Hitler’s Theology

 
 
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mesomorph
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24 February 2008 10:59
 
Tad Trenton’s Ghost - 19 February 2008 09:33 PM

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.

So you can do whatever you like as long as you believe in Jesus and you’re half way to heaven? According to which exegesis?

And what if you sincerely believe that your deeds, no matter how horrific by ordinary human standards, are God’s will? Does that get you all the way to heaven? Who decides, God or us - about the sincerity part I mean - ?

A lot of questions, sorry! I’m curious.

 
 
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25 February 2008 14:34
 
mesomorph - 24 February 2008 03:59 PM

So you can do whatever you like as long as you believe in Jesus and you’re half way to heaven? According to which exegesis?

And what if you sincerely believe that your deeds, no matter how horrific by ordinary human standards, are God’s will? Does that get you all the way to heaven? Who decides, God or us - about the sincerity part I mean - ?

SINCE YOU ASKED: This issue has been a thorny one for Christians from the beginning (Paul v. James; followed by Luther v. Pope).  From my perspective, if there is sincere faith, it will manifest itself in some form of action (“works”). Regarding sincerity, God decides (IMO), as He alone can judge the heart, but it is difficult to see how someone who claims to know the God of love could engage in extremely hateful behavior. But, such is the human condition, and God is merciful to sinners (IMO).

 
 
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uli
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26 February 2008 13:23
 

I’m not sure how relevant Hitler’s actual ‘inner’ christian beliefs are - we cannot possibly know them, anymore than we can know those of the pope.  Without a doubt, though, he was the product of a christian upbringing in a christian country.

The problem isn’t the ‘brand’ of irrational belief, though some are undoubtedly more dangerous than others, but the human capacity for developing, holding on to and, most importantly, ACTING on irrational beliefs.

I would argue that a society trained to blindly obey a ‘higher’ authority (for example ‘god’) produces people that are easily swayed by anyone they feel has such ‘higher’ authority, be that person a priest or a dictator.

In as far as Hitler’s upbringing is concerned (and the likely effect this has had on him), Alice Miller’s ‘For your own good’ contains a detailed analysis.

 
 
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mesomorph
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26 February 2008 17:05
 

Erm - slightly thin ice here, Bruce, I would think.

Bruce Burleson - 25 February 2008 07:34 PM

it is difficult to see how someone who claims to know the God of love could engage in extremely hateful behavior.

St. Cyril of Alexandria. Tomas de Torquemada. John Calvin. Jim Jones. Joseph Kony.

Bruce Burleson - 25 February 2008 07:34 PM

God is merciful to sinners (IMO).

for whom he has provided the eternal torments of hell…

Fond regards

Dirk

 
 
 
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mesomorph
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26 February 2008 17:15
 
uli - 26 February 2008 06:23 PM

I’m not sure how relevant Hitler’s actual ‘inner’ christian beliefs are - we cannot possibly know them, anymore than we can know those of the pope.  Without a doubt, though, he was the product of a christian upbringing in a christian country.

The problem isn’t the ‘brand’ of irrational belief, though some are undoubtedly more dangerous than others, but the human capacity for developing, holding on to and, most importantly, ACTING on irrational beliefs.

I would argue that a society trained to blindly obey a ‘higher’ authority (for example ‘god’) produces people that are easily swayed by anyone they feel has such ‘higher’ authority, be that person a priest or a dictator.

In as far as Hitler’s upbringing is concerned (and the likely effect this has had on him), Alice Miller’s ‘For your own good’ contains a detailed analysis.

Welcome to the forum Uli. Valid points all!

 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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26 February 2008 17:55
 
uli - 26 February 2008 06:23 PM

In as far as Hitler’s upbringing is concerned (and the likely effect this has had on him), Alice Miller’s ‘For your own good’ contains a detailed analysis.

[quote author=“Wikepedia”]Miller proposes here that German traumatogenic methods of childrearing produced Hitler and a serial killer of children named Jürgen Bartsch.

Sounds like psychobabble to me.  “Traumatogenic” doesn’t appear in my dictionary, but it sounds like a fancy word for “abusive.”  Plenty of children were raised under the same, or worse, conditions as Hitler and they didn’t turn out to be tyrants or serial killers.  While it’s true Hitler’s father was abusive, his mother, from everything I’ve read, spoiled him.  He comes across as quite the mama’s boy.  And since his father apparently didn’t take a very active role in his rearing, he had a fairly easy childhood and rarely had to apply himself.  “Bohemian” is the word used to describe him in more than one biography.  A trait, incidentally, which remained with him throughout his career.

 
 
 
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uli
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27 February 2008 08:33
 

Atisocial Darwinist, I am not asking to take my or Alice Miller’s word for anything, I was merely expressing my opinion on what I had been reading and trying to point people in one possible direction of further inquiry.  Of course, it’s always the easier option to ‘believe’ something, like our own preconceptions?

By the way, I’d be very interested to read any material that casts a different light on Hitler’s childhood.

 
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27 February 2008 19:12
 

Most recently, “Hitler 1889-1936 Hubris” by Ian Kershaw.  Also the earlier “Adolph Hitler” by John Toland.  “Hitler, A Study in Tyranny” by Alan Bullock doesn’t speak to Hitler’s childhood being easy, but neither does it mention anything in the way of a particularly abusive one.  These three biographies, for the most part, form the basis for my “preconceptions.”

 
 
 
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uli
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28 February 2008 00:07
 

Thanks, I’ll check them out and report back.

 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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28 February 2008 07:47
 

Hitler reportedly played up the “struggle” between his father and himself in “Mein Kampf,” but this was probably to emphasize his (Hitler’s) worldview that all life was a struggle.  Most of the historians I’ve read seem to agree that the autobiographical portions of “Mein Kampf” are largely fantasy, designed to show the author in a certain light.

 
 
Lapin Diabolique
 
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15 March 2008 19:24
 
mesomorph - 26 February 2008 10:15 PM

I would argue that a society trained to blindly obey a ‘higher’ authority (for example ‘god’) produces people that are easily swayed by anyone they feel has such ‘higher’ authority, be that person a priest or a dictator.


That reminds me of a conversation that Kurt Vonnegut had with his friend Heinrich Boll (sorry, can’t find the umlaut on my keyboard to put above the ‘O’ ).
Boll was a soldier in the German army in WWII and also won the Noble prize for literature in 1984.
Kurt asked him what he thought the most dangerous flaw in German character was and Boll replied: ” Obedience.”

 
 
 
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uli
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15 March 2008 23:53
 

Sander, as a German (by birth though having lived elsewhere most of my life) I have to take issue with you.  I think obedience (or unquestioning acceptance of someone elses world view) is incredibly dangerous in all of humanity.

 
Lapin Diabolique
 
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Lapin Diabolique
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16 March 2008 11:34
 
uli - 16 March 2008 03:53 AM

Sander, as a German (by birth though having lived elsewhere most of my life) I have to take issue with you.  I think obedience (or unquestioning acceptance of someone elses world view) is incredibly dangerous in all of humanity.

No argument there.
I was merely quoting Kurt.
I think Germans are the most cited example of this phenomenon because of the scale of destruction of WW2.

I am a Dutch guy living in the USA and I am still amazed by the ‘obedience’ that gazillions of Americans display towards their corrupt and criminal current government.

The mindless nationalism, the ” I support the troops ” bumper stickers, God bless America, I am Proud to be an American… all these things prove to me that many people haven’t learned a damn thing about what happened in Europe in the 20th century.

 
 
 
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Aaron
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16 March 2008 11:46
 
Sander - 16 March 2008 03:34 PM
uli - 16 March 2008 03:53 AM

Sander, as a German (by birth though having lived elsewhere most of my life) I have to take issue with you.  I think obedience (or unquestioning acceptance of someone elses world view) is incredibly dangerous in all of humanity.

No argument there.
I was merely quoting Kurt.
I think Germans are the most cited example of this phenomenon because of the scale of destruction of WW2.

I am a Dutch guy living in the USA and I am still amazed by the ‘obedience’ that gazillions of Americans display towards their corrupt and criminal current government.

The mindless nationalism, the ” I support the troops ” bumper stickers, God bless America, I am Proud to be an American… all these things prove to me that many people haven’t learned a damn thing about what happened in Europe in the 20th century.

Don’t forget that all-time favorite: “America: love it or leave it!”

 
 
 
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uli
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16 March 2008 22:10
 

Yes and then there is ‘unamerican’ - I’ve never heard the term ‘unfrench’ or ‘unrussian’ used.  Anti, sure, but not ‘un’.