A Response to the American People...

kellym78's picture

...represented by a small sample of letters to the editor from around the country. 

 Well, this will be a first with two posts in one day, but I really wanted to briefly discuss the following letters that were submitted to various papers across the US. This is certainly not a statistically significant sample, but I feel that these particular mindsets are far too common for a supposedly enlightened and egalitarian society. We'll start with my favorite one from the Salt Lake City Tribune.

Quote:

Blame atheists

 In his Dec. 27 letter, Steven Fehr says he believes President Bush is the worst president he has seen. Whenever I hear someone complain about the president, I ask them, "Do you pray for the president of the United States daily?" Is that too much trouble?

There used to be a custom of praying for our president. Perhaps too many people in the United States believe this would be mixing politics and religion. If the majority of the people are agnostic and atheistic, it may be that they are partly to blame for the problems we have. To think one man is responsible for the war and the problems we face in our nation is about as foolish as to not believe in the power of prayer.

We all share in the burden. We all need to live and teach the truths upon which our country was founded. The world is made up of two types of people: critics who are negative, fearful and have no plan, no vision, no faith, and authors who are positive, visionary builders. Which kind are you?

Vera B. Ivie, Ogden

 See what I mean? It is coming out of Utah, but still...if George W. Bush's performance could be improved by talking to imaginary beings, I'm sure that any reasonable deity would have found it fit to respond sometime within the last 8 years. According to Ms. Ivie, we are not allowed to complain about our incompetent and intellectually-challenged president unless we pray for him every day. It's not that it's too much trouble-it's the fact that it is a useless endeavor to beseech nonexistent gods for anything, much less the improvement of the most idiotic president in history.

 She then goes on to blame atheists and agnostics (haha appeasers!! Don't say we didn't tell you) for the societal ills that we face, erroneously claiming that we comprise "the majority of the people" in this country. That should be enough right there to prove conclusively that this woman is a brainwashed victim of religious indoctrination and subsequently has the well-worn persecution complex. Ms. Ivie should present some evidence for the power of prayer before she labels us as "foolish".

 It is a perfect example of the kind of lunacy that infects religious people in this country. Her implication that atheists are negative and fearful, possessing no plan or vision, is downright offensive. She is right on one point-we don't have faith. Rational, reasonable people don't hold decisions based on faith in high regard. It's a pity the rest of the lemmings disagree.

Quote:

  

Atheists are also guilty of atrocities

From the Visalia Times-Delta

 Mr. Reeves [Dec. 13] has made one mistake. He says that you never saw a marauding band of atheists demanding a woman be killed because she gave a wrong name to a teddy bear; nor an atheist bomb a health clinic. Nor atheists burning women as witches.

In fact, he implies that atheists never do any kind of violence or wrong things. He needs to remind himself that the Communists billed themselves as atheistic Communism and tried to take over the world and make it godless.

Ask anyone who suffered under Stalin and his successors just how benevolent that regime was. Ask the people in the Far East. They'll all agree that the Earth runs red with the blood spilled by atheistic Communism.

I wonder if that's why the Russian flag was red?

CHLOE GALY

 Not having read the preceding letter, I can't comment on what the author did or did not implicate, but assuming that he used the examples given here, it doesn't seem that he makes any such implication. It would be absurd to do so. Again, though, the argument is fallacious. The conflation of atheism with communism is made by those who have never read Marx, and furthermore, don't realize that the early Christian church was essentially communistic. Once again, people-Stalin and Pol Pot didn't want to eliminate religion to further an atheist agenda. They did it because as long as the populace maintains allegiance to a power higher than the state, their megalomaniacal fantasies will never be fulfilled. It was about power-not atheism. Gah. It's the new Pascal's Wager-just as commonly used and just as easily refuted.

Quote:

Anxiety among atheists

Jan 02, 2008 04:30 AM

A year of celebrity atheists taking potshots at God

Ideas, Dec. 29

Stuart Laidlaw must be commended for picking up this topic and courageously confronting the ideas of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the loudest and increasingly shrill chorus of the "atheists club." The debate about religious belief, one of the most complex and fascinating phenomena on the planet, is not new. But behind unsubstantiated assertions (The God Delusion, Dawkins; God is not Great, Hitchens), sweeping generalizations and random anecdotal evidence, there's the unmistakable whiff of panic; they fear religion is on the march again.

There is an aggrieved frustration that they have been shortchanged by history; we were all supposed to be atheist rationalists by now. There's an underlying anxiety among atheists that atheism has not generated a compelling popular narrative and ethic of what it is to be human and our place in the cosmos. Where religion has retreated, the gap has been filled with consumerism and a mindless absorption in passing desires. Not knowing how to answer the big questions of life, we shelve them - we certainly don't develop the awe toward and reverence for the natural world.

This article aptly sums up their stance against religious education: "Insulting people and calling them child abusers for taking their kids to church rarely wins people over." Religion provides children with a deep sense of confidence from the teaching that they are each precious in the eyes of God, of reverence for their gift of life and of ethical bearings.

Dawkins's assertion is that no children should be exposed to religion until they are old enough to make a choice; anything else is indoctrination.

But this is quixotic: How can they ever make a choice without knowledge and how can they even have knowledge without running into an atheist's allegation of indoctrination?

Isn't the point that children should be encouraged to develop thoughtful, inquiring minds and a strong ethical framework - and that this is possible both with and without religious belief?

Javed Akbar, Markham

 Mr. Akbar fills his letter with generalizations and assumptions about atheists, which he compounds by leveling the accusation that we are speaking up more fervently now because of "anxiety". There may be a form of anxiety as the impetus for our stridency, but it is not of the type that he claims. The anxiety that we deal with has more to do with saving humanity from this cancerous tumor that seeks to subvert scientific advancements, terrorize people with the specter of fiery pits designed to devour sinners and blasphemers for all eternity, and ultimately destroy us all. Sorry. We actually want to help people and save the world from this malignancy.

 Regarding his comments on the religious indoctrination of children, his depiction of education about religion as a form of indoctrination that would be protested by these anxiety-ridden atheists is incorrect and misleading. If anything, the vast majority of atheists that I know would be supportive of introducing a world religions class into schools and would encourage people to study the various mythologies that have developed throughout human history. After all, that is the best way to demonstrate the absurdity of religious belief. Once the similarities of the predecessors to the Abrahamic god of war, Yahweh, and his bastard son, Jesus, are widely known, far fewer people will fall victim to the insidious mind control of religion.

 

totus_tuus's picture

Quote: Once again,

Quote:
Once again, people-Stalin and Pol Pot didn't want to eliminate religion to further an atheist agenda. They did it because as long as the populace maintains allegiance to a power higher than the state, their megalomaniacal fantasies will never be fulfilled. It was about power-not atheism.

I find it interesting that evil theism should have the power to thwart anything at all.  One would think that these dictators, being evil-minded as they were would have harnessed the dark power of religion to their own ends, not have been afraid of it.

So, religion is anathema to modern totalitarian regimes, whilst atheism is useful.  Hmmmm.....

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II

Anne F's picture

uh?

Quote:

So, religion is anathema to modern totalitarian regimes,...

 

Oh come on... There are actually more religious totalitarian regimes out there than non-religious. Look at North Africa, the Middle East, the Near East, Southeast Asia...

Seems like there are dictators "harnessing" the dark power of religion to their own end after all.

lpetrich's picture

Religion was very useful to

Religion was very useful to Adolf Hitler; he was a Catholic all his life, and he got along fairly well with the Church, even making an infamous deal with it in the 1930's. It is curious that the Church never excommunicated him, even after what Hitler's regime did to Catholic countries like France and Poland, and even when it would have been completely safe to excommunicate him and other Catholic Nazi leaders.

 Also, read Romans 13 -- one must obey every existing government, because God had rigged the coming into power of every government in existence. Including the government that Paul had lived under, the Roman Empire, which officially worshipped some pagan gods and which persecuted Xians for refusing to worship those official gods.

 Furethermore, the Abrahamic God is, in a sense, the ultimate autocrat, and certainly acts like one in the Bible.

As to Communism, I am familiar with it, and it is a LOT more than atheism. Communists have the pretension that they represent the working classes of the world, and that a party of self-conscious workers is necessary to lead them. An autocratic party that is willing to break eggs in order to make omelets and hunt down and suppress all those pesky enemies of the people.

Communists were atheists, yes, but Communism has quasi-religious elements, like an absurd yet unchallengeable dogma,  and objects of worship: various Communist leaders. Like Stalin and the "Cult of Personality", which contains A.O. Avdienko's Hymn to Stalin.

Brian37's picture

Po Pot and Stalin and

Po Pot and Stalin and Hitler are the tired mantra cry of ignorant theists crying "poor me" because atheists are no longer tollerating being marginalized or demonized.

The mentioned above were about power and control and the elimination of ALL compitetion. Modern atheists living under pluralistic governments would be just as opressed if not arrested or exicuted under those mention, as any theist.

But to say religion hasnt had it's totalitiarian states is absurd. The Dark Ages was Christian totalitiaranism. Islam has Iran as it's totalitiarian state. The issue is worship, blind worship without quesiton and lack of a free market of ideas.

I am so sick of theists equating all atheists to being dictators wanting to use some genocidal tactic to end religion. We dont need to use physical violence to end religion. Merely exposing verbaly to people that hocus pokus is hokus pokus, can lead people to voluntaraly want to give up superstion.

No atheist I know of wants to be a dictator. No atheist I know wants to use violence to end religion. We dont see religion as nessaray to lead a decent and moral life. 

Theocracies are one party rule or one person rule run on religion. Hitler was one party and one person rule too. It was his disire for tottal power, just like the Christian theocracies of the dark ages.

So can we once and for all put this tired pathetic argument about atheists barbaquing kittens to rest. It is a bullshit argument to say because an atheist says, "Your god is not real" that somehow that means we are going to stick you in an oven or labor camp. KNOCK IT OFF AND SHUT THE FUCK UP! 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37

strick09's picture

My Local Paper

Nice post, Kelly.

 Thought you might be interested in this gem. It's from our local paper, where I am constantly battling off hoards of YEC's.

The "recent contributor" he mentions is me, specifically my Editorial and then subsequent letter to the editor in response to his counter-editorial. 

Registration to the forums is free if you feel compelled to voice your opinion regarding either article -- just please keep it civil. Smiling 

 

totus_tuus's picture

Kelly's claim, not mine. 

Kelly's claim, not mine.  It's right there, black on white...er, white on black, rather.

Cpt_pineapple's picture

The motivation to all

The motivation to all regimes whether led by atheist or Theist is POWER. That is the prime motivator in pretty much all of them.

totus_tuus's picture

What threatens totalitarian

What threatens totalitarian regimes is the freedom of religion, the freedom to choose to believe (or not believe) the religion of our choice.  That Islamic dictatorships (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq) are as evil as atheistic regimes I do not doubt at all.  Religious plurality represents freedom of thought, a serious threat to any regime bent on the total control of its population.

Hitler's Catholicism has been repeatedly debated here.  I find it interersting that his love of Catholicism was so great that by 1940, he established the largest community of Catholic religious men at the scenic little Bavarian village of Dachau.  I'm sure his devout Catholic beliefs were a great solace to the Polish priests exterminated at Auschwitz.  I'm certain that Gerturde Stein, the atheist intellectual turned Catholic Carmelite nun, who was rounded up and murdered at Auschwitz in response to the Dutch bishops' opposition to Nazi racial policies found great comfort in her brother Adolf's devotion to the Church.  If not, certainly Father Maximilian Kolbe thanked God for this German defender of the faith as he starved to death in a concemtration camp.

 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II

Evolved Morality's picture

thanks good read

it always a good day when i can take in info lol

Iruka Naminori's picture

Cpt_pineapple wrote: The

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
The motivation to all regimes whether led by atheist or Theist is POWER. That is the prime motivator in pretty much all of them.

How closely allied are power and greed?  I think greed is a prime motivator, but in order to get what they want, dictators must have power.  Power is rarely sought as an end unto itself; power is used to steal something from others.  Right now, oil is number 1 on the greed list of most of the power-hungry.

Religion is a grand tool to keep the masses under control, whether or not the power-hungry greed mongers also believe in magical sky fairies.  I've heard people claim George W. Bush doesn't really believe.  I disagree.  I think he's downright serious about his religious delusion.  That scares me because he's not only greedy and power-mad, he's also delusional.

On a side note, I don't think the stupidity is an act, either, as some people claim.  No one is that good an actor. 

Who knew the face of evil could be so stupid? 

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ProzacDeathWish's picture

As far as Hitler's

As far as Hitler's imprisonment of Catholics demonstrating anti-religious bias, well the Nazi's were dedicated race-worshippers yet I assure you that their concentration camps were also populated by prisoners who were 100% Germanic in ancestry and who possessed all the coveted physical traits that made them members of the "master race".

The decisive issue was one of loyalty to the Third Reich...not religious affiliation.

No individual, be they Catholic, Aryan , or Nazi Party member was exempted from this requirement....disloyalty was the "unpardonable sin."

 

The only purely religious group that was condemned out of hand were Jehovah's Witnesses ( they were identified with a purple triangle ) because as declared pacifists they actively campaigned against the Nazi regime for its use of military force ( ie, violence ) and were therfore condemned as a category, no exceptions.

They were condemned for their refusal to support the Nazi Party...not for being religious.

www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/misanthropy

"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." Rudyard Kipling

totus_tuus's picture

Quote: The decisive issue

Quote:
The decisive issue was one of loyalty to the Third Reich...not religious affiliation.

I agree...to a point.  A I have had ponited out to me numerous times in these forums, faith informs action.  These men were imprisoned because their faith had led them to oppose the policies of the Reich.

Quote:
No individual, be they Catholic, Aryan , or Nazi Party member was exempted from this requirement....disloyalty was the "unpardonable sin."

Again, I agree.  Hence the reason that 2579 priests were imprisoned there.  Of these, 1780 were Polish.  These priests represented 1.3% of the total wartime population of the camp (est 200,000).  1034 did not survive, 868 were Poles.  A mortality rate of better than 40% (nearly 50% for the Polish priests0.  Mortality among the general population is estimated at approximately 35,000 out of 200,000, somewhat less than 40%.

Why the higher mortality rate among clergy than among the general population?  Why such a high percentage of Polish clergy?  Is it likely that Catholic priests comprised 1.3% of the European population?

Quote:
The only purely religious group that was condemned out of hand were Jehovah's Witnesses ( they were identified with a purple triangle ) because as declared pacifists they actively campaigned against the Nazi regime for its use of military force ( ie, violence ) and were therfore condemned as a category, no exceptions.

They were condemned for their refusal to support the Nazi Party...not for being religious.

A well made point, if only the history supported it.

Actually, the Jehova's Witnesses were the first religious group to attempt to curry favor with the Reich.  In a convention convened in Berlin on June 25, 1933, the JW's adopted a "Declaration of Facts", stating in part:

"The greatest and most oppressive empire on earth is the Anglo-American Empire...It has been the commercial Jews of the British-American empire that have built up and carried on Big Business as a means of exploiting and oppressing the peoples of many nations...."

"Instead of being against the principles advocated by the government of Germany, we stand squarely for such principles..."

"The people of Germany have suffered great misery sincce 1914 and have been the victims of much injustice practiced upon them by others.  The nationalists have declared themselves against all such unrighteousness and announced that 'Our relationship to God is high and holy.'"

This statement of support for the government predates the foundation of the state sanctioned German Evangelical Church by nearly  a month.  The persecution of JW's continued despite their proclamation of support.  The motives were purely religious.

Further, pacifism is an integral part of JW beliefs, if Witnesses were persecuted for their adherence to pacificism, then they were persecuted as a reult of their religious belief.

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II

ProzacDeathWish's picture

totus_tuus

totus_tuus wrote:

Quote:
The decisive issue was one of loyalty to the Third Reich...not religious affiliation.

I agree...to a point. A I have had ponited out to me numerous times in these forums, faith informs action. These men were imprisoned because their faith had led them to oppose the policies of the Reich.

Quote:
No individual, be they Catholic, Aryan , or Nazi Party member was exempted from this requirement....disloyalty was the "unpardonable sin."

Again, I agree. Hence the reason that 2579 priests were imprisoned there. Of these, 1780 were Polish. These priests represented 1.3% of the total wartime population of the camp (est 200,000). 1034 did not survive, 868 were Poles. A mortality rate of better than 40% (nearly 50% for the Polish priests0. Mortality among the general population is estimated at approximately 35,000 out of 200,000, somewhat less than 40%.

Why the higher mortality rate among clergy than among the general population? Why such a high percentage of Polish clergy? Is it likely that Catholic priests comprised 1.3% of the European population?

Quote:
The only purely religious group that was condemned out of hand were Jehovah's Witnesses ( they were identified with a purple triangle ) because as declared pacifists they actively campaigned against the Nazi regime for its use of military force ( ie, violence ) and were therfore condemned as a category, no exceptions.

They were condemned for their refusal to support the Nazi Party...not for being religious.

A well made point, if only the history supported it.

Actually, the Jehova's Witnesses were the first religious group to attempt to curry favor with the Reich. In a convention convened in Berlin on June 25, 1933, the JW's adopted a "Declaration of Facts", stating in part:

"The greatest and most oppressive empire on earth is the Anglo-American Empire...It has been the commercial Jews of the British-American empire that have built up and carried on Big Business as a means of exploiting and oppressing the peoples of many nations...."

"Instead of being against the principles advocated by the government of Germany, we stand squarely for such principles..."

"The people of Germany have suffered great misery sincce 1914 and have been the victims of much injustice practiced upon them by others. The nationalists have declared themselves against all such unrighteousness and announced that 'Our relationship to God is high and holy.'"

This statement of support for the government predates the foundation of the state sanctioned German Evangelical Church by nearly a month. The persecution of JW's continued despite their proclamation of support. The motives were purely religious.

Further, pacifism is an integral part of JW beliefs, if Witnesses were persecuted for their adherence to pacificism, then they were persecuted as a reult of their religious belief.

 

Again, I state simply that the Nazis persecuted anyone who defied their will. It is the ultimate expression of a totaltarian dictatorship to seek out and destroy its enemies..the Nazis were no exception.

Targets included all uncooperative religious groups regardless of their idiosyncratic beliefs ( you seem to focus exclusively upon the plight of Catholics ) .

Perhaps you can draw some comfort by reveling in the fact that the Nazis also slaugtered millions of atheistic communists in the Soviet Union ?

"The Great Patriotic War, was for the Soviet Union, a trauma that is still difficult for westerners to understand. One adult male in four was killed or seriously injured during the war. Well over a million people are estimated to have died in Leningrad alone between1941 and 1945.." Inside the Soviet Military by Carey Schofield, p.18

For all of the Nazi's rigid political dogmas they were indeed quite flexable about whom they considered to be a threat. That purpose drove them to become equal-opportunity killers and as such their victims embodied the entire spectrum of human belief systems, be they religious or political or none of the above.

www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/misanthropy

"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." Rudyard Kipling

aiia's picture

totus_tuus

totus_tuus wrote:

Quote:
Once again, people-Stalin and Pol Pot didn't want to eliminate religion to further an atheist agenda. They did it because as long as the populace maintains allegiance to a power higher than the state, their megalomaniacal fantasies will never be fulfilled. It was about power-not atheism.

I find it interesting that evil theism should have the power to thwart anything at all.  One would think that these dictators, being evil-minded as they were would have harnessed the dark power of religion to their own ends, not have been afraid of it.

So, religion is anathema to modern totalitarian regimes, whilst atheism is useful.  Hmmmm.....


It is still over your head isn't it. Religion is a belief system. Atheism is not a belief.
I'll repeat this several times to try to help you.
Religion is a belief system. Atheism is not a belief.
Religion is a belief system. Atheism is not a belief.
Religion is a belief system. Atheism is not a belief.
Religion is a belief system. Atheism is not a belief.
Religion is a belief system. Atheism is not a belief.

Still don't get it?
Religion is a body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices revolving around invisible magic established 2000 (+ or -) years ago by ignorant (nondemocratic) people (males).
Atheism is not a belief revolving around invisible magic.
Stalin and Pol Pot DO NOT represent atheism. They were atheists, not delegates of atheism.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.

Archeopteryx's picture

aiia wrote: Stalin and Pol

aiia wrote:


Stalin and Pol Pot DO NOT represent atheism. They were atheists, not delegates of atheism.

 

True. And atheism couldn't have delegates anyway, really.

 

Saying that Stalin was not a theist means about as much as saying that he was not an American.

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.

totus_tuus's picture

Quote: Religion is a belief

Quote:
Religion is a belief system. Atheism is not a belief.
Religion is a belief system. Atheism is not a belief.
Religion is a belief system. Atheism is not a belief.
Religion is a belief system. Atheism is not a belief.
Religion is a belief system. Atheism is not a belief.

I tried it.  I still see atheism as a belief system.  Does it work better when you wear the Ruby Slippers?  Or perhaps rose-colored glasses?

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II

totus_tuus wrote:   I

totus_tuus wrote:

 

I tried it. I still see atheism as a belief system. Does it work better when you wear the Ruby Slippers? Or perhaps rose-colored glasses?

 

ok expalin to me how exactly it is a belief system? I do not understand how a lack of belief in somethign can be an entire BELIEF system. That sounds um.... plain stupid? 

Sapient's picture

totus_tuus

totus_tuus wrote:

Quote:
Religion is a belief system. Atheism is not a belief.
Religion is a belief system. Atheism is not a belief.
Religion is a belief system. Atheism is not a belief.
Religion is a belief system. Atheism is not a belief.
Religion is a belief system. Atheism is not a belief.

I tried it.  I still see atheism as a belief system.  Does it work better when you wear the Ruby Slippers?  Or perhaps rose-colored glasses?

While it doesn't require rose colored glasses, wearing Jesus goggles doesn't help. 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

strick09's picture

zntneo wrote: totus_tuus

zntneo wrote:
totus_tuus wrote:

 

I tried it. I still see atheism as a belief system. Does it work better when you wear the Ruby Slippers? Or perhaps rose-colored glasses?

 

ok expalin to me how exactly it is a belief system? I do not understand how a lack of belief in somethign can be an entire BELIEF system. That sounds um.... plain stupid?

 

A lack of belief does not constitute a belief. The problem is that Christians tend to accept Christianity as a DEFAULT, so Atheism is an assertion contrary to Christianity. In reality, it's the opposite.

Saying "I have a belief that there's no God" is as silly as saying "I have a belief that there's no invisble pink unicorn living in my garage."

 I've always thought of it like a Tennis Match (or some other game) -- Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc. all play for different teams (or perhaps just play different sports... whatever). Atheists just *don't play at all*.

totus_tuus's picture

ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:
Targets included all uncooperative religious groups regardless of their idiosyncratic beliefs ( you seem to focus exclusively upon the plight of Catholics ) .

Definitely Hitler was an "equal opportunity killer", but the post you quoted was in response to another post stating that Hitler was a Catholic, and cozy with the Church.

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II

totus_tuus's picture

zntneo wrote: ok expalin to

zntneo wrote:
ok expalin to me how exactly it is a belief system? I do not understand how a lack of belief in somethign can be an entire BELIEF system. That sounds um.... plain stupid?

"A" meaning without, "theos" meaning god, put the two together you get "without god".  The word "believe" is missing from the etymology.   

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II

ProzacDeathWish's picture

totus_tuus

totus_tuus wrote:

ProzacDeathWish wrote:
Targets included all uncooperative religious groups regardless of their idiosyncratic beliefs ( you seem to focus exclusively upon the plight of Catholics ) .

Definitely Hitler was an "equal opportunity killer", but the post you quoted was in response to another post stating that Hitler was a Catholic, and cozy with the Church.

My personal view is that Hitler was a Catholic in the similar sense that President Clinton is a Baptist, in name only. It was likely done out of political expediency and not from fervantly held religious convictions. As yet I cannot provide citations with which to prove my assertion that Hitler was a faux Catholic ( such as an auto-biographical record ) so I am forced to qualify my claim as speculation.  Unfortunately historical records rarely lend themselves to evaluating a persons suspected hidden motives.

ps, are you maintaining that in regard to acts of anti-semitism there were no instances of cooperation between the Nazi regime and members of the Catholic clergy?

www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/misanthropy

"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." Rudyard Kipling

totus_tuus wrote: zntneo

totus_tuus wrote:

zntneo wrote:
ok expalin to me how exactly it is a belief system? I do not understand how a lack of belief in somethign can be an entire BELIEF system. That sounds um.... plain stupid?

"A" meaning without, "theos" meaning god, put the two together you get "without god". The word "believe" is missing from the etymology.

Your etymology is missing the meaning of the suffix "-ism"

From the Online Etymology Dictionary http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=i

-ism Look up -ism at Dictionary.com
suffix forming nouns of action, state, condition, doctrine, from Fr. -isme, from L. -isma, from Gk. -isma, from stem of verbs in -izein. Used as an independent word, chiefly disparagingly, from 1680.
-ist Look up -ist at Dictionary.com
agent noun suffix, also used to indicate adherence to a certain doctrine or custom, from Fr. -iste, from L. -ista, from Gk. -istes, from agential suffix -tes. Variant -ister (e.g. chorister, barister) is from O.Fr. -istre, on false analogy of ministre. Variant -ista is from Sp. form, popularized in Eng. 1970s by names of Latin-American revolutionary movements.
 
So "Athiesm" is "without a god doctrine". Not "without God".
 
Lack of a doctrine can't be a doctrine. Lack of a belief isn't a belief. 

 

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin

totus_tuus's picture

ProzacDeathWish wrote: My

ProzacDeathWish wrote:
My personal view is that Hitler was a Catholic in the similar sense that President Clinton is a Baptist, in name only. It was likely done out of political expediency and not from fervantly held religious convictions. As yet I cannot provide citations with which to prove my assertion that Hitler was a faux Catholic ( such as an auto-biographical record ) so I am forced to qualify my claim as speculation.  Unfortunately historical records rarely lend themselves to evaluating a persons suspected hidden motives.

I agree wholeheartedly with this assertion.  Although written documentation doesn't exist, Hitler's actions are testimony of this.  He didn't attend Mass, or recieve the Sacraments.  Further, suicide is an act abhorrent to an orthodox Catholic.

Quote:
ps, are you maintaining that in regard to acts of anti-semitism there were no instances of cooperation between the Nazi regime and members of the Catholic clergy?

No, I'm not.  There are well documented instances of Catholic clergy condoning or participating in acts of anti-Semitism.  However, I am contending that such acts or attitudes were isolated incidents and were in direct conflict with the policy and teachings of the Holy See.

By the way, thanks for changing your avatar, that flashing clown was cool, but maddening.

 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II

Zenrage's picture

Ah... more crap from the theists

Hitler and Stalin may not have established spiritually free societies, but their methods used the exact same tool as religion does on a regular basis - objective morality.

Atheism is the lack of belief in god - a loaded term in my opinion because it suggests that theism is somehow a valid default to any philosophy when there is more evidence to support the notion that storks deliver babies than the conjecture that "god exists". There are no other beliefs involved in atheism besides "there is no god" and thus, as some lame-brained theists like to point out, there is no code of ethical behavior. However, what they fail to point out is that there is also no code of unethical behavior. The reality is atheists need to import their ethical values from other philosophical sources. The significant difference is that atheists don't have the irrational and socially irresponsible automatic validation of either "My god wants me to" or "My god says so" theists use to attempt to validate their moralities and the social application thereof.

Regardless of how many dictators or madmen the theists would like to blame atheism on, the reality is theists can't, simply because there is no singular code of ethical or unethical values associated with atheism. And as long as theists use "my god says so" to validate their beliefs, then atheists will always have the potential to be more ethical, more socially responsible and more valid than any theist could ever wish to be.

As far as freedom of religion goes, you can not establish freedom of religion unless you first establish freedom from religion. Its as simple as that.

 

 

kellym78's picture

totus_tuus wrote:

totus_tuus wrote:

zntneo wrote:
ok expalin to me how exactly it is a belief system? I do not understand how a lack of belief in somethign can be an entire BELIEF system. That sounds um.... plain stupid?

"A" meaning without, "theos" meaning god, put the two together you get "without god". The word "believe" is missing from the etymology.

The suffix "-ism" is where the belief part comes from. So, the root of the word means "no god" and "-ism" means belief. No god belief.

 

eta: Damnit!! JCGadfly beat me to it. Fucker. :-P 

kellym78 wrote: totus_tuus

kellym78 wrote:
totus_tuus wrote:

zntneo wrote:
ok expalin to me how exactly it is a belief system? I do not understand how a lack of belief in somethign can be an entire BELIEF system. That sounds um.... plain stupid?

"A" meaning without, "theos" meaning god, put the two together you get "without god". The word "believe" is missing from the etymology.

The suffix "-ism" is where the belief part comes from. So, the root of the word means "no god" and "-ism" means belief. No god belief.

 

eta: Damnit!! JCGadfly beat me to it. Fucker. :-P 

Yeah and I just saw my misspelling of atheism in that post. As Dr. Strange would say, "Curse me for a novice" 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin

The point is lost on me...

I'm sorry for sounding thick...but what does Hitler's (or Pol Pot or Stalin, etc) belief system have to do with their actions?

If you take a specific trait of a person and then use that trait to generalize about all others with a similar trait isn't that predjudice?

Hitler had brown hair, was born Austrian and spoke German. Does this mean that all Brunette's, Austrian's and "Deutsch sprechenden" people are capable of such atrocities? I prefer to Judge other's by their deeds not by their words, physical traits or associates.

To do otherwise smacks of McCarthyism and Witch hunts.

A Red Herring to say the least.

 

I think it's fairly safe to say that a common trait of leadership is the ability to identify and exploit the means to gain power over a group of people. Free-will is the enemy of fascisim and autocracy. Dogma, religious or otherwise is the antithesis of rationalism.

 

 

 

Now, now, Trog, we wouldn't

Now, now, Trog, we wouldn't want to start being... er... rationa... CRAP.