[quote author=“advancedatheist”]Secondly, nobody claimed that Hitler could save people from sin and raise them from the dead, but plenty of Germans willingly gave their lives for him.
Read Mein Kampf. Hitler knew that culture and religion were strings to pull to make people give up their lives for a cause. It’s all through Mein Kampf. One thing that you will not find is any devotion in Hitler himself to these ideals. Instead Hitler objects to the Jew as a nation-less freak, trying to work out their own supremacy through the watering-down of local and tribal culture and supplanting it with a uniquely Jewish internationalism. Hitler found religious prejudice against the Jews good for squabbling, but insufficient for erradicating the problem. And why did Hitler want to wipe out Jewish miraculism? Because it violated the clear principle set forth by nature he called the “aristocratic principle of nature”.
Believing that one would inherit a kingdom from the theoretical God, blinded men from fighting the fight for their race and tribe according to the ever-working aristocratic principle. The Jew was an enemy to all mankind for providing salve instead of full conciousness and embrace of the struggle (kampf) to survive.
Hitler took an extremely pragmatic view, if there is a group that is causing all this trouble, eliminate them. QED. My reading is that Hitler’s crime was not so much religious belief as the reduction of man to levers and pulleys.
Now, what was the cause of the Holocaust? Was it the theory that observed nature and realized that the strata could be pushed in such a manner or the strata that was pushed.
Harris approach in the book is that religion is a cognitive contamination, and not an embodiment of the strata. For introducing “wierd ideas” about the undertaking, it bears the bulk of the blame.
Thus, the grimly tribalistic vision of Hitler who believed in the value of struggle (because it had brought us “this far” by evolution) is the cognitive element. Religiousness is likely to be found the exploited strata, mined richly by Hitler, if Mein Kampf be believed.
Thus, Harris’ methodology might be applied to find that Hitler’s own combination of secular beliefs (perhaps the iconfication of Evolution) is at blame for the Holocaust, because it forms the cognitive root.