine right of kings, was a political and religious doctrine. It meant that a monarch was given the right to rule by God alone. His authority could not be questioned because he ruled in God’s name. It gave a king absolute rule over his subjects.



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  • Roedy Oct 23, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    To be fair to the Christians, Hitler did his evils because he was Hitler, not because he was Christian.

    Not really! The culture of antisemitism in the Lutheran Church in Germany pre-dates Hitler by centuries.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_and_antisemitism

    Martin Luther (1483–1546), a German Reformation leader, had a significant influence on German antisemitism by his virulent anti-Jewish statements and writings.

    Luther’s attitude toward the Jews changed over the course of his life. In the early phase of his career—until around 1536—he expressed concern for their plight in Europe and was enthusiastic at the prospect of converting them to Christianity through his religious reforms.
    In his later career, Luther denounced the Jewish people and urged for their harsh persecution. In a paragraph from his On the Jews and Their Lies he deplores Christendom’s failure to expel them.



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  • What I find bizarre about this fallacy is that it should be obvious that the atrocities were committed for explicitly political, ethnocentric, and “ethical” reasons, not because such men didn’t believe in God. The Nazis targeted Jews, homosexuals, and Roma people not because they had the temerity to believe in God, but because they were despised minorities presumed to have corrupted society and betrayed Germany during the first World War, combined with the fact that they were considered impediments to the Nazi’s idealized social, economic, and industrial plans. Stalin in power killed because he was permanently paranoid about subversives and spies trying to undermine the Soviet Union, and because of his power, he knew he could send millions of soldiers and prisoners to the frontlines or to the gulags because there were more where they came from. Even Mao’s atrocities were mostly led by an optimism in the party line for solidarity in his own version of socialism. You could have baptised, christened, and turned all these men into devout believers, and their socioeconomic and political motivations would remain largely the same.

    More interestingly, their haemoclysmic ideologies probably owed more to the romanticized, conservative, dogmatic, military-esque, paternalistically patriotic nationalism of the Romantic movement of the 19th century than to the Enlightenment which made atheism more respectable. Makes them sound more like the religious right than the atheist crowd.



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  • It’s an awfully long time since I read this, but I find it more enjoyable now than ever, and more important.

    I especially enjoy the gentle and witty manner in which he mocks religion.

    Wonderful.



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  • So the Christian and other religious apologists are “economical with the truth” when it comes to history ? Well, surprise surprise ! As Stalin put it: “The victors write the history”. How the Christians must miss the glorious days of the Holy Roman Empire when to be a priest meant having some political power. OK the Pope and the Emperor would have their little disagreements from time to time, but both were members of a very exclusive club, and both had lean and mean “justice” systems. Opposition was not to be allowed.

    Oh how that poxy capitalism and its relentless pursuit of profits among rival national capitalists, bought by the unpaid labour of so many workers, upset that cosy little arrangement ! With WW1 the first whiff of poison gas was the end of that particular empire and the beginning of other more ruthless and more industrialised empires.

    Jesus of course did what he always does, – absolutely nothing.



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  • Excellent essay/blog by Mr. Sherlock! Aside from the fallaciousness of the argument, the apologists’ defense amounts to no more than a 5-year-old’s tu quoque (“you too”) fallacy, to which Christopher Hitchens rightly lampooned:

    “…it is interesting to find that people of faith now seek defensively to say that they are no worse than fascists or Nazis or Stalinists.”



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  • I feel a bit sorry for that atheist fascist dictator Mussolini, and that Catholic fascist dictator Franco. Are they somehow not in the Premier League of 20th century despots ?



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  • 38
    Goeegoanna says:

    I think what most people fail to see is first, what drove these despots into the situation in the first place and secondly, that each of these men ran his state like an inquisition.
    For instance in Russia, millions of people were starving to death, thanks to the greed and thoughtlessness of the Csar and the aristocracy, an aristocracy that was in control of the Russian church and, that claimed divine right and also his inability to modernise the nation, so it could feed it’s people.

    This starvation was caused, in part, by a war started because a Grand Duke was shot. Many commoners died thanks to the Catholics and Protestants of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany and the Muslim Ottoman Turks.
    The revolution began, the religion was considered, in part, to blame but, to solidify his hold on the people, Stalin used Catholic tactics and created an inquisition, removing all of his opposition, creating a personality cult, with him at it’s head.
    Hitler, however, used religious fervour to control his populace. He claimed he was doing God’s work. The Catholic church supported him in his endevour; as he used an inquisition to remove all of his opposition.

    Pol Pot went to a Catholic school, his family was connected to the Royal family and he was educated in Paris. One can argue that, if it was not for the Christian, anti-Communist USA doing everything it could to prevent lawful governments forming via war, murders, bribery and corruption via the CIA, this man (along with despots all over the world) may not have got into power.
    The USA supported the Nationalist Pol Pot both financially and politically, because they helped keep the ethnic Vietnamese Communists at bay. The secret bombing of Cambodia, killing hundreds of thousands of people, helped him gain power. Pol Pot too, used an inquisition to remove all signs of dissent.

    One could argue that, through all the wars, corruption, manipulation, bombings in countries all over the world from Argentina to Iraq, to Vietnam, the Christian nation of USA has killed more people than any other nation on Earth. Their desire for wealth and control of populations, their irrational fear of Communism, their desire to do God’s work, their need to spread”democracy” (but only to places that are worth money), they have been in constant conflict since the country was founded. They use their wealth to manipulate governments, placing despots into power, despots who murder their populations to stay in power, the USA funds these men, they support these men and they allow it to happen, without regard for law, morality or life.



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  • Those who help people (such as Hitler) get to the top are what I call “power leeches”. They don’t care about the ideology of the powerful person so much, they just want to be associated with that power, hoping some of it will “rub off” on them. “Power leeches” will join a committee, be very loud and opinionated at meetings, but never volunteer for the chair or anything. They want power, but not responsibility.



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  • Vorlund, thank you for the reply. Listened to Bertrand Russell’s argument. A brilliant man and very logical. He’s quite correct to question the faith of some professing Christians who he sees doing things that run counter to the message. But, nonetheless, he, I, nor anyone else can be the ultimate judge. Of course, in many cases, a person’s chronic behavior certainly lends itself to drawing a conclusion about the person, but not one that consigns him/her to their final destiny.

    Regarding logic, Christianity does defy logic. The idea that the Creator of everything sacrifices part of himself, in the form of a man, to death only to raise him up three days later is absurd. That is, of course, unless it’s true. Paul thought so, based on his experience on the road to Damascus. He believed it enough to undergo persecution for something he would know was a fraud or not. He even called himself and fellow believers fools if Christ was not raised from the dead.

    Believing in the crucifixion/resurrection of Christ is the gateway to being a Christian, and one would expect that such a person’s behavior would generally line up with the Bible’s exhortation to aim to be like Christ. We’re not talking perfection here, or something to brag about, but what a believer chases after day after day. Stumbles will occur, but repenting and turning towards God again is the key.

    Best wishes.



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  • I agree that Hitler’s behavior speaks more about him and his personal insanity than about his Christianity. After all, there are millions of Christians who are products of the same historical legacy and very few become genocidal maniacs.



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  • Mao, Pol Pot and Stalin certainly tried to impose atheism, so whatever their upbringing it is not reasonable to cast them as religious people of faith and advance that as a rebuff to Christian apologists.

    I am sorry that Michael sherlock has been so selective in his article. Hitler’s “as a Christian..” quote comes from a speech delivered in Munich in 1922 so was designed to gain appeal from the audience rather than give us a definitive view on his belief. The rhetoric of speeches are opportunistic and it is not good scholarship to use it without that qualification. It is not adequate or academically rigorous to ignore other material that can be argued leads to a different conclusion. For example, in 1941 Goebbels wrote in his diary that Hitler was a fierce opponent of Christianity. In 1939 he also mentioned that Hitler was “deeply religious but completely anti-Christian”. This is confirmed by Speer in his memoirs. Hitler’s views on a range of topics were recorded in a series called “table talk” and there have been a number of different translations of this. None of his comments in this dialogue could be interpreted as pro-Christian. Indeed it is clear he regarded Christianity as degenerate because it is a form of Judaism and “unsuited to the German temperament”.

    I think a better defence to the “atheists committed atrocities fallacy” is the reality that just because a regime imposes atheism or has atheist leaders does not mean that atheism itself is at fault. Atheism can be abused and misused or used as a dogma to kill those who dissent just as religion can, depending on who uses it. Of course theists can use a similar argument. So I conclude this is not a helpful debate and draws us away from the real issues.



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  • Is it true that Goebbels wrote in 1941 that Hitler “hates Christianity, because it has crippled all that is noble in humanity.”? And was Mao Zedong (45million people killed) a Christian too, like Stalin and Pol Pot?



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  • maria melo Oct 27, 2014 at 7:39 am

    During all middle ages period, kings were obliged to treat all men like brothers, that was a morality code certainly.

    Nope! The code of chivalry only applied to the knights and aristocracy who could be held to ransom.
    The commoners were what we now call “cannon-fodder”!



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  • Elmer, thank you for proving Michael Sherlock’s central point so emphatically.

    You attempt to justify homicide and genocide by religious folk by accusing atheists of homicide.

    This is a poor excuse and was addressed in the original article. You’re committing the tu quoque fallacy.



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  • Mr. Dawkins. You claim to be a man of science and reason. I find it strange that you do not subscribe to the truism that a man is rightly judged by his actions.

    So, looking at Hitler’s actions, and comparing them to the teachings of Christ, an intelligent person could only conclude that he was not a Christian.

    This leads one to question either your intelligence or your motives for posting this crap. Since it is clear that you are indeed intelligent, I can only conclude that it is a result of unreasoning bias towards Christians.



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  • I can only conclude that it is a result of unreasoning bias towards Christians.

    Mike, I love Xians and yet I abhor their behaviour, at least their more unsavoury habits. Authentic Xians like Hitler, Ku Klux Klansmen or Josef Fritzl epitomize less than likable real Xians in my opinion. Timothy McVeigh, Jeffrey Dahmer and Charles Manson illustrate Matthew’s truism that “you will know them by their fruit” (7:16).

    Most serial killers are followers of Jesus, as are contemporary cannibals. Pedro Alonzo Lopez killed over 350 children while Armin Meiwes ate his boyfriend after confusing him for a communion wafer. I’m just very glad that most Xians allow their human nature to prevail instead.



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  • Mike Mar 24, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    So, looking at Hitler’s actions, and comparing them to the teachings of Christ, an intelligent person could only conclude that he was not a Christian.

    So having been a Catholic alter boy, and working to try to produce an anti-semitic unified “Reich Church”, based on earlier protestant anti-semitism, your fallacious “TRUE” Christian viewpoint, cherry picks Hitler’s destructive actions and ignores ones where he was closely associated with Christian churches – such as the Deutsche Christen church – linked and quoted in the comment to which you have just replied.

    This leads one to question either your intelligence or your motives for posting this crap. Since it is clear that you are indeed intelligent, I can only conclude that it is a result of unreasoning bias towards Christians.

    You really should look the term “psychological projection”, and then look at the actual history – without those rosy goody-goody Xtian spectacles!



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  • Arguments that boil down to “People do bad things in God’s name, therefore God doesn’t exist” are based on logical non-sequitur — the conclusion simply does not follow from the premise. If, on the other hand, the asserted point is that religious belief should be stamped out regardless of whether God exists or not, because of all the atrocities committed in God’s name, then a response demonstrating that people don’t need to believe in God in order to commit atrocities is an appropriate rebuttal. since obviously, stamping out religion would just leave a vacuum that atheistic belief systems could fill (and have filled) in order to justify atrocities.



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  • I hope I have posted this comment in the right place — in any case, what I wish to inquire about is the “religious atrocities argument”. I will try to keep the polemics to a minimum (although I find them damn near irresistible LOL).

    Up until recently, it seemed strange to me when atheists would bring up religious atrocities, in every way from indirectly blaming Christians for 9/11 (“religiondidit”} to pointing out the undeniable atrocities of the Catholic church in the Middle Ages such as the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition. When I’d try to boil down the religious atrocities argument to its essence, it always seemed to come down to “Religion is bad, therefore God doesn’t exist”, which struck me as a very obvious non-sequitur, since the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises. I wondered why atheists, who seem to pride themselves on their critical thinking abilities, would publicly indulge in such a practice.

    Recently, however, another idea occurred to me. Maybe the focus on religious atrocities is directed not so much
    at believers as it is at another faction of atheists — you know, the ones who say “Yes, God doesn’t exist, but let the weak-minded believers enjoy their comforting fairy tales; after all, it’s a harmless delusion”. When directed at this type of atheist, the religious atrocities argument can safely assume the non-existence of God without indulging in circular reasoning. The argument would then boil down to “Religion is certainly NOT harmless; after all, look at 9/11, the Crusades, etc. Therefore, it’s time for you wimpy armchair atheists to come out of the closet and join us in the fight against the beast of religion before it devours us all. Hooah!”

    Is my line of thinking accurate?



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  • People do bad things in God’s name, therefore God doesn’t exist

    Jake, I haven’t heard that argument before. Where did you hear it?

    stamping out religion would just leave a vacuum that atheistic belief systems could fill…

    Religious folk can’t imagine non-belief. There are no atheistic belief systems; not even one of them.



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  • Jake wrote:

    it always seemed to come down to “Religion is bad, therefore God
    doesn’t exist”

    I think theists imagine evil doers operate because they lack an appropriate belief system. That’s why some imagine Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin were atheists.

    As I said above Jake, I’ve never encountered the argument you claim atheists have made. Perhaps you could supply a quote to help your case?

    Maybe the focus on religious atrocities is directed…

    I haven’t come across atheists with that focus, although I’m sure some exist, especially those who have been victims. The focus here is the defence of atheism against claims by theists. I doubt there has ever been an atheist atrocity of any magnitude. Can you think of any?

    …join us in the fight against the beast of religion before it
    devours us all. Hooah!”

    Is my line of thinking accurate?

    No Jake. It’s fanciful and I’ve never heard an atheist attempt to make any of the arguments you imagine they employ. Theism will die out with enhanced education.



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  • Jake Apr 7, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Arguments that boil down to “People do bad things in God’s name, therefore God doesn’t exist” are based on logical non-sequitur

    It is also a strawman fantasy! I have never heard an atheist make such a ridiculous claim.

    The religious damage is the unthinking “God on our side” motivating wars and atrocities.
    It goes back to the “god-wars” of the ancients when the winning side proclaimed the superiority of THEIR god(s) over the opponents’ “false” gods!



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  • Jake Apr 8, 2015 at 12:20 am

    The argument would then boil down to “Religion is certainly NOT harmless; after all, look at 9/11, the Crusades, etc. Therefore, it’s time for you wimpy armchair atheists to come out of the closet and join us in the fight against the beast of religion before it devours us all.

    It is only accurate in so far as it applies to the politically apathetic religious and atheists alike. There are dangerous forms of religion around some of which are busy fighting and killing rival sects in the Middle-east and in Africa.

    Hooah!” – Is my line of thinking accurate?

    Your problem is in trying to understand rational thinking which is not confused dogma or supernatural notions.

    Atrocities come from the ideological sectarian tribalism, which religions engender: – “them” and “us”! Shia – Sunni, Protestant – Catholic, Hindu – Buddhist, etc.



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  • 56
    Michael says:

    i would make the argument that when hitler turned away from catholicism he didn’t become an atheist but adopted his own twisted religion.. The arian stuff sure sounds like a religion to me when you go into the subtle details.

    I just could never call anyone who believes in such crazy stuff to be an atheist.
    The belief in the supernatural or anything pseudo-scientific cannot by definition be atheism.

    Either way, I would assign more blame to the intense nationalism of the time and place more so that I would to any religious belief but it definitely played a role none the less.
    Any attempt to blame atheists in general for hitler would be totally malicious though.
    Atheists are bashed enough in our society as it is.
    They’re the minority and picking on minorities while talking about what hitler did is more than a little bit hypocritical.



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  • E. Yaroslavsky, also known as Yemelyan Yaroslavsky, who was the head of the “Anti-Religious Committee of the Central Committee” in the Soviet Union, and who knew Stalin, related a conversion that Joseph Stalin had with a friend named G. Glurdjidze.

    In the conversation, which was about Darwin’s theories, Stalin said, “You know, they are fooling us, there is no God.” Later, in the same conversation, Stalin said, “All this talk about God is sheer nonsense.”

    Although, just allowing an “Anti-Religious Committee of the Central Committee” is pretty telling, and Stalin, who murdered a lot of people for a lot of reasons, did have a concerted campaign against religion where he murdered anyone who was a theist, and he detroyed all churches, temples, and mosques in Russia.

    In his early life, Stalin was very religious, and some thought he was going to enter the seminary. Later, he definitely became an Atheist, and he remained an Atheist for the rest of his life. After he purged Russia of open religion, later he softened on religion and he allowed some chuches to be rebuilt, but he remain an Atheist.

    With the exception of (possible) sarcastic quotes, all quotes where Stalin stated he was religious, were in the early part of his life.

    It’s notable that Yemelyan Yaroslavsky was raised Jewish, and he too only later became an Atheist.

    By the way, the February 1931 edict of the Conference of German Bishops excommunicated all leaders and active members of the Nazi party. So, Hitler was excommunicated by the Catholic Church.



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  • I think there’s a confusion of two questions:
    1) does god exist?
    2) if god does exist, is he/she/it a force for good? (the ‘moral’ argument)

    In the heat of debate between believers and non-believers the two often become conflated.



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  • Sean
    Jul 14, 2015 at 7:39 am

    I think there’s a confusion of two questions:
    1) does god exist?
    2) if god does exist, is he/she/it a force for good? (the ‘moral’ argument)

    In the heat of debate between believers and non-believers the two often become conflated.

    I think the issue can be clarified by understanding it in terms of material physics.

    Do gods exist? –
    On the basic of evidence, probably not!

    Do god-delusions exist in the brains of believers?
    Undoubtedly they do!

    Do these various god-delusions and diverse “morality dogmas” contradict each other, and cause conflicts between humans and on occasions, cause atrocities?
    Yes! There is abundant historical evidence of this.

    Can some of the delusions happen to be beneficial on occasions?
    Yes, – but being faith-based they operate with the fail-safes, reality-checks, and and error-correction systems turned off, so are just as likely to cause disasters!



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  • I would recommend you do the same, as you yourself are doing a fair amount of cherry-picking yourself, as you seem very content picking out that Hitler was never “closely affiliated” with ANY church for any reason other than power. The typical atheist assertion is that Hitler was Catholic because he made Christian-tinged speeches (deliberately ignoring the fact he did so when addressing primarily Christian audiences) and attended Catholic school (like a great deal of youths back then whose families were of at least some status).

    Even then, for every cliche seemingly-pro-Christian anecdote you can drum up on Hitler, anyone without a degree of the same bias you yourself illustrate cold just as easily throw up ten more facts that directly controvert your assertion.

    Would a devout Catholic set up all-Muslim units inside their army, even allowing those divisions to modify their uniforms specifically to denote themselves as Muslims? Doubtful.
    Would a devout Catholic hell-bent on killing every Jew in the world employ nearly 1/4 million Jews in his ranks? Doubtful.
    Would a devout Catholic take thousands of Catholic clergymen and imprison them at Dachau? Again, doubtful.
    Would a devout Catholic grant asylum to a Palestinian Muslim nationalist (even giving him honorary rank) while backing said Muslim’s attempts to start a massive Islamic state? You take a guess.

    So yes, you probably can quote one of any number of Christianity-themed quotes floating around there from Hitler. Following the same logic, I suppose he must’ve also never attacked the Russians, as he emphatically said he wouldn’t attack them and did so anyway.

    So, in conclusion, I recommend throwing in your “smug atheist” hearing aid and learn what the rest of the world, religious and otherwise, have known for over half a century now: Hitler was a damn liar.



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  • That’s another especially funny one. People constantly accuse Hitler of being a Catholic due to his attendance of a Catholic school or his treaties of non-aggression with the Vatican (which seem to ignore the fact that the Vatican was powerful and Italian… and thus exploitable, as the Italians were already on his side), but they seem to ignore the staggering amount of Germanic neo-paganism that he used to further push nationalist propaganda.

    If someone is a devout Catholic, why would they advocate the use of symbols that represent a religion that’s evil in the eyes of the Catholic church?



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  • You say that as if you probably wouldn’t blindly jump behind someone running for office on the platform of banning all public exercise of religion or something.



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  • Ironic you associate this article with Islamophobia… considering Hitler was actually an outspoken proponent of Muslims, even giving them special privileges within the Wehrmacht when he formed entire divisions of them.



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  • Obviously there wouldn’t be, as anyone with even a modicum of common sense wouldn’t walk into a room of Christians, spout a bunch of anti-religious epithets at them, and expect them to loyally follow him.

    If Hitler was as Godly as you’d like to believe, why didn’t he just kill all the atheists? He had absolute power and the majority of Germans wouldn’t have considered it any worse than killing the Jews. Why would a brutal totalitarian with absolute power and a strict religious outlook tolerate atheists? Hell, atheism wasn’t just tolerated under the Nazi regime, it was emphatically protected BY LAW provided that it wasn’t communist-motivated.



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  • “Hitler and NAZI Christian connections are preserved in the flags and badges of the organisations!”

    You mean like the Hindu swastika? The Odinist pagan runes, wulfsangels, and sonnenrads? Turkish scimitars adorning uniforms worn by all-Muslim divisions?



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  • The oldest of old chestnuts…

    Tyrants are so because they are PSYCHOPATHS… they may or may not be religious, or wear Boss shirts,
    or weird hair-do’s. It’s all a furphy- they’re NOT insane, indeed they are usually well above average IQ.

    IMO their brains have faulty wiring and missing bits- those parts that have to do with empathy and compassion.
    They can then be free to enjoy inflicting suffering on others…



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  • Daniel
    Aug 24, 2015 at 12:40 am

    So having been a Catholic alter boy, and working to try to produce an anti-semitic unified “Reich Church”, based on earlier protestant anti-semitism, your fallacious “TRUE” Christian viewpoint, cherry picks Hitler’s destructive actions and ignores ones where he was closely associated with Christian churches – such as the Deutsche Christen church – linked and quoted in the comment to which you have just replied.

    I would recommend you do the same, as you yourself are doing a fair amount of cherry-picking yourself, as you seem very content picking out that Hitler was never “closely affiliated” with ANY church for any reason other than power.

    Your Xtian apologist’s denial blinkers seem to be working at full power to produce that reply to that comment and link.
    Catholic Alter Boys are usually reckoned to be “affiliated with their church”.

    The typical atheist assertion is that Hitler was Catholic because he made Christian-tinged speeches

    Nope! Hitler was a Catholic because he was baptised as a Catholic, confirmed as a Catholic participating in the Mass, served as an alter boy in a Catholic church, and was never excommunicated.

    (deliberately ignoring the fact he did so when addressing primarily Christian audiences)

    There is usually a “Christian audience” at a Catholic mass, as there was in the massed audiences at NAZI rallies.

    and attended Catholic school (like a great deal of youths back then whose families were of at least some status).

    You really are working at this denial!

    Following the same logic, I suppose he must’ve also never attacked the Russians, as he emphatically said he wouldn’t attack them and did so anyway.

    Logic is a rational process of deduction – in history and in science – starting with evidence not whimsical conjecture.
    Hitler was a liar. That is the rational conclusion from looking at his self contradictions.

    So, in conclusion, I recommend throwing in your “smug atheist” hearing aid and learn what the rest of the world, religious and otherwise, have known for over half a century now: Hitler was a damn liar.

    .. and a Catholic damned liar, despite your denials and attempts to re-write history!

    You really should look the term “psychological projection”, and then look at the actual history – without those rosy goody-goody Xtian spectacles!

    You don’t seem to have understood this comment, to which you are attempting to reply!
    Next you will be telling me Hitler’s pal Mussolini did not set up the Vatican as a state, or that Franco gave the Catholic church a monopoly in Spanish education and marriage laws, in exchange for support for his fascist regime!!

    Check up on the “No True Scotsman fallacy”, which you have just illustrated so clearly.



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  • Daniel
    Aug 24, 2015 at 1:09 am

    “Hitler and NAZI Christian connections are preserved in the flags and badges of the organisations!”

    You mean like the Hindu swastika? The Odinist pagan runes, wulfsangels, and sonnenrads? Turkish scimitars adorning uniforms worn by all-Muslim divisions?

    You make a good point as to how religions, their symbols, and their followers, are used as the tools of military adventurers in attacking their fellow humans for dubious purposes.

    “Gott Mit Uns” is on soldiers’ belt buckles for motivation of the easily led religious, fighting each other with gods on both sides!



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  • You’re right, Daniel. Hitler was a damn liar and a tyrant who would say anything and do anything to promote his own cause, and would happily quote from any source that was helpful to him in doing that. For what it’s worth, I don’t believe he was a Catholic in any meaningful sense of the word. However, please read on!

    First, that Catholic teachings were one of the sources that were helpful to him in drumming up hatred towards the Jews must raise questions about those very teachings. Not that they were specifically Catholic, of course: he could quote Luther in his support too. Christianity of all flavours has been used to justify (sic) antisemitism for centuries, probably millennia. This isn’t a point in its favour.

    Second, although not a practising Catholic, Hitler was indeed a Catholic by the measure adopted by the Catholic church itself: i.e. he was baptised into the RC church and was never excommunicated from it. Whenever the RC church claims that there are 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, it means there are 1.2 billion people who, just like Hitler, have been baptised into the RC church and have not been excommunicated from it. ‘Catholics’ do not need to be practising or even believing in order to be included by the RC church in these figures. So if this measure is good enough for the RC church, I’m not quite sure why anyone should object to its being adopted by others too. By the RC church’s own counting procedure, Hitler was a Roman Catholic.

    Third, don’t you think it utterly extraordinary that Hitler was never excommunicated? Not just Hitler: his closest associates, all his brothers-in-genocide, were all RC by the RCC’s own standards. And just one of them was excommunicated. Just one, and that was Joseph Goebbels – though not for his contribution to Nazi atrocities. No, Goebbels’ unacceptable crime so far as the RCC was concerned was that he married a Protestant. Why? Because the Catholic church considers ‘crimes’ against its own teaching – heresy, apostasy, perversion of orthodoxy – to be far graver than, say, murder, genocide, or rape. These latter have, I gather, never been punishable by excommunication.

    Given that the RCC sees itself as the channeller of divine morality on Earth, don’t you think we might perhaps have expected it to respond rather more vigorously? Can we not say, at the very least, that it did not respond with the moral vigour we might have expected from an organisation that makes such claims for itself? When the crimes of the Nazis apparenty didn’t even merit the RCC’s strongest available response?

    And finally, in case you were thinking that it was just the religious that Hitler persecuted, or that he was secretly advancing some kind of atheist agenda, the German Freethinkers Association was among the very first organisations to be banned as soon as Hitler came to power in 1933. And not only was it banned, but its members were persecuted thereafter too.

    So yes, Hitler was a Catholic by the standards of the RC church, though I concede that the definition of Catholic used by the church is pretty meaningless and only used to make it sound as if it has more supporters than it really does, and that Catholicism was just one of the mythologies he exploited for his own ends rather than something he passionately believed in.

    Still, he couldn’t have done it all by himself. He had to be elected. He had to sell his Nazi ideology to the German people, secure their buy-in to the concept of Jews as subhumans. He had to recruit to the SS and the Gestapo. He had to recruit people to guard the concentration camps, beat and torture the prisoners, select the ones for the gas chambers, operate the gas chambers, operate the crematoria. He had to persuade shopkeepers not to let Jews enter their premises; bus drivers to prevent Jews getting on board. Yet Germany was an overwhelmingly Catholic nation. And the minority who were not Catholic were almost all Protestant. The very least we can say, with total confidence, is that, despite Christianity’s claims to special moral insight, having an overwhelmingly Christian population is no safeguard whatsoever against participating in moral barbarity, whether passively or highly actively.

    And that, so far as I am concerned, is far more significant than these endless attempts to make Hitler out to have been a Catholic, or an atheist, or whatever. An entire population schooled in Christian (predominantly Catholic) teachings abandoned itself to moral depravity and utter brutality the moment some big mouth with the gift of the gab came along. So much for Christianity being necessary in order to prevent societies doing just that.



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  • 72
    davescoven says:

    Ok, Mike. So it makes no difference what someone professes to be. Hitler was not a Christian because Christians don’t kill people. Of course, you must understand that your view is not compatible with the idea of Grace, which essentially holds that one need do nothing but believe that Christ is Lord in order to be saved and go to heaven. Literally no requirements beyond that. So according to the New Testament, ANYONE who believes that Christ is Lord is a Christian, and that person enjoys the grace of the lord. On your view, Hitler was not a Christian even though he professed to be one. On the view of Jesus, Hitler was a Christian so long as he believed, and furthermore, if Hitler asked for forgiveness and pronounced his faith before his death … Well, as they say, you do the math.



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  • ‘Since Cannot Lie,and when it does,its in good faith,its christianity that’s the liar’.~Hitler’s table talk

    @Op
    Hitler claimed that he was a christian because the majority of germany were christians in 1939.Honestly,your unresearched ‘facts’ bring shame to educated atheists all around the world.



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  • Alien #74
    Mar 3, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    It’s interesting to see how some people here take Hitler at his word. Do they do that with all politicians or just the murderous, Nazi ones?

    @Op -Hitler claimed that he was a christian because the majority of germany were christians in 1939.

    As the comment on “unresearched (alleged) facts” points out, it is not a question of anyone “taking Hitler at his word”! The evidence is in the historical records.

    Hitler was baptised a Catholic, served as an altar-boy in the Catholic Church, and was never excommunicated from the Catholic Church. He also had the Protestant Deutsche Christen movement marching to support him!
    The Deutsche Christen (German Christians) were a German Protestantism movement aligned towards antisemetic principles of Nazism. The DC were sympathetic to Hitler’s goal of uniting the individual Protestant churches into a single Reich church.
    The DC was first formed in 1931 and the flag was flown during marches and demonstrations.

    Some Christian churches were in dispute with him over some issues, but squabbling religious sects and factions taking opposing view-points, is nothing new!



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  • “Hitler was baptised a Catholic, served as an altar-boy in the Catholic Church, and was never excommunicated from the Catholic Church. ”

    So what? Many atheists alive today can claim that, too. Does that mean they’re actually not atheists? Your argument is as meaningless as it is stupid.



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  • jinx_mchue #76
    Mar 17, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Hitler was baptised a Catholic, served as an altar-boy in the Catholic Church, and was never excommunicated from the Catholic Church. ”

    So what? Many atheists alive today can claim that, too. Does that mean they’re actually not atheists? Your argument is as meaningless as it is stupid.

    Next you will be further indulging in denial wish-thinking, telling us that Hitler was not trying to combine the Protestant churches into a Reich Church, and that Mussolini was not in cahoots with the RCC in setting up the Vatican as a state in exchange for support for his fascist regime!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/history/tch_wjec/germany19291947/2racialreligiouspolicy2.shtml

    The Nazi viewpoint on religion

    The Nazis believed in Constructive Christianity and freedom for every religious denomination (group). But in reality, the Nazis saw the Church and Christianity as a threat to their policies. One-third of Germans were Catholics and two-thirds were Protestants. At the beginning they cooperated with the Nazis. They believed that the new government protected them from communism and maintained traditional morals and family values.

    Links with the Catholic and Protestant Churches

    Hitler signed a concordat with the Pope in 1933. He promised full religious freedom for the Church and the Pope promised that he wouldn’t interfere in political matters.

    Then, the Nazis started to close Catholic churches. Many monasteries were shut down and the Catholic Youth Organisation was abolished (remember that the Nazis had created the Hitler Youth Movement).

    There were 28 Protestant groups in Germany, and they were merged to form the National Reich Church in 1936. A member of the Nazi party was elected Bishop of the Church. Non-Aryan ministers were suspended.



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  • 78
    Cairsley says:

    Adolf Hitler was certainly a nominal Roman Catholic and was quite happy to use religion to further his political objectives, but it is also very clear that he was not a devout, practising Catholic. Although he has left no evidence of ever renouncing Catholicism or just ceasing to believe in any of it, it seems that he had no personal belief in the Catholic Church’s moral and doctrinal authority. As others here have already pointed out, Hitler was also happy to use Protestantism and Islam where these served his political purposes.

    Whether Hitler was an atheist is another question. Not believing in any of the established religions that Hitler used for his political purposes does not indicate that he was an atheist, but only that he was quite cynical about religions. His love of the Teutonic myths was strong, part of his enthusiasm for Aryan supremacy. His form of national socialism had a strong current of Teutonic neopaganism, which he also used for his political purposes, but it is an interesting question to what extent and in what manner he believed this mythology to express something real about the Spirit animating the German people. In any case, atheism repudiates any such fanciful entities and mythologies, especially as a basis for practical decisions like those needed for the running of a nation.

    The commonly accepted observation that Hitler was psychopathic makes it harder to determine just what and to what extent and in what manner Hitler believed anything, or even whether he was capable of holding a belief with the requisite coherence, personal commitment, and integrity. If Hitler was an atheist, he probably did not recognize it of himself, and he certainly did not find that intellectual position to be of any political use to him.



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  • Bill #57
    May 6, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    By the way, the February 1931 edict of the Conference of German Bishops excommunicated all leaders and active members of the Nazi party. So, Hitler was excommunicated by the Catholic Church.

    Err .. no! – cherry-picking does not cut it!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_Nazi_Germany
    In early 1931, the German Bishops issued an edict excommunicating all Nazi leadership and banned Catholics from membership. The ban was conditionally modified in the Spring of 1933 under pressure to address State law requiring all Civil Servants and Trade Union workers be members of the Nazi Party, while retaining condemnation of core Nazi ideology.

    So by spring 1933 the ban was lifted!

    The Reichskonkordat treaty of July 1933, signed between Germany and the Holy See, pledged to respect the autonomy of the Catholic Church, but required clerics to refrain from politics. Hitler welcomed the treaty, though he routinely violated it in the Nazi struggle with the churches.

    .. and by summer 1933 the Vatican was signing treaties of co-operation with Hitler!



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  • Hitler:

    Agreed, definitely a Christian.

    Stalin:

    On the one hand…unfortunately, for the argument, saying USSR communists built on people’s religious indoctrination, doesn’t make their philosophy any more theistic. Stalin, as the head of a cult of personality, doesn’t make him any more a god, or believed to be a god. USSR communism outright adopted athe-ism, anti-theim, and anti-religion, into its overall philosophy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USSR_anti-religious_campaign_(1928%E2%80%9341)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/League_of_Militant_Atheists

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Lenin_All-Union_Pioneer_Organization

    On the other hand, the anti-theist persecutions ended under Stalin. He decided not to fight religious beliefs any more, and even helped rebuild the Orthodox Church somewhat.

    Pol Pot:

    These arguments seem to be confusing religious teachings with god belief. There’s no sign Pol Pot came away from his Christian or Buddhist schools believing in any gods, or any religion. Even if he were a Theravada Buddhist, that doesn’t make him a theist. However, there’s no evidence he practised Buddhism. In France, he learned Marxism and seems to have become an outright athe-ist. He also adopted athe-ism, anti-theism, and anti-religion into his philosophy. The Khmer Rouge, basically, obliterated Buddhism from the country. Only a handful of monks escaped alive. They killed people that didn’t eat pork. They killed people wearing religious garb, religious symbols, and/or who sported religious looking facial hair.



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  • HITLER’S TABLE TALK
    1941-1944
    His Private Conversations
    Copyright © Enigma Books 2000
    First published in Great Britain
    by Weidenfeld & Nicolson Ltd, London
    a division of the Orion Publishing Company

    “The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming
    of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child.
    Both are inventions of the Jew. ” Adolf Hitler

    “Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest
    against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity
    would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.” Adolf Hitler

    “Disadvantages of a Concordat with the Churches—
    Difficulty of compromising with a lie—No truck with religion
    for the Party—Antagonism of dogma and science—
    Let Christianity die slowly—The metaphysical needs of the
    soul—No State religion—Freedom of belief.” Adolf Hitler

    Hitler was a christian apostate. Not a christian. Probably not an atheist either. What ever gods he worshipped ought to be hunted down and killed.



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  • Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot literally wanted to wipe out religion and enforce state Atheism. Hitler wanted to wipe out all religion (including Christianity) and replace it with the religion of National Socialism (NS is a religion).



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  • Joey T #82
    Mar 23, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot literally wanted to wipe out religion and enforce state Atheism.

    Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot literally wanted to wipe out religion and any other ideology which could challenge their political dictatorship! –

    Nothing specific to atheism – Just one dogmatic ideology attacking another, as rival religions, cults, and denominations, have done for centuries.

    Hitler wanted to wipe out all religion (including Christianity) and replace it with the religion of National Socialism (NS is a religion).

    Hitler like many political tyrants would tell different audiences conflicting things they liked to hear!

    However his vision of a National Socialist Religion, included a 1920s and 1930s common form of anti-semitic Christianity, which he hoped to incorporate in an inclusive Reich-Church!

    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/nazi-germany/the-church-in-nazi-germany/

    In 1933, the Catholic Church had viewed the Nazis as a barrier to the spread of communism from Russia. In this year, Hitler and the Catholic Church signed an agreement that he would not interfere with the Catholic Church while the Church would not comment on politics. However, this only lasted until 1937, when Hitler started a concerted attack on the Catholic Church arresting priests etc. In 1937, the pope, Pius XI, issued his “Mit brennender Sorge” statement (“With burning anxiety”) over what was going on in Germany. However, there was never a total clampdown on the Catholic Church in Germany. It was a world-wide movement with much international support.

    The Protestant Church was really a collection of a number of churches – hence they were easier to deal with. The Protestants themselves were split.
    The “German Christians” were lead by Ludwig Muller who believed that any member of the church who had Jewish ancestry should be sacked from the church. Muller supported Hitler and in 1933 he was given the title of “Reich Bishop”.

    Those who opposed the views of Muller were called the “Confessing Church”. This was led by Martin Niemoller. He was famous in Germany as he had been a World War One U-boat captain. Therefore, he was potentially an embarrassing foe to the Nazis. Regardless of this, he was not safe from the Gestapo who arrested him for opposing Hitler.

    So while it is possible to cherry pick times and sections German Christians who opposed Hitler, Hitler remained a (lapsed?) Catholic, and had considerable support from many Christians for much of the time! – Especially during his earlier establishment of dictatorial rule and the build up of his power!



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  • 84
    Garrick says:

    Joey T #82
    Mar 23, 2017 at 8:49 am
    Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot literally wanted to wipe out religion and enforce state Atheism. . . .

    Not quite, Joey T.

    Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot wanted to replace traditional religions with a naturalistic state religion, to make use of the traditional credulity among the greater part of the populace so useful for keeping everyone subservient to the State. Instead of the traditional gods and the supernatural realms they presented the State, the Party, the glorious Leaders and the doctrine of communism (drawn from analysis of the irresistible workings of the World Spirit) as the objects of the people’s veneration and obedience. This is nothing like atheism, even though it rejected the traditional gods and espoused no new supernatural gods, except the inexorable Spirit of History. The state itself and the political party led by the glorious leader were the new religious institutions.

    By contrast atheism is definable only as freedom of mind from a traditional, theistic belief-system or from any similarly religious or basically superstitious belief-system, like Marxist communism. Those ruthless communist leaders you have cited would not tolerate any competition for the people’s subservience and obedience. Unlike any atheist and like any religious dogmatist, they forbade all divergence from doctrinal orthodoxy. An atheist, by contrast, has no doctrine. That is the very point of atheism: it eschews belief in gods or any such superstition because it asserts nothing that cannot be empirically and rationally justified. Such a reasonable freethinker and atheist remains openminded to all possibilities not yet precluded by evidence and reason and welcomes competing views reasonably supported with evidence and sound argument. He owes no allegiance to any party of thought or politics.



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  • It is incredibly deceitful to cherry pick certain atheists without representing one of the most notorious atheists: Mao.

    In “Mao: The Unknown Story” by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, the incredible biography is presented as a historical narrative in which the authors reveal the unknown truth about Mao’s life and monstrous immorality. Mao’s atheistic naturalism/materialism served as a moral bedrock for his atrocities. His defiant disbelief in theism drove him to eradicate religion (specifically documented from Tibet) and say, “Religion is poison” (453-454). He regarded the failure Eastern European countries as a lack of willingness to kill, “We must kill,” he declared, “And we say it’s good to kill” (416). Mao didn’t believe in God, but “dialectics, and so we can’t not be in favor of death” (430). It was his materialism and dialectic philosophy that CAUSED his favor towards death and suffering. “He saw practical advantage in massive deaths, ‘Death have benefits,’” and “They can fertilize the ground” (431). When invading and destroying the Tibetan’s way of life the biographers note, “Mao was bent on destroying religion, the essence of most Tibetan’s lives” (448). The Panchen Lama wrote, “Holy Scriptures were used for manure, and pictures of the Buddha and sutras were deliberately used to make shoes” (448). He denounced “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity” as “anti-Marxist” (440) and tried desperately to rule the world.

    His “senior officials who invoked that traditional concept of conscience (liang-xin) to beg him to go easy found themselves being slapped down with remarks: ‘You’d better have less conscience. Some of our comrades too much mercy, not enough brutality, which means they are not so Marxist.’ ‘On this matter,’ Mao said, ‘we indeed have no conscience! Marxism is that brutal’” (387).

    I’ll be very surprised if my comments are allowed on this page, thus, A) exposing the lack of search or B) exposing the intentional deceit of the atheist atrocities.



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  • This thread is surprising in places.

    You can’t automatically say that someone is good because they are atheists or bad because they are atheists or good because he is religious or bad because he is not religious.

    I think an argument can be made, however – and Dawkins has made it – that in many particular cases religion makes good men do bad things. There are rules in the Holy Books. Many people interpret these “rules” in a very rigid way and feel compelled to follow them. Atheism has no book telling us to do things. If someone thinks that it’s okay to kill people because there is no God telling him not to, it is not atheism (no belief in God(s)) that is to blame for any atrocities he might carry out.

    There are those who feel that without prohibitions and counter-motives in the form of “punishment for sins” by a celestial dictator Man will have nothing to restrain his violent, brutish nature from expressing itself, or who feel that the only thing that can make a person be or appear good is fear of punishment from a deity. That suggests a view of humanity that I do not share.



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  • John Bradfield #85
    Apr 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    It is incredibly deceitful to cherry pick certain atheists without representing one of the most notorious atheists: Mao.

    The OP – Title is challenging false claims made by religious self-deception, psychological projection and the use of the “No True Scotsman fallacy to try to dissociate themselves from atrocities of named individuals resulting from religious up-bringings or religious beliefs! It makes no claim to comprehensively cover the whole history of world governments.

    ‘You’d better have less conscience.
    Some of our comrades too much mercy, not enough brutality, which means they are not so Marxist.’
    ‘On this matter,’ Mao said, ‘we indeed have no conscience!
    Marxism is that brutal’”

    You debunk your own argument in your quote! –
    The brutality is attributable to Mao’s personal ideological form of Marxism!
    Atheism per-se has no ideology!
    It is simply a lack of belief in gods and the supernatural!

    In the context of a brutal Chinese civil war with all parties exterminating opposition forces, the issue of atheism is largely irrelevant!

    The ability to use evidence based reasoning in place of dogmatic ideological preconceptions, has nothing to do with substituting flawed political dogma for flawed religious dogma!

    I’ll be very surprised if my comments are allowed on this page, thus, A) exposing the lack of search or B) exposing the intentional deceit of the atheist atrocities.

    . . .an example of classic lack of research in pro-religious thinking, psychological projection, and thinking from preconceptions about the “goodness” of religious influences in the face of the evidence to the contrary!



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  • “Pol Pot” is short for “Politique Potentielle”(French). It is the name of the group containing “The Five Brothers”, where Saloth Sar(the one everybody call Pol Pot), is Brother Number One.

    At least two in the group betrayed Saloth Sar, where Brother 5, Ta Mok, (born Chhit Choeun) is one of them. It is still unsure who the other was.

    Saloth Sar actually never killed anyone beyond the rules of war. Ta Mok on the other hand, went on his own and started killing people, overdoing the policy of religious cleansing that Saloth Sar ordered. Saloth Sar mean to deport all religions – not kill them. Ta Mok got the nickname “The Butcher”.

    Saaloth Sar was actually a good guy, that attempted to keep the Vietnamese from invading and taking over Cambodia. Ta Mok was the bad guy, that later on poisoned Saloth Sar. Saloth Sar was part of helping Son Sen to power and that power was later handed to the young Khmer Rouge commander – Hun Sen.(Long story told short).

    So in this meme, the portrait should not be of Saloth Sar, but of Ta Mok…

    Saloth Sar was a hero of the people. Ta Mok was, as his nickname indicates, a butcher…



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  • Michael #56
    Apr 14, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    i would make the argument that when Hitler turned away from catholicism he didn’t become an atheist
    but adopted his own twisted religion..

    The prevalent historical Germanic Anti-Semitic Protestantism perhaps?

    The arian stuff sure sounds like a religion to me when you go into the subtle details.

    With a bit of NAZI ideology thrown in!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-43210993

    A village in Germany has voted to keep
    a controversial church bell embossed with a swastika

    and the words “All for the Fatherland – Adolf Hitler”.

    The parish council of Herxheim argued that the Nazi-era bronze bell acted as a reminder for the nation’s dark past.

    The 10-3 vote on Monday rejected an offer to remove and replace the bell by the Protestant Church of St James.

    Some parishioners were alarmed to find they had been married or had baptised their children under the “Hitler bell”.

    The association of the church with Hitler and this artefact, must be a bit of an embarrassment to local Christians, as it probably is to some who have been wearing faith-interpretation-blinkers during this discussion, – but trying to forget and re-write history, is not the answer!

    The local parish council said the Nazi-era relic, which has hung in the church since 1934, should stay as “an impetus for reconciliation and a memorial against violence and injustice”, AFP news agency reports.

    A memorial pointing to the controversial 240 kg (530 pounds) bell’s history will now be fixed on the 1,000-year-old heritage-listed church, the Jakobskirche.

    Herxheim am Berg, in southwest Germany, has repeatedly found itself in the media spotlight since a former church organist complained about the bell’s inscription.

    Until then its history had been largely unknown, and the bell had rung out every quarter of an hour.

    Some residents are now worried that the bell could damage the church’s reputation or draw neo-Nazi groups to the village.
    Others have contended that disposing of the bronze relic would whitewash the town’s history.




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  • Having been raised in a fundamentalist cult, I was taught that The Pope’s Number was 666, aka The Antichrist.  That is, the pope, despite his claims, was said to be the opposite of a theist, much less a Christian.

    Similarly, it is not unreasonable to suspect that some atheists pay lip service to having doubts about the existence of god while harboring idolatrous reverence for other fanciful myths such as the assumption that nothing can mysteriously transformation into something.  Or the “godless” may demonstrate an almost childlike devotion to the belief that just because a concept can be shown to be reasonable and factual, it must also be true.

    So was Hitler a Christian?  Only Jesus could tell you that and based on the latest reports, there’s reason to think that he died and has remained in that condition for nearly 2,000 years.

    Or is there a way for an atheist to prove that his skepticism is absolute which doesn’t involve an ironic insistence that we take his word for it?  Clearly not.

    All of which leads to the realization that having a label for oneself, or for another, is only that; a name, which may have nothing to do with that person’s “true” beliefs and may not be related in any essential way to his identity.


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  •  Or the “godless” may demonstrate an almost childlike devotion to the belief that just because a concept can be shown to be reasonable and factual, it must also be true.

    Did you mean to say this? Can you give me a factual statement that is untrue? Or does “factual” have a special meaning for you? Or do you mean a statement that contains some facts, but an insufficient number to establish a case? Do you think anything is provable beyond doubt? Should we no longer work with the idea of the balance of evidence in making progress in the world, treating those less certain cases with ongoing caution?

     

    Do you know how science works? Do you know it is based on probabilities that go up and never get to one, though these can go fully to zero on occasions?


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  • rbruc54  #90

    Having been raised in a fundamentalist cult ………

    ……..having a label for oneself, or for another, is only that; a name, which may have nothing to do with that person’s “true” beliefs and may not be related in any essential way to his identity.

    As a matter of interest, does that cult affiliation still exert an influence on your “true” beliefs ?

    This may provide a clue  :-

    …. some atheists pay lip service to having doubts about the existence of god while harboring idolatrous reverence for other fanciful myths such as the assumption that nothing can mysteriously transformation (sic) into something.

     

     


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  • I used to be a werewolf, but I’m alright nowooooow!

    For myself I believe only in transformations, roger.

    I believe solid matter can totally disappear out of the universe, shazzammed into pure light.

    I believe in transubstantiation.

    My breakfast egg becomes me!


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  • rbruc54  #90

    All of which leads to the realization that having a label for oneself, or for another, is only that; a name

    Assuming you came here for a dialogue, rbruc54, and not just a hit-and-run,  consider the following.

    ‘Atheist’  is a redundant and unnecessary term or ‘label’. It is a word created from a theistic viewpoint and presupposes the validity of a theistic viewpoint without justification. Reason demands that the burden of proof is on the one who
    is proposing the existence of something, that it has universal, objective validity.  For any and all gods, that has never been done.

    Just as we don’t need a label for a ‘non-astrologer’ or a ‘non-alchemist’, we don’t need ‘atheist’.  Atheist is no more than the default state for all reasonable people.

     


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  • “I do hope it will contribute to the arsenal required by those who value reason, facts and evidence, in their struggle against the fallacies perpetually flaunted by those who do not value the truth above their own egocentric delusion”

    I am surprised to say the least that the website of such an esteemed thinker would not aim to ensure that the suitability of their tone matched the strength of their arguments in aiming to be effective in influencing people. I guess we all have flaws. But the arrogance is breathtaking, and leaves likely anyone not already in agreement with a mountain to climb just to overcome our base evolutionary psychology defense mechanisms in protecting our own world views.

    The assumption you have implied and so insultingly articulated is that everyone who believes in God, and additionally even those who don’t, but who are yet to read your or Hitchens’ work who perhaps saw some initial merit in the idea that Stalin and Mao’s crimes do give us reason to be wary of Godless states; that they all “do not value the truth above their own egocentric delusions.” They might be hear to challenge that initial idea in a clear example of the opposite of what you assume!

    That is some way to dismiss an entire swathe of people who could be aged anywhere between 16 and 90, from any background, who might have arrived here genuinely interested in learning different points of view but are immediately put on the back foot with the baseless assertion that they see no value in truth. Rather, they might simply feel bonded to the world view passed onto them by their families and struggle to let it go for many evolutionary and cultural reasons.

    While I enjoy forthright and assertive reasoning if if based on sound logic, I tire so much of such arrogance and combativeness in articulating one’s positions and am instantly put off looking anywhere else on your site. You’ll get nowhere but preaching to the converted speaking like that.


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  • Onto my actual views on this. My general world view involves being mindful of what actually happens, as opposed to what should happen, or what I might want to happen. As Hitchens’ brother Peter points out, there should be a governmental department of considering unintended consequences. I read C Hitchens and Dawkins about 8 or 9 years ago, so apologies if some of this has been countered already.

    While in my ideal world, an atheist state would function perfectly well, I believe there is a lot of self projection involved in that assumption. We feel that because we have been good all our lives, everyone else is. They are not. And even those of us who might think we are really good; most of us have the genetic imprint of some warlord or other, and all have the capacity for extraordinary violence in just a few days if our circumstances change dramatically enough.

    Religion is a useful vehicle for enabling extreme violence. But without it, would such carnage have still happened through the ages? Consider that if you were to enter the lands of uncontacted tribes such as those in the Amazon or the Sentinelese, you can be charged with genocide, because of their intolerance to pathogens. It seems reasonable to assume, in keeping with Dawkins’ work on cultural memes also following Darwinian principles, that the non-xenophobic and murderous (to outsiders) would have mostly died out. I expect religion or not, great tribes of men would have pillaged and murdered their way through others’ lands anyway. To a similar extent or not we can only guess.

    With the case of Stalin and others, it strikes me, that although it shouldn’t happen, and I don’t want it to happen, because psychopaths and narcissists do unfortunately exist, and surely rise to the top of any power structure owing to the advantage malevolence has over goodness in any competitive arena above the law, if you take away God, they then present themselves as God or a substitute of some sort sooner or later. And when some narcissist type is the new God, that can be much more dangerous than a regular theistic one influencing society. At least then a populace, even if it commits atrocities in the name of God, they still consider their leader to be answerable to that God. Take away that and I think we are in even graver danger, once the worst candidate gets in power. I think the sheer numbers in such a short time of dead in Stalin and Mao’s regimes in comparison to any other chapter in known history strongly supports this position.

    I believe if you remove all religion from society, psychos and narcs will find some other useful means to manipulate a populace and get it to do its bidding – absolute brute force if need be, a cult of personality, whatever. To assume if we remove religion this won’t happen is naive. And to assume in the absence of religion we can prevent this happening, as long as those personality disorders are among us, would be even more naive, potentially presenting a greater existential threat than even climate change considering the power now potentially at their disposal.


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  • Dave says:

    I believe if you remove all religion from society, psychos and narcs will find some other useful means to manipulate a populace and get it to do its bidding – absolute brute force if need be, a cult of personality, whatever. To assume if we remove religion this won’t happen is naive.

    If we look at the real world the least religious states are mainly the most civilised, while the religious theocracies (Islamic, Zionist, 3rd world Catholic/Evenagelical) are the most unequal, poverty ridden,  and some brutally repressive dictatorships.   It goes with the authoritarian mindset.

    https://www.pewforum.org/2018/06/13/how-religious-commitment-varies-by-country-among-people-of-all-ages/


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  • Dave  # 95.  First of all, thank you for bringing Michael A. Sherlock’s 2014 article to my attention.  I will read it in detail.

    You can be assured that the moderators of this site monitor the submissions, and in appropriate circumstances delete or prevent publication of unsuitable opinions.  I speak from experience.  Not long ago something I submitted was intercepted by the moderators – an action which saved me, and more importantly the site, significant embarrassment.  In my opinion the moderators do their job very well.
     
    I think a case can be made that Hitler’s antisemitism was motivated, not from atheism, but from deeply ingrained Christian culture.  But for the centuries-long antisemitic culture Hitler would never have been able to carry out his genocidal crimes.  Unfortunately, too many found his policies rational and justified.  It wasn’t until we were forced to stare his horror in the face that antisemitism was exposed.  Likewise, I do not believe that the crimes of Stalin or Pol Pot were motivated by their disbelief in one or more of the gods.

    However, assuming, for the sake of argument, that the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot were carried out in the name of atheism, my question would be – So what?  I don’t think any rational atheist would argue that those three criminals should be imitated.  On the other hand, I think we can point to many horrific crimes which are, in fact, carried out in the name of god.  In addition to those crimes undertaken by Christian governments throughout history, we can think of many examples within recent history, indeed within the last few weeks.  The attacks on the world trade center leap to mind.  Others are the murders committed by Dylan Roof in 2015, the killings in Christchurch, New Zealand, the shooting at the synagogues in San Diego and Philadelphia, the recent shootings in Sri Lanka.
     
    I could go on and on listing the crimes that are committed in the name of god and/or organized religion.  But again, so what?  If I were a believer, these and other crimes committed in the name of religion would not be enough to convince me that god does not exist.  As someone once said, I don’t believe in god for the same reason I don’t believe in Santa Claus.  If there is so much as a scintilla of evidence – evidence which will withstand a scrutinizing analysis – that a god or gods exist, I have not been made aware of it, and I have considered myself to be an atheist since about 1965.

    Regarding your comments in #96, I would say that an example of “an atheist state” (your second paragraph) would be the United States of America, the Constitution of which explicitly prohibits the establishment of any religion, and states that no religious test shall ever be required of an office holder –  the myth of the pious Christian founding fathers notwithstanding.  Note that the United Sates does not attempt to outlaw religion – in fact the free exercise thereof is guaranteed.
     
    Religion does not need to be outlawed.  Religion – Abrahamic and others – will go the way of ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman religions as the humanist ideas of Enlightenment take deeper and deeper root – those ideas are relatively young compared to the old ones, but they gain ground everyday.  In another hundred years (maybe less), I think most forms of religion will be so discredited, not by irrational acts of believers but by the lack of evidence, such that no one will take them seriously.  In the interim, I know that many people take comfort in their religion, and no one will deny them that comfort.  Likewise, many people attend churches simply as a matter of habit or culture.  For such people, the light of reason will soon take hold and they will realize that religion provides no answers 21st century questions.


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  • Tod #99:  I read the Washington Post article that you cite.  The article really changes nothing regarding the subject of this thread, i.e. whether the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot were motivated by atheism, or whether their crimes are some sort of justification to cling to religion.  The article you cite makes the case that Hitler found the teachings of the Catholic church to be repugnant.  Be that as it may, so what?  He never renounced his membership in the church; the church embraced him and ordered prayers to be said in churches on his birthday.  Furthermore, fascism, to quote Christopher Hitchens, is another name for the political activity of the catholic right wing, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRBrjt7z5Cw.  Hitchens also points out that Hitler embraced the myths of Nordic religions, so while he may have rejected Catholic teaching, he did not eschew religion in general, nor did he ever withdraw his membership in the church.  In addition to what Hitchens said, I note that the religious right of the US has endorsed and supports our current president, who if not a fascist comes dangerously close – See Fascism, A Warning, by Madeleine Albright.  I would argue that but for the centuries of antisemitism taught and encouraged by the church, Hitler’s atrocities would never have been tolerated by the German people.  Finally, I stand by my argument in # 98, that even if Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot were atheists, their crimes were not committed to further the cause of atheism.

  • Interesting stance, but the perspective initiates from a false premise – Catholic = Christian. There are many throughout history which assume a title without being that of which they claim. Catholicism is likewise falsely attributed the designation as Christian. But this is of lessor import.

    The primary one is to measure one against the alignment or ordinance they claim. If one wishes to accuse someone of being something, there must be a measuring of the actions of that one against that thing. If someone is described as a teacher, we would ask “what school”, “what grade”, or “what subject” to evaluate their alignment to the description.

    Therefore, if, as the author above claims, Hilter was ‘Christian’, then we should be able to quickly and easily find alignment to common Christian ideals. Right?
    Humility?  Nope.
    Forgiveness? Nope.
    Self-sacrifice? Nope.
    View all persons as equal? Nope.
    View all persons as inherently valuable? Nope.
    Not sure we need to push this any further as even the cursory evaluation reveals there to be no alignment between the description or claim and the definition of the title.

    Now let us reevaluate Hitler using the same method with a different label – atheistic.
    Seeing persons as accidental or incidental? Yes.
    Seeing persons as without purpose? Yes.
    Seeing persons as without inherent value? Yes.
    Seeing persons as disposable? yes.
    No absolute morality? Yes.
    Like above, there is little need to continue further as the cursory evaluation is affirmative.

    So while Hitler (or anyone) can claim any title or description they please, their actions will display the real stance of the mind/heart.

    Have religious persons committed horrible atrocities? Yes, absolutely. Were they doing so out of their own depravity? Yes, absolutely.


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  • SomeOther

     

    even the cursory evaluation reveals there to be no alignment between the description or claim and the definition of the title.

    Seeing persons as accidental or incidental? Yes.Seeing persons as without purpose? Yes.Seeing persons as without inherent value? Yes.Seeing persons as disposable? yes.

    That’s the pot calling the kettle black!

    If you think that atheists see persons as without purpose, inherent value and disposable then you don’t know any and have wandered into the midst of them in a state of ignorance.

    You’d do better to ask questions here with an attitude of curiosity than to attempt to inform us of our evil nature.

    Maybe you’re just afraid that your entire belief system that you’ve staked your identity on will crumble. If so, I don’t blame you for that because the minute we would apply a logic and rational thinking to it then it won’t stand for a New York minute.

     

     


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  • @Someother

    “Therefore, if, as the author above claims, Hilter was ‘Christian’, then we should be able to quickly and easily find alignment to common Christian ideals. Right?
    Humility?  Nope.
    Forgiveness? Nope.
    Self-sacrifice? Nope.
    View all persons as equal? Nope.
    View all persons as inherently valuable? Nope.”

    If the things you list above are actually christian ideals then the people I see most often not behaving in accordance with them are those claiming to be christians, particularly the evangelical crowd of nutters who support Trump. They don’t think gays are equal, or immigrants of the wrong skin colour, or mothers ripped from their babies at the southern border which 40% were quite ok with in one poll I saw. How much humility is in the stance that every scientist on the planet who finds the evidence supports the truth of evolution or the age of the universe must be wrong just because they have a book of bronze age nonsense which says different? Their own book says women aren’t equal to men and in fact can be treated as property. As can slaves of course (Exodus 21).

    If you want to find where the bigotry, inequality or homophobia is concentrated look no further than religious types.


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  • SomeOther says:

    Therefore, if, as the author above claims, Hitler was ‘Christian’, then we should be able to quickly and easily find alignment to common Christian ideals.

    Hitler was baptised as a Catholic, raised in a Catholic family, attended Catholic church as an altar boy, and was never excommunicated.

    The Catholic Church is a Christian denomination (even if they do claim to be THE Christian Church).

    Pretending that there is some contrived redefinition of the term “Christian” is simply an example of the “No True Scotsman Fallacy”!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

    No true Scotsman, or appeal to purity, is an informal fallacy in which one attempts to protect a universal generalization from counterexamples by changing the definition in an ad hoc fashion to exclude the counterexample.

    The complicity of the Catholic Church with fascist dictators, is even more evident in Franco’s Spain, where the church was given various monopolies and privileges in exchange for supporting the fascist regime.

     


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  • @LaurieB

    Sorry to have offended, just drawing from a plethora of personal experience.

    So, to enlighten me, where does innate value and purpose rise from in your perspective?

    No fear whatsoever. Nice try however.


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  • @arkrid-sandwich

    It is sad that so many claim the title and fail to live accordingly.  Yet, I must also be clear clear that valuing someone does not result in agreeing with their choices.  So, whether you are citing their treatment of those with whom they disagree or the disagreement itself, I do not know.

    In regard to science, I will save us both from there rabbit hole with a few points from your comment.

    1) “… every scientist …”  I am quite sure I can find at least a few dissenting scientists.

    2) “… truth of evolution …” What kind or quality of truth is it if it changes on a regular basis? Seems like objective truth, to which you appear to plead, should be fixed and immutable.

    Your last two points in that paragraph are to foolish to spend much time on.  These false allegations have been dispatched enough previously that I will not waste our time with them.


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  • @Someother #106

    “1) “… every scientist …”  I am quite sure I can find at least a few dissenting scientists.”

    I said every scientist who DOES agree not that every scientist does agree. A very small percentage differ but on examination they are invariably not real scientists, rather creationists with fake degrees from fake xtian universities.

    “2) “… truth of evolution …” What kind or quality of truth is it if it changes on a regular basis? Seems like objective truth, to which you appear to plead, should be fixed and immutable.”

    Ony religion thinks truth should be immutable which is why religion is never right. Science thinks it should be the best available evidence at a given point in time and that gets changed as more or new evidence comes to light. However the basic truth that evolution actually occurs has never changed. It is a demonstrable fact from millions of observations. The scientific theory that it occurs because of natural selection is by far the best predictive explanation of why it happens.


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  • I have a theory (hypothesis, hunch, whatevs) as to why Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin committed atrocities. They all had the same hobby of not collecting stamps.  That clearly links them so it must be causative.  Also none of them were train spotters so maybe not train spotters are genocidal maniacs. Does that mean the god of the buybull was not a train spotter?


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  • Feb 25, 2020 at 8:46 pm
    106
    SomeOther says:

    1) “… every scientist …”  I am quite sure I can find at least a few dissenting scientists.

    Perhaps that should have said, “Almost every scientist who has studied the subjects of biology and genetics”!
    There are some with no relevant qualifications and no understanding of biology, who think “God-did-it-by-magic” is a credible gapologist answer as a patch over their ignorance.

    2) “… truth of evolution …” What kind or quality of truth is it if it changes on a regular basis? Seems like objective truth, to which you appear to plead, should be fixed and immutable.

    The observable FACT of evolution happening, is evident in every species ever studied in the past and in current work as an on-going process.

    The scientific theories of evolution vary in detail according to the history of particular species.

    The fumblings on pseudo-science sites which pretend that evolution does not happen are laughable to those who have actually studied the biological sciences. – Particularly those who are actively applying the evolutionary theories in their work as animal breeders, plant breeders, designers of antibiotic medicines, and genetic engineering cancer cures etc.

    There is a handful of incredulous and ignorant delusional science illiterates on YEC and other pseudoscience sites making fools of themselves concocting nonsensical denials of their strawman versions of pseudo-evolution, while in mainstream science, there are tens of thousands of biologists applying their understanding of evolutionary biology to their work.

    There are numerous peer-reviewed journals containing tens of thousands of articles on applications of evolutionary biology in published studies by expert researchers.

    Here’s a list of 50 of those journals.

    https://www.scimagojr.com/journalrank.php?category=1105

    BTW:  Hitler’s pseudoscience  of Social Darwinism, has nothing to do with the Darwinian biological theory of evolution. Nor does it have anything to do with the modern NeoDarwinian Synthesis bringing together the various more recently discovered aspects of evolutionary biology and genetics.

    It it not at all surprising that scientists seek out further information to add more details to earlier work covering more variation and a wider range of organisms.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_evolutionary_synthesis#The_preceding_%22modern_synthesis%22

    All of the new discoveries confirm the basic processes of biological evolution.

  • Feb 25, 2020 at 8:50 pm
    107
    SomeOther says:

    No true Scotsman – I have made no such claim.  I have simply levied that Catholics are not Scots. 😉

    Actually some of them are Scots, but that  is irrelevant to you ducking the point I made,  about  your use of fallacies in disowning those Christians as “Christians”,  who do not meet with your personal ideologies, by simply redefining the word “Christian”.
    The link explained this quite clearly for anyone who was trying to understand it.


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  • @Someother

    Now let us reevaluate Hitler using the same method with a different label – atheistic.
    Seeing persons as accidental or incidental? Yes.
    Seeing persons as without purpose? Yes.
    Seeing persons as without inherent value? Yes.
    Seeing persons as disposable? yes.
    No absolute morality? Yes.

    Your strawman arguments falsely painting atheists as things they are not are pathetic but an admittedly common tactic of xtians trying to defend their absurd delusions. Instead of wallowing in your invisible sky pixie delusions you might try to learn some critical thinking skills. Work hard enough and you might even acquire some “purpose” and “inherent value”, neither of which I perceive in you at present.


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  • SomeOther
     

    Sorry to have offended, just drawing from a plethora of personal experience.

     
    Do I need to explain why it’s offensive to be labeled as seeing persons as accidental or incidental, without purpose or inherent value and disposable? It’s not just one person that you’ve labeled as basically immoral/amoral, it’s a very large group of us. Of course it’s insulting. You don’t perceive this?!
     
    A “plethora” tells me nothing. Like the words “A lot” or “expensive”, these are subjective and contain no information. Perfect choices for the purpose of obfuscation. If you have experience with atheists, unchurched, nones, agnostics, freethinkers and other types of secularists then why not quantify it? Quantification is quite popular around here. No one will make a claim that people who fall into the categories above are all exemplary humans but I for one would be willing to state that the way most of us arrive at our values and morality is a superior method compared to the way religion goes about it. Most of us rely on humanist values and ethics to work through the everyday challenges of life and also the much more difficult challenges that we all face once in a while. After a childhood and teen years raised in the Methodist church and indoctrinated in its dogma and then a university education learning secular science and ethics, I don’t hesitate to say that science and ethics are a superior guide to living a moral life. It’s a lodestar for a better present and a hopeful future for all of us.
     

    So, to enlighten me, where does innate value and purpose rise from in your perspective?

    I’ve always been puzzled about how in the world an invisible and obviously uncaring tyrant in the sky can deliver a sense of value and purpose in any human on this earth with a functioning frontal lobe. The only purpose I learned from my previous indoctrination was the valuable talent of groveling to the tyrants and bullies around me. Escaping notice and escaping blame in the interest of self preservation in a hostile world. All this while adults recite their Christian mantra – God is love…Jesus is love…like a bunch of zombies.
     
    I won’t presume to speak for others on this but I am convinced that finding purpose in this life comes from within not from the outside. It’s our individual duty to assess oneself, one’s resources and overall situation in this world and time and then to set priorities. I hope people can pursue their own education as far as they can and then to encourage others to do the same. We make alliances in family and friendships that give us purpose. If we have the means we look outside of friends and family to make a positive difference wherever we can. There are countless others on the face of this earth and indeed very nearby that are desperate for help. It’s so easy to help them if we can look outside of our own trivial, selfish and shallow entertainments and complaints.
     
    These days my primary focus is on family leadership. I’ve done reading on ethical leadership, made observations of those who I consider to be good (but never perfect) leaders and the methods and qualities that they display. I see the tremendous value in having a good leader in a family and the benefits that they provide. I’ve also seen firsthand what negative consequences follow from a family having no real leadership or ominously, a bad leader. So now, I’m doing the best I can to be a good leader to the kids, teens, young adults and even the adults in my family that are my peers and also those older than me who I regret to say are sadly lacking in ethical leadership skills.
     
    So now SomeOther, would you still classify me as amoral/immoral as you indicated above?
    If so, how would religion improve upon my chosen methodology?

    No fear whatsoever. Nice try however.

    Christianity (and the other two closely related monogamies) is based on installation of guilt and fear in its members in order to control their thoughts and behavior (like many ideologies). There’s really no way to participate in Christianity if you have no fear of God and his multitude of punishments for evil thoughts and evil bad behavior. Well, unless one is a psychopath, I suppose.
     
    But in thinking this through, it must be possible to convince oneself that one is such an exemplary Christian (of whatever stripe) that God would never have any reason to slam them with a gruesome punishment. Just those other sinners but not me of course!
     
    So maybe that’s why you come off as so extremely arrogant. Do you assume that you would never land in hell but just all of us sinners that hang around here would? Do you feel pleasure at the thought of us atheists burning in hell for all eternity? Think we have it coming to us?



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  • @arkrid-sandwich

    I will concede that I read your “every scientist” line differently. Thank you for the clarification.

    “Only religion thinks truth should be immutable which is why religion is never right.” That contradicts the definition of truth. If it isn’t immutable then it is merely perception.


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  • @laurieb-2

    Thank you for the detailed response.

    Many of the tasks and goal you highlighted are very valuable. But why? They may have personal value to improve your life experience. But do they matter to others? What if someone else’s goals for life experience include the eradication of other persons? By what do we object? If an animal kills another animal, there is no court, no trial, no sentencing. Yet, if a human kills another human, there is real loss, a need for vindication, a need for justice. Why?

    Interesting that you presuppose that religions are founded upon “the installation of guilt and fear”. If that were so, then why the goal of removing or releasing said guilt and fear? Guilt and fear are used heavily in persuasion on all subjects by all people. We can find it in religion, global warming, education, weight loss, etc. Yet, the “true Scotsman” is declared free. Seems to be a conflict here.

    “…convince oneself that one is such an exemplary Christian…”  Another interesting proposition, but incorrect. The proposition is that another has paid the price, and the Christian is no longer indebted to their infraction. Seems like a pretty good deal.

    But, I know, then we are back to the guilt and fear thing. So, if you an I can say that we have never broken the speed limit, lied, stolen, hurt someone, etc. then we can remove the whole subject as we are perfect. But, I don’t think either of us would claim that.

    Arrogant? Hmm, I would contend assured and confident as I have every confidence in the truth and facts. Conversely, others here seem arrogant due to their confidence in their perception. So, not sure that this gains anyone anything.

    “Do you assume that you would never land in hell but just all of us sinners that hang around here would? Do you feel pleasure at the thought of us atheists burning in hell for all eternity? Think we have it coming to us?”

    No. Rather sympathy and compassion. If I wanted to see you suffer, why would I raise my voice? It would be far simpler and easier to quietly watch someone continue on than to risk confrontation? Wouldn’t it? My greatest aspiration here is to simply lay a clear representation of both sides on the table so that an earnest mind can choose.


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  • @arkrid-sandwich
    “Your strawman arguments falsely painting atheists as things they are not are pathetic but an admittedly common tactic of xtians trying to defend their absurd delusions. Instead of wallowing in your invisible sky pixie delusions you might try to learn some critical thinking skills. Work hard enough and you might even acquire some “purpose” and “inherent value”, neither of which I perceive in you at present.”

    The irony! Oh it burns!  😉

    I love the ad-hominem. Please expose the critical thinking errors you perceive and I will be more than happy to learn from them. I drew upon my experience from those identifying as atheistic in their world view. If you have a different world view, let’s explore it.


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  • @alan4discussion

    “Actually some of them are Scots, but that  is irrelevant to you ducking the point I made,  about  your use of fallacies in disowning those Christians as “Christians”,  who do not meet with your personal ideologies, by simply redefining the word “Christian”. The link explained this quite clearly for anyone who was trying to understand it.”

    Sorry, but it seems you read past my clear explanation of this. There is no violation of “no true Scotsman” here. As one of the major religions in existence, there are many who attach themselves but are not Scots. Simple as that. If someone claims to be a passivist and we observe them punching someone in the nose, we will naturally declare them to not be a passivist. Likely, when someone behaves contrary to the title they claim, we naturally declare them to not be what they claim. If I declare myself an evolutionist and then denounce the tenants there of, what would you say? I am not a Scot?

    “…personal ideologies…” Pretty sure the source documentation would support anything put forth. Check and see.


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  • @alan4discussion

    “The observable FACT of evolution happening, is evident in every species ever studied in the past and in current work as an on-going process.”

    Again, really don’t want to go down this rabbit hole as it will get us nowhere, but I do want to seek clarity on your assertion.

    Have we observed genetic changes in lifeforms?  Sure, agreed.
    Have we observed certain lifeforms succeeding due to those genetic changes? Sure, agreed.
    Have we observed any amassing of genetic changes resulting a new family, order, or higher? No.

    So, if there is an ongoing natural amassing of genetic change, we should be able to observe the instantiation of a new family, order, etc. Right?

    I know the extended timelines and myriad  miniscule genetic changes required, but in hundreds of years the chart from family, order, and higher has been mostly static (outside of some arguing about where a lifeform should reside).

    There is no argument that a species can have certain genetic traits enable/disabled to create a new color, size, shape, etc. There is no argument that a species of birds that have longer beaks will do better in an environment where they must reach food at a further distance. There is no argument that a virus can succeed in an environment due to changes which prevent its target antibodies from killing it (while the target successfully kills the previous strain).

    All of those you dismiss and deride are only asking for one simple piece of evidence for the “observable fact of evolution” on a large scale – please provide evidence of an observed new branch at the family, order, or higher level. If as claimed by evolution, that all of these lifeforms diverged into the range of life we observe today from a common or limited range of ancestors, and is ongoing, simply show where it is happening today. Shouldn’t there be some lifeform somewhere continuing to diverge to such a degree that the scientific community is looking to create a new family for it?

    One group of scientists tried to demonstrate evolution by rapidly iterating the e coli virus. Through numerous generations they observed, documented, tested, each strain of the virus. They modified certain environmental parameters to what impacts it would have.

    Yet, after 70,000 generations (humans are only at ~10,000), there is still only e coli in the environment. They did discover a recessive trait to consume alternative food sources in one generation, but still only e coli.

    To sum up – yes, there is a “fact” of evolution being observed within a species. There is no observation of those species changes amassing to another family, order, etc.


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  • SomeOther #118.  You ask for “… one simple piece of evidence for the ‘observable fact of evolution’ on a large scale – please provide evidence of an observed new branch at the family … Shouldn’t there be some lifeform somewhere continuing to diverge to such a degree that the scientific community is looking to create a new family for it?”

    I don’t mean to be rude, but here and in your previous posts in this thread, you seem demonstrate a very poor understanding of how the process of evolution works.  I confess a similar poor understanding, but rather than simply making ignorant statements (some might argue with that), I am making every effort to educate myself.  If you want to learn about evolution, you cannot do better than begin with the books written by Professor Dawkins.  I have read three, am now reading the final chapter of the fourth, and in the very near future I plan to read at least two more.  Thereafter, I plan to explore other reputable authors who have written on this subject.

    You seem to have the ability to read and write so I have no doubt that you will be able to understand the material as well as I do.  If you take the time to make an in-depth study of this subject, I can promise you that you will find more to marvel at by contemplating reality, than in anything offered by any religious magical thinking.  More likely than not, you will never find “one simple piece of evidence” to explain anything – scientific or otherwise, that’s why they invented universities.  Reality is complex, and the complexity is breathtakingly beautiful.  We are so fortunate that we live in the 21st century when ignoramuses like you and I have access to all the great libraries of the world by means of our electronic devices.  We don’t need to wallow in misinformation much of which was propagated before it was understood that the earth is not the center of the cosmos.  Have all the questions been answered? Of course not, that’s why they invented research grants.  Looking for answers is what science is all about, just as defending dogma is what religion, Christian or otherwise, is about.  The one thing I can assert without fear of contradiction is that the answers to our current and future questions will be found in the natural world, and no answers will require nonexistent celestial beings who spin straw into gold.

    Finally, if I may be so bold as to offer this piece of advice:  don’t look for simple answers to complex questions – I think you will find complex answers much more satisfying.


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  • SomeOther

    Many of the tasks and goal you highlighted are very valuable. But why? They may have personal value to improve your life experience. But do they matter to others?

    As I mentioned, I’ve read on leadership and have made observations of families with different types of leadership style and my personal conclusion is that those families with assertive ethical leadership have better outcomes than those with minimal leadership or bad leadership. If we have the goal of promoting our offspring toward a better life, however we define it, then I believe that good family leadership is part of the plan that can get us there. Hopefully ethical family leadership will extend out to the community and then to society too and maybe beyond that.

     

    What if someone else’s goals for life experience include the eradication of other persons? By what do we object?

    This immediately sets off a yellow alert to as being a trick question. Why did you choose the word “eradication”? What exactly do you mean by that? Genocide? Murder? Abortion? Capital punishment? This question is too vague. You may be happy and comfortable with a one size fits all edict – Thou shalt not kill, but that’s not how ethics and reality work. Humans DO kill each other and there are many different circumstances that prompt this behavior. In ethics, we ask the question, Is there harm? If so, who is the harm to? What must be done about the harm, etc. Those of us who utilize ethics and specifically bioethics to come to our best understanding of these questions need to commit to some deep thinking and questioning and searching for the best answers we possibly can find that work best for the current times and are consistent with our humanist morals and values.

    If an animal kills another animal, there is no court, no trial, no sentencing. Yet, if a human kills another human, there is real loss, a need for vindication, a need for justice. Why?

    First of all, humans ARE animals and we are capable of killing other sorts of animals (often) and capable of killing other human animals (often). As the Bible instructs Christians to consider themselves as beings far superior to the other animals on this planet I assume you are talking about animals other than human.

    Humans kill other humans for a multitude of reasons. Even murder under the law has several degrees of severity depending on factors and circumstances. Some types of murder are excusable and some, like war are encouraged and required. Sometimes death is merciful under some circumstances.

    By the way, don’t assume that other types of animals are immune to grief. Some animals exhibit behavior that we believe to be mourning and not much different than what we humans demonstrate in similar situations. We are not special in that way.

    Interesting that you presuppose that religions are founded upon “the installation of guilt and fear”. If that were so, then why the goal of removing or releasing said guilt and fear?

    What makes you think that’s the goal?

    Guilt and fear are used heavily in persuasion on all subjects by all people. We can find it in religion, global warming, education, weight loss, etc. Yet, the “true Scotsman” is declared free. Seems to be a conflict here.

    No. I don’t agree. That’s how religion and some other ideologies operate. There’s a whole world out there that you must be unaware of that functions on rational thinking, humanism, altruism, the pursuit of scientific truth and ethical principles. Try to power down your previously installed religious programming and see how it might be to live guilt free. You’d need to accept that there’s no such thing as sin. There are ways to influence the behavior of others without scaring them with threats of torture and accusations of intrinsic dirty badness. There are ways to deal with inevitable mistakes and bad behavior that don’t involve degradation and humiliation. This must come as some surprise to you.

    The proposition is that another has paid the price, and the Christian is no longer indebted to their infraction. Seems like a pretty good deal.

    If you are referring to the idea that Jesus, the son of God has died for our sins, then no, It’s not a good deal. It’s a shitty deal and a dishonest one. This is a get out of jail free card granted to the Christians by themselves who can’t deal with the fact of their own very human, very animal, so called sinful behavior. Ever heard of the concept of scapegoating? Blaming and punishing another for something bad you’ve done yourself. Sound familiar? Why not just be honest with yourself? Why not make amends for your own mistakes and bad judgement? Isn’t that the honest way?

    Jesus didn’t die for your puny boring sins. He died (if he even existed in the first place) because he really made a nuisance of himself in a time and a place where life was cheap and punishment was a form of public entertainment. 

    So, if you an I can say that we have never broken the speed limit, lied, stolen, hurt someone, etc. then we can remove the whole subject as we are perfect. But, I don’t think either of us would claim that.

    I wouldn’t consider claiming perfection. Far from it but the difference is that on discovery that I’ve behaved badly I’ll go straight to ethical guidelines to make amends to whoever is wronged while you’ll take very different action depending on which variety of church you attend.

    Arrogant? Hmm, I would contend assured and confident as I have every confidence in the truth and facts. 

    Yes! This is exactly what I’m talking about! People who believe they have a monopoly on truth and facts are rigid thinkers, fear based, guilt driven and come off as extremely ARROGANT! There’s no humility, and no inquisitiveness.

     It would be far simpler and easier to quietly watch someone continue on than to risk confrontation? Wouldn’t it?

    The motivations of human behavior are many and often not on the surface of our consciousness. It wouldn’t be surprising at all for a devout Christian, Muslim or Jew to sidle up to us and impart their take on the “truth” as what they consider to be an act of compassion for their fellow albeit doomed humans. Is there any other payoff here? Sure there is! Consider that many actions that have an appearance of altruism are in fact absolutely self- serving. While you consider all of that may I remind you of what you said in comment 101?

    Now let us reevaluate Hitler using the same method with a different label – atheistic.Seeing persons as accidental or incidental? Yes.Seeing persons as without purpose? Yes.Seeing persons as without inherent value? Yes.Seeing persons as disposable? yes.No absolute morality? Yes.

    These are not the words of someone coming over for a chat with the atheists in a spirit of sympathy and compassion as you said in #115.

    My greatest aspiration here is to simply lay a clear representation of both sides on the table so that an earnest mind can choose.

    Hard to believe in all honesty. You started off with some serious accusations against us. I don’t believe you’ve ever engaged with our community in an “earnest” way.  Reading about Hitler and Mao and Stalin have nothing to do with a sympathetic and compassionate interaction with us. You have a long way to go before you could ever claim that.


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  • SomeOther says:

    Yet, after 70,000 generations (humans are only at ~10,000), there is still only e coli in the environment.

    That is straight from the creationist website of cut and paste strawman pseudo-evolution book, where new genera instantly appear, and cows transform into whales overnight!

    E.coli evolves into new strains of E.coli.  It doesn’t turn in butterflies etc. as some creationists have claimed in their strawman version of evolution that says it should.

    Refuting strawman evolution only  seems credible to followers who only “study” pseudoscience, and know nothing about how biology actually works.

    Genetic changes accumulate mutations over many generations and millions of years. Changes are SLOW and speciation can take thousands or millions of years.

    Only in special circumstances such as in  breeding polyploid hybrids, do new species appear rapidly Eukaryotes.

    Bacteria on the other hand exchange genetic material horizontally constantly  and rapidly evolve new strains Hence antibiotic resistance makes them immune to treatments.

    All of those you dismiss and deride are only asking for one simple piece of evidence for the “observable fact of evolution” on a large scale –

    Sorry, but you are talking about charlatans here who concoct misleading information which is only credible to the uneducated, and who have been corrected on many occasions, but still repeat the same nonsense and encourage their followers to parrot it. No professional biologists take them seriously!

    Most laugh at their incompetent posturings of pseudo-expertise while failing at school level biology.

    please provide evidence of an observed new branch at the family, order, or higher level.

    This is simply the false dichotomy of pretending there is a disconnect between micro evolution and macroevolution, where none exists.

    If as claimed by evolution, that all of these lifeforms diverged into the range of life we observe today from a common or limited range of ancestors, and is ongoing, simply show where it is happening today.

    It is happening everywhere! That’s why I gave you a link to the 50 scientific journals where there are tens of thousands of articles on the current work on this. Every living thing on the planet is evolving. There is a common ancestor at the base of every new branch on the tree of life.

    As for common ancestors, we now have identified  the core genes from the ancestor species of all life on Earth!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_microorganism

    In July 2016, scientists reported identifying a set of 355 genes from the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) of all life on the planet,

     

    Shouldn’t there be some life-form somewhere continuing to diverge to such a degree that the scientific community is looking to create a new family for it?

    Yep! It is happening everywhere! That’s why I gave you a link to the 50 scientific journals where there are articles on the current work on this, but it takes many generations to move through variations, sub-species and species, to higher orders with greater separation of branches.

    That is why scientific measurements which cover extended time spans beyond human life spans have to be used. Those involve genetic tracking, examination of related species, and the use of dated fossils.

    Examples like ring-species show the processes in action where a species has spread into a diversity of habitats and is evolving to make optimum use of the local conditions.

    Comprehension of these does require some study and depth of understanding of biology and genetics.

  • SomeOther says:

    To sum up – yes, there is a “fact” of evolution being observed within a species. There is no observation of those species changes amassing to another family, order, etc.

    There are whole libraries and thousands of peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals full of evidence.

    That fact that some self-deluding science illiterate on some creationist website SAYS there is no evidence, makes not a ha’peth of difference to the mountains of evidence which have been collected in the last 150 years.

    “There is no observation of those species changes amassing to another family, order, etc.” by creationists who are too uneducated to recognise evidence, or read the scientific explanations of how mechanisms evolved and are evolving, even if they were inclined to actually look at the published detailed material available.

    Meanwhile, in the genetics labs, in the biomedical industries, the agricultural research institutes, and the biology and palaeontology  departments of the universities of the world, there are vast numbers  of investigations producing masses of evidence of working evolutionary biology all the time.

    As I was saying over on this thread, there is a vast array of fossils, but that makes no difference to the pronouncements from deniers who have no idea about fossils, geology or dating processes,  in the first place.

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2020/02/open-discussion-february-2020/#comment-238395

     


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  • @SomeOther

    Have we observed genetic changes in lifeforms?  Sure, agreed.
    Have we observed certain lifeforms succeeding due to those genetic changes? Sure, agreed.
    Have we observed any amassing of genetic changes resulting a new family, order, or higher? No.

    So, if there is an ongoing natural amassing of genetic change, we should be able to observe the instantiation of a new family, order, etc. Right?

    To sum up – yes, there is a “fact” of evolution being observed within a species. There is no observation of those species changes amassing to another family, order, etc.

    It is difficult to know whether you are being ignorant, which would be pitiable, or deliberately and wilfully ignorant, which would be reprehensible. It should be apparent as a matter of simple logic that if a certain amount of change is possible over a certain amount of time then much more change will occur over a longer period of time and at some point that amount of change must reach 100% and a new species forms. You entire argument basically boils down to little more than whining that humans don’t live long enough.

    There are no such things as micro and macro evolution. These are fake labels invented by creationists so they can admit to some degree of change, that amount they can abserve during a lifetime, and still continue to deny speciation. We have a term for this. It’s called lying for Jesus and creationists and apologists do it all the time. Its purpose is not to convince scientists who can see through such transparent nonsense easily. Its purpose is to give the gullible, science illiterate bible thumpers some cheap crumbs of argument to console themselves with and throw back at critical thinkers.

    I don’t know why you come in here or what you get out of it. We have no need of your lies or your stupid irrational arguments.


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  • @messinam100

    Welcome to the discussion.

    I believe what you perceive as a poor understanding of evolution is a “getting down to brass tacks”. I am well versed in the depth and breadth of the proposal, but prefer to get down to the core tenants. One of those being the skyhook of time.

    The simple evidence is an actual observation of the results claimed. So, if we apply this to gravity, we can demonstrate that things fall. If we apply it to radio waves, we can transmit a signal in a measured and repeatable fashion. If we apply it to chemistry, we can cause reactions, bonds, etc. All throughout science we have the ability to measure an outcome to support the theory. Yet, when it comes to evolution on a large scale (macro), many affirm without ever observing it. Changes within the species/family are commonly observed. But beyond that, even the journals only have hypotheticals.

    So, as logic goes, those who claim that the amassing of minute evolutionary changes generates (generated) the diversity of life today must demonstrate such.


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  • @laurieb-2

    This immediately sets off a yellow alert to as being a trick question. Why did you choose the word “eradication”? What exactly do you mean by that? Genocide? Murder? Abortion? Capital punishment? This question is too vague.

    Not a trick. The point is while you may choose one standard for living, if there is no absolute/objective moral standard, then how can humans declare something good or bad? Someone 180 degrees out from our chosen standard may be fully validated in their choices as they have a world view which calls for such actions. If we claim that killing another is wrong, universally, then we are claiming their is a universal morality. If there is a universal morality, then it must originate outside of humankind as we are not universal.

    You may be happy and comfortable with a one size fits all edict – Thou shalt not kill, but that’s not how ethics and reality work. Humans DO kill each other and there are many different circumstances that prompt this behavior.

    Yet, it is by that edict that we take action to execute justice. If there is no edict of “thou shalt not murder”, then there is no reason to arrest, try, and sentence a murderer.

    Murder vs kill is another long topic for another time.

    In ethics, we ask the question, Is there harm? If so, who is the harm to? What must be done about the harm, etc. Those of us who utilize ethics and specifically bioethics to come to our best understanding of these questions need to commit to some deep thinking and questioning and searching for the best answers we possibly can find that work best for the current times and are consistent with our humanist morals and values.

    The problem with the paragraph is it is a futile effort with out an objective baseline. For one may declare there is harm while another declares there is no harm. We have many instances today where opposed side vehemently contend this very subject.

    There are very complex moral issues due to there being complex issues in life. At the same time, there are some objective morals to cut through the complexity. Many of the complexities of modern societies are self inflicted due to the reject of objective morals.

    First of all, humans ARE animals and we are capable of killing other sorts of animals (often) and capable of killing other human animals (often). As the Bible instructs Christians to consider themselves as beings far superior to the other animals on this planet I assume you are talking about animals other than human.

    Hmm, yet we are the only ones to have the ability to reshape our world, create, execute justice, consider the universe, change our role, etc. So if we are animals, why are we so extremely separated from all other “animals”?

    Animals are born with instinct and always due what their patterns are. Dogs are dogs. Cats are cats. Horses are horses. Humans, are born with a ‘blank slate’ – an open ability to select what their function/role/purpose will be. Some will create. Some will destroy. Some will grow food. Some will research the universe.

    It is interesting that you reference an ancient document which states humankind will have dominion over the planet. And as the scientific method requires, we observe that very thing.

     

    Humans kill other humans for a multitude of reasons. Even murder under the law has several degrees of severity depending on factors and circumstances. Some types of murder are excusable and some, like war are encouraged and required. Sometimes death is merciful under some circumstances.

    Sure. But here we would have to navigate into the discussion of murder vs. killing.

     

    By the way, don’t assume that other types of animals are immune to grief. Some animals exhibit behavior that we believe to be mourning and not much different than what we humans demonstrate in similar situations. We are not special in that way.

    Sure. The loss of another communal life form can be impactful to any lifeform. But do they seek a trial or justice? Do they hold remembrances at later times?

    Interesting that you presuppose that religions are founded upon “the installation of guilt and fear”. If that were so, then why the goal of removing or releasing said guilt and fear?

     

    What makes you think that’s the goal?

    The documentation. Now, there are those who corrupt the plan and make the goal different than the documentation.

    No. I don’t agree. That’s how religion and some other ideologies operate. There’s a whole world out there that you must be unaware of that functions on rational thinking, humanism, altruism, the pursuit of scientific truth and ethical principles.

    Sure, there are segments which deal with the hypothetical in these methods. But when it comes time to engage the masses and generate action – the majority is motivation through fear and guilt. The Ozone – “we’re all gonna die and it’s your fault”. The rainforest – “we’re all gonna die and it’s your fault”. The environment – “we’re going to destroy the planet and it’s your fault”.

    Try to power down your previously installed religious programming and see how it might be to live guilt free. You’d need to accept that there’s no such thing as sin. There are ways to influence the behavior of others without scaring them with threats of torture and accusations of intrinsic dirty badness. There are ways to deal with inevitable mistakes and bad behavior that don’t involve degradation and humiliation. This must come as some surprise to you.

    Not at all. It has been tried many times with some success. Yet, at some point, even the most positive and affirmative hit the wall of reality. They look in the mirror and honestly understand who they are and recognize the need for correction and help.

    I am guilt free. It is part of being rescued, cleaned, and declared good by the judge. A person declared innocent can walk out of the courtroom with no concerns. I wasn’t declared innocent on my own accord, far from it.

    Sin… Interesting that you bring that up. How would you define it?

    If you are referring to the idea that Jesus, the son of God has died for our sins, then no, It’s not a good deal. It’s a shitty deal and a dishonest one. This is a get out of jail free card granted to the Christians by themselves who can’t deal with the fact of their own very human, very animal, so called sinful behavior. Ever heard of the concept of scapegoating? Blaming and punishing another for something bad you’ve done yourself. Sound familiar? Why not just be honest with yourself? Why not make amends for your own mistakes and bad judgement? Isn’t that the honest way?

     

    Jesus didn’t die for your puny boring sins. He died (if he even existed in the first place) because he really made a nuisance of himself in a time and a place where life was cheap and punishment was a form of public entertainment.

    Wow, ok. So, history isn’t your thing (“if he even existed”). The only thing I will ask in this regard is how can someone write the story of a persons death 600+ years before it occurs, with pertinent details, and have it happen with those details? Doesn’t that cause a little thought?

    …on discovery that I’ve behaved badly I’ll go straight to ethical guidelines to make amends to whoever is wronged while you’ll take very different action depending on which variety of church you attend.

    How? If ethics are flexible and personal, how do you evaluate bad/wrong/violation? Is it due to your perception or the others?

    Actions taken? Confession, repentance, repayment. Seems they are pretty close.

    Yes! This is exactly what I’m talking about! People who believe they have a monopoly on truth and facts are rigid thinkers, fear based, guilt driven and come off as extremely ARROGANT! There’s no humility, and no inquisitiveness.

    So, if we were to talk to someone who created something – a swiss watch maker maybe – and we ask him about the watch he design, created, and operates, should we not take his word as accurate? Many hear are very rigid on their acceptance of a scientists or books statements, are they not?

    These are not the words of someone coming over for a chat with the atheists in a spirit of sympathy and compassion as you said in #115.

    Now be transparent here. I proposed, from my personal experience and other discussions, the standings of those atheists. When you countered, I asked for clarification to better understand your view.  But further, I have continued to discuss with you and others. If there were no concern, why continue?

    Hard to believe in all honesty. You started off with some serious accusations against us. I don’t believe you’ve ever engaged with our community in an “earnest” way.  Reading about Hitler and Mao and Stalin have nothing to do with a sympathetic and compassionate interaction with us. You have a long way to go before you could ever claim that.

    Accusations? Do I need to produce the numerous documents/videos/comments which state the same things I identified above? The numerous discussions about “being just a random temporal speck on this planet”, “no objective morality”, “no innate purpose”? That seems dishonest and playing the victim.

    If I was not concerned, why would I continue?


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  • @alan4discussion

    That is straight from the creationist website of cut and paste strawman pseudo-evolution book, where new genera instantly appear, and cows transform into whales overnight!

    No, it is from studying the actual research. Your further overreach, “instantly appear”, is claimed by no one. Hence the skyhook of time by evolutionists – some of which have arrived at infinity when calculating the age of the earth due the increased understanding of complexity.

    This is simply the false dichotomy of pretending there is a disconnect between micro evolution and macroevolution, where none exists.

    Save one – micro has been observed, macro hasn’t. Science has observed minute changes in lifeforms for centuries. But something happens when those changes reach critical mass – the host is destroyed or cannot sustain life. “Most non-neutral mutations are deleterious. In general, the more base pairs that are affected by a mutation, the larger the effect of the mutation, and the larger the mutation’s probability of being deleterious. ”

    Yep! It is happening everywhere! That’s why I gave you a link to the 50 scientific journals where there are articles on the current work on this, but it takes many generations to move through variations, sub-species and species, to higher orders with greater separation of branches.

    Yet, when it comes to anything beyond the species, the language shifts to hypothetical – could, may, should, etc.

    Examples like ring-species show the processes in action where a species has spread into a diversity of habitats and is evolving to make optimum use of the local conditions.

    Yet they are still in the same family and those most aligned to their environment succeed. Another theory is that you roll the dice for each generation. The minor traits will very with every offspring. Those who receive the right mix for their environment will succeed. Those that lose the lottery will fade away. Pretty simple. Look at cat/dog litters. The runt (loser of the lottery) has the lowest chance of success.


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  • @alan4discussion

    There are whole libraries and thousands of peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals full of evidence.

    This is where we diverge. Evidence requires observation, testing, and recreation. I have read many of those articles and there is commonly a hypothetical tone – could, may, should, might, etc. So, those are viewed accordingly as hypothesis.

    I again return to all of the experiments attempting to observe evolution. The most recent being the e coli evolutionary experiment. The results thus far a that there are no beneficial amassing of evolutionary changes.

    All of those labs are operating within a given species or family. They are making better corn, better, medicines.

    Fossils are great. Most indicate that the same segmentations we have today we had then. Some larger, some smaller, a lot more large reptiles. Especially the fossils of entire schools of fish…


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  • @arkrid-sandwich

    It should be apparent as a matter of simple logic that if a certain amount of change is possible over a certain amount of time then much more change will occur over a longer period of time and at some point that amount of change must reach 100% and a new species forms.

    Yet that is antithetical to the findings of evolution itself.

    “Most non-neutral mutations are deleterious. In general, the more base pairs that are affected by a mutation, the larger the effect of the mutation, and the larger the mutation’s probability of being deleterious. ” – Nature

    So, if we multiply the changes, then the most common outcome is harm or loss.

     

    There are no such things as micro and macro evolution.

    So then, why do evolutionary changes never leave the species/family? Why, as mentioned above, does the amassing of changes result in negative impacts to the host? The escape card of time (not observable due to length of time required) is easily countered by asking what of those divergences that started 200,000 years ago. Can’t we see those now?

    I don’t know why you come in here or what you get out of it. We have no need of your lies or your stupid irrational arguments.

     
    This is funny. You call me irrational when science declares your opening paragraph false or highly improbable.
    I engage in the hopes to help some consider an alternative view. It strikes me as odd how an alternative theory is mocked and struck down when almost all of its claims are observable.

     


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  • This discussion seems to have developed into a debate about evolution and where our morals come from, neither of which have very much to do with Hitler or Pol Pot. I propose that it is moved to the Open Discussion, or to some other (more relevant) thread?


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  • SomeOther says:

    Hence the skyhook of time by evolutionists – some of which have arrived at infinity when calculating the age of the earth due the increased understanding of complexity.

    The use of the term “evolutionist” is an indication of scientific illiteracy when referring to geneticists, nuclear physicists cosmologists and astronomers.

    some of which have arrived at infinity when calculating the age of the earth due the increased understanding of complexity.

    You really are showing an absence of a scientific education and blind copying from pseudoscience sites.

    No modern scientists think the Earth is infinitely old.

    The age of the Earth is estimated to be 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years (4.54 × 109 years ± 1%). – calculated by radiometric dating.

    The age of the Universe is 13.8 billion years old.

    This is simply the false dichotomy of pretending there is a disconnect between micro evolution and macroevolution, where none exists

    Save one – micro has been observed, macro hasn’t. Science has observed minute changes in lifeforms for centuries.

    This simply demonstrates a lack of understanding of the sampling of a continuous process.

    It fails to understand the evidence acquired by scientific  forensic indirect investigation. (“No one directly observed the murder, – so it did not happen!” is the flawed thinking behind this.) The DNA and fossils are the fingerprints which are the evidence gathered after the events.

    But something happens when those changes reach critical mass – the host is destroyed or cannot sustain life.

    This is pure pseudoscience! Ancestral species don’t give birth to new species and then be destroyed!  The offspring over generations gradually change as they are moulded by their changing environments.

    Where a population separates and parts become geographically isolated from each other, there is no longer an exchange of genes between the separated populations, so they continue to evolve as separate sub-species and eventually as separate species.  Some branches fail and die out. Evolution is about populations and diversity within gene-pools, not just individuals. Evolution is a branching tree, NOT a ladder!

    “Most non-neutral mutations are deleterious.

    The vast majority of mutations are neutral. Many are also recessive so show no physical changes in the first generation of offspring. If damaging recessives,  eventually pop up, the individual may be damaged or die. The rest of the population goes on as before.

    In general, the more base pairs that are affected by a mutation, the larger the effect of the mutation, and the larger the mutation’s probability of being deleterious. ”

    This is commonly repeated mythology.  Whole strands of DNA can be repositioned and whole chromosomes duplicated and still produce viable or even polyploid enhanced offspring.

    If there are expressed damaging mutations lets say in five of a hundred eggs in a turtle nest, then those eggs may not hatch or the hatchling may quickly die.

    Given that in many species hundreds die anyway and only one in a thousand reaches maturity to breed, some selected out losses are no big deal.

    Examples like ring-species show the processes in action where a species has spread into a diversity of habitats and is evolving to make optimum use of the local conditions.

    Yet they are still in the same family and those most aligned to their environment succeed. Another theory is that you roll the dice for each generation. The minor traits will very with every offspring. Those who receive the right mix for their environment will succeed. Those that lose the lottery will fade away.

    That is how evolution works – a small step at a time. Generation after generation. It usually takes millions of years for separation to reach family level.

    Ring species are an excellent example, as if the middle section of the environment changes eliminating the connecting species, the two ends are isolated and will continue to develop independently as separate species

    There are numerous examples on isolated islands, where some  plants or animals were lucky enough to be blown ashore in a storm, rather than out to sea, and have continued to evolve as separate species to the mainland ancestral species from which they are descended.

    You really need to abandon copying creationist pseudoscience junk, and study some basic biology textbooks.


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  • SomeOther

    Animals are born with instinct and always due what their patterns are. Dogs are dogs. Cats are cats. Horses are horses. Humans, are born with a ‘blank slate’ – an open ability to select what their function/role/purpose will be. Some will create. Some will destroy. Some will grow food. Some will research the universe.

    This paragraph demonstrates profound ignorance. The blank slate idea is long gone and I mean by decades.

    I’m with Alan in the comment above when he says that you need to study basic biology and now I will include some basic psychology 101 level material as well. When you muster up the courage to study real science then I’ll be happy to engage but until then this is an exercise in futility.

    After I read your last comment the phrase that popped into the front of my mind was; Shoveling shit against the tide.

     



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  • I’m going to take one last shot at this thread.  LaurieB I like the sentiment you expressed in the last paragraph of 131, and I could think of a few more colorful proverbs to capture that thought however, I think I’ll leave them unwritten.  LOL.  Likewise, Alan, I find your posts very informative.

    SomeOther #124.  It’s interesting that you use the term “skyhook of time.”  It reminds me of a very long discussion in Daniel Dennett’s book, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, Evolution and the Meaning of Life.  Dennett cites the Oxford English Dictionary to define skyhook as an imaginary contrivance for attachment to the sky; an imaginary means of suspension in the sky.  Dennett writes:  “Skyhooks would be wonderful things to have, great for lifting unwieldy objects out of difficult circumstances, and speeding up all sorts of construction projects.”  Skyhooks don’t exist!  However, again quoiting Dennett: “Cranes can do the work of lifting work our imaginary skyhooks might do, and they do it in an honest, non-question-begging fashion.”
     
    Creationism assumes that life, in all it’s forms from bacteria to humans came into being by divine command – the epitome of a skyhook if ever there was.  “And God said …  Let the earth bring forth the living creature … and it was so … And God said, Let us make man in our image … So God created man in his own image …”  Nice poetry, but it requires a skyhook mentality, don’t you think?  Darwin, as Dennett writes, offered us a more rational, scientific account to explain how from the most rudimentary form, by taking the tiniest possible steps, life developed and evolved into the myriad forms that have existed over the eons of time.  “Each step has been accomplished by brute, mechanical, algorithmic climbing, from the base already built by the efforts of earlier climbing.”

    You write:  “Yet, when it comes to evolution on a large scale (macro), many affirm without ever observing it. Changes within the species/family are commonly observed. But beyond that, even the journals only have hypotheticals.”  I think that is just wrong.  In The Ancestors Tale, Professor Dawkins points to three kinds of evidence which supports the Theory (theory as opposed to hypothesis) of Evolution:  1) the fossil record; 2) the ability to read the DNA code “which has been handed down from remote ancestors with prodigious fidelity … for millions, sometimes hundreds of millions, of years.”; 3) Triangulation – “Even if we had no fossils, a sophisticated comparison of modern animals would permit a fair and plausible reconstruction of their ancestors … As the libraries of the world accumulate long and exact DNA listings from more and more modern species, the reliability of our triangulations will increase, particularly because DNA texts have such a large range of overlaps.”
     
    So, yes, the evidence of evolution is there, some of it requires detailed study by highly trained scholars, but we are so fortunate to live in a time when those scholars summarize their work in language that allows lay people such as myself to understand. Please, SomeOther, seriously consider what Alan and LaurieB wrote above. It’s been my experience that they and the other regular contributors to this site are very knowledgeable.


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  • In the beginning
    Are the believers, hostile and arrogant
    Sure of their ground
    Sure of their virtue
    Sure of our guilt.
     
    On the first day 
    They come, ignorant of science
    Unread in psychology
    Strangers to sociology:
    Blaming all on sin.
     
    On the second day
    “But we come in peace,” they cry:
    “We spoke in love
    When we said you were less than human,
    That the atheist was father to the tyrant.
    (Though it must be true, else why object?)”
     
    On the third day
    They come, ignorant, but eager to spread 
    Their mangled misconceptions,
    Snatches of science, abridged and contorted;
    Declaring free will, poor dears,
    As though they had a choice;
    Offering their religion’s redemption
    From a fate of their religion’s devising. 
    (“Though deep-down you need it, else why engage?”)
     
    On the fourth day
    They come, the purveyors of faith, demanding evidence!
    They who believe in the Passeth all understanding 
    The mover in mysterious ways 
    The parter of seas 
    The walker on water 
    The water to wine 
    The stopper of suns and 
    The riser from the dead.
    (“You must believe it too, else why argue?”)
     
    On the fifth day
    They come 
    Deaf to explanations
    Blind to conclusions
    Shameless rehashers
    Regurgitating their pap
    Like vultures feeding their young.
    (“You must want it, else why rise to the bait?”)
     
    On the sixth day
    They come again
    But no one cares.
    The arguments were already stale
    Before the In the beginning
    And this is a script we’ve heard 
    So many times before.
    And we see every thing that has been said
    And behold, it is very silly.
     
    So on the seventh day
    We rest and ignore it.
    And they go to church and announce:
    “They must believe it, else why won’t they argue with me?”
     
    And for a while, there is peace.
    But the Earth turns and the Earth moves
    And the day will come when another “they” will be back
    And like the countless “theys” who have gone before
    They will begin again at the In the beginning
    And work through the first day
    And the second day
    And the third
    And the fourth
    And the fifth
    And the sixth
    And every one of them will think they are the first.


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  • Most Sunday nights I watch The Atheist Experience on Youtube. A phone-in show based in Austin, Texas hosted by atheists like Matt Dillahunty which theists can phone in to and debate their religious views or offer up their irrefutable proofs of god which is a common theme. It can be hard going listening to it though. The stupid is powerfully strong in most of the callers. A couple of years ago a bible thumper from NY on being informed by a host that essentially the sun powers all life on earth asked why we don’t die at night time then. On being told the human body contains and uses a certain amount of electricity (nerve impulses etc) he asked why if that’s true we don’t get electrocuted in the shower.

    My point is though that after hundreds of shows and thousands of callers you get to hear all the standard arguments that theists regurgitate and you tend to learn where they originate, usually from professional apologists like the Hovinds, Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis (AIG), Ray “bananaman” Comfort, Sye Ten Bruggencate etc. What SomeOther is regurgitating seems to be primarily the green Aigs and Ham stuff which basically tries to claim that scientists aren’t allowed to talk about anything they weren’t there to actually witness which precludes the earth being millions of years old and also that only micro evolution can be true. It’s a pathetic and dishonest argument and I’m fairly certain now that Ken Ham doesn’t actually believe a word he spouts. He’s in it for the money and there are millions more gullible theists he can fleece in the USA than back in his native Australia.

    In fact the more you watch these apologists debating the more you realise how dishonest they are. They always start with “we just want an honest debate” and the second you hear that you know the lying is about to start. Try this series of videos by Paulogia debunking the Genesis Paradise Lost movie from Eric Hovind.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2W4g9BYYimU

    Note the plea for an honest debate followed by dozens of quotes out of context, made up statistics, references to sources that turn out not to exist etc. These people are pathalogical and compulsive liars masquerading as truth tellers and holding up their banner of christianity as though that confers any sort of honesty or goodness on them.

    Anyway, if nothing else maybe you liked the green Aigs and Ham joke 🙂


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  • @SomeOther

    It should be apparent as a matter of simple logic that if a certain amount of change is possible over a certain amount of time then much more change will occur over a longer period of time and at some point that amount of change must reach 100% and a new species forms.

    Yet that is antithetical to the findings of evolution itself.

    “Most non-neutral mutations are deleterious. In general, the more base pairs that are affected by a mutation, the larger the effect of the mutation, and the larger the mutation’s probability of being deleterious. ” – Nature

    So, if we multiply the changes, then the most common outcome is harm or loss.

    You are conflating the issue of a single large mutation affecting many base pairs in a single event which may indeed stop a gene working altogether or harm an entire chromosome with the entirely separate matter of millions of tiny changes each checked and working before another generation comes along and which accumulate gradually over vast periods of time until a new species is formed. Whether this conflation was from genuine ignorance or deliberate mendacity I’m not sure.

  • Arkrid Sandwich says:

    Note the plea for an honest debate followed by dozens of quotes out of context, made up statistics, references to sources that turn out not to exist etc.

    Ah! But you should remember that these are “cut and pasted” from “genuine creationist faithful sites”, and have the full endorsement of an all-knowing, omnipotent god delusion!

    These people are pathological and compulsive liars masquerading as truth tellers and holding up their banner of christianity as though that confers any sort of honesty or goodness on them.

    God delusions do award official badges of “goodness” to their mind slaves engaging in their highly valued Trrroooo proselytising!  Dunning-Kruger confidence comes as standard with the god-delusion program.

    We should remember that Humpty Dumptyist redefinition of words is a prime mode of apologist argument.

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Humpty_Dumptyism

    Terms like “science, evidence, research,  truth, and logic” become self-awarded badges of authority stuck on to assertions, rather than the objective and rational PROCESSES which are described in dictionary definitions.

     


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  • Reading through made me wonder not ponder a thought. excuse me. Why did he not include Christopher James Christie in this article. It does go Stalin, Hitler, Polpot, Christie. All of the atrocities all rolled up into one. Called in a program roll roll no rollin it.


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