The Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot argument
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11-04-2013, 04:47 AM
RE: The Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot argument
(11-04-2013 04:37 AM)amyb Wrote:  
(10-04-2013 02:33 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Stalin and Pol Pot killed many people because they were anti-theist. If you are an atheist who is not anti-theist, then yes the Stalin/Pol Pot argument doesn't apply to you. However this forum is chock full of anti-theists, this forum is chck full of people who share the same ideology as mass murderers. To those people I call them hypocrites for thinking that religion cause people to commit evil but anti theism doesn't.

Anti-theists (as the term is commonly used) are not "mass murderers." I am going by the way Hitchens defined it, as someone who thinks religion is an actively harmful force in the world (as opposed to the view of it being harmless nonsense). Antitheists do not, by definition anyway, have anything in common with mass murderers.

Quote:If Freddie Mercury tried to stamp out religion like Stalin and Pol Pot, I'd label him an anti-theist too....regardless of the status of his mustache. Hatred of religion gives people who are inclined to kill an excuse to kill. Religion gives people who are inclined to kill an excuse to kill. If religion is evil because it provides an excuse to kill, then so is anti-theism.
Again, antitheists do not necessary want to deconvert anyone by force, they only seek to point out the problems in religion. Being opposed to religion is not the same thing as wishing to murder or force people to believe/disbelieve in anything.

I'd agree with Mark Fulton on the point that dictators are concerned with power, not religion. If they oppose religion or certain kinds of religious practice, it's because it's a threat to their power (in contrast: most antitheists are opposed to religion because they think it's harmful to society or intellectually dishonest). They want to be recognized as the people's god; they don't want competition. So, to me, it still seems like many dictatorships are just a different kind of religion and don't like competition, just like early christianity didn't like competition. I still don't think anyone was really ever killed because of atheism; they were killed because people in power want to keep power and don't want any threats to their power.

Fulton's defense of anti-theism can apply to religion as well. Any atrocities committed in the name of religion were really about grabbing power, or maintaining power, or grabbing wealth, etc. I just find anti-theist who claim reliogion causes people to do evil to be hypocites because a lot of people have been murdered and tortured in the name of anti-theism.

Google religious persecution in Russia or china and educated yourself.
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11-04-2013, 05:27 AM (This post was last modified: 11-04-2013 08:50 AM by amyb.)
RE: The Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot argument
Well, you could try to, except for the fact that theists tend to ACTUALLY BELIEVE in deities and actually believe that god is on their side, so with theists, there is a supernatural aspect (in their minds, anyway)
Quote:Fulton's defense of anti-theism can apply to religion as well
Absolutely, you made my argument for me by saying that both theists and atheists that commit genocide do it for power, not religion. And that is what I was saying, god or lack of god doesn't even factor into the equation, except that, in the case of theists, it gives them an excuse for committing atrocities.

Quote:Google religious persecution in Russia or china and educated yourself.
From my point of view, you are misinterpreting the data, that's all; claiming it's about religion, not power.

Also, I think that in any case where someone has a lot of power (such as a dictator, religious or not), then power is going to be important in their decision making process. But consider something like murder on a small scale. All the time, I read about people murdering their children because the voice of god told them to, or they thought the kid was possessed by devils. Some kind of mental illness is clearly the real culprit here, but there is still an actual religious component to the motive. I've never heard of a parent killing their child because the parent was an atheist.
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05-08-2014, 03:53 AM
RE: The Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot argument
Has anybody ever actually asserted that "since Dolfy "was" an atheist, all other atheists are just as bad as Hitler"?

I've certainly never seen it.

What I have seen is people supporting the argument that religion is not the only driver of genocide with the examples of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and Bagosora. Usually, they are doing this in response to somebody who is claiming that religion IS the only (or main) driver of genocide.



(09-04-2013 05:52 PM)ELK12695 Wrote:  It's pretty stunning how many times I encounter this one. Okay, I'm in a debate with a theist (mostly over the net of course). The theist wants to call me immoral and downright evil, and uses the "Hitler Argument". Now for those of you who don't know what the "Hitler Argument" is, (although most have, it's been used even by Bill O'Riley, repeated winner of Idiot of the Year Award) it's very simple. It is claimed that Adolf Hiter was an atheist; therefore, the third reich, the holocaust is all in the works of an atheist, ergo claiming that since Dolfy "was" an atheist, all other atheists are just as bad as Hitler. Does it sound stupid? Of course it does. Now, the problem is, that Hitler acually was a member of the catholic church, and other sources point to that Hitler was more of an creationist. But it doesn't stop there; it Hitler doesn't work, just slap in another historical scumbag like Stalin or Pol Pot since they tried to abolish religion...

So, has anyone else ecountered someone making this pretty silly argument? Let me know.
And just in case, when I mention theists, not everybody says so, and bla bla bla, i'm excused.
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05-08-2014, 04:04 AM
RE: The Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot argument
(05-08-2014 03:53 AM)Wetagogo Wrote:  Has anybody ever actually asserted that "since Dolfy "was" an atheist, all other
...

Firstly... welcome to the forum. Smile

b) This thread is over a year old so don't be surprised if the earlier postees don't respond.

3) I think your analysis is correct but it makes no difference because we all end up, apparently, in the same place.

Actually I'm looking forward to a ... erm... 'fireside' chat with Stalin. And I'll be asking why Hitler killed my relatives.

Unsure

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05-08-2014, 05:03 AM
RE: The Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot argument
(09-04-2013 06:12 PM)Phaedrus Wrote:  The answer to this is that Hitler was a Catholic, and that Communism is basically a religion.

Well to say under Stalin's communism religion went away, is not true, certainly the party became the god, but Russian Orthodox was a social norm. Religion never left Russia otherwise the churches would not have popped back up after the end of the cold war.

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05-08-2014, 07:22 AM
RE: The Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot argument
(09-04-2013 05:52 PM)ELK12695 Wrote:  It is claimed that Adolf Hiter was an atheist; therefore, the third reich, the holocaust is all in the works of an atheist, ergo claiming that since Dolfy "was" an atheist, all other atheists are just as bad as Hitler. Does it sound stupid? Of course it does.

Mostly this is a textbook example of cherry picking. They pick a few prominent atheists (and one Christian and call him an atheist, as you've already noted), and blame all of their misdeeds on atheism. They also ignore the vast majority of atheists who lead perfectly fine lives and notable examples of religious people committing atrocities.

They're just counting their hits and ignoring their misses. Nothing special to see here. Now, if you try to bring up Christian (or even theistic) shortcomings, you'll likely get met with a bunch of No-true-Scotsmen, so trying to run this conversation to its conclusion is likely to be pretty frustrating.
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05-08-2014, 07:29 AM
RE: The Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot argument
Hitler was a mix of the occult and Catholicism, but even if you want to claim he was an atheist, he still successfully sold Germany the idea of their blood and God being justification as being a master race entitled to the land of Bravaria.

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05-08-2014, 09:54 AM
RE: The Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot argument
(10-04-2013 07:43 AM)Dirtnapper324 Wrote:  As stated before, Pol Pot and Stalin murdered for power. I think , HJ, that you will acknowledge most big religions have power on par, or almost on par, with the state. If Stalin or Pol Pot targeted religious people, and if they were anti-theists, I would think that they did so for political reasons, not because they believed in a deity.

Yes, I agree. They murdered for political reasons. They killed a wide variety of humanity including atheists, intellectuals, writers, scientists, poets, artists of all kinds, farmers, Jews, teachers, milk maids, priests, lace makers, cobblers, chefs, prostitutes, other politicians, mechanics...........

It was equal opportunity killing.... for political power.

If atheists are such horrible people and the reason that Stalin and Pol Pot killed then Sweden and Norway should be out killing and murdering world wide populations of people.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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05-08-2014, 10:35 AM
RE: The Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot argument
I've had this thrown at me before by a former friend. I responded by saying they are mere amateurs, Yhwh destroyed everything on the planet with the flood. I eventually backed him into a corner where he said that the flood was "just". He was "just" a disgusting person at that point rationalizing and excusing planetary genocide.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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05-08-2014, 11:39 AM (This post was last modified: 05-08-2014 03:57 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: The Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot argument
(09-04-2013 05:52 PM)ELK12695 Wrote:  It's pretty stunning how many times I encounter this one. Okay, I'm in a debate with a theist (mostly over the net of course). The theist wants to call me immoral and downright evil, and uses the "Hitler Argument". Now for those of you who don't know what the "Hitler Argument" is, (although most have, it's been used even by Bill O'Riley, repeated winner of Idiot of the Year Award) it's very simple. It is claimed that Adolf Hiter was an atheist; therefore, the third reich, the holocaust is all in the works of an atheist, ergo claiming that since Dolfy "was" an atheist, all other atheists are just as bad as Hitler. Does it sound stupid? Of course it does. Now, the problem is, that Hitler acually was a member of the catholic church, and other sources point to that Hitler was more of an creationist. But it doesn't stop there; it Hitler doesn't work, just slap in another historical scumbag like Stalin or Pol Pot since they tried to abolish religion...

So, has anyone else ecountered someone making this pretty silly argument? Let me know.
And just in case, when I mention theists, not everybody says so, and bla bla bla, i'm excused.

I have a small file on that argument, this is what I compiled as an answer to that ignorant claim;


I often hear the simplistic, reductionist claim that there is a kind of equation between atheism and Nazism....for example, statements like "atheism leads to evil or such things as Nazism (epitome of evil)" There have been any number of similar claims made in various quarters: Nazism was an inevitable product of Darwin, or of Luther, or of the Versailles treaty, or of Wagner's opera, or of Nietzsche, or of Hegel. All of these break down under the obvious objection that there were plenty of atheists, darwinists, Lutherans, objectors to the Versailles treaty, Wagnerians, Nietzsche and Hegelians who did not become Nazis. These are all vacuous arguments from a historiographical perspective.

Was Adolf Hitler an atheist? Hitler cannot be called a church going christian, but neither can he be used as an example of an atheist. Hardly the product of an anti-christian childhood and upbringing, he attended mass with his devout mother and was a choirboy, which he quite enjoyed. Indeed, the majesty and pageantry of the church heavily influenced the staging in Nazi rallies and rituals.

born and raised a roman catholic, Hitler remained a nominal catholic for the rest of his life. he never officially renounced the church or his membership in it, but he was hostile to the church's impulses of caring for the weak, infirm, and mentally handicapped, who he wished to destroy. Hitler never doubted the divinity of Jesus, just his jewishness, convinced that he was actually an Aryan. The portraits of a fair haired, blue eyed Jesus that grace so many American homes would have doubtless met with his approval.

Consider the following examples rebutting the claim that he was an atheist:

1) When party secretary martin bormann closed a convent, Hitler reversed the order.
2) Hitler allowed the German army to have catholic and protestant chaplains in field. In fact the troops wore a belt buckle embossed with the inscription "god is with us".
3) In endless monologues to those around him, Hitler never once professed to be an atheist or unbeliever in the Abraham god of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. In particular, he had the greatest admiration for Islam, particularly its military tradition.
4) Survivor of over a dozen assassination plots and attempts, Hitler credited "divine providence" and "almighty god" for saving him to complete his great mission. On the eve of the soviet invasion, Hitler ended his address to his troops with "Almighty god bless our arms".
5) The first foreign policy coup of nazi germany was the "Concordat with the Vatican", allowing the church independence and catholic schools ot remain open in exchange for staying out of politics. The church also "welcomed the way" when operation barbarossa..the campaign against the godless soviet union was launched. Hitler, SS chief Heinrich Himmler, and architect of the holocaust Reinhard Heydrich, nominal catholics all, were never excommunicated by the holy sec. To this very day they remain catholics in good standing.
6) When overzealous nazi party officials removed crucifixes from classroom walls in bavaria, hitler personally reversed the order and had them rehung.

Now, some of the myths surrounding hitler's atheism can be attributed to an inaccurate and poorly translated version of Table Talk. Table Talk is a book of transcribed conversations that hitler had with those close to him. Some versions of this book that were translated from german to other languages contained fabricated statements not found in the original german manuscript.

Again, this is all irrelevant, with or without religion good people do good things, evil people will do evil things, for good people to do evil things takes religion.

DISCLAIMER: I am in NO WAY a Hitler fan, I am merely providing information that seems to show he wasn't "Atheist" as a means to refute that particular attack against Atheism..

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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