The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
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14-01-2017, 02:00 PM
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
(14-01-2017 01:50 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:  
(14-01-2017 01:12 PM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  Yes, Germany was very much a Christian nation, and much of the horrors perpetrated by the Nazi state was done so with tacit acceptance by the far-right (at the time) Catholic church.

I have to correct you here, twofold even.

#1 The catholic church wasnt politically far right (yet conservative), but rather bound to the "Centrum" party.
#2 While the catholic church certainly at some point collaborated with the NSDAP it was the protestant/evangelical church that actually was embracing the NSDAP first and much more than the catholic church. The catholic church in general resisted much more than the protestant one, although the most prominent nazi victims were protestant (Niemöller, Bonhoeffer) theologians.

This is a very complex topic and a correct answer probably would have taken a whole page and led this thread OT, so please excuse me for making a 2 liner out of this. If you need more info on this judgement feel free to ask ....Szuchow Tongue I am confident he can give you at least two hands full of book titles on the topic. Bowing Laugh out load

Ties between religion, churches and Nazis are part of many books concerning Reich so I know something about it, but I've never read dedicated work about this subject. I wanted to buy one* but from every review I read I gathered that it was less than objective and it exonerated church of it's faults, after that I lost interest as I was primarily concerned with Shoah.

Having said that I would go with Richard Evans trilogy about III Reich and if I recall correctly Michael Burleigh The Third Reich: A New History when it came to church, religion and Nazis.

*Don't even remember the title.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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15-01-2017, 05:28 AM
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
I found interesting article about marxism-leninism being religion. I guess it could be used to show theists error of calling USSR atheistic country - http://www.academia.edu/14470645/Marxism...r_Religion

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

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15-01-2017, 07:13 AM
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
(13-01-2017 09:25 AM)Heath_Tierney Wrote:  One of the criticisms of atheism that's often trotted out goes along these lines:

Quote:"You only have to look at atheistic societies to see what happens. The USSR murdered millions of its own people. China did the same. The horrors in Cambodia, led by Pol Pot, an avowed atheist, are well documented."
(I've actually been to the killing fields in Cambodia and to say it's chilling is the understatement of understatements.)

My response is usually something like this:

Quote:"Those states - and I agree they were atheist states - substituted devotion to a divine superintelligence to devotion to the state and that state's ideology. The fact that Stalin spent his formative years in a seminary and Pol Pot was at one time a devout Buddhist shows that they were taught religious doctrine and used those teachings as a way to control their populations."

Then I rely on Hitchens:
Quote:"Show me a state which has thrown off the shackles of religion and lived by the principles of the Enlightenment, of liberty, of justice, of freedom of conscience, of Jefferson, of Paine, and still perpetrated horrors, then you might have an argument. But as it is, you (the theist) have no argument."
Alas, I find both those refutations hollow (even though I use them).

They do not address what is, I believe, the core of the argument: that those leaders who believe they have no retribution to fear from a divine superintelligence have no qualms about murdering millions.

I need a better argument.

Undoubtedly you, too, have heard similar or identical statements. How did you refute them?

I would reply something like this:

It doesn't matter how many red herrings you throw around, you still have no evidence for your god.

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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15-01-2017, 07:47 AM
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
!. Hitler was his own brand of diest/Catholic/Occult, he did believe in a divine power, but it did not fall along the lines of popular belief. He did prey upon a CHRISTIAN MAJORITY to get votes. Just like Trump, regardless of what you may think he personally believes, also pandered to our right wing nuts.

2. Stalin, WAS an atheist, but even in that case, he had a theology degree, so he learned quite well how to manipulate religion. But Russian Orthodox Christianity also never left Stalin's Soviet Union, Stalin oppressed all dissent not just religion. He also relaxed his grip on Russian Orthodox Christians to gain support to fight Hitler, so in reality, you really had Christians fighting Christians simply with different political ideologies.

3. Cuba, also bullshit for the same reason as Stalin. Cuba is a majority Catholic country and the Pope last year had a service in a Cuban Catholic Church.

4. Po Pot..... Nope again, Asia is full of all sorts of Asian religions. China is also full of religion, all one has to do is look up on GOOGLE any claimed "godless" country and type "Religions of.......fill in the blank" And it will give you the religious make up of that country.

4. Kim Jong Un, North Korea, also full of religion, it is a very weird right wing sects of Buddhism, Confucianism , Korean Shamanism.

Where western Christians fuck up with their logic, is that they confuse "atheist" with "not my interpretation of what a religion should be".

Most humans are superstitious, and that is really what religion is, a superstition. No, that does NOT mean anyone should call for the forced end of any religion. It is merely pointing out that most humans simply adapt the religion of the society they are born into.

What made Hitler and Stalin and Po Pot all monsters, was that they were psychopaths and had an ability to manipulate even religion to gain power. But religion exists in every country, EVERY COUNTRY.

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15-01-2017, 07:53 AM (This post was last modified: 15-01-2017 08:00 AM by Szuchow.)
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
@Brian

OP didn't mention Hitler, so no need to show that he wasn't atheist.

Stalin wasn't atheist, look to my earlier post and linked article.


As for Stalin and co being psychopats I'm far from being sure that such was the case, they were just believers with shitty belief. Nor I think it is sensible to call them monsters, it's understandable but you gain nothing by denying their humanity. We can explain what they did only if we see them for what they were - humans. Monster exist to scare us not to be explainable.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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15-01-2017, 08:01 AM
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
(15-01-2017 07:53 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  @Brian

OP didn't mention Hitler, so no need to show that he wasn't atheist.

Stalin wasn't atheist, look to my earlier post and linked article.

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Been at debating religion online just about every single day for 16 years, if you think nobody ever equates Hitler to atheists, that would be a mistake.

Humans are tribal, and far too often see the religions of others, and or atheists as bad.

Hitler has to be mentioned when we discuss what theists claim far too often as "godless means oppressive", when what they don't see is that the religious of those horrible states simply have a different interpretation of a religion.

No different than accepting that Sunnis and Shiites have the same core book and god and prophet, but interpret them differently.

Religion STILL exists in every country because most of or planet's population is religious, no matter the label.

There is not one nation free of superstitious people. There are only more closed states and more open states. The west is simply more open.

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15-01-2017, 08:32 AM
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
(15-01-2017 07:53 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  @Brian

OP didn't mention Hitler, so no need to show that he wasn't atheist.

Stalin wasn't atheist, look to my earlier post and linked article.


As for Stalin and co being psychopats I'm far from being sure that such was the case, they were just believers with shitty belief. Nor I think it is sensible to call them monsters, it's understandable but you gain nothing by denying their humanity. We can explain what they did only if we see them for what they were - humans. Monster exist to scare us not to be explainable.

Don't care if you could prove Stalin wasn't an atheist, it has been argued both ways. The point of all those countries is to PROVE there is not one nation that is superstition free.

He still had a theology degree, and that is far more important to me than proving he was a theist of some sort. It still helped him shape an authoritarian view.

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15-01-2017, 08:36 AM
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
No sorry. Hitler WAS a monster, so was Stalin, so is the Un Family and Castro family too. Now again, that does NOT make every single individual living under them bad, but just the leaders being good at manipulating people and being shitty to human rights.

No that does not mean the west gets everything right by default. We've have also done some shitty things in American history too. It merely means we have more ability to hold power to account and advocate for a more open society to fix problems and stop transgressions. No, it is not perfect.

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15-01-2017, 08:59 AM (This post was last modified: 15-01-2017 09:12 AM by Szuchow.)
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
(15-01-2017 08:01 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  
(15-01-2017 07:53 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  @Brian

OP didn't mention Hitler, so no need to show that he wasn't atheist.

Stalin wasn't atheist, look to my earlier post and linked article.

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Been at debating religion online just about every single day for 16 years, if you think nobody ever equates Hitler to atheists, that would be a mistake.

What your debating religion online had to do with OP in where Hitler was not mentioned?

Believers sometime claim that Hitler was atheist but OP didn't mention him.

Quote:Hitler has to be mentioned when we discuss what theists claim far too often as "godless means oppressive", when what they don't see is that the religious of those horrible states simply have a different interpretation of a religion.

I don't really see such need. One has just remind theists that Russia wasn't atheist society, first they had their orthodox faith after that marxism-leninism. Most importantly I don't see the need to mention Hitler in context of this thread but that's minor quibble.



(15-01-2017 08:32 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  Don't care if you could prove Stalin wasn't an atheist, it has been argued both ways.

Never seen serious argument for him being atheist. Hint - calling him atheist cause he was communist isn't serious argument, just as saying that his lack of belief in christian god makes him atheist. Stalin had his own god and from what I know calling him atheist is just ridiculous.

To be fair I seen interpretations in which he wasn't convinced marxist but rather someone using doctrine as justification. For me though these interpretation rings hollow as they show him as amoral and rather stupid gangster (Baberowski, Verbrannte Erde. Stalins Herrschaft der Gewalt) which was hardly the case or near genius level politician working in confines of ideology (Snyder, Stalin and Europe. Imitation and Domination, 1928-1953) which is simply laughable when one remember the farce that was beginning of German invasion or crimes of Great Hunger or Great Terror. Him being faithful disciple of marxism-leninism allow for good and convincing explanation of his behavior and when one takes into account fact that his enemies were showing same traits then his rise to power and remaining at the top aren't surprising - by styling himself arch priest he silenced dissent.

Interpretation of Stalin that I find most convincing can be found in Montefiore Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar even if for some things one has to support if with Oleg Khlevniuk Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator.

Quote:The point of all those countries is to PROVE there is not one nation that is superstition free.

Maybe to you. I just follow the evidence trail and conclusion is that Stalin was believer in society full of believers.

Quote:He still had a theology degree, and that is far more important to me than proving he was a theist of some sort. It still helped him shape an authoritarian view.

I don't much care for his beliefs, it's truth that matter. As far as I know he was believer.

(15-01-2017 08:36 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  No sorry. Hitler WAS a monster, so was Stalin, so is the Un Family and Castro family too. Now again, that does NOT make every single individual living under them bad, but just the leaders being good at manipulating people and being shitty to human rights.

No that does not mean the west gets everything right by default. We've have also done some shitty things in American history too. It merely means we have more ability to hold power to account and advocate for a more open society to fix problems and stop transgressions. No, it is not perfect.

You're feeling better after calling Hitler a monster or something? He was just human and by demonizing him and naming him as a thing meant to be scary we are making understanding his motivation harder. Also by calling him and others dictators monsters we try to hide unpleasant notion that they was just another human beings, ones with warped morals but human nonetheless - this mechanism had more sense when used to describe dictators henchman's as evil though. Like they were evil, so there is no risk that I good citizen could do something like them.

It's simplification - by giving historical mass murderers and their henchman's simple descriptors like monster or evil, people try to escape unpleasant notion that it could be them doing bloody deeds if circumstances would be right or rather wrong.

Name calling is useless when one target is understanding, when one is just venting it is understandable if not really desirable.

As for west? It has nothing to do with subject so I see no need to comment.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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15-01-2017, 09:30 AM
RE: The USSR/China/Cambodia as atheist societies: please dissect my rebuttal
As a group atheists may or may not be the shittiest people on the planet. What does that have to do with the fact that there is no God?
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