Why the "What about Stalin" argument fails

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Why the "What about Stalin" argument fails

Atheism : No Gods, physical or metaphysical
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Why the "What about Stalin" argument fails

In order to show how dogma has harmed humanity it is easy to mention the Spanish Inquisition, the Hundred Years War, and more recently 9/11. Humanists and Atheists of many stripes do their best to show how religion can foster cruelty, but the immediate response is "Well Stalin was an Atheist, Communist China was atheist". The essential problem with the argument could be summed up in the old saying "If it quacks like a duck, it if swims like a duck, then it's a duck". Stalin wasn't a metaphysical being, he wasn't immortal, but as far as Communist Russia was concerned he was seen as all powerful and infallible. Kim Jong-il is a fine example of my point, He isn't a non-physical being, but in every definition of the term he is a God.

Even if humanity were a creation, the difference between our origins via God and via Some advanced sentience is that the advanced sentience could be questioned. A god is perfect, you dare not question it's ways. Stalin and his Cult of Personality, Kim Jong-il and his enforced admiration, and even the very mortal Pope are examples of Gods in every sense other than them beings metaphysical beings. These people were not examples of atheism, we do not accept Gods... Flesh or Ghost.

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I've always wondered if

I've always wondered if Stalin put sugar in his porridge.


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I think you'll get some

I think you'll get some arguments against leaders putting themselves forward as "gods" being a legitimate argument. But not from me.

I think another good point is that the religious wars and attrocities were done for religion, however the wars by people who were atheists were not done in the name of atheism, they were done in the name of political ideals. There is no real link with atheism.

You may as well say: the pope wears a hat, and so did stalin! (note: I have not confirmed that this is a fact)

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Agreement with Ronin-dog.

Agreement with Ronin-dog. The first answer to the "What about (name of infamous, evil atheist)?" is that atheism had nothing to do with it.

A proclamation of "atheism" says one thing: I do not believe in god(s). Period. Full stop. What people propose to do about that is another matter altogether.

While it does indeed follow from atheism that religion is a waste of time at best, an atheist who commits or espouses violence against religious believers is on his own, intellectually and morally. Atheism does not mandate that any more than disbelief in the feasibility of socialism requires me to shoot Marxists.

Hitler, Stalin etc. did not kill people in the name of atheism but in service to their respective lunatic totalitarian ideologies.

When the faithful spill blood, on the other hand, it is all too often at the direct command of their "holy books," prophets or what their clerics tell them is divine imprimatur.

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Philip Pullman Guardian article

I think Philip Pullman says it best in this article in the Guardian on November 6th 2004:

I start from the position that theocracy is one of the least desirable of all forms of political organisation, and that democracy is a good deal better. But the real division is not between those states that are secular, and therefore democratic, and those that are religious, and therefore totalitarian. I think there is another fault line that is more fundamental and more important than religion. You don't need a belief in God to have a theocracy.

 

Here are some characteristics of religious power:

There is a holy book, a scripture whose word is inerrant, whose authority is above dispute: as it might be, the works of Karl Marx.

There are prophets and doctors of the church, who interpret the holy book and pronounce on its meaning: as it might be, Lenin, Stalin, Mao.

There is a priesthood with special powers, which can confer blessings and privileges on the laity, or withdraw them, and in which authority tends to concentrate in the hands of elderly men: as it might be, the communist party.

There is the concept of heresy and its punishment: as it might be, Trotskyism.

There is an inquisition with the powers of a secret police force: as it might be, the Cheka, the NKVD, etc.

There is a complex procedural apparatus of betrayal, denunciation, confession, trial and execution: as it might be, the Stalinist terror under Yezhov and Beria and the other state inquisitors.

There is a teleological view of history, according to which human society moves inexorably towards a millennial fulfilment in a golden age: as it might be, the dictatorship of the proletariat, as described by dialectical materialism.

There is a fear and hatred of external unbelievers: as it might be, the imperialist capitalist powers.

There is a fear and hatred of internal demons and witches: as it might be, kulaks or bourgeois deviationists.

There is the notion of pilgrimage to sacred places and holy relics: as it might be, the birthplace of Stalin, or the embalmed corpses in Red Square.

And so on, ad nauseam. In fact, the Soviet Union was one of the most thoroughgoing theocracies the world has ever seen, and it was atheist to its marrow. In this respect, the most dogmatic materialist is functionally equivalent to the most fanatical believer, Stalin's Russia exactly the same as Khomeini's Iran. It isn't belief in God that causes the problem.

 

Remember how you figured out there is no Santa? Well, their god is just like Santa. They just haven’t figured out he’s not real yet.


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Quote:I've always wondered

Quote:
I've always wondered if Stalin put sugar in his porridge.

There you go again.  Not going to actually make your point, are you?  That way, when it is refuted, you'll just go back and say, "Nah.. that's not what I was saying."

In any case, a No True Scotsman fallacy is an ad hoc explanation used to change an earlier statement about the nature of a set.  In this case, nobody denies that Stalin was an atheist, so it is not a No True Scotsman.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote:Quote:I've

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
I've always wondered if Stalin put sugar in his porridge.

There you go again.  Not going to actually make your point, are you?  That way, when it is refuted, you'll just go back and say, "Nah.. that's not what I was saying."

In any case, a No True Scotsman fallacy is an ad hoc explanation used to change an earlier statement about the nature of a set.  In this case, nobody denies that Stalin was an atheist, so it is not a No True Scotsman.

 

Anybody with a higher education than grade 3 could understand what I was trying to say. That goes to other topics too.

 

How the fuck could anyone have possibly interputed my comment as anything else? How could I then say 'That's not what I'm saying' if the point is so obvious?

 

 

 


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So you're not going to

So you're not going to address the fact that I just invalidated your point, are you?

 

It doesn't matter that you take a condescending attitude about this.  You've done exactly what I accused you of in discussions with me.  I take all the time to address an implied point, and you just say, "That's not what I was saying," without saying what you were trying to say.

 

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Hambydammit wrote:So you're

Hambydammit wrote:

So you're not going to address the fact that I just invalidated your point, are you?

 

It doesn't matter that you take a condescending attitude about this.  You've done exactly what I accused you of in discussions with me.  I take all the time to address an implied point, and you just say, "That's not what I was saying," without saying what you were trying to say.

 

 

I never accused anyone of the No True Scotsman

 

 

 

 

Okay. seriously:

 

Point 1:

Quote:

He isn't a non-physical being, but in every definition of the term he is a God.

 

 

Point 2:

Quote:

Stalin and his Cult of Personality, Kim Jong-il and his enforced admiration, and even the very mortal Pope are examples of Gods in every sense other than them beings metaphysical beings.

 

Point 3:

Quote:

These people were not examples of atheism, we do not accept Gods... Flesh or Ghost.

 

1) Redefine 'God' to include people and/or redefine 'religion' to include Communism

2) Point out atheists reject all forms of God and/or religion

3) profit

 

 

 

 

Can I have my chocolate milk now?

 

 

 


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Quote:Point 1:Quote:He isn't

Quote:

Point 1:

Quote:

He isn't a non-physical being, but in every definition of the term he is a God.

Irrelevant.  The No True Scotsman is a revision excluding someone from consideration from a set.  We freely and happily admit that Stalin was an atheist.  His status as a god-like figure is introducing a new argument that has nothing at all to do with his atheism -- just like Stalin's politics.

Quote:

Point 2:

Quote:

Stalin and his Cult of Personality, Kim Jong-il and his enforced admiration, and even the very mortal Pope are examples of Gods in every sense other than them beings metaphysical beings.

Say this with me ten times:

Stalin's politics have nothing to do with accusations of a No True Scotsman directed at his atheism.

Quote:

Point 3:

Quote:

These people were not examples of atheism, we do not accept Gods... Flesh or Ghost.

 

1) Redefine 'God' to include people and/or redefine 'religion' to include Communism

2) Point out atheists reject all forms of God and/or religion

3) profit

Say it another ten times, please.  One has nothing to do with the other:

 

1) Stalin was an atheist

Atheist response:  Yes.  He was.

End of debate.

 

2) Stalin killed lots of people because he was an atheist

Atheist response: No, it didn't.  His political system had all the elements of religious devotion and fervor, without the inclusion of a supernatural being.  It belongs in a class of ideologies including religion.

Debate ad nauseum.

 

You see?  Neither of these has anything to do with a No True Scotsman.  If it did, it would look like this.

 

A: An atheist is one who does not believe in God.

T: Stalin was an atheist.

A: Ok, well an atheist is one who does not believe in God and also doesn't kill lots of people.

 

That's a No True Scotsman.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Honestly read the comment

Honestly read the comment again 10 times.

 

Quote:

 

These people were not examples of atheism, we do not accept Gods... Flesh or Ghost.

 

Let's break it down.

 

'we' as in atheists. So the OP is saying 'we', as in atheists, do not accept Gods FLESH or ghost.

 

The OP also states Stalin projected himself as a God. Put two and two together.

 

 

Now unless the OP comes and posts another interputation of it, that's what I'm getting from it.

 


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interpretation*NOTE* 

interpretation

*NOTE*  Sorry.  The misspelling was just bugging the shit out of me.

P.S.  god is an atheist as he/she/it does not believe/adhere to a higher power.  Therefore you did try to pull a bs No True Scotsman, Pineapple.

If you had stated that the people of the Soviet Union were to blame for allowing Stalin to slaughter their countrymen because they were atheist but somehow still saw Stalin as a type of "go...

No...  Either way you fail in that discussion.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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I tend to physically sound

I tend to physically sound out word to spell it, and then type as they sound one syllable at a time. Which is why I have tons of errors like that.

 

On lab reports and stuff, I fix them. On the internet? nah.

 

Didn't know it bothered people that much


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What if god considers

What if god considers Russian Orthodox Christianity a false religion, and it (god) sent Stalin to persecute it?


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:I tend

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I tend to physically sound out word to spell it, and then type as they sound one syllable at a time. Which is why I have tons of errors like that.

 

On lab reports and stuff, I fix them. On the internet? nah.

 

Didn't know it bothered people that much

You say interpretation like interputation is spelled?  What kind of accent do you have?

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Watcher

Watcher wrote:

interpretation

*NOTE*  Sorry.  The misspelling was just bugging the shit out of me.

P.S.  god is an atheist as he/she/it does not believe/adhere to a higher power.  Therefore you did try to pull a bs No True Scotsman, Pineapple.

If you had stated that the people of the Soviet Union were to blame for allowing Stalin to slaughter their countrymen because they were atheist but somehow still saw Stalin as a type of "go...

No...  Either way you fail in that discussion.

 

 

 

That isn't the vibe I'm getting from the OP.

 

You see, you and Hamby may not make that kind of argument, but that doesn't mean the OP won't.

 

The way I read it gave the impression I posted in my previous post.

 

 

and I don't have an accent. And yes, I do say it as I spelled it earlier.

 

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:and I

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

and I don't have an accent. And yes, I do say it as I spelled it earlier.

*grins*  So you speak the "king's English"?  'ello.

I ain't got no accent.  So y'all need to git awn outa heare.

nuculear an shit.  Us Texans are the ones with no accents.

 

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I'm Canadian so no 'King's

I'm Canadian so no 'King's English' eh?

 

My spelling/reading are horrible. I've always had trouble with them, and if you think my posts are bad, you should see my High School english essays. If I find them I might re-post the comments.


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Watcher wrote:Cpt_pineapple

Watcher wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

and I don't have an accent. And yes, I do say it as I spelled it earlier.

*grins*  So you speak the "king's English"?  'ello.

That's a Cockney accent. 


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jmm wrote:That's a Cockney

jmm wrote:

That's a Cockney accent. 

All brits sound like that.  So I would consider it a British accent.

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Cpt_pineapple wrote:and I

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
and I don't have an accent. And yes, I do say it as I spelled it earlier.

Of course you have an accent, silly.

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Rock Bottom

In Soviet Russia, conclusion jumps to you!


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Watcher

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Watcher wrote:

interpretation

*NOTE*  Sorry.  The misspelling was just bugging the shit out of me.

P.S.  god is an atheist as he/she/it does not believe/adhere to a higher power.  Therefore you did try to pull a bs No True Scotsman, Pineapple.

If you had stated that the people of the Soviet Union were to blame for allowing Stalin to slaughter their countrymen because they were atheist but somehow still saw Stalin as a type of "go...

No...  Either way you fail in that discussion.

 

 

That isn't the vibe I'm getting from the OP.

 

You see, you and Hamby may not make that kind of argument, but that doesn't mean the OP won't.

 

The way I read it gave the impression I posted in my previous post.

 

 

and I don't have an accent. And yes, I do say it as I spelled it earlier.

 

 

 

 

...So you're practically illiterate, but feel you're still qualified to weigh-in on subject matter this complex that requires so much reading and historical understanding?

What a joke.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
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Kevin R Brown

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Watcher wrote:

interpretation

*NOTE*  Sorry.  The misspelling was just bugging the shit out of me.

P.S.  god is an atheist as he/she/it does not believe/adhere to a higher power.  Therefore you did try to pull a bs No True Scotsman, Pineapple.

If you had stated that the people of the Soviet Union were to blame for allowing Stalin to slaughter their countrymen because they were atheist but somehow still saw Stalin as a type of "go...

No...  Either way you fail in that discussion.

 

 

 

That isn't the vibe I'm getting from the OP.

 

You see, you and Hamby may not make that kind of argument, but that doesn't mean the OP won't.

 

The way I read it gave the impression I posted in my previous post.

 

 

and I don't have an accent. And yes, I do say it as I spelled it earlier.

 

 

 

 

...So you're practically illiterate, but feel you're still qualified to weigh-in on subject matter this complex that requires so much reading and historical understanding?

What a joke.

Practically illiterate?  You've got to be kidding.  Do you even know what illiterate means?  It means that you can't read or write.  The guy has clearly demonstrated that he has the ability to read and write, otherwise you wouldn't be having a conversation with him. 


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stalin was a seminary

stalin was a seminary student.  just throwin' it out there...

 

by the way, you don't have to go as far back as the inquisition.  rafael trujillo, anastacio somoza, fulgencio batista, francisco franco, papa doc duvalier, benito mussolini--all these men were at least nominally christian and committed terrible atrocities in the interests of political power.  same as stalin.  incidentally, all of them except mussolini were completely supported by a good christian nation, the USA.

 

do i blame religion for what these men did?  no.  i blame big power complexes.  same as with stalin.  who gives a flying shit if he was an atheist?  some wolves are gray, some are black, etc., but all will eat your ass.

 

stalin was a marxist too.  same as mao, same as pol pot, same as kim jong-il, and same as me.  while i don't agree with stalin's interpretation of marxism (bureaucratization, forced collectivism, etc.), i don't believe he was a "fake" marxist.  he was just really fucking paranoid and very opportunistic.

 

and FUCK american history books and FDR-worship: if it hadn't been for STALIN, most of europe would be speaking nothing but german today. 

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Kevin R Brown wrote: ...So

Kevin R Brown wrote:

 

...So you're practically illiterate, but feel you're still qualified to weigh-in on subject matter this complex that requires so much reading and historical understanding?

What a joke.

 

 

I can still read/write which would make me literate. 

 

Oh and I completed the "History of the Soviet Union" colouring book so yeah, I am qualified.

 

 

 

 


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iwbiek wrote:if it hadn't

iwbiek wrote:

if it hadn't been for STALIN, most of europe would be speaking nothing but german today. 

if it hadn't been for the US, Stalin would have made sure that they would be speaking Russian today.

To make another point ,however, even if Russia had never existed during WWII europe would not be speaking German today.  The USA would have atomized germany into a wasteland to ensure that. 

America would have defeated Germany with a fraction of the casualty rate that Stalin experienced.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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iwbiek wrote:  if it

iwbiek wrote:

  if it hadn't been for STALIN, most of europe would be speaking nothing but german today. 

 

Say where did the Nazis get the tanks to flank Poland?

 

 

........Oh wait................

 


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While the Soviets

While the Soviets contributed (After Hitler invaded U.S.S.R..) I think the British are the ones that did the most to stop the Nazis. U.S next, then Canada then Soviets.


 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:While

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

While the Soviets contributed (After Hitler invaded U.S.S.R..) I think the British are the ones that did the most to stop the Nazis. U.S next, then Canada then Soviets.


 

 

That's rather funny. The British? The British committed a fraction of what the United States did as far as war machinery is concerned, much less the Russians. You'll also want to look into how Stalin was planning to launch a surprise attack on Germany prior to Germany launching the surprise attack on them.

Yes, the Russians cooperated with the Axis at the outset of the war. Stalin was an opportunist, afterall, and would've loved to have wrapped his fingers around Poland at so little cost. The Eastern front was instrumental in catastrophically draining the resources of Germany later in the war, however.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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And where was the U.S at the

And where was the U.S at the start of the war? Oh yeah...

 

 

And BTW historical knowledge of WWII is irrelevant to my original point. So it isn't such a 'complex issue'.


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As I said before, the best

As I said before, the best explanation I ever heard said that WWII in Europe was won by British courage, American production and Russian blood (more than 20 Million Soviet citizens died in WWII.)

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Watcher wrote:iwbiek

Watcher wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

if it hadn't been for STALIN, most of europe would be speaking nothing but german today. 

if it hadn't been for the US, Stalin would have made sure that they would be speaking Russian today.

really?  because i currently live in the former eastern bloc (slovakia) and i can tell you, from firsthand knowledge, that slovak, czech, polish, ukrainian, belorussian, latvian, lithuanian, estonian, hungarian, romanian, etc., etc., are all languages which are alive and well.

on top of that, the soviets didn't have the same agenda as the nazis: wipe out indigenous populations and transplant germans (or rather russians) into the conquered lands.  they were looking to spread marxism-leninism-stalinism as a political ideology, but not russian culture, language, etc. 

 

Watcher wrote:

To make another point ,however, even if Russia had never existed during WWII europe would not be speaking German today.  The USA would have atomized germany into a wasteland to ensure that. 

America would have defeated Germany with a fraction of the casualty rate that Stalin experienced.

well, we'll never know, will we?  besides, had there never been a russia, there never would have been a WWII, since that war was basically the inevitable climax of two nations of antagonistic political ideologies, simultaneously engaging in rapid industrialization and militarization.

i don't believe the US would ever have bombed nazi germany because, my friend, the US didn't give a SHIT about nazi germany.  the nazis weren't threatening any US economic interests.  the US has supported several fascist states in the past (franco's spain, anyone?).  the US only got involved in europe as a quid pro quo with the other allies, particularly the soviets, to aid them in the war against japan. 

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:While

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

While the Soviets contributed (After Hitler invaded U.S.S.R..) I think the British are the ones that did the most to stop the Nazis. U.S next, then Canada then Soviets.


 

 

 

what the fuck are you talking about?  the only thing the british did the most to stop the nazis from doing was pummeling their own country into oblivion.  did they save france?  poland?  czechoslovakia?  austria?  yugoslavia?  the baltic republics?  denmark?  norway?  shit, they couldn't even save THEMSELVES.  why do you think roosevelt basically ignored churchill at yalta while he and stalin divided up europe?  britain had nothing to bring to the table but ashes.  now, don't get me wrong, i admire their resistance but the idea they "did the most to stop the nazis"?  shit. 

western europe was basically a nazi empire when the US got involved.  now de gaulle and the french resistance?  tito and the yugoslavians?  and the brave czech resistance?  i'm willing to hear arguments for them.  they made things easier for both the US and the soviets.  the british, however, were hemmed in on their island and couldn't do anything for greater europe.

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The one I'm using now it's covered up
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Cpt_pineapple wrote:iwbiek

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

  if it hadn't been for STALIN, most of europe would be speaking nothing but german today. 

 

Say where did the Nazis get the tanks to flank Poland?

 

 

........Oh wait................

 

 

saaayyy, where did the soviets get the steel to make the tanks?  ever hear of lend-lease?

 

.......oh wait, probably not.........

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iwbiek wrote:i don't believe

iwbiek wrote:

i don't believe the US would ever have bombed nazi germany because, my friend, the US didn't give a SHIT about nazi germany.  the nazis weren't threatening any US economic interests.  the US has supported several fascist states in the past (franco's spain, anyone?).  the US only got involved in europe as a quid pro quo with the other allies, particularly the soviets, to aid them in the war against japan. 

Please.  FDR always had a policy of "Germany first" in WWII.  He was trying every way conceivable to bring the US to war with Germany up until Pearl Harbor happened.  That electrified the American people into finally engaging in the war and FDR was very pleased that Hitler declared war on the US as a show of support behind his ally the Japanese.  It made it all the easier for FDR to save Europe.  Saving Europe was Number 1 priority in his mind for years before pearl harbor happened.  He was supporting Britian in ways that would have gotten him impeached if the public had known what he was doing.

The soviet union could get fucked for all FDR cared.

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Watcher wrote:iwbiek wrote:i

Watcher wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

i don't believe the US would ever have bombed nazi germany because, my friend, the US didn't give a SHIT about nazi germany.  the nazis weren't threatening any US economic interests.  the US has supported several fascist states in the past (franco's spain, anyone?).  the US only got involved in europe as a quid pro quo with the other allies, particularly the soviets, to aid them in the war against japan. 

Please.  FDR always had a policy of "Germany first" in WWII.  He was trying every way conceivable to bring the US to war with Germany up until Pearl Harbor happened. 

That electrified the American people into finally engaging in the war and FDR was very pleased that Hitler declared war on the US as a show of support behind his ally the Japanese.  It made it all the easier for FDR to save Europe.  Saving Europe was Number 1 priority in his mind for years before pearl harbor happened. 

well, if you'll look closely at my post, you'll see i said nothing about FDR, but rather the US.  maybe it was FDR's personal convictions to "save europe" but, thankfully, we've never lived in an autocracy, and congress passed the neutrality act in 1935, which roosevelt signed, albeit to his chagrin.  but ok, let's talk about FDR.  if you'll recall the remark of mr. bullitt, the american ambassador to france, in 1938 that "the US and france were united in war and peace" (paraphrase), and that america would join an offensive against germany should war break out over czechoslovakia, you'll also recall that roosevelt said this was "100% wrong."  he stuck by the neutrality act.  just how many years before pearl harbor are you going back?  oh, and roosevelt's famous two-word telegram to chamberlain after munich, "good man"?  when the war broke in 1939, it is true that roosevelt sought every way he could to aid britain militarily (indirectly), but he didn't have much support in the government, and, if you'll recall, one of his campaign promises in 1940 was keeping america out of the war.

it was only AFTER pearl harbor, that churchill convinced roosevelt of "germany first," which was very unpopular with the american people.  why germany first?  was it noble sentiments?  well, in regards to saving britain, there were a few--mainly military bases in newfoundland, bermuda, and the british west indies that mr. churchill was only happy to hand over to his american cousin.  or was it maneuvering stalin into the war with japan?  funny how at the tehran conference in 1944, stalin promised to enter the war with japan after germany was defeated.  add lend-lease, extended to the soviets waaaaaay back in 1941, and you get a very funny picture indeed.   

Watcher wrote:

He was supporting Britian in ways that would have gotten him impeached if the public had known what he was doing.

The soviet union could get fucked for all FDR cared.

yes.  why would it have gotten him impeached?  because maybe roosevelt cared; america didn't.  and, as i just mentioned, one of the "ways" we helped was lend-lease, which applied to the soviets as well as the british.  this allowed the soviets to speed up military industrialization and keep pace with germany.  to paraphrase historian richard overy, germany made high quality weapons, but not enough.  the soviets overwhelmed them in quantity.  this quantity was made possible by american materials and american expertise (weapons manufacture experts were sent to the soviet union from the US).  they could get fucked, huh? 

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
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iwbiek wrote:well, if you'll

iwbiek wrote:

well, if you'll look closely at my post, you'll see i said nothing about FDR, but rather the US.  maybe it was FDR's personal convictions to "save europe" but, thankfully, we've never lived in an autocracy, and congress passed the neutrality act in 1935, which roosevelt signed, albeit to his chagrin.  but ok, let's talk about FDR.  if you'll recall the remark of mr. bullitt, the american ambassador to france, in 1938 that "the US and france were united in war and peace" (paraphrase), and that america would join an offensive against germany should war break out over czechoslovakia, you'll also recall that roosevelt said this was "100% wrong."  he stuck by the neutrality act.  just how many years before pearl harbor are you going back?  oh, and roosevelt's famous two-word telegram to chamberlain after munich, "good man"?  when the war broke in 1939, it is true that roosevelt sought every way he could to aid britain militarily (indirectly), but he didn't have much support in the government, and, if you'll recall, one of his campaign promises in 1940 was keeping america out of the war.

it was only AFTER pearl harbor, that churchill convinced roosevelt of "germany first," which was very unpopular with the american people.  why germany first?  was it noble sentiments?  well, in regards to saving britain, there were a few--mainly military bases in newfoundland, bermuda, and the british west indies that mr. churchill was only happy to hand over to his american cousin.  or was it maneuvering stalin into the war with japan?  funny how at the tehran conference in 1944, stalin promised to enter the war with japan after germany was defeated.  add lend-lease, extended to the soviets waaaaaay back in 1941, and you get a very funny picture indeed.   

yes.  why would it have gotten him impeached?  because maybe roosevelt cared; america didn't.  and, as i just mentioned, one of the "ways" we helped was lend-lease, which applied to the soviets as well as the british.  this allowed the soviets to speed up military industrialization and keep pace with germany.  to paraphrase historian richard overy, germany made high quality weapons, but not enough.  the soviets overwhelmed them in quantity.  this quantity was made possible by american materials and american expertise (weapons manufacture experts were sent to the soviet union from the US).  they could get fucked, huh? 

Yes.  The soviet union could get fucked.  If you think us aiding the enemy of our enemy is a kindly deed that we did out of any love for the soviets then....well I digress.  The help we gave to them was only to counter Nazi Germany.  That's it.

And also, before Pearl Harbor happened, over 60% of americans were for the idea of america getting involved in the war.  Especially in the European theatre.  That's more than double of how many americans cared for the idea at the beginning of the war.  So if you want to know why helping out Britian the way he did before Pearl Harbor would have gotten him impeached is because it violated the neutrality act.  But the majority of Americans would have applauded him.

And believe me FDR had absolutely no love for churchill.  Actually he despised the man and had so for decades.  He thought him pompous and arrogant.  Churchill probably hindered FDR's desire to help Europe.

FDR was looking for any reason possible to get involved with Germany before Pearl Harbor.  Germany is all he concentrated on.  He was so obsessed over how to get America to allow him to attack Germany that when Pearl Harbor happened he was very surprised.

If the Germany First policy was unpopular with the American people it was only because they wanted revenge against Japan.  But the majority had already wanted to tweak Hitler's nose.

Personally I think we shouldn't have stopped with Germany and Japan and should have gone after Stalin like Patton wanted to do.

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Watcher wrote:Yes.  The

Watcher wrote:

Yes.  The soviet union could get fucked.  If you think us aiding the enemy of our enemy is a kindly deed that we did out of any love for the soviets then....well I digress.  The help we gave to them was only to counter Nazi Germany.  That's it.

i don't believe the empire does "kindly deeds" at all, so we're agreed there.  maybe FDR's personal sentiment was "the soviet union can get fucked," but that wasn't his policy.  he knew he needed stalin, for germany and japan.

Watcher wrote:

And also, before Pearl Harbor happened, over 60% of americans were for the idea of america getting involved in the war.  Especially in the European theatre.  That's more than double of how many americans cared for the idea at the beginning of the war.  So if you want to know why helping out Britian the way he did before Pearl Harbor would have gotten him impeached is because it violated the neutrality act.  But the majority of Americans would have applauded him.

i'd like to see a source for that figure, because i don't recall encountering it.  even tried googling it, though admittedly it's difficult to google.  anyhow, i consider public opinion polls only a couple notches above anecdotal evidence.  hop over to youtube and check out penn and teller's "bullshit" on numbers.  howard zinn's chapter on WWII in "a people's history of the united states" presents a different viewpoint of how people favored the war.

Watcher wrote:

FDR was looking for any reason possible to get involved with Germany before Pearl Harbor.  Germany is all he concentrated on.  He was so obsessed over how to get America to allow him to attack Germany that when Pearl Harbor happened he was very surprised.

that's funny, because i've always read about the reluctant roosevelt being badgered by churchill.  also, there's been so much debate in the last few decades about just how "surprised" roosevelt was by pearl harbor that we can hardly say a verdict has been returned on that point.

Watcher wrote:

Personally I think we shouldn't have stopped with Germany and Japan and should have gone after Stalin like Patton wanted to do.

i think only patton wanted that.  the american people would never have stood for it, and even we didn't have bottomless resources.  the government always just managed to raise enough money for the war by the skin of its teeth.  it took a couple years for american popular sentiment to be turned against the soviets.  remember lyudmila pavlichenko, the female sniper?  she was a guest of honor at the white house and almost a folk hero thanks to woody guthrie ("fell by your gun / fell by your gun / more'n 300 nazis has fell by your gun...&quotEye-wink.

plus, it would've been a strategic disaster.  it would have required either more atom bombs--and i have no idea how truman would have explained that...yesterday our allies, today toast--or else a campaign against partisan fighters that could put the viet cong and hezbollah to shame, not to mention the mujahideen...(ahem).  how huge is russia?  how fucking tough and pissed were its people at this point?  read steinbeck's "russian journal" to see how resilient the people still were, even several years after the war.  we fucked up cuba, smaller than many states, and you wanna take the single largest, not to mention most unforgiving, governed land mass on earth?  patton was a good general, but so was napoleon.

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I said, 'Father change my name.'
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To the best of my

To the best of my understanding, in the case of Stalin's Russia, it was sort of a case of his replacing God with country. As in, you're not to hold anything in higher regard than your homeland, or some such bullshit. So, really, is it an "atheist society" when the populace is forced to worship their country and it's ideals?


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joewhyit wrote:To the best

joewhyit wrote:

To the best of my understanding, in the case of Stalin's Russia, it was sort of a case of his replacing God with country. As in, you're not to hold anything in higher regard than your homeland, or some such bullshit. So, really, is it an "atheist society" when the populace is forced to worship their country and it's ideals?

 

 

Holy fucking shit on a stick


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:joewhyit

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

joewhyit wrote:

To the best of my understanding, in the case of Stalin's Russia, it was sort of a case of his replacing God with country. As in, you're not to hold anything in higher regard than your homeland, or some such bullshit. So, really, is it an "atheist society" when the populace is forced to worship their country and it's ideals?

 

 

Holy fucking shit on a stick

What, did someone already say something to that effect? Was I late to the party yet again? I should know better than to post without reading the whole thread first.


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joewhyit wrote:What, did

joewhyit wrote:

What, did someone already say something to that effect? Was I late to the party yet again? I should know better than to post without reading the whole thread first.

 

Just tell me:

 

Do you think Stalin was atheist?

 


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joewhyit wrote:To the best

joewhyit wrote:

To the best of my understanding, in the case of Stalin's Russia, it was sort of a case of his replacing God with country. As in, you're not to hold anything in higher regard than your homeland, or some such bullshit. So, really, is it an "atheist society" when the populace is forced to worship their country and it's ideals?

 

i've heard this argument many times to explain why the stalinist soviet union couldn't really be called "atheist" and i'm not quite sold.  i mean "a-theos" really just means "without" or "anti god," and, having been a classics major, i can tell you the greeks had a very specific idea of what they meant by "theos."  if surrendering yourself to an ideal makes you a theist, then it can be argued that that label can be stretched to include almost anyone but a pure nihilist.  socrates was quite an idealistic fellow and he was accused by the athenians of being an atheist, because he didn't believe in anthropomorphic gods pulling the strings of the universe.  even nietzsche accused scientists and positivists in general of being blindly devoted to empirical truth.

besides, if you know anything about the very real threat hitler posed to the soviets before the war, and the utter ruin that soviet society was brought to as a consequence of the war, it's not hard to argue that stalinist devotion to rebuilding the motherland at any cost was a very rational means of collective survival.  once again, i point anyone who's not familiar with this subject to steinbeck's highly readable and entertaining "russian journal."  his description of the ruins of stalingrad, and a little girl living amongst the rubble, reduced to animal behavior, is very stirring. 

the idea that stalin proverbially sprung a fully-formed dictator from the head of lenin is pure myth.  stalin was only able to consolidate his position as a result of the war.  in fact, his rule was strongly questioned by the nation as a whole when he signed the non-aggression pact with germany.  but once the germans invaded, his position was never threatened again (except for the very real possibility that he was actually assassinated).  why was this?  because without a strong, autocratic leader, it would have been damn near impossible for the russians to repel the nazis and rebuild in their wake.  i have a hard time calling that bullshit, much less theism.

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So, we've established that

So, we've established that Stalin's atheism was not that which made him a sonofabitch. Fucking A.

There's a flipside to this coin - there are theist sonsofbitches in history (and alive today) whose religion is not that which made them so. Thinking specifically of Robert Mugabe (Catholic who at one stage was getting a shitload of money from Rhema). He has not declared his war against his own people a holy one, nor cited God as an inspiration for it. Worth stating here that Mugabe began his career as a revolutionary Maoist guerrilla. Perhaps power has a more corruptive influence than religion.

In terms of what the British did during the war, Churchill was an arrogant warmongering imperialist, but he was the right arrogant warmongering imperialist to be Prime Minister at the time. Britain did not fall (thanks English Channel & RAF) Without Britain's survival to be a staging area for D-Day, the Second Front would have had to have been opened in Italy, through the Alps, something that in itself would have been extraordinarily difficult to achieve without Montgomery's victory in North Africa. Yes, FDR/Truman could have nuked Germany to the point where it would still be glowing in the dark today, but did they have the resources to do so, and at what human cost?

It was also Britain that cracked Enigma.

US involvement in the war was absolutely essential to the Allies' victory, no question, but  the impression that the US won it on their own is a Hollywood fallacy.

Stop that... It's silly.


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Why Stalin was who he was or

Why Stalin was who he was or did what he did is an historical analysis. At the very least it's a psychological analysis, but even then must use a knowledge of the relevant history to inform it. It is most definitely not a religious analysis, nor an atheist one.

 

Stalin, like all of his immediate contemporaries, worked to achieve and maintain power in a system in which religion had been removed as a pillar of the power structure. It was no longer a parameter that mattered, except in adherence to it, in which case it was a huge liability if you expected to rise through the ranks of the Communist Party.

 

In the days before the Bolshevik assumption of power, when religion had still held its traditional role as part of the power structure, Stalin was to be found in a seminary. Afterwards he was to be found in the politburo. This is the opportunism of a political animal at work, nothing else, and that is why Stalin never gave such a glaring contradiction in religious terms a second thought politically. It did not impede his progress, it accelerated it, and simply never referring to it again accelerated it further in a land where such two-facedness was, through necessity, a trait that had come to dominate not only the political ethos of the establishment but the psychological profiles of a large part of its population.

 

The person who tries to use Stalin to make a point about atheists - good or bad - is simply exhibiting a woeful ignorance. The person who attempts to argue back within the ignoramus's necessarily restricted parameters of comprehension is, in my opinion, equally stupid.

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Nordmann wrote:In the days

Nordmann wrote:

In the days before the Bolshevik assumption of power, when religion had still held its traditional role as part of the power structure, Stalin was to be found in a seminary. Afterwards he was to be found in the politburo. This is the opportunism of a political animal at work, nothing else, and that is why Stalin never gave such a glaring contradiction in religious terms a second thought politically. It did not impede his progress, it accelerated it, and simply never referring to it again accelerated it further in a land where such two-facedness was, through necessity, a trait that had come to dominate not only the political ethos of the establishment but the psychological profiles of a large part of its population.

i think it's unfortunate and unfounded to call "a large part" of russia's population at the beginning of the twentieth century "two-faced."  neither the february nor the october revolutions could have taken place had they been the work of opportunists, nor could the bolsheviks have consolidated their power in four years of civil war against the whites.  one could hardly call lenin, trotsky, bukharin, kalinin, et al, "opportunists."

as for stalin, in many ways he was an opportunist.  he was definitely a plotter politically: the fact that he was the only party member appointed to both the politburo and the orgburo, for example.  his fellow party men often jokingly referred to him as "comrade card index," meaning he carefully kept tabs on everyone in the party.

however, we have absolutely no hard evidence--quite the contrary--that he was ever anything other than a militant atheist and a convinced communist.  to paint him as some sort of cynical nihilist who hopped on any train that would take him to power is to show more acquaintance with political cartoons than with the facts of stalin's complex life.  as i said before, he didn't turn into the dictator overnight.

the fact that stalin never bothered to hide his past as a seminary student should tell you what he thought of it: an education and a possibility for a good job.  many students here in slovakia still become priests for that reason: it's a "good job."  why wouldn't stalin want an education to try to get away?  are you familiar with his childhood?  in the town he grew up in, you could get your throat cut for a kopek.  and are you familiar with his conduct at seminary?  he wasn't exactly a model student.  he rebelled against the tsarist russification that was going on in that school, as in so many others: forcing the students to speak russian rather than their native georgian, for example.  he was also punished for reading subversive literature, such as victor hugo and even marx.  if his seminary education was so opportunistic, you'd expect him to be blessing people left and right, but he openly hated prayers, something he remembered and mentioned for the rest of his life.

besides, lots of young russian men in those days were educated in seminaries; they were about the only schools around.  plus, if you really familiarize yourself with the russian orthodox church, you'll know that, as with the orthodox church in general, the really high positions, bishoprics and so forth, went to monks rather than seminary students.  stalin should have entered a monastery if he really wanted the road to power in tsarist russia.  rasputin was a monk, recall.

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I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
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Hi iwbiek In berating me

Hi iwbiek

 

In berating me for my post you then proceed to make my point regarding Stalin's mentality. Thanks.

 

Yes, the two-facedness I referred to is all to do with surviving in an autocratic state, whether the authority is traditionally imperialist or communist in its stated philosophy. As long as the state contains a gigantic majority of people relegated to its nether regions, class-wise, then the drive to utilise any available ladder out of poverty and powerlessness will exceed the requirement to stay true to principles that could see you die. Stalin, as I said, was typical of his class in that respect, and that class included so many people that the exceptions, numerically, were almost immaterial. Stalin was, through his own industry and some slices of luck, exceptionally good at elevating his political status. I have no doubt at all that he would have been also successful under the old regime had it survived, given similar opportunities that communism afforded him. "The eye for the main chance" is the term that applies, and he had it.

 

But you also made my other more serious point for me too, thanks. The discussion - whatever side you take on the question of Stalin's motives - is an historical one.  Attributing one iota of his motivation to atheism on his part is missing the point about the man, and forcibly inserting an irrelevance into the analysis that reflects the arguer's religious or atheistic agenda, but not Stalin's.

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Nordmann wrote:Hi iwbiek In

Nordmann wrote:

Hi iwbiek

 

In berating me for my post you then proceed to make my point regarding Stalin's mentality. Thanks.

what point was that?  that stalin only believed in communism so far as it made him successful?  i didn't make it.  he was opportunistic within his own political worldview, but he was a convinced communist and an active revolutionary even while lenin was exiled.  even a casual reading of a standard stalin biography--robert conquest or dmitri vokolgonov, for example--will demonstrate this.

Nordmann wrote:

I have no doubt at all that he would have been also successful under the old regime had it survived, given similar opportunities that communism afforded him. "The eye for the main chance" is the term that applies, and he had it.

you can have no doubt if you like, but your conclusions aren't borne out by historical evidence.  along with all the examples i mentioned above, stalin's anti-tsarism can most be seen in the fact that he was imprisoned in tsarist labor camp at least 8 times.  helluva way to start a lucrative career, isn't it?

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen