Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
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23-11-2010, 12:11 AM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
One thing I would like to point out is that it's almost a prerequisite that to reject the idea of human gods on a well established ground one must be at least somewhat rational.

Hitler, Pol-pot, and many other dictators are by no means rational beings. They all act quite erratically and emotionally rather then provide solid reasoning for any of their actions.

For example (to borrow from Dan Barker) Kim jong-il requires that each of his duvets in every dwelling he owns be made from the tail feathers (and only the tail feathers) of a sparrow. This means for every single duvet we are looking at thousands of sparrows. It's just pure silliness.

Sure everyone who does not beleive in god is an Atheist but that doesn't mean they speak for all secular people. It would be downright silly to argue that all Catholics are evil because Hitler was a Catholic.

All that I ask when people make this argument is the same respect of not mass labeling that I give any group of belief they belong to.
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23-11-2010, 10:00 AM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
Hey, No. J.

I agree absolutely that obedience is the key to power. But that obedience doesn't come from religion, it comes from acquiescence to three things: authority (you have the right to tell me what to do), influence (you can convince me to do what you want me to do) and coercion (I'll do what you want me to do becuase you're threatening me). Obedience is never truly blind because power is a mutual agreement. That being said, religion pretty much corners the market on authority. But Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin wrote the book on coercion.

Hey, BnW.

What was the Nazi party's religious reason for killing gays?

I don't want to make this an all or nothing thing. I've said clearly from the begining that religion played a role. The question for me is primacy. The Nazi agenda was primarily secular: philosophical and "scientific" (eugenics was crap).

Ironically, in the information you glossed over, there was clear information about the origins of Nazi anti sematism being in Martin Luther's On the Jews and their Lies (1543). That being said, the secular Nazi ideas did come after (not to suggest that Martin Luther wrote his treatise FOR the Nazis). But you don't have to be religious to be an anti-semite.

Quote:Also, when you are playing the victim, which the Nazi's certainly tried to do both when they were vying for political power and after they seized control (with Germany being the victim after Hitler came to power), you need an oppressor. So, the Jews became part of that myth of oppression, and it was an easy target for Germans, already imbued with their own longstanding Antisemitic traditions, to embrace.

Agreed. But the list of victimisers is much longer than just the Jews and contains mostly secular threats.

One last thing. I PRAY that you're not calling William Shakespeare an anti-semite.

Hey, Secular Student.

Quote:My WWII prof put it in pretty much the same words; he called Nazism a "secular religion" because Hitler based his government on the structure of the Roman Catholic Church (i.e. with an ultimate, unquestionable authority on top, and a downward trickling of authority from there).

I think your teacher went there because there is a comparison between the absolute authority of God and that of the Fuhrer. The Führerprinzip was the idea that the Fuhrer had unquestionable authority. Same with Japan. The Emperor was divine and had absolute authority. I would not however, call it a secular religion. That's just lazy terminology. It was an autocracy.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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23-11-2010, 11:55 AM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
Quote:What was the Nazi party's religious reason for killing gays?

The same that Christians in 2010 have for advocating they are going to hell.

Quote:I don't want to make this an all or nothing thing. I've said clearly from the begining that religion played a role. The question for me is primacy. The Nazi agenda was primarily secular: philosophical and "scientific" (eugenics was crap).

I don't disagree with that but the Antisemitism and some of their other hatreds stemmed from religious traditions. They may not have even recognized that's where it came from but that is the origin of it. Same with gays.

A better question is why did the persecute gypsies, and I don't know the answer to that beyond "they were not part of the master race".

Quote:Ironically, in the information you glossed over, there was clear information about the origins of Nazi anti sematism being in Martin Luther's On the Jews and their Lies (1543). That being said, the secular Nazi ideas did come after (not to suggest that Martin Luther wrote his treatise FOR the Nazis). But you don't have to be religious to be an anti-semite.

No, you don't, but Antisemitism stems solely from religion. A lot of ancient hatreds stem solely from religion. Over time, people tend to forget why they even hate, it's just something they are raised to do, but there is no denying the origins or the source of certain prejudices.

Oh, and I PRAY you are not claiming that Martin Luthor was a secular anti-semite, because he wasn't.

Quote:One last thing. I PRAY that you're not calling William Shakespeare an anti-semite.

No, although for all I know he may have been one. His limited portrayals of Jews was not exactly flattering. However, my point was only to point out that the charges the Nazi's made against the Jews to justify their actions is something that has existed in Europe for hundreds of years and it was not something the Nazis made up. That also made it easy for the population to seize hold of it, because they already believed it on some level.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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24-11-2010, 12:51 AM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
Hey, BnW.

Quote:The same that Christians in 2010 have for advocating they are going to hell.

That's actually incorrect.

Quote:Nazism declared itself incompatible with homosexuality, because gays did not reproduce and perpetuate the master race. For the same reasons, masturbation was also considered harmful to the Reich, but treated lightly. There was also a fear among Nazis of a "gay gene" contamination.

Hitler believed that homosexuality was "degenerate behavior" which posed a threat to the capacity of the state and the "masculine character" of the nation. Gay men were denounced as "enemies of the state" and charged with "corrupting" public morality and posing a threat to the German birthrate.

Nazi leaders such as Himmler also viewed homosexuals as a separate people and had Nazi doctors experiment on them in an effort to locate the hereditary weakness many party members believed caused homosexuality.

Some leaders clearly wanted gay people exterminated, while others wanted enforcement of laws banning sex between gay men or lesbians.
-SOURCE

Initially, Hitler had protected Röhm from Nazis who considered his homosexuality a violation of the Party’s anti-homosexual policy. When Röhm proved to be a politically viable challenger to Hitler's leadership of the Nazi Party, Hitler ordered that he be assassinated in 1934, along with other Nazi political opponents. This purge became known as the Night of the Long Knives. To suppress outrage in the SA ranks, the Nazi leaders justified Röhm’s killing on the basis that he was homosexual.

Schutzstaffel (SS) Chief Heinrich Himmler, initially a supporter of Röhm, defended him against charges of homosexuality, arguing they were the fabrications of a Jewish character assassination conspiracy. After the Night of the Long Knives, Hitler promoted Himmler, who then zealously suppressed homosexuality, saying: "We must exterminate these people root and branch ... the homosexual must be eliminated.”[127] In 1936, Himmler established the "Reichszentrale zur Bekämpfung der Homosexualität und Abtreibung" ("Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion").[128] The Nazis officially declared that homosexuality was contrary to "wholesome popular sentiment", identifying gay men as "defilers of German blood". The Nazi régime incarcerated some 100,000 homosexuals during the 1930s.[129] As concentration camp prisoners, homosexual men were forced to wear pink triangle badges.[130][131]
-SOURCE

As you can see, the Nazi opposition to homosexuality was moral, genetic and political. That is to say, entirely secular.

Quote:A better question is why did the persecute gypsies, and I don't know the answer to that beyond "they were not part of the master race".

Pretty much. They were considered a mongrel race.

Quote:After the Nazis had decided that Roma had alien blood, one of their main concerns was the systematic identification of all Romani people. A definition of "Roma" was essential in order to undertake systematic persecution. Classifying who was Jewish was in this sense easier because records held by religious communities were readily available to the state. Roma in Germany had been Christian for centuries, so ecclesiastical records were useless in determining Romani descent....

At the conclusion of his study, Ritter declared that Roma, having originated in India, were once Aryan but had been corrupted by mingling with lesser peoples during their long migration. Ritter estimated that some 90 percent of all Roma in Germany were of mixed blood and were consequently carriers of "degenerate" blood and criminal characteristics. Because they allegedly constituted a danger, Ritter recommended they be forcibly sterilized. The remaining pure-blooded Roma, Ritter argued, were to be placed on a reservation and studied further. In practice, little distinction was made between Ritter's so-called pure-blooded and mixed-blooded Roma. They all became subject to the Nazi policy of persecution and, later, mass murder.
-SOURCE

For me, when you compare the influence of secular Nazi arguments (centreing on eugenics-based master race theory) to the influence of religion, it's not even a comparison.

Quote:Oh, and I PRAY you are not claiming that Martin Luthor was a secular anti-semite, because he wasn't.

Yeah. I'm gonna go ahead and say that I'm smart enough to recognise that a man that had an entire branch of Christianity named after him wasn't secular Big Grin

What I meant was Luther's writings were used directly by Nazis as part of (but not the entirety of) Nazi anti-sematism. But that doesn't mean that they were Lutherins. I'm not sure I've made that leap clear... Martin Luther's writing, clearly, were a philosophical pillar of Nazi anti-sematism. But just because they referenced them doesn't mean.... I'm sure there's a way to state this but I got nothin right now. Maybe someone is picking up what I'm putting down.

Quote:No, although for all I know he may have been one. His limited portrayals of Jews was not exactly flattering.
Quote:He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

Shakespeare's treatment of Jews was a beacon of the recognition of universal humanity within an openly anti-semitic world. Don't even think of speaking ill of my boy Willy S!!!

Quote:However, my point was only to point out that the charges the Nazi's made against the Jews to justify their actions is something that has existed in Europe for hundreds of years and it was not something the Nazis made up. That also made it easy for the population to seize hold of it, because they already believed it on some level.

I agree. Anti-sematism is old. Real old. But the reason that Nazi anti-sematism is significant is not because it was more of the same, but because it was supported by new secular arguments that hadn't been introduced before. It wasn't more of the same, it was something new.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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24-11-2010, 01:05 AM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
(23-11-2010 10:00 AM)Ghost Wrote:  But Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin wrote the book on coercion.

No. That book was there long before those guys arrived. They were just masters at using it.
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24-11-2010, 01:30 AM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
Hey, No. J.

What I mean is, these guys made everyone that came before them look like amatures.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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24-11-2010, 08:03 AM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
Quote:What I meant was Luther's writings were used directly by Nazis as part of (but not the entirety of) Nazi anti-sematism. But that doesn't mean that they were Lutherins. I'm not sure I've made that leap clear... Martin Luther's writing, clearly, were a philosophical pillar of Nazi anti-sematism. But just because they referenced them doesn't mean.... I'm sure there's a way to state this but I got nothin right now. Maybe someone is picking up what I'm putting down.

I understand the point you're making here. Let me get back to this below.

Quote:I agree. Anti-sematism is old. Real old. But the reason that Nazi anti-sematism is significant is not because it was more of the same, but because it was supported by new secular arguments that hadn't been introduced before. It wasn't more of the same, it was something new.

This is where I just disagree. What the Nazi's did was modernize old prejudices. They didn't start with the blood libel or the stereotype of the miserly Jew holding on to money. No, they blamed them for the whole WWI loss and pinned the "stab the army in the back" myth on Jews and blamed them for the Versailles treaty and the collapse of the German economy that followed. The specifics changed but the prejudices and hatreds were 1,000 years old. And, the belief that ordinary Germans would suddenly so willingly turn on their neighbors without having some kind of predisposition to do so is just not logical. Jews were reasonably accepted in German life at that time but they were never fully integrated into German society.

There simply is no basis for secularized Antisemitism. Take out the religious factor and there was nothing to distinguish Jews from all the other Germans. The fact that the Nazis made secular arguments against the Jews misses the point of why they went after them in the first place. Hitler is pretty clear on his feelings on Jews in his earliest writings, long before he got to power and long before these other arguments were crafted.

As for gays, you state that the Nazis had a moral objection as one of their issues. You think that morality was not religious based? I'm not suggesting they looked in the bible and then found their inspiration. I'm suggesting that prejudices against gays stems from religious teachings and even non-religious people will pick up on that prejudice because it has been so systemic in modern societies.

Quote:Shakespeare's treatment of Jews was a beacon of the recognition of universal humanity within an openly anti-semitic world. Don't even think of speaking ill of my boy Willy S!!!

Maybe, but his Shylock was not the most flattering of characters. And, I'm a big Shakespeare fan myself but I mostly focus on the histories and tragedies. I've actually never read "Merchant of Venice". Maybe I will while I'm on leave over XMas time.

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24-11-2010, 10:41 AM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
Hey, Bnw.

You're missing the boat on Shylock. But that's a digression.

Quote:As for gays, you state that the Nazis had a moral objection as one of their issues. You think that morality was not religious based?

Are you saying morality cannot exist outside of religion?

Ya gotta start reading the information I post. I was referring to very specific moral arguments. If you're going to say something that runs counter to concrete information, you have to support it with something.

Quote:This is where I just disagree. What the Nazi's did was modernize old prejudices.

Penalty. Number 42. 2 minutes for disagreeing with something we both agree on.

The predisposition is not only clear, but already pointed out by me. Just sayin. But you yourself pointed out some of the secular reasons that Nazi anti-semitism was based on.

But that predisposition, that existed at least between Luther's writing and the rise of the Nazi party, was not enough to start a holocaust. That didn't occur until secular arguments were raised.

Quote:There simply is no basis for secularized Antisemitism. Take out the religious factor and there was nothing to distinguish Jews from all the other Germans.

I don't know if we're just talking past each other here or what. Jews are a religious group. So there is no such thing as removing religion from anti-semitism. The question is, what is motivating the hatred of that group? Are the religious the only ones capable of hating them? No. So if, for secular reasons, a group is hating on Jews, that can't be considered a religiously motivated anti-semitic policy.

Hitler wasn't exterminating people because they were not Christians. The Roma were primarily Christian. He was exterminating people because they were mongrel races or because they threatened to corrupt the master race or because they were in his way.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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24-11-2010, 04:13 PM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
Quote:But that predisposition, that existed at least between Luther's writing and the rise of the Nazi party, was not enough to start a holocaust. That didn't occur until secular arguments were raised.

And, you can support that statement - how exactly? Without religious based prejudices, I can't see the the Holocaust having ever occurred. My basis for that is the number of time similar atrocities have been committed where people believed they were justified by God. In fact, without the religious based prejudices, Hitler most likely would never have bothered the Jews and instead would have focused his sociopathic attention on some other group.

Quote:I don't know if we're just talking past each other here or what. Jews are a religious group. So there is no such thing as removing religion from anti-semitism. The question is, what is motivating the hatred of that group? Are the religious the only ones capable of hating them? No. So if, for secular reasons, a group is hating on Jews, that can't be considered a religiously motivated anti-semitic policy.

We may be talking past each other. Not sure. But, it's not that only religious groups are capable of anti-semetism. It's that without the religious basis for it, there is no anti-semetism. I believe the same is somewhat true of gays. Whether nor not peole are overtly religious is besides the point. These prejudices become ingrained in society over long periods of time. After a time, people just accept them as a given. But, make no mistake about their religious origins.

Quote:Hitler wasn't exterminating people because they were not Christians.

At no point did I claim he was.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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25-11-2010, 12:15 AM
RE: Ye Olde Hitler/Stalin/Pol Pot spiel; evaluate my usual response
(24-11-2010 04:13 PM)BnW Wrote:  
Quote:Hitler wasn't exterminating people because they were not Christians.

I read somewhere that many Aryian atheists where executed for their lack of belief. I don't remember where I read it. If I find it again I will post it.
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