The Hitler & Stalin argument

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The Hitler & Stalin argument

The argument that Hitler and Stalin were 'atheists' seems to be raised quite a lot.

However, the fact of the matter is that both these two sought a clerical carreer in early youth; which, at the very least, suggests the presence of some sort of childhood faith. Furthermore, both these two quit - or, rather, were expelled from - their theological studies (in both cases due to unruly, aggressive and conflict-seeking characters) to pursue artistic carreers; Hitler as a painter and Stalin as a poet. None of them were successful beyond the mere mediocre ability to craft some pieces of work that would be of little to no interest were it not for their infamous next (similar) choices of carreers: Politics.

It seems a little off target to suggest that either of these gentlemen were 'atheists'. In fact, it makes a lot more sense to suggest that they had issues with religion(s) on a personal level, because they were not recognised as the leadership figures they both perceived themselves to be by their respective faculties.  The reasonable conclusion must consequently be that they were both damaged by religious ideas during their upbringing - which, interestingly, is also the case with a great many mass murderers and other very prominent evil-doers in history.

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PZ Meyer put together a long

PZ Meyer put together a long list of quotes regarding Hitler's faith. There is a frequency list on how many times a reference to God is made in Mein Kampf, but cannot find it now.

"I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord's work." [Adolph Hitler, Speech, Reichstag, 1936]

"I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator." [Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, pp. 46]

"And the founder of Christianity made no secret indeed of his estimation of the Jewish people. When He found it necessary, He drove those enemies of the human race out of the Temple of God." [Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, pp.174]

"I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so" [Adolph Hitler, to Gen. Gerhard Engel, 1941]

"Even today I am not ashamed to say that, overpowered by stormy enthusiasm, I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to live at this time." [Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf", Vol. 1, Chapter 5]

PZ Meyer Hitler quotes

I discuss Godwin's Law and corollary that if you use Hitler or Stalin in an argument you have just lost the argument unless you are specifically arguing ABOUT Hitler and Stalin

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Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

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ex-minister wrote:Godwin's

ex-minister wrote:
Godwin's Law

 

I believe Godwin's Law applies to the context of discussing actual nazis and those parts of German history if and when you accuse someone (who's a part of the discussion) of being a nazi, and/or having nazi sympathies, nazi agendas, etc. (As I interpret it, Godwin's Law describes a quite specific subset of ad hominem failure to stay on topic.)

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Marquis wrote:ex-minister

Marquis wrote:

ex-minister wrote:
Godwin's Law

 

I believe Godwin's Law applies to the context of discussing actual nazis and those parts of German history if and when you accuse someone (who's a part of the discussion) of being a nazi, and/or having nazi sympathies, nazi agendas, etc. (As I interpret it, Godwin's Law describes a quite specific subset of ad hominem failure to stay on topic.)

Perhaps I misunderstand but the way I read Wiki the discussion is not about actual nazis, but the nazi/Hitler comparison is brought in inappropriately such as the comparison of Obama to Hilter and Bush before him. 

From Wiki

Godwin's Law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies) is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990 which has become an Internet adage. It states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches.

Although in one of its early forms Godwin's Law referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions, the law is now applied to any threaded online discussion: electronic mailing lists, message boards, chat rooms, and more recently blog comment threads, wiki talk pages, and social networking sites.

 

There are many corollaries to Godwin's law, some considered more canonical (by being adopted by Godwin himself) than others. For example, there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically "lost" whatever debate was in progress. This principle itself is frequently referred to as Godwin's Law. It is considered poor form to raise such a comparison arbitrarily with the motive of ending the thread. There is a widely recognized codicil that any such ulterior-motive invocation of Godwin's law will be unsuccessful (this is sometimes referred to as "Quirk's Exception" 

Godwin's Law applies especially to inappropriate, inordinate, or hyperbolic comparisons of other situations (or one's opponent) with Hitler or Nazis or their actions. The law and its corollaries would not apply to discussions covering genocide, propaganda, or other mainstays of the Nazi Germany, nor, more debatably, to discussion of other totalitarian regimes, since a Nazi comparison in those circumstances is understandable. Whether it applies to humorous use or references to oneself is open to interpretation, since this would not be a fallacious attack against a debate opponent.

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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 Hitler was undoubtedly a

 Hitler was undoubtedly a Christian.  He regularly mentioned Jesus and God in his speeches, and he had priests bless his soldiers before battle.  The Atheist Experience did something about Stalin as an atheist.  I wish I could remember the episode #.  The gist of it was that Atheism is simply a lack of belief in a God, and nothing else.  You have to draw lines that aren't there to associate atheism with murder.  H/E Christianity and Islam directly teach Jihad so it is directly responsible, while atheism is not responsible.  Do you think it made it easier for Stalin to murder millions of people because he didn't fear retribution in the afterlife? Sure.  I doubt though that his atheism was the cause, or even a significant factor is his regime.  Rather than pitter patter with Stalin, Mao, and Pot Pot, Christians should look at a more modern example, those God damned Sweeds are evil murderers.  Oh wait... that's right Sweden has 1/5th the murder of good ol' God fearing America...


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I don't know how about

I don't know how about Stalin, but Hitler was an occultist, definitely. Who do you think messed with Tibetyan black magic, Ultima Thule society and...vegetarianism? He even tried hard to recruit people who were known for their skills - like Franz Bardon, aka Frabato, on his stage performances. Bardon got away from nazis and years later died in prison, caught again, this time by communists.

Also, an atheist wouldn't keep Longinus' spear as a fetish. Of course, on the outside, Adolf was probably all Christianic.

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Pillowpants wrote: Hitler

Pillowpants wrote:

 Hitler was undoubtedly a Christian.

I have heard Christians deny that. And if you show them religious quotes from Hitler, they say that he was a liar. In their eyes, he is atheist. Period. Historical evidence doesn't factor into this.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
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Stalin may have been an

Stalin may have been an atheist, but he did use religion every chance he could. He gave millions of roubles to the Russian Orthodox Church, who in turn suppressed other religions and even denominations. If he acted to end organized religion, then funding the largest in Russia wasn't very bright.


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Pillowpants wrote: Hitler

Pillowpants wrote:
Hitler was undoubtedly a Christian. 

No he wasn't. He didn't pay his francise fee, and didn't give the proper secret handshake in his frat, and they kicked him out of both. "Christian" is a trademark and copywriten word. He wasn't a "true" Christian.

 

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JonathanBC wrote:Stalin may

JonathanBC wrote:

Stalin may have been an atheist, but he did use religion every chance he could. He gave millions of roubles to the Russian Orthodox Church, who in turn suppressed other religions and even denominations. If he acted to end organized religion, then funding the largest in Russia wasn't very bright.

 

personally, i don't think stalin believed in god.  honestly, i don't think he ever considered the question.  he was a ruthless pragmatist when it came to achieving power, and was not informed by ideals at all, though i do think he had at least a half-baked belief in marxism-leninism.  his time in the seminary meant nothing, since those were the only educational institutions available to a provincial like him, and becoming a priest was cynically considered a means to a good income (it still is in both central and eastern europe).

the orthodox church he funded was the official, docile church, whose officials he hand-picked.  he knew that religion would be impossible to eradicate so the best option was to control it.  for all intents and purposes, there were basically two russian orthodox churches during communism: the officially sanctioned one that posed no threat to the government and was forbidden to proselytize, and the underground "true believers" who both proselytized (usually unsuccessfully) and actively sought the end of communism.

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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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Luminon wrote:Hitler was an

Luminon wrote:

Hitler was an occultist

 

Writing Hitler off as an 'occultist' is a grave mistake. Like Stalin, he was first and foremost an absolutely ruthless political pragmaticist who would use anything that worked to his advantage in the quest for power. However, there were some connections to the Thulean Society (which was started by a quite interesting character in this context, Rudolf von Seebottendorf), most notably through his contact with a certain Dieter Eckhardt who mentored him towards his later notorius skills as a public speaker. You can of course with some justification argue that the whole idea of National-Socialism in and of itself was an occult project; concerned, as they were, with mystical concepts of blood and race. But then again, those were monkeys in the machine of futuristic 'progress' that underpinned the entire industrial revolution everywhere. On the other hand, I suppose you would be interested in the connections between occultism and modernism that were expressed by such characters of 'enlightenment' as Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola...

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iwbiek wrote:JonathanBC

iwbiek wrote:

JonathanBC wrote:

Stalin may have been an atheist, but he did use religion every chance he could. He gave millions of roubles to the Russian Orthodox Church, who in turn suppressed other religions and even denominations. If he acted to end organized religion, then funding the largest in Russia wasn't very bright.

 

personally, i don't think stalin believed in god.  honestly, i don't think he ever considered the question.  he was a ruthless pragmatist when it came to achieving power, and was not informed by ideals at all, though i do think he had at least a half-baked belief in marxism-leninism.  his time in the seminary meant nothing, since those were the only educational institutions available to a provincial like him, and becoming a priest was cynically considered a means to a good income (it still is in both central and eastern europe).

the orthodox church he funded was the official, docile church, whose officials he hand-picked.  he knew that religion would be impossible to eradicate so the best option was to control it.  for all intents and purposes, there were basically two russian orthodox churches during communism: the officially sanctioned one that posed no threat to the government and was forbidden to proselytize, and the underground "true believers" who both proselytized (usually unsuccessfully) and actively sought the end of communism.

Your new avatar confused me, but I like it. I didn't know who you were for a minute. Anyway, I defer to you on the history of communist Russia, you're more well versed on the subject than I am. My understanding, which could easily be wrong, again I'm nothing like an expert here, is that Stalin never got the split he had in mind in the ROC. As I said, he did use the church to his own advantage, but I was under the impression the second half you speak of, the "real" ROC, was never close to being replaced fully with yes men. I'm sure that was his intention, but I thought it never really played out the way he wanted re the Russian Orthodox Church. Then again I haven't slept in two days.


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It can't be stressed enough

It can't be stressed enough that both Hitler and Stalin were very very VERY unusual characters. For instance, it has been said about Stalin that the likelihood of a Georgian peasant son becoming the head of state of Russia was on par with the likelihood of a Pakistani carpet merchant becoming the King of England in the 1800's. The question must be what psychohistorical forces brought these gentlemen to political power in the first place - and how we can avoid history repeating itself in this matter. Off topic as it may be, it is a valid argument that the Nazis didn't lose the war, they were only forced out of Germany. The home of contemporary political aberrations such as these is the United States of America. If and when a new Hitler or Stalin will arise, it will be out of the USA; a nation which lacks both history and culture, so they really only have ideology to work with.

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JonathanBC wrote:Your new

JonathanBC wrote:

Your new avatar confused me, but I like it.

 

thanks.  it's one of my most favorite albums of all time.

 

JonathanBC wrote:

I'm sure that was his intention, but I thought it never really played out the way he wanted re the Russian Orthodox Church. Then again I haven't slept in two days.

 

on the whole, he did a very good job of emasculating the church.  by the end of the war, stalin was quite possibly the most domestically popular leader in the world (and i mean genuinely), and the church never offered a real challenge to the soviet government again until glastnost.

of course, i'm sure stalin didn't get everything he wanted.  the idea of stalin as an omnipotent autocrat is a myth.  the sheer size of the soviet union alone posed insurmountable obstacles

 

 

along those lines, it might be useful to offer that, in a strictly theoretical sense, the idea of a truly "totalitarian" dictatorship is a myth.  british historian richard overy offers excellent insights on this in his book the dictators: hitler's germany and stalin's russia.  i strongly recommend it, with the caveat that it's not a general history.  it's a dense book, and not for those with only a passing familiarity with the history of either regime.  perhaps it would be useful to check out alan bullock's hitler and stalin: parallel lives first, which is supposed to be straight-forward comparative biography, though i haven't read it yet.

 

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Marquis wrote:For instance,

Marquis wrote:

For instance, it has been said about Stalin that the likelihood of a Georgian peasant son becoming the head of state of Russia was on par with the likelihood of a Pakistani carpet merchant becoming the King of England in the 1800's.

 

i don't know if i agree with that.  tsarist russia, sure, but soviet russia, i don't know.  lenin liked to keep georgians close because they were gangsters and funded the bolsheviks through bank robberies.  ordzhonikidze and alleluyev are two other georgians i can think of who held high positions in both lenin's and stalin's governments.  then there was stalin's bloodthirsty head of the NKVD, beria, who under lenin had held high security positions in both the azerbaijan democratic republic and later the cheka.  i know there were others.

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iwbiek wrote:JonathanBC

iwbiek wrote:

JonathanBC wrote:

Stalin may have been an atheist, but he did use religion every chance he could. He gave millions of roubles to the Russian Orthodox Church, who in turn suppressed other religions and even denominations. If he acted to end organized religion, then funding the largest in Russia wasn't very bright.

 

personally, i don't think stalin believed in god.  honestly, i don't think he ever considered the question.  he was a ruthless pragmatist when it came to achieving power, and was not informed by ideals at all, though i do think he had at least a half-baked belief in marxism-leninism.  his time in the seminary meant nothing, since those were the only educational institutions available to a provincial like him, and becoming a priest was cynically considered a means to a good income (it still is in both central and eastern europe).

the orthodox church he funded was the official, docile church, whose officials he hand-picked.  he knew that religion would be impossible to eradicate so the best option was to control it.  for all intents and purposes, there were basically two russian orthodox churches during communism: the officially sanctioned one that posed no threat to the government and was forbidden to proselytize, and the underground "true believers" who both proselytized (usually unsuccessfully) and actively sought the end of communism.

My understanding of Stalin is that he had religious study and surroundings before his power. But still what people miss in the evil fascism of Stalin and Hitler, it wouldn't matter if they believed or not, they still have the same authoritarian view of absolute rule that the gods of Abraham have.

Name me one God of Abraham that wont kick your ass if you chose not to kiss his ass? It seems to me that the god of the OT/Bible/Koran, have more in common with Po Pot / Hitler and Stalin than the atheists here do.

 

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Brian37 wrote:My

Brian37 wrote:

My understanding of Stalin is that he had religious study and surroundings before his power.

 

that's true.  are we to draw some conclusion about his religious sincerity from this? 

 

Brian37 wrote:

But still what people miss in the evil fascism of Stalin and Hitler, it wouldn't matter if they believed or not, they still have the same authoritarian view of absolute rule that the gods of Abraham have.

 

stalin wasn't a fascist.  i don't think even trotsky ever levelled that charge.

as you yourself have argued, atheism is only a lack of belief in god, not a philosophy or lifestyle.  based on his own public statements, we can say that stalin was an atheist.  of course it's impossible to know what was "in his heart" but it's pointless to call his avowed position into question just because of his character.  we know that only idiots will insist on a causal chain between lack of positive belief in a deity and deviant behavior, so we shouldn't act like it bothers us.  that only gives credence to the theist argument.

it doesn't bother me at all to say that stalin was an atheist, any more than it bothers me to say he didn't have long hair.

 

 

"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:Brian37

iwbiek wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

My understanding of Stalin is that he had religious study and surroundings before his power.

 

that's true.  are we to draw some conclusion about his religious sincerity from this? 

 

Brian37 wrote:

But still what people miss in the evil fascism of Stalin and Hitler, it wouldn't matter if they believed or not, they still have the same authoritarian view of absolute rule that the gods of Abraham have.

 

stalin wasn't a fascist.  i don't think even trotsky ever levelled that charge.

as you yourself have argued, atheism is only a lack of belief in god, not a philosophy or lifestyle.  based on his own public statements, we can say that stalin was an atheist.  of course it's impossible to know what was "in his heart" but it's pointless to call his avowed position into question just because of his character.  we know that only idiots will insist on a causal chain between lack of positive belief in a deity and deviant behavior, so we shouldn't act like it bothers us.  that only gives credence to the theist argument.

it doesn't bother me at all to say that stalin was an atheist, any more than it bothers me to say he didn't have long hair.

 

 

I think I was making that point that it shouldn't matter that Stalin or Hitler were believers or atheists.

Maybe I don't understand what fascism is? Isn't that a government institutionalized form of absolute power where dissent is oppressed?

Which both Stalin and Hitler did, which the Gods of Abraham do.

Absolute power is my problem. Believers often equate the beliefs of Hitler and Stalin as being godless which misses the point even if they were atheists, it would STILL reflect the same absolute rule without checks and balances and protection of dissent and oversight that the Abrahamic books reflect.

Western style governments are not based on absolute rule. The Gods of Abraham are, just like Hitler and Stalin, regardless of their personal beliefs.

 

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Pillowpants wrote: Hitler

Pillowpants wrote:

 Hitler was undoubtedly a Christian. .

He may of been but im not sure, I just think what I would of done if i was him. If I was a ruler of a country and had the desire to go all totalitarian I would definately "encourage" religous belief, maybe go the starlin route and make myself god but whatever way I would do it, it just makes sense. Men can be wrong god cannot. there are many other reasons but its all about obedience.

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Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
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No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
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Quote:but its all about

Quote:
but its all about obedience.

Right, and with the fans of the God/s of Abraham more are downplaying the "wrath" by telling you that you have a "choice" masking the threat they want you to bow to.

Western pluralistic governments are not about obedience, but about the consent of the governed. WE agree to the laws we have. But even in that it cannot always be majority rule otherwise it is no better than obedience by vote which is no better than Stalin or God.

Dissent must be protected and consent must be a guiding principle not a dictatorial one.

 

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Brian37 wrote: Maybe I

Brian37 wrote:

 

Maybe I don't understand what fascism is? Isn't that a government institutionalized form of absolute power where dissent is oppressed?

 

 

no, that's just authoritarianism in general.  fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism.  under national socialism, it took on an ugly racial element.  it basically glorifies and romanticizes the history of one nationality at the expense of all others, whereas marxism is internationalist and, tragically, dismisses the question of nationalism out of hand.  also, the socialized economics of marxism is well-known, but fascism works through corporatism, which allows for some limited free enterprise.  historically, fascists and marxists are mortally opposed to each other.

 

 

Brian37 wrote:

 

Western style governments are not based on absolute rule.

 

 

i don't like this eastern/western dichotomy.  the "west" (in whatever sense that means--i'm assuming cultural) has no less a history of authoritarianism than the "east."  both fascism and marxism are "western" theories--fascism was formulated in italy and marxism in germany and england, all geographically "western."  "fascism" comes from fasces, the latin word for the rods bundled around an ax carried by roman lictors and signifying the municipal authority's right to corporal and capital punishment.  i don't see what could be considered more "western" than the roman republic, and the american founding fathers went there for inspiration as much as the italian fascists did.

 

 

"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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I think when one strips all

I think when one strips all the history of labels "east or west", what it boils down to, at least for me, is this.

Abuse of power without some sort of counter balance can happen anywhere. It is a myth that more open societies and markets don't have their own forms of abuse. The only difference I see between political oppression and corporate  monopolies are how they convince people to buy into it.

It still amounts to power filtering to the few at the expense of others. Exploitation is not a label, but a tactic.

Now lets not fool ourselves here. Governments are going to exist. Anarchy is as much a utopia and works as well as North Korea. Both might appeal to some, but are delusional extremes that are pragmatically absurd.

SO the issue is HOW do you minimize abuse of power, be it political or economic?

I think, if there is a difference, the more open societies have more of a shot at defending against abuse than politically monochromatic societies. While not perfect by any stretch, in politically open societies there is more opportunity.

This is one thing I cant get through to the economic right "HINT HINT GENE".(poking the hornet's nest)

It is not a matter of either/or, but finding that balance. Nanny states don't work, but having a "free for all market" is just as bad. I think many on the right think having no one mind the store is the best policy. I'd say the last 8 years would say otherwise.

It is absurd to want a goal of outlawing wealth, people are going to want it. But equally absurd is to think you can have the pay gap explode and think the only thing that should matter are the share holders and CEOs.

 

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Brian37 wrote:HOW do you

Brian37 wrote:
HOW do you minimize abuse of power, be it political or economic?

 

In a pragmatic world, the Scandinavian model of 'social-democracy' seems to produce good results, on an average. That is to say, all 'big business' which is likely to have an impact on the stability of society at large is considered a public affair which is placed under strict political control and regulation by an elected government, whereas private enterprise is left free to run the 'small-scale market' of goods and services that private citizens trade in on a day-to-day basis.

Cynically speaking, it is also considered to be cheaper and less troublesome to put lazy and/or flagrantly incompetent people (as well the sick ones) on welfare than to risk having a situation with lots of poverty, social misery and crime. It's not about being 'nice' (whatever the hell that means), it's about keeping the wheels turning with a minimum of sand in the machinery.

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 I surprised atheists don't

 I surprised atheists don't call on Godwin's Law more often.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law


ex-minister
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smartypants wrote: I

smartypants wrote:

 I surprised atheists don't call on Godwin's Law more often.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

 

Technically it would be calling on Godwin's  corollary. The law states the likelihood of someone inappropriately referencing Hitler or Stalin is more likely the longer a thread goes. The corollary states the one using said reference just lost the argument.

I find it is a good response to such an idiotic comparison.  And Yes it should be used more often.

 

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/2010/02/godwins-law-no-hitler-mustache-rides.html

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


Damasius
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Its does not follow that

Its does not follow that just because the most prolific mass murderers of history were atheists that all atheists are evil.


Brian37
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Damasius wrote:Its does not

Damasius wrote:

Its does not follow that just because the most prolific mass murderers of history were atheists that all atheists are evil.

Cheer leading for a label is absurd. Pragmatism is what humans have in common. We all want food, shelter and love. And even within our own camps we will never agree on how to maximize this. The worst atrocity in human evolution that has done the most harm, is not that clubs exist, they always will, the worst atrocity in human history is our failure as a species to see that we are all capable of the same range of human emotions and actions, good and bad.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Kane Jeeves
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The problem as I see it is

The problem as I see it is that no amount of proof that Hitler was a Christian would ever sway most Christians.  I've read Mein Kampf, and he states repeatedly that he believed he was doing the Lords work. The common response is, Hitler was just using that as a cover up to hide his evil plans.  Another point that rarely gets mentioned is that anti-Semitism was rampant in the 30's and 40's in both Germany (and Europe) and in America.  You have to think about this issue in the context of the times.  There were in fact many people sympathetic, either outwardly or privately, to Hitler.  I wouldn't doubt if many Christians AT THE TIME would have absolutely agreed with the statement "Hitler was a Christian and he's right to persecute Jews".  Luckily there were many who disagreed.

 

I don't know anything really about Stalin.  What I do love though is when you hear clowns like Glen Beck make statements saying Obama (or whoever it might be) are "Nazis and Communists".  That displays a fundamental ignorance that really just shows him up for what he is...a racist.