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Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.

Monday, April 16, 2007

If god says so, murder is ok

Despite my disagreement with Dawkins about what science can and cannot tell us about “the god hypothesis,” I certainly concur with him that religions are a most pernicious facet of human culture. Empirical evidence comes from a recent study by Brad Bushman at the University of Michigan, published in the March issue of Psychological Science.

Bushman asked 500 college students to read one of the typical stories of violence and mayhem from the Old Testament. Half of the students also read an addendum stating that the featured tribe of the moment asked god for advice on what to do; they were told to go out and slaughter their brothers in the name of the Lord. Half of the students in the sample came from the religious Brigham Young University in Utah, the other half from the secular Free University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The participants were then subjected to a series of tests measuring aggression. The results were remarkable in that they were independent of where the students were studying, and of whether they believed in god or not: if they had read the additional passage about god inciting his people to violence, they were significantly more likely to display aggressive behavior.

It is important to understand that the study does not show that religious people are more aggressive than non religious ones, but rather that an authoritative endorsement of violence makes people more aggressive, regardless of their religious background. This is nothing new in psychology, where for decades researchers have known that people can be driven to commit otherwise unthinkable acts if they think they are doing so with the approval of an authority figure (see, for example, the recent book by Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect). God just happens to be the highest and most frequently invoked authority of them all.

When interviewed by Nature magazine (8 March 2007 issue) for a story on Bushman's paper, University of California-Davis sociologist John Hall commented that “There are built-in cultural lenses that we use to dissociate religion from violence. When we see religious movements that are prophetically inspired and engaged in violence, there's a cultural tendency to say 'oh, they're not really religious.'” But Iowa State theologian Hector Avalos (yes, please notice that he is a theologian), adds: “People who choose the violent interpretation are no less arbitrary than those who choose the peaceful one. A lot of churches have a series of passages that they read during the year, and usually they don't choose the passages involving genocide.” As my priest at catechism used to say: “parole sante” (saintly words).

31 comments:

  1. MP: "A lot of churches have a series of passages that they read during the year, and usually they don't choose the passages involving genocide.” As my priest at catechism used to say: “parole sante” (saintly words)."

    And some churches teach the entire Bible, no matter what is there including all historical accounts. And they are taught as plainly historical (yet factual) accounts.

    When reading other historical accounts of wars, lets say Korean, second WW, etc. does one feel more inclined to go to war even if for a "good cause"? Not necessarily. I think if people try to utilize NO contextual comparison abilities in reading things like this, that is their fault. (religious or not) And if they fall for decidedly foolish arguments, it is because that is what they want to do.

    The problem with the RCC, to me, is that few of the hierarchy of The Church would seldom suggest to the average Catholic to really study what it is they are reading. The Jews, who are talked about in scripture all the time, may have very well complained and sinned all over the place in the Bible, but the long running fallacy of the RCC is that The Church is somehow exempt from being represented by the example that the Bible makes of the Jews. The Church, (any church) of course, can likewise have sin and sinners in it. So they (RCC hrchy) did not read the texts in the plainest sense, they chose to read the text in a way that was appealing to their pride and sense of entitlement.

    For an example, in the following passages, who in the world is not like the Jews of old in wanting "a man" to lead them and not God? Serious question.

    1Sa 8:7 And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
    1Sa 8:8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.
    1Sa 8:9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
    1Sa 8:10 And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.
    1Sa 8:11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint [them] for himself, for his chariots, and [to be] his horsemen; and [some] shall run before his chariots.
    1Sa 8:12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and [will set them] to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
    1Sa 8:13 And he will take your daughters [to be] confectionaries, and [to be] cooks, and [to be] bakers.
    1Sa 8:14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, [even] the best [of them], and give [them] to his servants.
    1Sa 8:15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
    1Sa 8:16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put [them] to his work.
    1Sa 8:17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
    1Sa 8:18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.
    1Sa 8:19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
    1Sa 8:20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
    1Sa 8:21 And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD.
    1Sa 8:22 And the LORD said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city."

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/tools/printer-friendly.pl?book=1Sa&chapter=8&version=kjv
    BLB: kjv

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  2. "When reading other historical accounts of wars, lets say Korean, second WW, etc. does one feel more inclined to go to war even if for a "good cause"? Not necessarily. I think if people try to utilize NO contextual comparison abilities in reading things like this, that is their fault. (religious or not) And if they fall for decidedly foolish arguments, it is because that is what they want to do."

    Most other wars, though, were not directed or encouraged by a perfectly moral and absolutely powerful entity.

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  3. M,

    Did the study show that the increased aggressive behavior was long term, because if not, I don't know what it means much? For comparison, studies have shown that playing violent video games increases aggressive behavior immediately after playing, but there is no long term correlation (as far as I am aware) between playing violent video games and generally violent behavior that would lead to commiting crimes, favoring wars, etc.

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  4. Chris,

    the focus of the study was on short-term behavior, but I'm not clear on why you think that is the focal point. Religious authorities repeat their nonsensical messages every day and at every opportunity, which likely turns short-term effects into persisting ones, no?

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  5. M,

    I see what you mean about repeated inoculations of religious fervor, but returning to my analogy, the same could be said about video games, which are played daily by many gamers. Nonetheless, there does not seem to be long term effect. Maybe this is because, fortunately, people have to go to sleep every night. Who knows. The point is, until researchers can show that those short term bursts of aggressive behavior turn into long term patterns, I am uneasy to claim that reading the bible causes violence. Now, of course, we can point to history of religous violence, and on going religious violence, but that is correlational, and indeed religion may have merely been symptomatic of other causes of violence. I am not qualified to say really. In any case, I don't mean by casting doubt on the importance of this study to say that religion promotes peace, or that atheism is 'bad' (I am an atheist), but simply to say that I need to know before concluding that reading the bible promotes violence.

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  6. correction: "I need to know MORE before concluding"

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  7. YP: "Most other wars, though, were not directed or encouraged by a perfectly moral and absolutely powerful entity."

    That is to assume that He is who He said He is, and He said what He was proposed to have said.

    I believe it that God said all the the things that were declared by M, but not necessarily the tone or insinuation of what was meant by what God said. Yourself or Massimo on the other hand, (I assume) don't believe in the factuality of the Bible at all, so what's the problem?

    As far as the permissiveness of your own beliefs are concerned, it must just be another lie that people believe. Why would this one be any different?

    But then, it is amazing what level of authority that an obvious lie can have in people's lives, isn't it.
    cal

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  8. Aureola Nominee, FCDApril 17, 2007 11:53 AM

    Cal:

    "That is to assume that He is who He said He is, and He said what He was proposed to have said."

    Why, isn't that what Jews, Christians and Muslims must assume?

    "I believe it that God said all the the things that were declared by M, but not necessarily the tone or insinuation of what was meant by what God said."

    There's the rub. What did God "really" mean, and how do you know? Also, how can God have meant the exact opposite of what he allegedly said? (I mean, an order to exterminate another tribe -including women, children, and old people - sounds pretty inequivocal to me; very little space for ambiguity and nuance!)

    "But then, it is amazing what level of authority that an obvious lie can have in people's lives, isn't it."

    Is it really? After a couple of millennia of behavioural reinforcement with the threat of torture and death and then more torture vs. the promise of eternal life?

    A lot of people believe what they desperately want to be true. This has nothing at all to do with whether what they believe is true.

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  9. fcd: (I mean, an order to exterminate another tribe -including women, children, and old people - sounds pretty in equivocal to me; very little space for ambiguity and nuance!).."

    In scripture, one sees the reoccurrence of what seems like two levels of God's will. "God's Will" and God's permissive will.

    In the above mentioned passage of scripture, that is evidence of God's permissive will. Meaning, it was not in the Jewish nation's best interest to be lead by a king, but God allowed the Jews have what they wanted even tho he knew it would lead them into all kinds of hardship.

    Same could be said with matter of divorce. In the Bible it says that "because of the hardness of their hearts...", He allowed divorce under certain circumstances. But surely the Ten Commandments still mean what they say. That is "God's will".

    RE: wars, ideology and whatnot.

    I don't think that wars and killing are what the Creator desires for His creation. But in His permissive will (that is, the exception made for having to work things out for His good around our willful selves) it is a fact of life that when left to our own devices, WE tend to WANT to annihilate others who severely inhibit our own goals and and purposes. Sometimes, however, those who will think of nothing but the annihilation of other races and their goals and purposes, and will not be deterred from this, God seemed to deem it in the best interest of everyone (jews and others) that people who believe this way do not continue to live on the earth.

    Essentially, God was "allowing" (i.e. permissive will)the taking out of people groups who had developed bad views on human rights and or "freewill".

    Think about it, is that really unjustifiable?

    cal

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  10. Cal

    Is it not rue that God commanded the Israelites to drive the existing tribes out of the promised land? That in some cases he "hardened the hearts" of the opposition, so that they would be utterly destroyed? And that he was angry with the Israelites for not utterly dispatching the Jebusites and Canaanites, and withdrew his favour from them as a result?

    I don't see how this jibes with your interpretation. It was not permiisive will, it was a command.

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  11. Just a minor correction, but the *Free University* of Amsterdam (VUA) is definitely NOT secular. It is calvinistic. While this is not particularly visible in the curriculum, the Free University does have a higher percentage religous students than state run universities in the Netherlands. MP, are sure the university wasn't the *University of Amsterdam* (UvA)?

    GCB.

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  12. GCB,

    interesting point. I doubled checked, and the Nature commentary refers to the Free University of Amsterdam, specifying that only 27% of the students from that institution involved in the experiment believed in the Bible. 'round here that's considered pretty secular... :)

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  13. Suf, "Is it not true that God commanded the Israelites to drive the existing tribes out of the promised land?"

    I don't know. I looked up the term "promised land", and can't really find indication of that sort of activity but I am not sure what the point is even if it could be found.

    The world's history is full of one people group over taking another, one group taking over the lands of the other, etc. What makes it less moral for God to set apart some area of land for a people He wished to call His own?

    So because He CAN do ANYTHING, He should not ask or seek to do anything? In that, we would be suggesting that ALL interventionism is bad. But is it really?


    "That in some cases he "hardened the hearts" of the opposition, so that they would be utterly destroyed?"

    I understand that. It does not happen without the Pharaoh, for instance, making some serious moves that showed himself to be against God (and thus His people) before the hardening of heart happened. It is a progression of events and feelings that I think the individual gives their assent to before it takes place. That is, it is not random.

    "And that he was angry with the Israelites for not utterly dispatching the Jebusites and Canaanites, and withdrew his favour from them as a result?"

    If God is "God", after all, He can be angry with the Israelites for not dealing with another people group in the manner He felt best. If God is outside of time, He could see the destruction that the people group in question may have wrought on humanity. He could also see that that particular group had no interest in being redeemed by God.


    "I don't see how this jibes with your interpretation. It was not permissive will, it was a command."

    Yeah, and the first lie that was ever foisted on mankind was, "Hath God said"..

    Fine to search stuff out and everything, but if we come to the end of where our own wisdom will take us, sometimes it really is best to accept the fact that there is Someone out there that really gets the big picture better than we do.

    cal

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  14. Cal

    My whole point was that the conquest of Canaan was commanded by God, it was not an example of permissive will.

    If you really think God gets the big picture better than you do, stop your pitiful attempts at justification, such as the one in your first comment under "RE: wars, ideology and whatnot".

    Suf, "Is it not true that God commanded the Israelites to drive the existing tribes out of the promised land?"

    I don't know. I looked up the term "promised land", and can't really find indication of that sort of activity but I am not sure what the point is even if it could be found.


    You don't know? Sure you know. You didn't have to look up Promised Land. Just read the Book of Joshua, if you know where to find it.

    P.S. The reason I used the phrase Promised Land was so that no one would attempt to confuse the discussion with a rant about modern day Israel. Never thought that Promised Land would be all that confusing a term.

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  15. "P.S. The reason I used the phrase Promised Land was so that no one would attempt to confuse the discussion with a rant about modern day Israel. Never thought that Promised Land would be all that confusing a term."

    I'm just not that sophisticated of a person, suf. Possibly you are more informed about scripture than I.

    And WHAT IS the real difference between modern day Israel and the ref to the Promised land? Neither ought to be worth defending as far as most of the secu-islamist world is concerned. So goes the rhetoric anyway. And so I say if it is not at all worth defending, drop all emotional appeals about the place and forget about it.

    But, ah ha!

    By some odd twist of fate, no one left on THE EARTH seems able to forget about Israel, fulfilling the prophecy that 'I will make her (Israel) a cup of trembling for all the nations...' (paraphrase)

    real strange situation that is, isn't it.
    cal

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  16. secu-islamist?

    Oh. Dan al-Dennett

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  17. Aureola Nominee, FCDApril 18, 2007 6:28 PM

    You know you are in La-La-Land when you see someone mixing "secular" (i.e. referring to anything but religion) with "Islamic" (i.e. referring to a specific religion).

    Cal, I suggest you up your dose of medication: your grip on reality is slipping even more than usual.

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  18. Suffenus - You beat me to it. "Secu-islamist" - is that a proto Islamo-Fascist or an end of times Christo-Zorastrian (sic), or perhaps an Atheo-Bhudo-Shinto-Jainist? The possibilities are endless when Cal gets her Fundie-Christian written boots on!

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  19. And WHAT IS the real difference between modern day Israel and the ref to the Promised land?

    Browsing through the pages of
    Haaretz (an Israeli newpaper), and especially reading the comments in the various threads, I get the impression that for some in Israel (a minority, but a substantial minority?- I am open to correction) there is no difference. For them the Book of Joshua is a TYPE of modern day expansion in the Holy Land. But this certainly adds to the intractability of the situation, and could even bring us back to the subject of Massimo's post.

    Having said that, my sympathies are still with the Israelis, because I do not believe any protestations by Palestinian orgaizations that they do not wish to drive the Israelis into the sea.

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  20. S: "secu-islamist?"

    Merely means that some secularists may be on the same side as Muslims on SOME issues.

    Some secularists are on the same side as Islamics, on the matter of Israel, for instance. But if it weren't for God's Word, some force to revolt and complain against, virtually no one would care a bit if Jews inhabited the land of Israel.

    It's the old "who's gonna be the boss of me" problem.


    S: "For them the Book of Joshua is a TYPE of modern day expansion in the Holy Land. But this certainly adds to the intractability of the situation.."

    Well, really, and whose fault is that?

    Can 99.99 % of the world (and the Arabic world) be justified about wanting to push teeny tiny Israel into the sea and not just look utterly insane for wanting to do this? It's an thoroughly absurd thing to want to do UNLESS some people actually think that they can wipe out all memory of Israel and therefore God from the earth by doing so.

    If God is God, their satisfaction will be a VERY brief and fleeting thing.
    cal

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  21. But if it weren't for God's Word, some force to revolt and complain against, virtually no one would care a bit if Jews inhabited the land of Israel.

    It's an thoroughly absurd thing to want to do UNLESS some people actually think that they can wipe out all memory of Israel and therefore God from the earth by doing so.


    They think the Israelis stole their land. It's more complicated than that, but I don't see how it helps to live an apocalypse inside your head.

    I'll give you the last word.

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  22. Aureola Nominee, FCDApril 20, 2007 10:06 AM

    Cal:

    secularists on the same side of Islamists? Whatever it is you are smoking, it must be GOOD!

    Some secularists - including secular Jews - see Israel as nothing more than another State, and they may well agree with some Palestinians on secular matters.

    That, by the way, does not imply that "secularists" think that Israel is not worth defending; I, for one, think evil actions are not worth defending, whether they are carried out by the State of Israel or any other State, or by individuals of any inclination, even if these individuals claim divine inspiration.

    On the other hand, fundies of all stripes - Jews, Christians, Muslims, whatever - tend to agree on all sorts of matters (you need to look no further than the death threats issued by fundies of ALL three "major religions" about a Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem).

    So, please, keep your insults straight: it is judeochristislamist fundies, not the non-existing "secu-Islamist world" of your fantasy, who are a threat to civilized coexistence.

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  23. Suf, "They think the Israelis stole their land."

    "Stole" tends to be a rather arbitrary term when one realizes all the nations that have either had partial control or were incomplete control, for a time, of Isarel as the Romans were in NT times.

    "..but I don't see how it helps to live an apocalypse inside your head."

    I'd try to take the last word', :) but I don't quite understand what it is you are saying here.

    If you are thinking that some people would actually look forward to a huge showdown between many nations over Israel (or directed AT Israel) , I don't think that is the case at all.

    Commenting on it, for myself, is just a matter of trying to recognize the 'signs of the times' that we live in and make sense of it just like anyone else would. On a presumably rational level, the 'global' anger that is often directed at Israel is almost beyond making sense of.

    cal

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  24. fcd "Some secularists - including secular Jews - see Israel as nothing more than another State, and they may well agree with some Palestinians on secular matters."

    I know that. I also know that some Jews thought this very thing right up to the time that they were drug off to the gas chambers.

    They were not being persecuted for necessarily being "religious" Jews either. They were in fact being singled out as matter of Darwin's & and then Sir Arthur Keith's view on race and evolution.

    On this matter Sir Arthur said,

    ‘The German Führer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution.’

    Reference: Keith, A., Evolution and Ethics, Putnam, NY, USA, p. 230, 1947.

    cal

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  25. Aureola Nominee, FCDApril 20, 2007 11:43 AM

    Cal:

    not the old lie about Hitler being an evolutionist, please! I know you are delusional, but this one has been debunked ad nauseam!


    One: read Mein Kampf and count how many times it mentions Darwin and/or evolution.

    You'll probably be surprised to find that the answer is ZERO.

    Next, repeat the exercise and count mentions of God and Divine Will.

    You'll probably be just as surprised to find that the answer is not zero.


    Two: Darwin wrote of how things are, not of how things ought to be. What the Nazi thought and did was way more akin to animal husbandry (which did not need On the origin of species to be well known to people from time immemorable) than evolution in action.


    Three: allow me to laugh very loud at your idea that "some Jews thought this very thing (see[ing] Israel as nothing more than another State, and ... agree[ing] with some Palestinians on secular matters) right up to the time that they were drug off to the gas chambers." Since when was there a State of Israel before and during World War II?

    And once again, remember the motto who those who dragged (not drug) Jews inside gas chambers wore on their belts: it was Gott mit uns, which for the ignorant among us translates to God [is] with us.


    Now, back on track: the occasional agreement between secularists and moderate theists of any ethnic origin and denomination is vastly overshadowed by the more than occasional agreement between fundies of any stripe. To all but the most zealously deluded, Israel is not "the Jews", any more than Italy is "the Catholics" or Saudi Arabia "the Muslims" or Germany "the Lutherans" and so on.

    Have you got anything useful to contribute to the discussion, Cal, or are you simply going on being wrong on every single count?

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  26. Don't care if it was deliberately mentioned or not, fcd. Implication, intention and direction is 10/10th of the law.

    "There is an hypothesis that has not yet adequately been considered. Staunch evolutionist, Sir Arthur Keith claims:

    The German Fuhrer . . . consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution. 1

    Elsewhere, Keith wrote:

    The leader of Germany is an evolutionist, not only in theory, but, as millions know to their cost, in the rigor of its practice. For him, the national "front" of Europe is also the evolutionary "front;" he regards himself, and is regarded, as the incarnation of the will of Germany, the purpose of that will being to guide the evolutionary destiny of its people. 2

    Hitler used the German word for evolution (Entwicklung) over and over again in his book. In fact, it is not unreasonable to suppose that the very title itself of Hitler's book ("My Struggle"), was influenced by Darwin's subtitle, "Struggle for Existence," and by the German advocate of evolution, Ernst Haeckel, who published a book, in 1905, entitled, Der Kampf um den Entwicklungs-Gedanken ("The Struggle over Evolutionary Thinking").

    In Hitler's Mein Kampf, he spoke of "lower human types." He criticized the Jews for bringing "Negroes into the Rhineland" with the aim of "ruining the white race by the necessarily resulting bastardization." He spoke of "Monstrosities halfway between man and ape" and lamented the fact of Christians going to "Central Africa" to set up "Negro missions," resulting in the turning of "healthy . . . human beings into a rotten brood of bastards." In his chapter entitled "Nation and Race," he said, "The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he, after all, is only a weak and limited man; for if this law did not prevail, any conceivable higher development (Hoherentwicklung) of organic living beings would be unthinkable." A few pages later, he said, "Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live." 3

    The Ascent of Racism
    by Paul G. Humber, M.S.

    cal

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  27. Re: to the question of Hitler's Christianity

    "Much of the opposition to the eugenic movement came from German Christians. Although Hitler was baptized a Catholic, he was never excommunicated, and evidently 'considered himself a good Roman Catholic' as a young man, and at times used religious language. He clearly had strong, even vociferous, anti-Christian feelings as an adult, as did probably most Nazi party leaders. As a consummate politician, though, he openly tried to exploit the church. Hitler once revealed his attitude toward Christianity when he bluntly stated that religion is an:

    ' ... organized lie [that] must be smashed. The State must remain the absolute master. When I was younger, I thought it was necessary to set about [destroying religion] with dynamite. I've since realized there's room for a little subtlety ... The final state must be . in St. Peter's Chair, a senile officiant; facing him a few sinister old women . The young and healthy are on our side . it's impossible to eternally hold humanity in bondage and lies ... [It] was only between the sixth and eighth centuries that Christianity was imposed upon our peoples ... Our peoples had previously succeeded in living all right without this religion. I have six divisions of SS men absolutely indifferent in matters of religion. It doesn't prevent them from going to their death with serenity in their souls.'

    From a dialog between these two guys: http://www.caseagainstfaith.com/
    submissions/hitler.htm

    cal

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  28. Aureola Nominee, FCDApril 20, 2007 2:54 PM

    Cal:

    No matter how hard it may be for you, evolution had zero to do with Nazism, and Martin Luther's Antisemitism had a lot to do.

    Let me point out for you the fallacy you are using; it is known as "cherry-picking". You are quoting one person's opinion and holding it as the be-all and end-all, the Final Word on Hitlerism; and yet at the same time you carelessly discount the opinions of Hitler himself and most of his followers.

    It won't do; you can't simply hand-wave away the fact that Hitler declared himself a Christian, and his followers declared themselves Christians, and while a minority of German Christians opposed Hitlerism a much larger majority went along with it, because he was oh-so-effective in combating those evil Jews, godless Communists and filthy homosexuals.

    Notice a pattern here, Cal?

    Also, do you know anything about the books burned by the Nazis, Cal? Let me help you get an education on this, too.

    One of the lists of books the Nazi banned and burned includes this little gem:

    6. Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel).

    [Source for German text: pp. 143-144 of Strothmann, Dietrich. Nationalsozialistische Literaturpolitik: ein Beitrag zur Publizistik im Dritten Reich. Bonn: H. Bouvier, 1968. Translation by Dr. Roland Richter.]


    How come? Didn't you find some kind of fool who claimed that Häckel was at the very root of Nazism? My oh my, apparently that "Darwinist" was wrong, and you with him! Imagine that!

    Another list, the "Blacklist for Public Libraries and Commercial Lending Libraries", included this:

    c) All writings that ridicule, belittle or besmirch the Christian religion and its institution, faith in God, or other things that are holy to the healthy sentiments of the Volk.

    Ouch, Cal. Apparently the Nazi were unaware that they were supposed to be evolutionists and anti-Christian!

    Take my suggestion, Cal: stop spouting off on things you don't know, copying and pasting idiocy from some preacher's Website, because knowledgeable people don't take long in proving your points completely moot.

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  29. It is unimaginable, fcd, that "knowledgeable people" would HAVE ANY use whatsoever for anger or violence.

    however...

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  30. Aureola Nominee, FCDApril 20, 2007 3:58 PM

    Anonymous:

    Who said anything about anger or violence being unimaginable? My only mention of knowledgeable people is in debunking Cal's lies, which is quite easy.

    You got a point? If so, state it clearly, because your particular piece of prose is meaningless as it stands.

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  31. If God is "God", after all, He can be angry with the Israelites for not dealing with another people group in the manner He felt best. If God is outside of time, He could see the destruction that the people group in question may have wrought on humanity. He could also see that that particular group had no interest in being redeemed by God.

    Idiotic god these people have got, methinks. If it is out of time and knows whatever will happen (or not) why is the idiot "angry" at anything? What a childish, brainless kind of thing to believe in... It does not even resist the minimum amount of thinking, sheesh.

    Now, the theory of evolution is called Evolutionstheorie or Abstammungslehre in German. At least nowadays. Entwicklung is most commonly used as "development" than evolution, by what I've seen. I haven't read "Mein Kampf" either, so who knows what meaning of Entwicklung is being used there...

    Anyway, what does it matter? What the brain dead religious people seem to willingly ignore is that science works differently from religion -- that's why science works. Even if people DID use some theories as support for whatever horrible things they did, science has itself corrected much of that over time. Changed the theories themselves, maybe, or their applications, in some cases. Or not. If a theory is consistent with reality (and therefore considered provisionally "true") or not has nothing to do with what people decide to use them for, from a purely scientific point of view. Sociologically, that is more of a worthy discussion.

    J

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