[quote author=“Nietzsche”]Champ seems to think that the strength of one’s belief in something is an indicator of how true it is.
This is simply an untenable position, from any intelligent perspective.
So you hold this opinion how loosely? You may say, per Harris, that such is “empirical”, and open to modification—-just not as you stated it.
One should not read Nietzsche and forget that in Ecce Homo he imagined that perhaps Error was the biggest error of all. Thus, you and to some degree Harris (when he’s not being downright conciliatory) also find that the importance of a thing is in relation to the firmness in which it is demanded.
For this reason Christians tend to huddle together with their own for protection and isolation and to make themselves seem larger like bait fish avioding predators. They don’t want to be exposed to the wolf who might huff and puff and blow their house down.
Humm, seems like a good answer too, I think I’ll go with that one as well
Still it is hard to read Harris book and not get a sense that he glosses over the sins of previous secularization. Should this world have been secularized 100 years before now, it would have been of a form that almost totally objected to intution and mysticism as an “opiate” (and Harris really doesn’t make the case of mysticism much stronger than a good buzz). And would also have been done so entirely on the basis of materialism and ethically-agnostic Marxism.
So there is a little fear of exposure on all sides, IMO. However this dogmatic attempt at secularization killed approximately 100 million last century.
[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.
That was a thought provoking post about the tactics Hitler employed and his particular assessment of society and religious doctrine. It’s interesting that if Hitler held that Jewish faith was a threat to the fulfillment of the “aristocratic principle of nature” why didn’t he feel similarly about the Christian faith. Does he go to any length to chastise or otherwise deride Christianity, or does he simply use its hatred of the Jews for his own purposes? (I too see the whole Nazi program as a short-lived success in mass media deception of the society - he knew how to pull the strings with the optimal success.)
I have read that Hitler was a theist of some sort - in that his “struggle” was a fulfillment of a higher purpose of a deity? In any case, Hitler’s use of evolution theory has little in common with the theory of evolution as an explanation for biological diversity. Hitler’s was a goal-oriented sort of evolution thesis based on an ideology of supremacy.
Finally, you seem to conclude that although Harris and Hitler do share a distaste for certain sort of theistic faith, their separate reasons for trying to eliminate the “scourge” is vastly different. (While Hitler tried to eliminate the practicioners of Jewish theology, Harris is condemning all faith-based religions to the garbage heap.) I’m not sure whether you agree with Sam Harris or if you find his secularism to be somehow tainted with Nazi overtones?