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Hitler’s Theology
Posted: 22 January 2008 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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This discussion is very interesting and contains a lot of detail which I have only had time to skim. As far as I can see there is a main argument about whether Hitler, Stalin et al were motivated by religious or atheist principles.

This misses the point about why people do what they do.

The conscious mind, which decides what we are going to do and carries those actions out, is very weak in comparison to the hidden parts of the mind, what Freud called the subconscious and Jung called the unconscious.

The conscious mind can call on all manner of rationales to justify what it wants. In doing so it is obeying the dictates of the subconscious/unconscious, but does not realise it.

Think of the last time you had a bad argument with a member of your family. You said things that you meant at the time, but later realised that you did not really mean. Why did you do that? A conscious mind could never say or do something it did not really want to do.

It has been estimated that the conscious mind forms only about 5% of our whole mind. The visible part of the iceberg. Subconscious/unconscious agendas are far more powerful, and dictate conscious-level behaviour.

The explanation of why Hitler and Stalin behaved as they did does not come from their expressed beliefs. It comes from their unconscious beliefs, which are a lot simpler than dogma, because they were formed in early childhood and their relationship with the most powerful influences in their lives at that time, almost certainly their parents.

Show me a tyrant and I will show you someone who has been tyrannised. Show me a terrorist and I will show you someone who has been terrorised.

It has nothing to do with professed beliefs. Those are only the servants of the real beliefs hidden in the unconscious mind, formed in early childhood. ‘I am a bad person.’ ‘People want to destroy me.’ ‘I will never have enough.’ Etc.

The argument about whether these deeply damaged people chose religious or atheistic ideas to drive their destructive careers will never reach a conclusion, because it has not investigated their psychology.

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Posted: 22 January 2008 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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mesomorph - 22 January 2008 08:10 PM

Show me a tyrant and I will show you someone who has been tyrannised. Show me a terrorist and I will show you someone who has been terrorised.

While that sounds logical, I wouldn’t know how to phrase that argument without giving the mistaken impression that I’m excusing the tyranny or the terror. Your spelling suggests that you’re from England, and you may not be aware that many American conservatives dismiss arguments such as yours as “typical liberals being soft on crime” or even as siding with the criminals against the victims. Not your fault, obviously.

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Posted: 23 January 2008 06:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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Carstonio - 22 January 2008 09:28 PM

While that sounds logical, I wouldn’t know how to phrase that argument without giving the mistaken impression that I’m excusing the tyranny or the terror. Your spelling suggests that you’re from England, and you may not be aware that many American conservatives dismiss arguments such as yours as “typical liberals being soft on crime” or even as siding with the criminals against the victims. Not your fault, obviously.

I do live in England, where we also have plenty of right-wing conservatives! You could try pointing to the logical flaw in their ‘soft on crime’ argument, i.e. that stating the real cause of something is not the same as condoning it. If you want to solve a problem, it’s helpful to understand it first. If you really want to solve a deep psychological problem you have to engage in deep psychology.

Of course there is the more narrowly efficient solution of killing people or imprisoning them, if you can’t ignore them. With one’s own criminals, that’s just about manageable, though it still leaves you with a lot of criminals, since the root causes have not been dealt with. And here we put in, since we are talking about crime, that Christians outnumber atheists in American jails by ten to one. So religious indoctrination is by no means the answer either.

The problem of whole populations ruled by dangerous paranoid psychopaths is, of course, different. You may have to fight them if they threaten you. If they don’t threaten you or anyone else, then they are probably not as dangerous as you have been led to believe.

But as those RWCs are not rational in moral debate, I doubt whether you’d get much of an audience. (People who grow up in an atmosphere of suspicion and vindication will tend to become suspicious and vindictive, and adopt ideologies which support them in that.)

Also, people will tend to carry on talking about a subject from a point of view with which they are familiar, even if it has been shown to be irrelevant.

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Posted: 07 February 2008 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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I think it might be instructive to note that Hitler, while maybe an atheist in his later years, was the product of a strict roman catholic upbringing.
Also it might be instructive to note that while Hitler is, to this day, a member of the roman catholic church, bishops in china were recently excommunicated for the grievous offense of not following vatican doctrine in the ordination of clergy.

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Posted: 07 February 2008 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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woody - 07 February 2008 04:37 PM

I think it might be instructive to note that Hitler, while maybe an atheist in his later years, was the product of a strict roman catholic upbringing.

What’s your source for this?  Hitler was born into a Roman Catholic family (so was most everyone else born in that part of Austria in the late 1800’s).  And I believe his parents had to apply to Rome for an exemption in order to marry because they were closely related by blood (Ian Kershaw, Hitler, 1889-1936 Hubris).  But I don’t recall seeing anything about a “strict Roman Catholic upbringing.”

His father was abusive, but from what I’ve read Hitler was raised primarily by his mother, who gave him a pretty free reign.

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Posted: 18 February 2008 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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Perhaps common sense can shed some light on whether the policies of the Nazi’s were inspired by christianity or by atheism.  Here’s an exerpt from the essay Defending Darwin by RJ Price in the thread Science - post “My Darwin Day Presentation”

““One can easily see that the targets of Nazi aggression were the traditional “enemies” of Christianity. The Bible calls for putting homosexuals to death. Atheists have always been despised by Christians. Communists, of course, were enemies of Christianity, and it is significant that Jehovah’s Witnesses were targeted, because no one in the world would care anything about Jehovah’s Witnesses except for Christians. Jehovah’s Witnesses are considered a heretical pseudo-Christian sect. They deny the doctrine of the trinity, believing that Jesus is subordinate to God, they don’t believe Jesus was killed on a cross, they reject ties between church and state, and, critically, they believe in the significance of using the Hebrew name for God - Jehovah.”“

When we look at a list of those persons deliberately killed by the policies of the Nazi Party we see that all of them; Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, atheists, communists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are the enemies of christianity.  What more proof does a person need to see from where this Nazi program originates?  Doesn’t common sense sometimes give us the unshakeable information we require?

Bob

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Posted: 18 February 2008 03:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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CanZen - 18 February 2008 03:41 PM

When we look at a list of those persons deliberately killed by the policies of the Nazi Party we see that all of them; Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, atheists, communists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are the enemies of christianity.  What more proof does a person need to see from where this Nazi program originates?  Doesn’t common sense sometimes give us the unshakeable information we require?

Bob

I agree with Bob.

Yet another practical way of comparing these two despicable ideologies is thus:
Both are espoused by pompous men in funny uniforms with silly rituals who claim loudly ( and without evidence) , that they know more about the world than you and I do and both will kill you for thought crimes once they are in power.

Preachers and mullahs and the like addressing their flock have always looked very much like Hitler to me.

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Posted: 18 February 2008 04:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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When we look at a list of those persons deliberately killed by the policies of the Nazi Party we see that all of them; Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, atheists, communists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are the enemies of christianity.  What more proof does a person need to see from where this Nazi program originates?  Doesn’t common sense sometimes give us the unshakeable information we require?

You don’t need Christianity to hate any or all these groups. There was a tradition of secular intellectual anti-Semitism in Europe prior to WWII. The eugenics movement (which began in America) and influenced Hitler had nothing to do with religion. Gypsies were despised bcause they kept to themselves and did not contribute to German nationalism—and were an “inferior,” dark-skinned race. Natioanlism was in fact responsible in large order—it certainly is used to justify hatred of Jevovah’s Witnesses. Hating those outside one’s group has its roots back in the Plesticene. I’ve made this statemnt befoe: ideology only provides rational. So how does this show Hitler was a Christian? Or that Christianity “inpsired” his crimes?

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...it has to put into the equation: the possibility that there is no God and nothing works for the best. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that view, but I don’t know what I do subscribe to. Why do I have to have a world view? I mean, when I wrote Cujo, I wasn’t even old enough to be president. Maybe when I’m frty or forty-five, but I don’t now. I’m just trying on all these hats.
-Stephen King

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Posted: 18 February 2008 07:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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TTG, I didn’t say that this shows that Hitler was a christian, all I’m saying is if you have to choose between the influences of christianity or the influences of atheism in formulating the policies of the Nazi Party, common sense points to the theistic religion.  I hear what your saying, but you are obviously (beyond common sense, that is) grasping at straws.  If you want to see the influence of christian theology and christian superstition and christian hatred on the Nazis, please read the following essay by “rationalrevolution” posted in the Science thread, under The Defense of Darwin. (If you seriously believe that anti-Semitism began independently of christianity, I’d be skeptical until you offered some evidence for that.) 

Or go directly to the website . . . to read the essay . . . (I highly recommend it for its defense of Darwin’s moral perspective, and it’s a brilliant and extrememly well researched paper.)

http://www.rationalrevolution.net/temp/darwinday2008.htm

Bob

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Posted: 19 February 2008 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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Well, that was a most interesting read, I must say. It certainly refutes the claims of antievolutionists attacking Darwin.

Years ago, I read a book called The Long War Against God, by Henry Morris. He is (or was) the president of the Institute for Creation Research(ICR) based in California. I don’t know if Morris is still living; his son may have taken over by now. He makes the Darwin to Haekel to Hilter connection very stridently in this book. He also makes these statements in regard to evolution:

“A bad tree cannot bear evil fruit” (this I think he attributed to Christ)

“Evolution has produced nothing but bad fruits.”

And in regard to evolution in education.

“The whole evil tree must be uprooted and destroyed.”

—which, by the way, pretty much refutes th3e creationist argmuent for “equal time.”

He goes on to say that Christianity should be the basis for eradicating social ills such as racism : “it should be known that “all men have one father.”” Though I took no stock at all in Morris’ s anit-evolutionary claims, I neverless wondered at the time why Chrisitianity, has indeed, been so woefully inefective in combating racism and other forms of injustice. The phrase cited by Morris, whether or not true in the Biblical sense, seemed more promising as a basis for equality than any scientific theory would.

Your article, I believe, shows at last why: Evolution holds that men evolved upward from primitive origins. The Bible, specifically the Fall and Tower of Babel stories, show the opposite—that the world and specifically mankind is in a state of degeneration. Ironically, this argument is used even now by Creationists to attack evolution. Morris himself used a “racist” argument to account for the existence of Neanderthals. They could not have been human ancestors, of course, so they are therfore a degenerate type of humanity cast off from the Tower of Babel. Morris actually argued this, though I was unaware the very same claims had been made of existing human races. The only real reason that Morris ‘s claim can be absolved of racism is that not a single Neaderthal exists today. Technically though, his claim IS racist, as it nevetheless designates a certain type of human is inferior—and not even accurate, as it is now claimed that Neanerthals had slightly larger brains than Homo Sapians. That no Neadethals are around to complain is irrelevent.

But then I came to the part about Hitler:

Hitler stated that “racial purity” was “God’s Will”. Darwin showed that there is no such thing as racial purity in the first place, and that secondly, races and species are not formed by God.

 

It seems obvious to me from the passage above, and from the numerous Hitler quotes in your essay, that this is not genuine god-talk. Hitler does not (to me) come across as man deeply devoted to Christ—far from it, in fact. These aren’t even attempts to misuse the Bible to justify racism. These are just attempts (and rather pathetic ones at that) to make his ideal of racial purity sound noble by tagging on religious terms like “God,” or “sin.” The reason? Obviously to make his views on eugenics appeal to the Church which still held considerable political clout at the time.

The same goes to references to God in Hitler’s speeches. Like Fletch already observed in the inital post, these are politcal speeches, tailored to garner mass appeal. Religion was very strong in Germany, and there is no doubt Hitler used the Christian brand of anti-Semitism to his own end. His hatred did not spring from faith—or if it did, hardly faith in the Judeo-chrsitian God.  Harris would say that the actions of Hilter and the Nazis was not reasonable. No, it wasn’t. As Castronio said in one of these posts,authoritarianism is the problem, as in the case of Stallinism, it was the State rather than god, which was touted as ultimate authority. In the case of Hitler, it is Race he is placing on a pedestal and making an object of worship. The “sins” according to Hitler are not against the Christian God, but against his own false construct of German racial purity. Both, in fact, could be legitimetly critisized by Christians are forms of idol worship. I won’t go into it whether the Chrsitian God is also a false construct, but you get my point. The Christian faith wasn’t accountable for Hitler’s maddness.

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...it has to put into the equation: the possibility that there is no God and nothing works for the best. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that view, but I don’t know what I do subscribe to. Why do I have to have a world view? I mean, when I wrote Cujo, I wasn’t even old enough to be president. Maybe when I’m frty or forty-five, but I don’t now. I’m just trying on all these hats.
-Stephen King

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Posted: 19 February 2008 01:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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If you seriously believe that anti-Semitism began independently of christianity, I’d be skeptical until you offered some evidence for that.)

I did say I beleived that anti-Semitism came about indepentently of Christianity. I said that hatred, prejudice, racism and tribalism in general long predated religion—as you’ve said it’s been observed among other animal species. The origions of anti-Semitism in particular certainly stem for a religious source—but Anti-Semitism seems to be just as prevelent among Islam. So which relgion is the source?

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...it has to put into the equation: the possibility that there is no God and nothing works for the best. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that view, but I don’t know what I do subscribe to. Why do I have to have a world view? I mean, when I wrote Cujo, I wasn’t even old enough to be president. Maybe when I’m frty or forty-five, but I don’t now. I’m just trying on all these hats.
-Stephen King

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Posted: 19 February 2008 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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Tad Trenton’s Ghost - 19 February 2008 06:52 PM

. . . The Christian faith wasn’t accountable for Hitler’s madness.

Okay, TT’sG. Christianity has had some very long-lived enemies. That is, they have despised and wretchedly treated Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, blacks for variously long times, culminating in the mid-20th century where they killed many millions of these people. Who cares whether or not Hitler himself was a Christian? Do you even know? Maybe he confessed his sins a minute or two before ending his life. Considering how superstitious the man was, it would not at all surprise me. And if he did, then you’ll see him in heaven, no? If not, then do you argue that the citizens of Germany who carried out and supported the carrying out of the killings and torture of the Holocaust were not Christians? If so, please let us know how this knowledge has come to you other than by divine revelation, as few here buy into the validity of such a source of knowledge.

For further documentation, though rationalrevolution has done an amazing job, see Spong’s The Sins of Scripture. The Christian faith is indeed accountable for much more disaster that you appear to realize.

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Posted: 19 February 2008 04:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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Who cares whether or not Hitler himself was a Christian?

Hey, sin’t what this thread’s all about—what Hitler’s theology was?

Do you even know?

I doubt anyone does, for sure. Hitler’s wrings often contridict one another. But so far, Fletch’s argmuents sound pretty good. In TEOF Harris gives a thourough account of how Christian anit-Semitism contributed to the Holacaust. But it is what Harris does NOT say (in regard to Hitler’s own writing and belief) that is under discussion here.

. Considering how superstitious the man was, it would not at all surprise me. And if he did, then you’ll see him in heaven, no?

I would be very surprised if Hitler made it to heaven. Not that I will either.  Even if he had faith ( the part I’m lacking nowadays), faith is only half of it. He totally blew it on the “works” part.

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...it has to put into the equation: the possibility that there is no God and nothing works for the best. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that view, but I don’t know what I do subscribe to. Why do I have to have a world view? I mean, when I wrote Cujo, I wasn’t even old enough to be president. Maybe when I’m frty or forty-five, but I don’t now. I’m just trying on all these hats.
-Stephen King

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Posted: 19 February 2008 07:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
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Tad Trenton’s Ghost - 19 February 2008 06:52 PM

As Castronio said in one of these posts

Please do not emasculate our dear brother. His wife would not approve (well, maybe she would). His name is “Carstonio.”

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Posted: 20 February 2008 01:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]  
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Sorry that was a typo.

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...it has to put into the equation: the possibility that there is no God and nothing works for the best. I don’t necessarily subscribe to that view, but I don’t know what I do subscribe to. Why do I have to have a world view? I mean, when I wrote Cujo, I wasn’t even old enough to be president. Maybe when I’m frty or forty-five, but I don’t now. I’m just trying on all these hats.
-Stephen King

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