My critique of Daniel Goldhagen on atheism and genocide

ragdish
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My critique of Daniel Goldhagen on atheism and genocide

I recently saw Daniel Goldhagen's Worse than War. This was an excellent documentary detailing the factors leading to genocide and its sequelae at various times in history and occurrences all over the globe. It was enlightening that in the book of the same title, he discussed the German genocide prior to Nazi Germany. In particular, the extermination of the Southwestern Africans by the Germans was the warm-up act and set the stage for their tour de force, the holocaust. This was scholarship at its best.

Now for my critique. Dr. Goldhagen was posed a question regarding Jewish complicity among the Bolsheviks as they waged a campaign of mass murder. He replied that they weren't Jewish but were atheists who committed those acts. My reaction was "what a f$#&ing twat!!". An esteemed scholar again joins the theist bandwagon that the Russian communists committted mass murder because they were atheist. On the contrary, the Russian communists committed mass murder because they were COMMUNISTS!!! They followed an extremist ideology and those who did not conform were knocked off. They certainly did not kill in the name of atheism. Furthermore, Goldhagen details the genocide in Rwanda and how quickly he forgets that the majority of Hutus were devout Christians.

What Goldhagen seriously needs to do is educate himself on human nature. He is a Harvard political scientist. All he needs to do is knock on Steven Pinker's door and receive a thoughtful lecture on why people become violent and commit crimes against humanity. He will realize that theism is no antidote.


EXC
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ragdish wrote:An esteemed

ragdish wrote:

An esteemed scholar again joins the theist bandwagon that the Russian communists committted mass murder because they were atheist. On the contrary, the Russian communists committed mass murder because they were COMMUNISTS!!! They followed an extremist ideology and those who did not conform were knocked off. They certainly did not kill in the name of atheism.

They were 'atheists' with faith in a political doctrine. They behaved just like a religion. They had their holy books(i.e. communist manifesto), their heaven(communist utopia), their  enlightened ones'(Marx, Engles), their martyrs(Lenin), their holy leaders that can not be questioned(Stalin), their popaganda, their demons(proletariat), they appealed to the poor unwashed masses and they indoctrinated young children with us vs. them. The fact is these communists wanted to eliminate religion because it was competition for controlling the masses, but they borrowed all their methods.

It only demonstrates that political doctrine can be just as fucked up as any religion.

The fact is when there is overpopulation, there is going to have to be some type of horrible death a large number of people are going to experience. Do the math. An area has finite capacity to support life. If not war and genocide, then starvation and disease to the population control. You put too many rats in a cage, they'll start fighting. Why should people do any different?

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


ProzacDeathWish
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EXC wrote:The fact is when

EXC wrote:

The fact is when there is overpopulation, there is going to have to be some type of horrible death a large number of people are going to experience. Do the math. An area has finite capacity to support life. If not war and genocide, then starvation and disease to the population control. You put too many rats in a cage, they'll start fighting. Why should people do any different?

 

EXC, a minor observation if I may...

 

Russia:

Is the largest nation on the face of the planet. 

It is spread over 6,601,700 square miles.  

It has eleven times zones. 

Despite its overwhelming land mass even in 2010 it contains only 141,892,000 persons.

A population density of only 21.5 persons per square kilometer

 

Japan:

An island of only 145,925 square miles

A population  of 127,320,000 persons ( slightly less than Russia by a trifling 14, 572,000 people )

A population density of 336.9 persons per square kilometer.

 

By your reasoning the Japanese rats should should be engaged in a frenzy of mass fratricide, yet Japan is largely free of even an inkling of civil unrest ( even after being hit by a powerful tsunami which undoubtedly had a major destabilizing effect upon those areas that were destroyed. )

The Russian rats obviously weren't motivated by a lack of living space or ( to my knowledge ) available resources.   As you correctly stated they behaved the way they did because they were conforming to the dictates of their political dogma.    Perhaps iwbiek has more insight as he is our resident authority on such matters.

 

 

 

 

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.


EXC
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ProzacDeathWish wrote:EXC

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 

EXC, a minor observation if I may...

 

Russia:

Is the largest nation on the face of the planet. 

It is spread over 6,601,700 square miles.  

It has eleven times zones. 

Despite its overwhelming land mass even in 2010 it contains only 141,892,000 persons.

A population density of only 21.5 persons per square kilometer

 

Japan:

An island of only 145,925 square miles

A population  of 127,320,000 persons ( slightly less than Russia by a trifling 14, 572,000 people )

A population density of 336.9 persons per square kilometer.

 

By your reasoning the Japanese rats should should be engaged in a frenzy of mass fratricide, yet Japan is largely free of even an inkling of civil unrest ( even after being hit by a powerful tsunami which undoubtedly had a major destabilizing effect upon those areas that were destroyed. )

The Russian rats obviously weren't motivated by a lack of living space or ( to my knowledge ) available resources.   As you correctly stated they behaved the way they did because they were conforming to the dictates of their political dogma.    Perhaps iwbiek has more insight as he is our resident authority on such matters.

  

 

In Russia, most of the land is unsuitable for living without the proper infrastructure and technology. Try living in Siberia without an adequate house for a winter and growing all your food in the short summers. The 'Bouguiose' owned all the best land and resources and left nothing for the peasants. That's the way it always works.

In Japan, they evolved into a society that developed technology and infrastructure to allow themselves support a large population on a tiny island. So it's not just a function of people per acre. It's also a function of resources like water and how difficult it is to make land arable. So I use the rat analogy but what is different about humans is that unlike rats we can use technology and build infrastructure to create our food sources and habitats.

Even in Japan, they went to war when they ran out of resources on their Island. They also committed genocides when they invaded China and other places looking for new resources. Since that time, they've started having smaller families for various reasons. So of course, problems like genocide, war and poverty are lessened.

So I believe population planning that is tied to available resources(and the technology to use these resources) is the only way to prevent things like genocide. I don't like these types of documentaries that make it all into a moral failing of these society. It's really a population problem. So if anyone is immoral, it's the people that oppose family planning and means to eliminate population pressures. They are making it enviable that there will be future genocides.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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ragdish wrote: Now for my

ragdish wrote:

 

Now for my critique. Dr. Goldhagen was posed a question regarding Jewish complicity among the Bolsheviks as they waged a campaign of mass murder. He replied that they weren't Jewish but were atheists who committed those acts. My reaction was "what a f$#&ing twat!!". An esteemed scholar again joins the theist bandwagon that the Russian communists committted mass murder because they were atheist.

 

I never read his book or anything, but the way you word this is that Goldhagen says that the Bolsheviks weren't Jewish, but were atheist. I don't see how that implies that they commited mass murder because they were atheists.