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Oct 27 2011

Hitler was a True Christian™

If you tuned in to that local debate on Christian radio, you know that one of the points the Christian fool trotted out was the tired old claim that the Nazis were no true Christians — no True Christian™ would ever commit such horrible acts. It’s an annoyingly feeble and unsupportable argument, but it has a lot of life in it, unfortunately.

This same argument has come up in Faye Flam’s Evolution column for the Philly Inquirer, and has gone on through several articles thanks to that hack from the Discovery Institute, Richard Weikart. It started with an article titled “Severing the link between Darwin and Nazism“, which cited real scholars like Robert Richards and Daniel Gasman to ably refute Weikart’s ridiculous claim that Nazism was inspired by Darwin. The Nazis banned Darwin’s books and rejected the idea that Aryans could have evolved from the lower orders. Weikart’s reply: But Hitler used the word Entwicklung, which translates as “evolution”. It also translates as “development” — Hitler did not use the language as representative of evolution at all.

So Flam got a contribution from a developmental biologist, the most excellent Scott Gilbert, who pointed out that biology and Darwinism were not factors in Hitler’s rise to power: the Lutheran and Catholic churches were. She also gets Keith Thomson, a biologist and museum director, to explain that Darwin did not and would not have approved in any way the Nazi philosophy. Weikart’s reply: but Darwin was a racist! Of course he was — he was a fairly conventional Victorian gentleman who thought the English were the greatest people on the planet. But these biases were not significant factors in his theory, and he struggled to overcome them.

Nazism was not science-based. It was pseudo-scientific religious dogma, tightly tied to the German culture of the time, which was almost entirely Catholic and Lutheran. All you have to do is look at Hitler’s own words to see that, even if he were personally a closet Satanist (I don’t think he was; he was an idiosyncratic Catholic), he tapped into the faith of the German people to achieve his ends. You cannot blame the horrors of the Third Reich on Darwin, who had negligible influence on the great masses of the German Volk, no political pull, and no appeal to the media. If you wanted a lever to shift public opinion on anything in the 1930s, religion was where you applied your force.

I have to give an early plug for my colleague, Michael Lackey (also on the CFI speakers’ bureau, by the way), who will be coming out with a book this Spring on exactly this topic.

His new book project (Modernist God States: A Literary Study of the Theological Origins of Nazi Totalitarianism) is on Hitler and the Nazis. In this book, he opposes one of the dominant interpretations of intellectual and political history, which holds that the West, since the Enlightenment, has been becoming increasingly more secular. Scholars who have adopted this approach claim that Hitler and the Nazis are the logical product of secularization, atheism, and humanism. By stark contrast, Lackey has been trying to demonstrate that secularization has only taken hold in very elite circles, mainly among academics, scholars, and intellectuals. As for the general population, it has actually become increasingly more religious, but in ways that are significantly different from pre-Enlightenment versions of religion. Based on his findings, Lackey argues that the only way to understand Hitler and the Nazis is to take into account the new conceptions of religious subjectivity that started to flourish and dominate among the general population in the early part of the twentieth century. Understanding these new conceptions sheds new and considerable light on Hitler’s and the Nazis’ religious conception of the political.

The Modernist God State: A Literary Study of the Nazis’ Christian Reich. New York and London: Continuum, (in press: forthcoming, Spring 2012).

Among the things he has done is to examine thoroughly the popular literature of Germany in the 1930s and 40s. Surprise, surprise, it isn’t singing paeans to Darwin and Science — these are eminently Christian Nazis.

The cover of his book says it all. I think it’s going to be a significant source for squelching these bizarre, ahistorical notions coming out of the Discovery Institute that somehow Nazi Germany was the apotheosis of the godless Darwinian state.

(Also on Sb)

337 comments

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  1. 1
    cervantes

    Many people find an important source of Nazi ideology, in fact, in Christian millenarianism. This well-known book by Norman Cohn describes eschatological movements throughout the history of European Christendom, including the Crusades (which had that component) and it turns out that one thing they tended to have in common was murdering Jews. The Thousand Year Reich sounds astonishingly like the Christian Millennium.

    Also, Hegel, but that’s another kettle of fish . . .

  2. 2
    mouthyb

    *whistles* Now that right there is a nice shot across the bows.

  3. 3
    Tualha

    Kind of ironic that the guy on the cross is also a Jew.

  4. 4
    raven

    Hitler was a creationist and a Catholic.

    His millions of willing followers were all Lutherans and Catholics. Without them, he would just be another loon, sitting in a bar, and waiting for the internet to be invented so he could be a Catholic fundie troll.

  5. 5
    Moggie

    “Increasingly more”?
    (Ok, ok, I’ll buy the book)

  6. 6
    Glen Davidson

    It’s really an insidious charge from the beginning. Evolution did happen, it is true in the usual sense. If Nazis were actually following the truth–as, of course, they were not–then Weikart would be arguing for National Socialism, aside from the fact that he doesn’t know the truth.

    The fact is that there is a clear similarity between the IDiots and the Nazis, which was that both were anti-Enlightenment (with cherished exceptions, to be sure). Both thought that their own prejudices were the truth.

    Glen Davidson

  7. 7
    davidct

    It always amazes me how theists can completely ignore the history of Catholic and Lutheran antisemitism in Germany. The words “Gott mit Uns” on the SS belt buckles don’t seem that secular.

  8. 8
    naturalcynic

    There were biological allusions in Nazi ideology, but they had a lot more to do with bacteriology. The untermenschen were considered an infectious agent [or sometimes as a cancer] on the volk and the treatment was to remove the agent. So Nazism had a lot more to do with Koch.

  9. 9
    holytape

    First, since Nazi propaganda shows Nazi were Christians, and since Nazis are known liars, that therefor proves that Nazi’s were atheists. Secondly, … uh…mmm…. Hitler was pro abortion….I love america. the end.

  10. 10
    Trebuchet

    I’m assuming the illustration on the book cover is a piece of period Nazi propaganda — is that correct?

  11. 11
    Olav

    “Entwicklung” can in some cases be translated as “evolution”. In the same way that “development” (actual translation of Entwicklung) is sometimes used instead of “evolution”. It is imprecise use of language, but sometimes people will be imprecise. And if we know from the context what they mean, it isn’t usually a problem.

  12. 12
    gocart mozart

    Actually, Hitler was against abortion for Aryan people. He made an exception for Jews and other undesirables whereby it was mandated up to and exceeding the 400th trimester.

  13. 13
    Bronze Dog

    One point I need to bring up more often when some fundie Godwins a thread:

    Hitler didn’t perform the Holocaust by himself.

    Even if, for the sake of argument, you assumed Hitler was an atheist manipulating religious people, that doesn’t change the fact that a bunch of Christians went right along with it. If religion can be abused so easily, it means exactly what they’re trying to deny: “True” Christians can perform all sorts of horrific, immoral atrocities. The Holocaust is a perfect demonstration of how Christianity utterly failed to prevent Christians from performing atrocities.

    About all they can do from that point is pretend that every Nazi was secretly an atheist, which only raises the question of why they kept up the pious appearances among themselves.

  14. 14
    gocart mozart

    Bronze Dog is correct. Even if you assume that Hitler was a fake Christian, it is undeniable (although many will still deny it)that most of the top Nazi leadership were members in good standing of the Catholic and Lutheran faiths up till the end.

  15. 15
    gocart mozart

    Most of his supporters also.

  16. 16
    Kagehi

    The ID people are made up of, at least in part, same people that, politically, argue that the American People are behind them (all 20-30 of them), even while 3/4 or more of them are either protesting Wall Street, or wishing they had time to. Call me a cynic, but somehow I doubt any book is going to quell a lie so useful as Nazi Darwinists.

  17. 17
    gocart mozart

    “Darwin was a racist!” No shit Sherlock, so were about 90% of his white contemporaries including Lincoln for chrisakes.

  18. 18
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Mozart

    However, Darwin also held liberal abolitionist traitor beliefs for his time.

  19. 19
    Ingdigo Jump

    A book I read that’s a novel on the Beagle Voyage has a quote from Darwin where he wishes the slaves of the region they’re visiting (I think Brazil) would follow the example of other slave revolts and overthrow their white masters.

  20. 20
    Moggie

    “I have watched how steadily the general feeling, as shown at elections, has been rising against Slavery. What a proud thing for England if she is the first European nation which utterly abolishes it! I was told before leaving England that after living in slave countries all my opinions would be altered; the only alteration I am aware of is forming a much higher estimate of the negro character. It is impossible to see a negro and not feel kindly towards him; such cheerful, open, honest expressions and such fine muscular bodies. I never saw any of the diminutive Portuguese, with their murderous countenances, without almost wishing for Brazil to follow the example of Haiti; and, considering the enormous healthy-looking black population, it will be wonderful if, at some future day, it does not take place.”

    – Charles Darwin

  21. 21
    Jazzpirate

    Entwicklung… aaahm, yeah. You know what the german word for “evolution” (in the sense of the theory) is? It’s (braze yourselves)… “Evolution”.
    Whether Hitler himself was a believer or not – he wouldn’t have stood a chance if he hadn’t publicly embraced faith. Germany was (and still is, although to a lesser extent) a country with a mostly christian public, the majority catholic. We still have religious studies though all grades in all public schools, with curricculae (? curriculums? curriculices? what’s the plural of that?) designed by the churches (although in almost all schools there’s an “ethics” class as alternative for the small non-christian minority) and the state still collects the tax for the catholic church – seperation of church and state my ass.

    There’s no way secularism or humanism had anything to do with it, and anyone who claims the opposite has obviously never been to germany

  22. 22
    Moggie

    Even Darwin’s abolitionist comments can strike us today as somewhat racially insensitive and unsophisticated – one almost expects him to praise blacks for their natural rhythm – but, for his time and background, he appears to have been fairly progressive.

  23. 23
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    These creationists keep pulling out the Darwin leads to Holocaust and science leads to killing bullshit. This completely ignores the fact Nazis did not trust education, felt that male students should be constantly hiking, participate in war game and left Germany’s university system in shambles.

    But these people do not trust academics unless these they come one in favor of their own anti-intellecual agenda.

  24. 24
    Moggie

    “It is often attempted to palliate slavery by comparing the state of slaves with our poorer countrymen: if the misery of our poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin; but how this bears on slavery, I cannot see; as well might the use of the thumb-screw be defended in one land, by showing that men in another land suffered from some dreadful disease. Those who look tenderly at the slave owner, and with a cold heart at the slave, never seem to put themselves into the position of the latter; what a cheerless prospect, with not even a hope of change! picture to yourself the chance, ever hanging over you, of your wife and your little children — those objects which nature urges even the slave to call his own — being torn from you and sold like beasts to the first bidder! And these deeds are done and palliated by men, who profess to love their neighbours as themselves, who believe in God, and pray that his Will be done on earth! It makes one’s blood boil, yet heart tremble, to think that we Englishmen and our American descendants, with their boastful cry of liberty, have been and are so guilty…”

  25. 25
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    I see that Darwin was a would be revolutionary. That proves that ACORN was supporting his “research”.

  26. 26
    Ben, Houston, TX

    I only the nazis had thrown people off of buildings, then we could blame Newton for them.

  27. 27
    Ben, Houston, TX

    *If only

  28. 28
    Monado, FCD

    Abortion for Aryans was a capital crime.

  29. 29
    Aaron Baker

    Traudl Junge, one of Hitler’s secretaries, had this to say about that eminent Christian: “He was not a member of any church, and thought the Christian religions were outdated, hypocritical institutions.”

    In this respect, she concurs with Goebbels, Speer, and the Hossbach memorandum.

    Steigmann-Gall, who makes the best scholarly case for the importance of Christianity to Nazism, admits that from 1937 on, the Party became much more hostile to the Catholic and Protestant churches. (btw, All of the anti-Xn statements I’ve seen by Hitler are post-1937).

    Hitler probably never read Darwin–but, somewhere or other, he had picked up tags from Social Darwinism (i.e. the “struggle for existence” of human races, which he harped on endlessly).

    Severing Darwin from Hitler is all well and good–but if you go so far as to deny his half-baked Social Darwinism, you’ll be mistaken.

  30. 30
    Monado, FCD

    Ben in Houston wins the thread!

  31. 31
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    raven says:
    27 October 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Hitler was a creationist and a Catholic.

    His millions of willing followers were all Lutherans and Catholics. Without them, he would just be another loon, sitting in a bar, and waiting for the internet to be invented so he could be a Catholic fundie troll.

    QFT! And because awesome. This is the second quote of yours that I have actually written down to remember!! (bows)

  32. 32
    Glen Davidson

    Weikart’s BS today:

    When the Philadelphia Inquirer’s science writer Faye Flam interviewed me recently for her article “Severing the Link Between Darwin and Nazism,” she pressed me to discuss the implications of the Darwinism-Nazism connection that my scholarship has explored (especially in my two books, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany and Hitler’s Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress). I threw down the gauntlet to many of my Darwinian opponents by telling her that if Darwinism is indeed a purposeless, non-teleological process, as many evolutionists and biology textbooks proclaim, and if morality is the product of these mindless evolutionary processes, as Darwin and many other prominent Darwinists maintain, then “I don’t think [they] have any grounds to criticize Hitler.”

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/10/can_darwinists_condemn_hitler052331.html

    See, liars have a much better basis for morality. You can tell, because they are absolutely condemned for lying by their absolute morality. You Darwinists can’t condemn their lying absolutely, after all.

    Yes, anti-Enlightenment dishonesty would make the world a much better place. Just look at the Nazis…uh, no, they must have been Darwinists, the source of all evil.

    Glen Davidson

  33. 33
    'Tis Himself

    Even if Hitler was inspired by Darwin, so what? That doesn’t make evolution any more or less true. Hitler believed 2+2=4 (as did Stalin and Mao). Does that make arithmetic less true?

    Relativity gives the theoretical basis for nuclear weapons. Yet E still equals MC², no matter how many people died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Also on SB.

  34. 34
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    Hitler probably never read Darwin–but, somewhere or other, he had picked up tags from Social Darwinism (i.e. the “struggle for existence” of human races, which he harped on endlessly).

    The idea that got renamed “Social Darwinism” predates the publication of On The Origin Of Species.

  35. 35
    Monado, FCD

    I perceive that Darwin was infected with the usual Victorian prejudice against short people, which arose because the poor, due to semi-starvation, were on the average about five inches (13 cm) shorter than the well-off. That, of course, led to a conviction that Big was Good and Small was Inferior. I shouldn’t be surprised if it reinforced and was reinforced by the fact that women, on the average, are also smaller (e.g. “The Little Woman” for wife).

  36. 36
    Monado, FCD

    Janine: you’re smokin’ tonight!

  37. 37
    Human Ape

    19th century Christians invoked their disgusting Bible to justify slavery, so today’s Christians have a lot of nerve to call Darwin a racist. I show the science deniers this to shut them up: The best way to eliminate racism from the world — teach evolution.

  38. 38
    PZ Myers

    Aaron Baker: You won’t find anyone arguing that Hitler was a conventional Catholic. He was a syncretist of the worst kind, who cobbled together his own weird version of Christianity. But his impulses were religious. They were not based on science.

    His intellectual forefather was not Darwin, but Houston Stewart Chamberlain — the racist and Christian who argued that Jesus was not a Jew and that German Christianity was the one true faith.

    Social Darwinism had nothing but the name to link it to evolution; it was not endorsed by Darwin and its principles were established long before Darwin. That’s a totally fake link you’re trying to make.

  39. 39
    gocart mozart

    @29 Baker

    “Severing Darwin from Hitler is all well and good–but if you go so far as to deny his half-baked Social Darwinism, you’ll be mistaken.”

    What does “Social Darwinism” have to do Darwin or evolutionary biology?

    Evolution is to “Social Darwinism” as science is to “Creation Science”, China is not a “Republic” and the “Holy Roman Empire” was none of those three things.

  40. 40
    Phalacrocorax, z Třetího Světa

    That’s it. If this thread does not invoke the specter of magnificent ‘istorian D. B. Marshall with his long list of people who agree with him, then, I think, he’s left us forever.

    ____

    Jazzpirate said:

    curriculums? curriculices? what’s the plural of that?

    It seems that curriculums is acceptable. If you’re interested in the Latin plurals, they’re usually formed by:

    -a becomes -ae
    -us becomes -i
    -um becomes -a

    So, curricula.

    ____
    Monado, FCD said:

    the usual Victorian prejudice against short people

    I think there’s a Monty Python sketch about that. Something about archaeologists.

  41. 41
    lazybird

    Great photos of priests & bishops doing the Nazi salute, Hitler with clergy and Nazi religious services at nobeliefs.com.

  42. 42
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    Look up The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century. That was one of Hitler’s favorite books.

    Also, if you are not willing to read Ian Kershaw’s biography of Hitler or Richard Evans’s series on the rise and fall of the Third Reich, at least look up Charles Darwin in the index. Houston Stewart Chamberlain and Richard Wagner are referenced much more often.

  43. 43
    DaveDodo007

    Considering god’s genocide such as the whole planet (except the occupants of a small wooden boat) including land dwelling animals and his later ethnic cleaning Hitler comes across as a bit of a wimp.

  44. 44
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    The whole “keeping the Aryan bloodline pure” has much more in common with the ancient practice of domestic animal breeding than it does with anything Darwin proposed. If people want to demonize something, why not animal husbandry?

    “Animal husbandry.” The Christian right is all het up about same-sex marriage, and yet they continue to allow (and even encourage) the practice of animal husbandry.

  45. 45
    Anon

    @7 davidct

    The SS had ‘My honour is loyalty’ on their belt buckles. I think it was the conscripted soldiers who had ‘Gott mit uns’ on theirs.

  46. 46
    eric

    Ben: [If] only the nazis had thrown people off of buildings, then we could blame Newton for them.

    Well, since they used HCN to gas people, maybe creationists should really be blaming
    Gay-Lussac
    , since he isolated it. Those damn balloonists! Without them and their demonic gas theories such as V = kT, WWII would’ve never happened!

  47. 47
    Traveler

    Even if the nazis were inspired by science, would it have been evolution that inspired them? Killing what you believe to be the weak members of the herd and encouraging your best stock to breed sounds more like animal husbandry than evolution. We should shut down all 4H programs. They are the first step onto the slippery slope to eugenics.

  48. 48
    Anthony K

    Traudl Junge, one of Hitler’s secretaries, had this to say about that eminent Christian: “He was not a member of any church, and thought the Christian religions were outdated, hypocritical institutions.”

    In this respect, she concurs with Goebbels, Speer, and the Hossbach memorandum.

    Then I can’t believe all those good Christian Germans let Hitler single-handedly kill all those Jews, Soviets, Poles, Romani, disabled, Freemasons, Slovenes, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others.

    One wonders how the man had time to run a war what with physically having to shove each of upwards of 20 million people in the ovens.

    If he’d only gotten other people to help, then…then again, if there were ever enough Germans who’d read Darwin to help, we’d be looking back at the single-most scientifically educated population to ever have existed.

    But I wonder at the Christian rush to disown Hitler. Haven’t these people read their William Lane Craig? Genocide can sometimes be a good thing, according to God and his universal morality. Was God wrong when he judged the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites, Philistines, Sodomites, Gomorrans, and finally everybody in the world besides the Noachian eight and found them wanting? And just now we’re all about mass murder being a bad thing?

    Short-sighted hypocrisy, thy name is Christian.

  49. 49
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    NigelTheBold, look up Blut und Boden and Richard Walther Darré. It was animal husbandry made explicit in Aryan nationalism. Himmler was a huge supporter.

  50. 50
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    For some reason, I was expecting Aaron Baker to go off on his typical tirade.

  51. 51
    Aaron Baker

    P.Z.,

    Are you saying that Herbert Spencer wasn’t referring to Darwin when he (Spencer) coined the phrase “survival of the fittest” and applied it to human economics? I think he explicitly did just that.

    A lot of the notions contained in Social Darwinisim undoubtedly predated Darwin, but I think there was an (illegitimate) effort to appeal to Darwin in making “struggle for existence” and “survival of the fittest” normative principles of human society.

  52. 52
    PZ Myers

    Of course there was an appeal to the good name of Darwin to justify social Darwinism.

    Just as the Nazis called on the name of Jesus Christ to justify murdering Jews.

  53. 53
    Anton Mates

    Cross-posted from SB:

    Weikart’s reply: but Darwin was a racist! Of course he was — he was a fairly conventional Victorian gentleman who thought the English were the greatest people on the planet.

    Actually, to judge from The Descent of Man, his views were a bit more complicated than that. He thought that the ancient Greeks were the most innately intelligent people who had ever existed; that the Spanish had been the greatest people on the planet a few centuries before his time; that the English had recently excelled in energy and courage, but that the modern United States was now surpassing everybody, because it was attracting the smartest and most energetic people from all (European) races.

    Basically, Darwin tended to explain cultural superiority–as he judged it–in terms of biological superiority. But he knew from history that no one race stays culturally dominant forever. So he inferred that the various races were constantly changing their relative rankings in any one area of physical and mental ability, as evolution drove first one and then another race ahead.

    This view is certainly racist, but it’s very different from Nazi racial theory, in which the Aryans were always smarter and better and braver than anyone else, and actually declined over time due to mixing with inferior races.

  54. 54
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    Aaron Baker, why do you persist in keeping up this bullshit of the tenuous link of Darwin to Hitler when even you admit it is illegitimate? No one here is denying that Hitler believed that the strong should dominate the weak. Hell, just before he killed himself, he made the claim that the Germans deserved to died because they could not beat the Slavs and Jews.

    The argument here is the constant linking of mass slaughter to Darwin. Which you admit is bullshit. Yet you come back to this topic like a dog to vomit.

  55. 55
    Gregory Greenwood

    Aaron Baker @ 51;

    Are you saying that Herbert Spencer wasn’t referring to Darwin when he (Spencer) coined the phrase “survival of the fittest” and applied it to human economics? I think he explicitly did just that.

    All Spencer did was run off with a convenient turn of phrase and then misapplied it to bolster his own ideology. This in no way forges any kind of intellectual link between nazism and evolutionary theory or Darwin, still less establishes that, as certain theists like Pope Ratzinger claim, secularism, atheism and humanism lead inevitably to nazism.

    As Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments points out @ 34;

    The idea that got renamed “Social Darwinism” predates the publication of On The Origin Of Species.

    That pretty much covers all the bases.

  56. 56
    Anton Mates

    Traudl Junge, one of Hitler’s secretaries, had this to say about that eminent Christian: “He was not a member of any church, and thought the Christian religions were outdated, hypocritical institutions.”

    Hitler often criticized the dominant churches, but AFAIK he doesn’t seem to have been other than worshipful when discussing God and Jesus. Rather, he thought he was the only guy with the correct understanding of Christ’s character and God’s will, and everyone else had gotten it wrong. Kind of what you’d expect from a megalomaniac growing up in a Christian culture.

  57. 57
    'Tis Himself

    “Social Darwinism” is such a vague term that describing it as among the sources of Nazi ideology is of little value.

  58. 58
    Alex, Tyrant of Skepsis

    But Hitler used the word Entwicklung

    I knew it! All analog photographers are Nazis!

  59. 59
    Anthony K

    Following Aaron’s line of, er, whatever that was, I suggest we start crediting the Amish for Holland’s liberal stance on same-sex marriage because some Americans refer to them as Pennsylvania Dutch.

    I mean, I know they’re not actually Dutch, but you can’t deny the (admittedly accidental) demonymic similarity. Plus, the Amish were persecuted, and the Netherlands was known for religious tolerance in the past. Coincidence? I think not.

  60. 60
    madtom1999

    and you thought hitler was hard
    I hope that link works….

  61. 61
    pelamun

    Jazzpirate,

    hate to correct you on both counts:

    1. another name for Evolutionstheorie in German is indeed “Entwicklungstheorie”. Google it. Nowadays most academics might indeed prefer Evolutionstheorie, but that doesn’t mean it was always that way.

    2. majority Catholic? Where did you get that from? For modern Germany, the official numbers have been roughly 1/3 Catholic, 1/3 Protestant and 1/3 non-religious. Prior to that, I think it was 50/50, considering that Prussia, the biggest state with 2/3 of the population, was majority Protestant.

    This is as good as any to link to this map showing that Lutheran areas voted for the Nazis more than the Catholic ones.

    Also don’t forget that a number of top Nazis weren’t Christians, but embraced some kind of mystical pagan belief system which chimed in perfectly with Nazi ideology. I’m thinking mainly about Heinrich Himmler (his ideas were based on Wiligut’s philosophy), and Alfred Rosenberg to a lesser extent. But it’s important to note that to the outside world, Himmler just professed a deep love for the Aryan idea and the Teuton traditions etc, and didn’t publicly talk about his religious ideas.

  62. 62
    isavaldyr

    We’re meant to believe that “Entwicklung” only means “evolution”? Does that mean my Entwicklung prototype series E-100 tank in World of Tanks is eligible for some badass phylogenetic tree camo patterns? Is there a promo code I need to enter somewhere?

  63. 63
    pelamun

    Looks like I borked the last link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Maria_Wiligut

  64. 64
    pelamun

    We’re meant to believe that “Entwicklung” only means “evolution”?

    No-one on this thread has so far claimed such a thing. There is never complete overlap between two languages. In most cases “Entwicklung” can be translated into English as “development”, but in some cases it can also mean “evolution”.

    Crucially, in German there is no verb to the noun “Evolution” (evolvieren sounds very awkward). Thus, usually you find “sich entwickeln” for “to evolve”.

  65. 65
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    This is as good as any to link to this map showing that Lutheran areas voted for the Nazis more than the Catholic ones.

    And yet Munich in mostly Catholic Bavaria was the Nazi Party home base until the Nazi takeover. Cosmopolitan Berlin was not a trust worthy place.

    Also, when you get down to it, the Nazis were not voted into power.

  66. 66
    Aaron Baker

    P.Z.,

    as to Social Darwinism, pls see my response to Janine below.

    as to Hitler, there’s too much evidence of an animus againt Xnty from at least the late 30s on for me to believe that he was simply persisting in some bizarre syncretic Xnty. the interesting question is how seriously he took things like “Positive Xnty” or the Deutsche Christen down to 1937. He was so profoundly cynical that almost everything he says should be received with some skepticism.

    Janine:

    As a simple matter of fact regarding the transmission of ideas, “struggle for existence” (used by Darwin) and “survival of the fittest” (coined by Spencer but later, I gather, endorsed by Darwin in a biological sense) get used as socially normative expressions by a bunch of people in the later 19th and early 20th cs. What is wrong with pointing out that those people got these terms (directly or indirectly) from Darwin? If they derived them from Darwin, it’s quite simply false to say that Social Darwinism has nothing to do with Darwin. Rather, as I’ve already indicated, Social Darwinism is the applying of some notions taken from their biological context in Darwin to realms (ethics, politics, and economics) where I don’t believe they belong. Why are you choosing to be offended by this recognition of a tenuous connection? Misappropriation from Darwin, or misapplication of Darwin, does not = unconnected with Darwin, but it’s still a bad thing.

    I’ve had very little to say about Social Darwinism here or anywhere else (except the bare statement that Hitler had picked up some Social Darwinist notions), so I’m not sure why you think I’m persisting in anything here, or “returning like a dog to vomit”–to use your charming comparison.

  67. 67
    Chris in Melbourne

    In contrast to the notion that Darwin was just as racist as his peers in the 19th century, I thought to mention this book – though I can’t say that I have read it yet…
    Darwin’s Sacred Cause: How a Hatred of Slavery Shaped Darwin’s Views on Human Evolution
    http://www.amazon.com/Darwins-Sacred-Cause-Slavery-Evolution/dp/0547055269

  68. 68
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    Also don’t forget that a number of top Nazis weren’t Christ ians, but embraced some kind of mystical pagan belief system which chimed in perfectly with Nazi ideology. I’m thinking mainly about Heinrich Himmler (his ideas were based on Wiligut’s philosophy), and Alfred Rosenberg to a lesser extent. But it’s important to note that to the outside world, Himmler just professed a deep love for the Aryan idea and the Teuton traditions etc, and didn’t publicly talk about his religious ideas.

    No one will deny that quite a few top Nazis were occultist and pagans. But keep in mind how the the Party worked. Hitler’s lieutenants would interpret his whims and act. Whom ever pleased Hitler the most would be given favored status and greater power. What they believed, in the end, did not really matter. Just so long as it achieved Hitler’s desire. Which were based on his own twisted take on true christianity and his own power grab.

  69. 69
    isavaldyr

    No-one on this thread has so far claimed such a thing.

    I was referring to Weikart in the original post, who responded to people saying Hitler wasn’t an evolutionist with, “But he said Entwicklung!” as though that word has only one possible meaning.

  70. 70
    pelamun

    And yet Munich in mostly Catholic Bavaria was the Nazi Party home base until the Nazi takeover. Cosmopolitan Berlin was not a trust worthy place.

    Also, when you get down to it, the Nazis were not voted into power.

    Oh yes, no doubt about it. Hitler was from Austria, emigrated to Bavaria, all Catholic places, and was active there, of course many of the early comrades were from Bavaria, Munich was “die Hauptstadt der Bewegung”, Nuremberg “die Stadt der Reichsparteitage”.

    Berlin, in fact, until the Preussenschlag in the summer of 1932 was a bastion of democracy, where an increasingly embattled Social Democratic state government was trying to stem the tides. They were putsched out of power in 1932 not by the Nazis, but by the same conservatives who had done their best to undermine the fragile democracy and who then in 1933 decided to bring the Nazis in.

    About the “not voted in” issue though. In 1932 the political balance in the Diet became unstable. The Nazis reached about 35%, the Communists were between 12-16%. You had the two main parties who were openly fighting the system on the streets getting about half of the seats, making a stable government impossible. In 1932 there was a minority government, but President Hindenburg grew weary of this arrangement and decided to follow the advice of his conservative/noble/military cronies to bring in the Nazis, whom they thought they could keep under control. We can see how well that turned out…

  71. 71
    Alex, Tyrant of Skepsis

    Ok, here’s my brain dump on the subject, for what it’s worth

    - WWII and the Holocaust happened because Hitler was an atheist? Fine, so religion makes better dictators? I for one think that dictators aren’t such a great idea to begin with.

    - Dealing with the generation of my grandparents (born 1900-1922) I got the following impression: The respect for a person of absolute authority which they held and enforced publicly, the sense of piety associated with the worship of Hitler, were in their nature very similar to the kind of piety customarily displayed in relation to Jesus and the Popes.

    - Darwin was a racist? He probably was, and it probably made sense for him back in the day. That being said, reading the Voyage, Origin and Descent it becomes clear pretty quickly that despite some racist convictions typical for the time he had very progressive ideas about human rights that were not shared by many of his contemporaries. Darwin was absolutely shocked by the practices of slavery and the genocidal treatment of indigenous people in South America. There is no question that he would have abhorred the Nazis with all his heart.

    - Darwin was a racist? Maybe so, but so were many scientists. This has no bearing whatsoever on the validity of the theory of evolution. Better not ask Wernher von Braun what he thinks of Sinti, Roma, Jews and brown people in general. Surprisingly, rockets still work…

    - Darwinism is the theoretical basis for Nazi eugenics? That doesn’t even make sense. Livestock breeding is maybe the basis for Nazi eugenics.

  72. 72
    frustum

    Yes, let’s ignore Luther’s extensive anti-Semitic writing, which both reflected and shaped social norms of the country. I’m sure that had nothing with the Holocaust, but it was instead because of Darwin.

  73. 73
    pelamun

    as to Hitler, there’s too much evidence of an animus againt Xnty from at least the late 30s on for me to believe that he was simply persisting in some bizarre syncretic Xnty. the interesting question is how seriously he took things like “Positive Xnty” or the Deutsche Christen down to 1937. He was so profoundly cynical that almost everything he says should be received with some skepticism.

    Sources please. If it’s just the Table conversations, then you should know their authenticity is controversial. I’d at least wait for a reputable historian to write a monograph about it.

  74. 74
    Aaron Baker

    Brownian,

    If you’re going to be snotty, use a good analogy.

    If someone applies terms derived from Marx in ways only tangentially related to Marx’s thinking, we don’t treat the connection between him and Marx as purely adventitious (a la Netherlandish Dutch and Pennsylvania Dutch). Depending on what we think of his ideas, we’ll say something ranging from “that’s a travesty of Marx” to “that’s an interesting application of a Marxian idea in a new context.” If the former, we’re not denying a tenuous link to Marx.

  75. 75
    KG

    His [Hitler's] intellectual forefather was not Darwin, but Houston Stewart Chamberlain – PZ

    Indeed; but also Hans Guenter (Racial Typology of the German People), Madison Grant (The Passing of the Great Race) and Henry Ford (The International Jew) – two crackpot anthropologists and an industrialist. He also greatly admired Martin Luther, whom he considered his greatest predecessor as an antisemite.

  76. 76
    pelamun

    No one will deny that quite a few top Nazis were occultist and pagans. But keep in mind how the the Party worked. Hitler’s lieutenants would interpret his whims and act. Whom ever pleased Hitler the most would be given favored status and greater power. What they believed, in the end, did not really matter. Just so long as it achieved Hitler’s desire. Which were based on his own twisted take on true christianity and his own power grab.

    Certainly, divide et impera, that was his spiel. But that also shows that he accepted people opposed to traditional Christianity. My own views on this used to be shaped by the Table Conversations, but since they’re apparently controversial, I’ve put my opinion about Hitler’s religiosity “on hold”. I think though that as early as in Mein Kampf, he goes on and on about Divine Providence, so there is no doubt about it that he was a religious man, far from being an atheist. For me, his personal stance towards to the Catholic church is in question right now, which doesn’t invalidate the fact that the many people complicit in his regime were faithful Catholics or Protestants.

  77. 77
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    So, because Social Darwinism has the faintest connection to Darwin, it is fair to keep playing the Darwin leads to Hitler cards.

    Fucking read (or read about) The Foundations Of The Nineteenth Century. This focus on Darwin, which even you admit is illegitimate, is the rankest dishonest bullshit.

    I will continue to partly blame the crimes of Nazi Germany on one person’s twisted take of christianaity and other christians willingness to follow just as I partly blame the Taiping Rebellion on one person’s claim that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ.

  78. 78
    fauxreal

    “For it was by the Will of God that men were made of a certain bodily shape, were given their natures and their faculties.” – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. ii, ch. x

    obviously this means that all creationists are nazis. /snark

    may I make a request? would you change your settings so that articles you link to open in a new tab?

  79. 79
    Aaron Baker

    Pelamun wrote:

    “Sources please.”

    I’m not blowing you off–but I’ve already cited them a few times, on this site and elsewhere on the web (specifically, statements by Goebbels, Speer, and in the Hossbach Memorandum), and (to be frank) I’m not really into returning to my vomit, whatever Janine may say. It’ll be very easy to find what I’ve said about them, if you care to.

    And I have quite explicity NOT relied on the Table Talk, exactly because of all the controversy regarding it.

  80. 80
    Alex, Tyrant of Skepsis

    @Aaron Baker

    “that’s an interesting application of a Marxian idea in a new context.”

    Because Marx was a fracking economist! His ideas were meant to be applied to society. Darwin was a natural scientist dammit.

    AAAARRGH.

  81. 81
    claimthehighground

    Brownian: Right on.
    And we can credit the Mormons for the New Orleans football team results. They are the Latter Day Saints, after all.

  82. 82
    Aaron Baker

    Janine wrote:

    “So, because Social Darwinism has the faintest connection to Darwin, it is fair to keep playing the Darwin leads to Hitler cards.”

    A card I haven’t played. How about fucking reading (and comprehending) what I’ve actually said before emitting another torrent of “fuck you,” and “dishonest bullshit” and “vomit”?

    I’m just fucking saying, is all.

  83. 83
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    For me, his personal stance towards to the Catholic church is in question right now, which doesn’t invalidate the fact that the many people complicit in his regime were faithful Catholics or Protestants.

    And the Vatican was willing to work with the regime because it was a bulwark against the USSR.

  84. 84
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    Fuck you, Aaron Baker. The truth is that you refuse to comprehend what is said here.

  85. 85
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    I’m just fucking saying, is all.

    The fucking saying of fucking Bill O’Reilly and fucking Glenn Beck.

  86. 86
    pelamun

    FWIW, from

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler's_religious_views

    Adolf Hitler’s religious views are a matter of considerable dispute. Raised by a skeptic father and a Catholic mother, Adolf Hitler ceased to participate in the Sacraments after childhood. In his book Mein Kampf and in public speeches he often made statements which affirmed a belief in Christianity.[1][2] Prior to World War II Hitler had promoted a “positive Christianity” purged of Judaism and instilled with Nazi philosophy. According to the collection of transcripts edited by Martin Bormann, titled Hitler’s Table Talk, as well as the testimony of some intimates, Hitler was privately hostile towards Christianity. Others reported he was a committed believer.[3][4]

    And

    In his childhood, Hitler had admired the pomp of Catholic ritual and the hierarchical organisation of the clergy. Later, although he had rejected the Church, he drew on these elements, organizing his party along hierarchical lines and including liturgical forms into events or using phraseology taken from hymns.[90] Because of these liturgical elements, Hitler’s Messiah-like status and the ideology’s all-encompassing nature, the Nazi movement, like communism is sometimes termed a “political religion”.[91]

  87. 87
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    Pelamun, there is a reason why some of us think it is irrelevant what sort of christian Hitler actually was or if he just used the ideas for his own ends. Catholics and Protestants both bought into the message. As well as pagans and occultists.

  88. 88
    Aaron Baker

    No, Janine, fuck you.

    I say that certain tags in Hitler’s speeches and writings are only tangentially related to Darwin, that they involve an illegitimate application of Darwin, that they’re a travesty of Darwin, and you start up a line of Tourettesian abuse because, somehow, it’s dishonest for me to put it this way, or I’m somehow giving comfort to the creationists, or I’m actually endorsing their views–all with no evidence for any of these propositions. But somehow, if you say fuck enough times, you’ll have convicted me of these offenses.

    I get it, I comprehend it: it would be better for our position to deny any linkage, however tenuous, between Social Darwinism and Darwin. I just don’t think that’s quite accurate.

  89. 89
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I would like to say, fuck, here.

    there

  90. 90
    pelamun

    there is a reason why some of us think it is irrelevant what sort of christian Hitler actually was or if he just used the ideas for his own ends. Catholics and Protestants both bought into the message. As well as pagans and occultists.

    I do too think that it’s ultimately irrelevant, it is clear that the country was majority Christian. But the very existence of this thread which is titled “Hitler was a true Christian” is due to the fact that theists like to make that claim, and I’d like to have as many facts as historians can find on the matter.

  91. 91
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    I get it, I comprehend it: it would be better for our position to deny any linkage, however tenuous, between Social Darwinism and Darwin. I just don’t think that’s quite accurate.

    And here is the fucking nut that will not be fucking cracked. Because “Darwin” is in the term “Social Darwinism”, despite Darwin having little to do formation and spreading of the udea, Darwin must remain in the conversation about Hitler and the Nazis.

    Assclam, your dishonesty lie in the fact that you keep harping on this misdirection.

    Feel the love, you worthless blowhard.

  92. 92
    Anthony K

    Brownian,

    If you’re going to be snotty, use a good analogy.

    You’re right; the idiocy you’ve written deserves a perfect analogy.

    A card I haven’t played. How about fucking reading (and comprehending) what I’ve actually said before emitting another torrent of “fuck you,” and “dishonest bullshit” and “vomit”?

    Why? You keep pushing the Hitler–>Social Darwinism–>Darwin link. If you’ve some other argument in your head, you’re not making it. And before you again plead how misunderstood you are, let’s recap.

    Hitler to Social Darwinism:

    Hitler probably never read Darwin–but, somewhere or other, he had picked up tags from Social Darwinism (i.e. the “struggle for existence” of human races, which he harped on endlessly).

    Severing Darwin from Hitler is all well and good–but if you go so far as to deny his half-baked Social Darwinism, you’ll be mistaken.

    Social Darwinism to Darwin:

    Are you saying that Herbert Spencer wasn’t referring to Darwin when he (Spencer) coined the phrase “survival of the fittest” and applied it to human economics? I think he explicitly did just that.

    A lot of the notions contained in Social Darwinisim undoubtedly predated Darwin, but I think there was an (illegitimate) effort to appeal to Darwin in making “struggle for existence” and “survival of the fittest” normative principles of human society.

    And yet you’re adamant that nobody here represent you? Probably a good idea, since misrepresenting someone’s ideas is good enough to link you to them in your book.

    If this is not what you’re indeed saying, then write better, since pretty much everyone here is failing to grasp what it is.

  93. 93
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    But Brownian, we are all missing out on the subtleties of the thought process of Aaron Baker. Darwin must remain in the discussion. It is useful as a means of ignoring Chamberlain and Wagner.

  94. 94
    Stewart

    I have a question.

    Richard J. Evans, who’s been mentioned above by Inane Janine, is someone I would tend to take seriously, given what he helped do to David Irving in the trial against Deborah Lipstadt. And yet, he is credited with what I presume was written as a dust-jacket blurb for “From Darwin to Hitler,” one that begins “Richard Weikart’s outstanding book shows in sober and convincing detail…”

    I’ve never found a longer version than the one paragraph that gets quoted everywhere and am wondering whether there’s something about Evans I hadn’t realised, or whether he was somehow quote-mined or otherwise hoodwinked into seeming to endorse Weikart’s work. Robert Richards, named by PZ as a “real scholar,” relates to both Weikart and Evans here (http://home.uchicago.edu/~rjr6/articles/Was%20Hitler%20a%20Darwinian.pdf), but does not satisfactorily answer what I’d like to know about the apparent positive evaluation of Weikart’s work by Evans.

    Any answers, citations?

  95. 95
    Anthony K

    and you start up a line of Tourettesian abuse

    Oh fuck, you’re one of those.

    Let me know when the abuse causes psychological or physical trauma. I’ll drive you to an ER, or a shelter.

    But the very existence of this thread which is titled “Hitler was a true Christian” is due to the fact that theists like to make that claim, and I’d like to have as many facts as historians can find on the matter.

    Because facts matter to theist beliefs?

  96. 96
    Skepticlese

    Thanks for this, PZ. New reader here.

    These charlatons claiming a Hitler-Darwin connection are simply engaging in fallacious arguments (misdirection, emotive language and pious fraud come to mind) in an attempt to divert attention from the FACT that they have no valid arguments in the evolution/creation debate (if you can even call it a debate).

    I’ve always wondered what a “True Christian” is and who supplies the definition. I suppose it’d have to be one who follows precisely the tenets of Jesus. So True Christians shouldn’t support the death penalty under any circumstance. True Christians should cast away their worldly goods and focus on doing good deeds. True Christians shouldn’t complain about higher taxes–”render unto Caesar” and all that crap. As far as I can tell, I haven’t ever met one.

    But what concerns me is not whether Hitler was inspired by Darwin (we know he was not), but that these kooks are inspired by and employing the same tactics used by the Nazis: Nazis blamed Jews and other minorities for the problems of Germany– these so-called True Christians blame many of these same minorities (and they’ve even kicked in a few more for good order) for the perceived woes of America. Nazis claimed a “master religion”–obviously, “True Christians” think the same about their own religion. And Nazis claimed they were the true defenders of Western european culture; don’t these “True Christians” claim they, too, are the defenders of “traditional American values”?

    In essence, these “True Christians” are nothing but Nazi-inspired propogandists, capitalizing on the fear and bigotry of an uninformed populace in an effort to stifle free thought and build a nation in which everyone will one day wear a cross on their sleeves.

    Of course, I could be wrong. And as soon as their god comes down from on high to point that out to me, I’ll stand corrected.

  97. 97
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    Stewart, I wish I could adequately answer that but I cannot. I did notice that Evans did have a tendency to downplay the overt christian elements of Nazism. But Nazism was so much more then christiandom and there was so many details about the Nazi rises to power and how they ruled that so many in the general population do not know. I highly recommend those books.

    That said, that blurb does make me doubt his judgment.

  98. 98
    Aaron Baker

    Brownian,

    Good, you admit your analogy sucks.

    The only idiocy here is yours in insisting that applying an idea from one context in another context leaves you unlinked to the idea as originally expressed.

    Janine charged me with believing that “it is fair to keep playing the Darwin leads to Hitler cards.” Maybe I’m misreading her, but from the larger context of our discussion, she seems to be alleging that I’m making the frequent creationist charge that Darwin’s ideas somehow or other caused Hitler’s murderous career. If you can actually read that into anything I’ve said–you’re just not very bright.

    And whatever else you do or say, please don’t start boasting again about your high IQ. It’s not carrying much conviction at the moment.

    And Janine, please believe me when I say your contempt is fully reciprocated.

  99. 99
    Nutella

    Trebuchet-

    Oh my. I HOPE the cover illustration is period Nazi propaganda.

  100. 100
    Anthony K

    But Brownian, we are all missing out on the subtleties of the thought process of Aaron Baker.

    I’m sure, but since I was never one to deny that Herbert Spencer misrepresented the theory of evolution in order to give credibility to his conception of Social Darwinism in the first place, and knew that he corresponded with Darwin and coined the term “survival of the fittest” which Darwin used in later editions of Origins, I’ll live just fine without it.

  101. 101
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    Blowhard, I have not bragged about my high IQ. And I stand by my assertion that you are dishonest by the simple fact that you will defend the gossamer thin thread of connection between the ideas of Darwin and of Hitler while ignoring the direct connection of Chamberlain and Wagner to Hitler.

    Also, why is it that it seems that you show up to bloviate mostly on this topic.

    (Trust me, I am hardly the only person here who holds you in low regard.)

  102. 102
    Stewart

    Thanks Inane Janine.

    Maybe Evans is soft on religion and therefore plays one side of the admitted ambiguity in the Nazis’ attitude to the churches more than the other. Possibly he was inattentive to the degree that he thought Weikart had done some nice research on one particular strand of a complex and didn’t realise it was being pushed as the key to everything. I can speculate as well as anybody, but I’d like something more solid than speculation. Thanks for trying, though.

  103. 103
    AB_CA

    Obviously what Hitler did was wrong. I don’t know why Christians try to pin it on Darwin (I get why politically they try, but it’s a pointless argument in my book–who cares, it was wrong either way.)

    The fact that most people in the world then and now are religious means religious people were on both sides of the horrible acts being committed, and it’s not unreasonable to assume Hitler had Christian followers. There were also Christians opposed to him (e.g. Dietrich Bonhoeffer–who died opposing and plotting against Hitler).

  104. 104
    pelamun

    I also believe that the question if the Nazis were Christians or atheists is ultimately less important than a host of other factors.

    HOWEVER, trying to understand the theist mindset, I always hear the pope raging against the damage secularisation has brought to the human spirit and yaddayaddayadda.

    The process of secularisation of Western societies is a well-recognised process, which was well under way before the rise of Nazism. Secularism was present in Germany at the time too.

    Could that be what fundie theists mean if they claim Nazism was atheist? Anyone ex-fundie here can confirm that? The persecution complex of fundamentalist Christians could be explained by fear of secularism too…

  105. 105
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    The fact that most people in the world then and now are religious means religious people were on both sides of the horrible acts being committed, and it’s not unreasonable to assume Hitler had Christian followers. There were also Christians opposed to him (e.g. Dietrich Bonhoeffer–who died opposing and plotting against Hitler).

    AB_CA, the simple fact that christians were anti-Nazis as well as being complacent in Nazi atrocities shreds the contention that only christanity leads to ethical action.

  106. 106
    Anthony K

    And whatever else you do or say, please don’t start boasting again about your high IQ. It’s not carrying much conviction at the moment.

    Why do you keep asking me to do or not do things? What makes you think I would stop and be swayed by your opinion?

    That’s certainly not an error someone intelligent would make.

    But you just keep trying to press the idea that you’re relevant, slugger.

  107. 107
    jacobfromlost

    I don’t know whatever magic makes a “true Christian”, and I can’t say that I much care (since a “fake Christian” and a “true Christian” cannot apparently be distinguished from each other in any objective way, suggesting such a thing isn’t objectively real).

    What annoys me to no end is the weird insinuation that Hitler cannot be a “true Christian” because he killed millions of Jews (for apparently secular reasons?). Huh?

    Let’s throw out that we are talking about Hitler. Let’s just say it was person X who murdered six million people for some reason. By most people who accept the Jesus myth, Jesus was a savior–a savior, by the way, who was needed because of the sins people commit.

    Why, exactly, does murdering six million people make one ineligible to be saved because it is impossible they were a “true Christian” and truly believing? What if they only murdered ONE person? Can they be saved then (by truly believing)? What if they only lied about how fat their wife looks in that dress? Can they be saved then (by truly believing)?

    When it comes down to it, the logic of “so-and-so cannot be a ‘true Christian’ because they did sin ABC” seems to suggest that Jesus isn’t needed at all, because the only true Christians are the ones who’ve committed no sins at all.

    Apparently Jesus was sent to earth to save perfect Christians from sins they would never commit because they truly believe (and that’s how we know they truly believe–because they’ve never committed any sins; in exactly the same way Hitler cannot be a “true Christian” because a true Christian wouldn’t kill six million people). Makes as much sense as anything else I’ve heard self-described Christians say.

  108. 108
    peterh

    To broaden a portion of the playing field, I’d like to toss in that antisemitism was an established and horrific fact of European life for 1,000 years and more before Hitler was a twinkle in his father’s eye. That the tides of horror washed first up strongly and then softened a little only to repeat in random repetitions did not change the fact that Hitler’s “solution” was applied to a field unhappily ripe for that sort of inhuman harvest. The Nazis did not invent antisemitism, all of Europe did – with gusto – over many centuries; the Nazis simply carried it to the most bestial level possible.

  109. 109
    AB_CA

    “AB_CA, the simple fact that christians were anti-Nazis as well as being complacent in Nazi atrocities shreds the contention that only christanity leads to ethical action.”

    Agreed. I think Graham Greene was ostracized by the Catholic Church for implying as much. I think the upcoming movie, Brighton Rock, based on his book deals with this point of view.

  110. 110
    consciousness razor

    September, 2010:

    Paul:

    At this point, it’s dickish trolling. He’s done this several times. Aaron Baker mostly only shows up in pharyngula comment threads to demonstrate how Hitler couldn’t have been even nominally Christian. It’s old and tired.

    Aaron Baker, in the next comment:

    Since there’s nothing “dumb” about seeing Nazism as a primarily seculAr movement (also, I’ve never said that Hitler couldn’t have been nominally Christian), and since I have the same compulsive SIWOTI complex that a lot of other people here have, I’ll admit I’ve harped on this more than I should have.

    ——
    October, 2011:
    Aaron Baker:

    I’ve had very little to say about Social Darwinism here or anywhere else (except the bare statement that Hitler had picked up some Social Darwinist notions), so I’m not sure why you think I’m persisting in anything here, or “returning like a dog to vomit”–to use your charming comparison.

    Janine:

    Also, why is it that it seems that you show up to bloviate mostly on this topic.

    (Trust me, I am hardly the only person here who holds you in low regard.)

  111. 111
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    Peterh, I agree with you. There was nothing new nor unique that made up the flotsam and jetsam that was Nazi ideology. The only thing unique about them was the strange set of circumstances that allowed such an unlikely collection of rabble to seize power.

  112. 112
    Ichthyic

    starting right at the beginning of Aaron Bakers inevitable attempts to paint Hitler as an atheist…

    “He was not a member of any church, and thought the Christian religions were outdated, hypocritical institutions.”

    you don’t get it.

    what Hitler hated was the fact most of the Christain Institutions, especially the Catholics, had to be negotiated with at all.

    It says nothing really about whether he considered himself a christian, so you fail right out of the gate.

  113. 113
    raven

    To broaden a portion of the playing field, I’d like to toss in that antisemitism was an established and horrific fact of European life for 1,000 years and more before Hitler was a twinkle in his father’s eye.

    True.

    One of the most rabid antisemites was Martin Luther.

    He wrote a book detailing his Final Solution to the Jewish problem, On the Jews and Their Lies. It looked a lot like what the Nazis carried out centuries later.

    At Niremberg, some of the Nazis said they were just implementing Martin Luther’s plan.

    BTW, for any dumb fundie xians reading this. Martin Luther wasn’t an atheist or Darwinist. He was a xian and a Protestant. He, in fact, invented Protestantism and has several sects named after him. They call themselves the Lutherans and made up over half the Nazis.

  114. 114
    raven

    wikipedia Martin Luther and antisemitism:

    On the Jews and Their Lies Main article: On the Jews and Their Lies
    In 1543 Luther published On the Jews and Their Lies in which he says that the Jews are a “base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth.”[13] They are full of the “devil’s feces … which they wallow in like swine.”[14] The synagogue was a “defiled bride, yes, an incorrigible whore and an evil slut …”[15] He argues that their synagogues and schools be set on fire, their prayer books destroyed, rabbis forbidden to preach, homes razed, and property and money confiscated. They should be shown no mercy or kindness,[16] afforded no legal protection,[17] and these “poisonous envenomed worms” should be drafted into forced labor or expelled for all time.[18]

    He also seems to advocate their murder, writing “[w]e are at fault in not slaying them.”[19]

    It’s no secret that xianity is drenched in blood for 2,000 years. A process that is continuous and ongoing.

    He also seems to advocate their murder, writing “[w]e are at fault in not slaying them.”[19] Sums up Martin Luther’s plans for the Jews. He actually wrote 3 books on the same subject, how the Jews were of the devil and deserved death or exile.

    It’s pretty obvious where the German Nazis got their ideas. From another German, Martin Luther. Martin Luther got his ideas from…the NT bible. The New Testament is filled with antisemitism and started that whole prejudice off. When the Germans weren’t quoting Martin Luther, they were quoting the Gospels of John, Luke, and Matthew.

    For any dumb xians reading, the biblical gospel writers John, Luke, and Matthew weren’t atheists and Darwinists either.

  115. 115
    pelamun

    Anyone has an opinion on this?

    HOWEVER, trying to understand the theist mindset, I always hear the pope raging against the damage secularisation has brought to the human spirit and yaddayaddayadda.

    The process of secularisation of Western societies is a well-recognised process, which was well under way before the rise of Nazism. Secularism was present in Germany at the time too.

    Could that be what fundie theists mean if they claim Nazism was atheist? Anyone ex-fundie here can confirm that? The persecution complex of fundamentalist Christians could be explained by fear of secularism too…

    Not having been a true believer ever, I don’t really claim to get the mindset, but I imagine something like this: since couple centuries, there’s been this atheist conspiracy, trying to secularise society in order to move humankind away from God, poising their souls etc. Thus, through this process, they were able to get these ant-Christian ideologies to power, like Nazism or Communism, with the support of the secularised societies.

    Thus -> we need Jesus to be saved.

    Do people really think like that or am I making this up?

  116. 116
    pelamun

    “poisoning their souls”

  117. 117
    raven

    Jesus speaking:

    I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father. They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do what Abraham did. …

    You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

    But, because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is you are not of God. ”

    This laid the groundwork for centuries of Christian characterization of Jews as agents of the devil, a characterization which found its way into medieval popular religion and eventually into passion plays[citation needed].

    Probably the original antisemite was a guy named Jesus. The first xian. The one who the religion is named after. We might have to cut him some slack here, he blames the Jews for crucifying him and his really bad weekend in hell before coming back to life.

    For any dumb xians, Jesus wasn’t an atheist or Darwinist either. By now anyone half bright or better should see a pattern here.

  118. 118
    pelamun

    raven,

    but wasn’t (the fictional) Jesus speaking from an in-group perspective? Didnt’t the original Christians regard themselves as Jews, only later gradually breaking away from Judaism? Depending on when in the process the part cited by you was written, it might represent an in-group or out-group stance.

  119. 119
    Pete Rooke

    Greetings, I am back from exile. This post made me choke on my nightly Horlicks. Outrageous. Would you dare to make such claims about another (in)famous ‘prophet’?

  120. 120
    raven

    Thus -> we need Jesus to be saved.

    Do people really think like that or am I making this up?

    Don’t forget. The time when xians ruled Europe was known as the Dark Ages.

    They miss it and would bring them back if they could, but most sane people with working survival instincts don’t.

  121. 121
    Pete Rooke

    Hi raven. Your continued dogmatism is reassuringly familiar…

  122. 122
    Jack Rawlinson

    And this tactic is all smoke and mirrors anyway. Even if Hitler had been an atheist, Darwin a racist, and every atheist on the planet a frothing eugenicist, it still doesn’t make God exist.

  123. 123
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    Rookie, take it to the undead thread. You are just derailing here.

    (Speaking of dogmatic…what is the point?)

  124. 124
    Ichthyic

    Pete…

    Rooke?

    Pete Rooke, dungeon entry:
    Insipidity, Stupidity
    Perennial dullard, with an occasional penchant for truly disturbing analogies. Too stupid to take a hint to bugger off while I was in a cranky mood from cleaning up spam, and instead chose to feed the troll.

    another dungeon escapee.

    fuck off, Petey boy.

  125. 125
    Pete Rooke

    Hitler was no kind of Christian I recognise. Stalin acted the way he did in large part BECAUSE of his atheism. It was not incidental. In Hitler’s case the opposite is true.

  126. 126
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    But…but…but, Jack Rawlinson, if it can be proved that the atheist prophet, Darwin, is the root cause of the Holocaust; it proves that atheist are satanic and that god is great.

  127. 127
    Pete Rooke

    I have been led to believe that the old dungeon applies only to the old manor. Hopefully at least!

  128. 128
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    Rookie, you are fucking derailing and you are fucking wrong. Stalin did not kill because he was an atheist. He killed because he was a paranoid megalomaniac working at destroying all perceived threats to his power.

    Still as fucking dogmatic as ever.

  129. 129
    raven

    raven,

    but wasn’t (the fictional) Jesus speaking from an in-group perspective? Didnt’t the original Christians regard themselves as Jews, only later gradually breaking away from Judaism? Depending on when in the process the part cited by you was written, it might represent an in-group or out-group stance.

    Maybe, probably.

    It isn’t for sure. Jesus was addresssing the Pharisees. They were the only surviving sect of Judaism and gave rise to the Rabbinic Jews of today. The other sects died out during the Roman wars.

    That is however, irrelevant. This passage from John and others from the NT have been widely quoted and widely used to justify antisemitism for 2,000 years.

    For the xians, jesus was the first anti-Jewish bigot.

  130. 130
    pelamun

    Stalin and religion, courtesy of the Pffft

    Stalin had a complex relationship with religious institutions in the Soviet Union.[298] Historians Vladislav Zubok and Constantine Pleshakov have suggested that “[Stalin's] atheism remained rooted in some vague idea of a God of nature.”[299] One account states that Stalin’s reversal on bans against the church during World War II followed a sign that he believed he received from heaven.[300]
    During the Second World War Stalin reopened the Churches. One reason could have been to motivate the majority of the population who had Christian beliefs. The reasoning behind this is that by changing the official policy of the party and the state towards religion, the Church and its clergymen could be to his disposal in mobilizing the war effort. On 4 September 1943, Stalin invited Metropolitan Sergius, Metropolitan Alexy and Metropolitan Nikolay to the Kremlin and proposed to reestablish the Moscow Patriarchate, which had been suspended since 1925, and elect the Patriarch. On 8 September 1943, Metropolitan Sergius was elected Patriarch.
    The CPSU Central Committee continued to promote atheism and the elimination of religion during the remainder of Stalin’s lifetime after the 1943 concordat.[301] Stalin’s greater tolerance for religion after 1943 was limited by party machinations. Whether persecutions after World War II were more aimed at certain sections of society over and above detractors is a disputed point.

    So tell me again, how an atheist can believe in signs from Heaven?

  131. 131
    Ichthyic

    Hitler was no kind of Christian I recognise. Stalin acted the way he did in large part BECAUSE of his atheism.

    more ignorance and stupidity from the Rook, who should be crying nevermore.

    nevermore.

  132. 132
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Rookie, do you have any conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity yet, you delusional fool?

  133. 133
    Pete Rooke

    Janine and Ichthyic, I don’t mean to get everyone all het up. I’ll try to find that other thread you mentioned for more reasoned discourse.

  134. 134
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Oh, and Rookie, emphasis on FOOL.

  135. 135
    Pete Rooke

    NoF, I don’t like being insulted.

  136. 136
    Jadehawk

    Pete Rooke says:

    OMFG

  137. 137
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    Rookie, you are deluding yourself if you are implying that you are reasonable.

  138. 138
    Pete Rooke

    *NoR rather

  139. 139
    konradzielinski

    Children in Nazi Orphanages had to recite the following prayer:

    There is some evidence to suggest that Hitler planned to proclaim himself as the true Messiah.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Nazi_Germany#Messianic_aspects_of_Nazism

    I recall seeing a documentary once that showed murlas from some of Hitlers Bunkers. The style was very much in keeping wit hmedival religeous art, and dipicted things like weddings and funerals, Except that all clerical figures where replaces with officers of the SS.

  140. 140
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    NoF, I don’t like being insulted.

    And yet you insist on commenting here, when you know what most of the regulars think of you. Stupid.

    (Done derailing.)

  141. 141
    AB_CA

    “It isn’t for sure. Jesus was addresssing the Pharisees. They were the only surviving sect of Judaism and gave rise to the Rabbinic Jews of today. The other sects died out during the Roman wars.”

    Um no, for example, the Sadduccees or Essenes.

  142. 142
    David Marjanović, OM

    I have been led to believe that the old dungeon applies only to the old manor. Hopefully at least!

    You’re right about that.

    However, if you continue to drop one-liners without providing any supporting evidence, acting as if whatever you said were somehow obviously true and needed no discussion, you will bore PZ, and he’ll expel you from Paradise again (…to use Biblical metaphors in Stalin’s tradition).

  143. 143
    Jadehawk

    Don’t forget. The time when xians ruled Europe was known as the Dark Ages.

    I wish people would stop saying that.

    It’s not true.

    the Mediveal Period is not synonymous with the Dark Ages, and the Dark Ages have stopped being quite that dark: the post-Roman Empire, pre-Holy Roman Empire period was called that because we didn’t have any information about it.

  144. 144
    'Tis Himself

    NoF, I don’t like being insulted.

    That’s too bad, you shitstain on the panties of life.

  145. 145
    David Marjanović, OM

    NoF, I don’t like being insulted.

    Then make sure you don’t deserve being insulted.

    For starters, try to have a reasoned discourse with us – you know, the kind of discourse in which it’s not acceptable to make fact claims without evidence.

  146. 146
    Pete Rooke

    I must sleep but I shall craft a more lengthy and reasoned response to this provocation. Night all.
    X

  147. 147
    Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments

    ‘snicker’

    (I know I said I was done derailing. But I had to laugh.)

  148. 148
    David Marjanović, OM

    I wish people would stop saying that.

    I think it comes from late-19th-century progress mythology, together with silly claims like astronomers believing the Earth was flat and laughing at Columbus and Magellan for disagreeing. It’s all a package.

  149. 149
    Aaron Baker

    Well,

    I was able to read Robert Richards’s article, and he makes a very plausible case that Hitler derived Kampf ums Dasein from Chamberlain, rather than Darwin. It’s the phrase used word-for-word for “struggle for existence” in German translations of The Origin of Species, and I always thought Hitler must have gotten it from some Social Darwininan tract or crankish conversation.

    One of the uses of the phrase in Mein Kampf does come in a pretty Darwinian-sounding context–but Richards (p. 34) finds a similar passage in Chamberlain.

    So, unless Richards has missed some other evidence, the case for a Darwinian source for Hitler’s “struggle for existence” is much weaker than I thought.

    Well, I was probably wrong. Janine, however, is still an asshole.

  150. 150
    David Marjanović, OM

    I must sleep but I shall craft a more lengthy and reasoned response to this provocation. Night all.
    X

    Take your time, sleep well, think when you’re well rested.

  151. 151
    fauxreal

    Pete Rooke says:
    27 October 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Hitler was no kind of Christian I recognise. Stalin acted the way he did in large part BECAUSE of his atheism. It was not incidental. In Hitler’s case the opposite is true.

    this is more of the same stupidity. the “no true scotsman” argument – you don’t get it, do you?

    I guess the Spanish Inquisition was full of atheists, too. That “convert of die” love – the forced expulsion… And the crusaders. And the people who came to the Americas with a “manifest destiny” to take away land from people here b/c they were “morally inferior” to this religion with a blood-stained history across Europe?

    And before Stalin, the pograms against Jews in Russia were because of the Tsar’s atheism, too? The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, adapted from a French text by an avowed antisemitic Prussian aristocrat and delivered to Hitler by Hess with White Russians escaping the revolution… that was atheism too?

    The Dreyfuss Affair in France – that was a result of atheism too?

    European history is rife with antisemitism. The only places where Jews were not persecuted were in muslim-controlled Alhambra Spain and Protestant-Liberal Holland – and those places still had conditions. The reason Jews were persecuted was because they were “the other” or the “not-Christian.”

    And Henry Ford’s tract, “The International Jew” was also a result of stalinist atheism? That capitalist? Laws against Jews moving into various neighborhoods that existed into the last century across America – those were because of atheism too?

    The only way that Christians have accepted others with different beliefs has been assimilation – the good Christians in the U.S. sent Native American children to boarding schools to indoctrinate them into Christianity and separate them from their parents and their culture – Christian extermination of other beliefs has a long history in this nation too.

    Whatever greed motivated these actions – the way these things were accomplished was by appealing to the religious hatred of “good christians.”

  152. 152
    AB_CA

    “Probably the original antisemite was a guy named Jesus. The first xian. The one who the religion is named after.”

    The “murderers” in the passage refer to the murder of the Jewish prophets. Jesus pushed reforms because the rules of Pharisees were geared toward their own political needs/power rather than creating justice or helping the people under them. His speech is directed at the false leadership of the Jewish people, not at Jewish people in general.

  153. 153
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Well, I was probably wrong. Janine, however, is still an asshole.

    Coming from you, it is a shiny golden medal with letters spelled out with diamonds.

  154. 154
    F

    I’m assuming the illustration on the book cover is a piece of period Nazi propaganda — is that correct?

    http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/sturm28.htm

  155. 155
    'Tis Himself

    Janine, however, is still an asshole.

    Congratulations, Janine. You join me as an Aaron Baker certified asshole. I know a place where that and $1.95 will get you a cup of coffee.

  156. 156
    Aaron Baker

    Brownian wrote:

    Why do you keep asking me to do or not do things? What makes you think I would stop and be swayed by your opinion?

    That’s certainly not an error someone intelligent would make.

    A counsel of despair, I know. You misrepresented what I said; pointing that fact out might lead a more modest person to realize he was behaving badly.

  157. 157
    Inaji

    Aaron Baker:

    Well, I was probably wrong.

    You are wrong. Even PZ pointed this out, way upthread. You just love the look of your own typing and can’t manage to stop digging.

    Janine, however, is still an asshole.

    As opposed to? Yourself? In case you are unaware, you’ve been a repeat asshole here on a number of subjects.

  158. 158
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    I was able to read Robert Richards’s article, and he makes a very plausible case that Hitler derived Kampf ums Dasein from Chamberlain, rather than Darwin. It’s the phrase used word-for-word for “struggle for existence” in German translations of The Origin of Species, and I always thought Hitler must have gotten it from some Social Darwininan tract or crankish conversation.

    Oh, and congratulations. It only took you a couple of years to come to that realization. Are you still going to argue that Nazism was primarily a secular movement?

  159. 159
    Aaron Baker

    ‘Tis Himself @155:

    I think I missed you most of all, Scarecrow!

    Oh wait, the Scarecrow was actually smart.

  160. 160
    'Tis Himself

    Oh wait, the Scarecrow was actually smart.

    As compared to you, yes he was.

  161. 161
    Aaron Baker

    Are you still going to argue that Nazism was primarily a secular movement?

    Two different issues, Janine. Address the evidence I cited sometime, and maybe we can have a discussion.

  162. 162
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    A counsel of despair, I know. You misrepresented what I said; pointing that fact out might lead a more modest person to realize he was behaving badly.

    If you were a “more modest person”, you would have investigated the false claim that Hitler partly based his ideology on Darwin instead of arguing the point every time the topic came up here. Just who was fucking behaving badly?

    Arrogant assclam.

  163. 163
    raven

    “It isn’t for sure. Jesus was addresssing the Pharisees. They were the only surviving sect of Judaism and gave rise to the Rabbinic Jews of today. The other sects died out during the Roman wars.”

    Um no, for example, the Sadduccees or Essenes.

    The Sadduccees and Essenes didn’t survive the Roman war much less the Bar Koch (sp?) revolt. Remember, the second temple was destroyed during a bloody uprising put down by the Romans in 70 AD, long after Jesus had died. That war lasted for a few years and the Romans killed lots and lots of people. The last revolt was also pretty bloody and resulted in the Jews being kicked out of Palestine.

    The only group that survived all that were the Pharisees. Who gave rise to modern Rabbinic Judaism.

  164. 164
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    You are still disingenuous, even when you admit that your were mistaken in one of your main points.

    Guess what, fuckface? You keep making comments on the supposed lack of intelligence of some of the people here.

    YOU HAVE NO FUCKING ROOM TO TALK!

    (Sorry about the lock caps. I think I am justified in this case.)

  165. 165
    raven

    His speech is directed at the false leadership of the Jewish people, not at Jewish people in general.

    I’m just going to cut and paste what I have already dealt with. The fact is the bible New Testament was used by xians from the very beginning to justify antisemitism.

    You could read it that way but the early and later xians chose not to. Even the Popes and Catholics up until a few years ago called the Jews the Christ Killers and some Catholics still do so even this minute.

    #129 raven says:
    27 October 2011 at 11:47 pm
    raven,

    but wasn’t (the fictional) Jesus speaking from an in-group perspective? Didnt’t the original Christians regard themselves as Jews, only later gradually breaking away from Judaism? Depending on when in the process the part cited by you was written, it might represent an in-group or out-group stance.

    Maybe, probably.

    It isn’t for sure. Jesus was addresssing the Pharisees. They were the only surviving sect of Judaism and gave rise to the Rabbinic Jews of today. The other sects died out during the Roman wars.

    That is however, irrelevant. This passage from John and others from the NT have been widely quoted and widely used to justify antisemitism for 2,000 years.

    For the xians, jesus was the first anti-Jewish bigot. That is just a well known historical fact.

  166. 166
    Ichthyic

    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM, says:

    LOL

    I see what you did there…

  167. 167
    raven

    For those that don’t know, antisemitism was present at the very beginning of xianity. That is why the New Testament is full of antisemitism all the way through.

    The first persecutions of Jews by xians started as soon as they had enough power in the Roman empire about the middle of the first millennium.

    They never stopped.

    And oh, BTW. None of those proto-bigots were atheists or Darwinists.

  168. 168
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    NoF, I don’t like being insulted.

    Like I care what a delusional fool like you thinks. Either you can prove your claims with physical evidence, or you need to shut the fuck up about them, same as before. That was proven when you were banhammered for not shutting the fuck up and listening, but still preaching unevidenced fuckwittery.

  169. 169
    Aaron Baker

    If you were a “more modest person”, you would have investigated the false claim that Hitler partly based his ideology on Darwin instead of arguing the point every time the topic came up here. Just who was fucking behaving badly?

    Arrogant assclam.

    This was the first time I did anything more than say in passing that I thought Hitler was a social Darwinist (an opinion supported by some Darwinian-sounding language in Mein Kampf, and held by a number of excellent historians of the Third Reich–Richard Evans, for example. I didn’t have occasion to argue it before, and in fact, though it may be a weakness of my memory, I don’t believe anyone on this board jumped on me for saying it before.

    Today I said it, and in response you didn’t cite Richards’s article; you didn’t present any evidence; you just immediately launched into a line of nastly snark; and I’ll say it again, you couldn’t even be bothered to represent my position accurately. So please save your lectures on arrogance for yourself.

  170. 170
    raven

    hearnow.org:

    315 Constantine the Great established “Christianity” as the State religion throughout the Roman Empire; issued many anti-Jewish laws.

    379-95 Theodosius the Great expelled Jews from any official gate position or place of honor. Permitted the destruction of their synagogues if by so doing, it served a religious purpose.
    613 Persecution of the Jews in Spain. All Jews who refused to be baptized had to leave the country. A few years later the remaining Jews were dispossessed, declared as slaves and given to pious “Christians” of position. All children 7 years or over were taken from their parents and given to receive a “Christian” education.
    1096 Bloody persecutions of the Jews at the beginning of the First Crusade, in Germany. Along the cities on the Rhine River alone, 12,000 Jews were killed. The Jews were branded second only to the Moslems as the enemies of Christendom.

    The first official persecution of Jews by xians was the first xian emperor, Constantine in 315 CE.

    For any dumb xians, Constantine wasn’t an atheist or Darwinist either.

  171. 171
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Pete ‘sick fuck’ Rooke, back from the dungeon (with his gimp suit on and cock in hand, no doubt) wrote:

    Hitler was no kind of Christian I recognise.

    What methodology do you use to determine what is and isn’t a ‘true’ Christian? Where does this methodolgy come from?

  172. 172
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Pete Rooke says:

    oh for fuck’s sake

    here we go

  173. 173
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Today I said it, and in response you didn’t cite Richards’s blah, blah, blah fucking blah…

    I did not need Richard’s article to know this. I knew this because I read those books by Ian Kershaw and Richard Evans. And, as I stated before, they barely had a thing to say about Darwin. And though I did not say it at the time, both talked about The Foundations Of The Nineteenth Century.

    Arrogant bloviating fuckface.

  174. 174
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Hitler was no kind of Christian I recognise. Stalin acted the way he did in large part BECAUSE of his atheism. It was not incidental. In Hitler’s case the opposite is true.

    Ahh yes. This is the Rooke I remember. Dumb, historically mistaken and myopic and just plain wrong.

    I’d say welcome back but I don’t believe you’ll be here long.

  175. 175
    Aaron Baker

    Well, I read Kershaw’s and Evans’s books, too, and both of them thought Social Darwinism had influenced Hitler. Look at the indexes.

  176. 176
    Morrison

    Hitler killed Millions of Christians, three million Catholics in Poland alone.

    There is no question that he despised Christianity, famously declaring that Bolshevism and Christianity were Jewish inventions.

    And, knowing how he hated Jews, that would include Jesus the Jew.

  177. 177
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    What methodology do you use to determine what is and isn’t a ‘true’ Christian?

    Same way any Christian determines who is, and is not, a True Christian: those who agree with me, and believe the same things about the same things that I believe, are True Christians. Those who believe the wrong things about the right things, or the right things about the wrong things, or who disagree with me, are not True Christians. See? Simple.

  178. 178
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Hitler killed Millions of Christians, three million Catholics in Poland alone.

    Which had far more to do with them being subhuman Slavs than being Roman Catholic.

  179. 179
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    The fucking point that you keep missing, fuckface is this; no one is denying that the misnamed “Social Darwinism” was an influence on Hitler. But it is the height of dishonesty to keep insisting that Darwin has to remain in the topic about how he influenced the Holocaust.

    It is fucking shown by how you have been willing to argue this point and ignoring Chamberlain.

    Fucking shitstain.

  180. 180
    raven

    Morrison the fundie troll:

    Hitler killed Millions of Christians, three million Catholics in Poland alone.

    The USA and the allies also killed millions of christians. Millions in Germany alone. Some of them were even christian Nazis although most were German christian civilians.

    I realize you are very stupid but our European enemies during World War II were all…christians.

  181. 181
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Pete ‘jizz mopper’ Rooke wrote:

    I must sleep but I shall craft a more lengthy and reasoned response to this provocation.

    Reasoned? Well, that’d make a change from everything you’ve posted in the past. I’m not going to hold my breath, though. You pretty much embody the ideal of the irredeemably stupid dumbass.

  182. 182
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Morrison, according to Hitler, Slavs were not much better than Jews and except for the blond Slavs, were only fit to be the slaves of the Aryans. Hardly a new idea given where the term “Slav” comes from.

  183. 183
    DLC

    I’m glad to see someone fighting the good fight, PZ.
    Hitler was a catholic in good standing right up until his put a cyanide capsule in his mouth, bit down and then shot himself.
    This doesn’t mean he was a “good” catholic.

  184. 184
    raven

    Hitler:

    Hitler wrote: “I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord..”

    Doesn’t sound like an atheist. There are pages and pages of similar quotes.

    In Hitler’s main work, Mein Kampf, jesus and god are mentioned 33 times. Darwin is mentioned a whole zero times. ZERO.

    BTW, the Jews themselves never bought the Darwin killed us lie. There are lots of evolutionary biologists in Israel, evolution is taught in Israeli universities which also do research on evolution, and they have their own journal, The Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution.

    Israel Journal of Ecology & Evolutionw ww.israelsciencejournals.com/eco.htm Cached – Similar

    The Israel Journal of Ecology & Evolution is dedicated to publishing high quality original research and review papers that advance our knowledge and …

    After 2,000 years of xian antisemitism, they know damn well who doesn’t like them.

  185. 185
    Ichthyic

    both of them thought Social Darwinism had influenced Hitler.

    which Evans book are you talking about then, because THIS ONE, most certainly carefully explains, in glorious and oft repeated detail, that the entire nationalistic scapegoating strategy only culminated with the Nazi party; it really had nothing to do with Social Darwinism, and Hitler was a latecomer to the affair that simply was a good poster boy.

    so you must have projected a great deal on to your reading of that book.

  186. 186
    Ichthyic

    Look at the indexes.

    this is the danger of just reading the cover of a book, instead of the book itself.

    I’m betting you never actually DID read it.

    I have it right here in front of me, should you care to have me quote any specific part or passage for you.

  187. 187
    Aaron Baker

    no one is denying that the misnamed “Social Darwinism” was an influence on Hitler.

    Janine,

    Actually, I think Richards is arguing exactly that Hitler wasn’t influenced even by writers who referred their ideas to Darwin–which is who I meant by “Social Darwinists.”

    But it is the height of dishonesty to keep insisting that Darwin has to remain in the topic about how he influenced the Holocaust.

    Which . . . I’ve . . . never . . . argued . . . . and I do get tired of repeating it. It’s right up there with the contention that I think Hitler was an atheist, or that I’m a crypto-Christian.

  188. 188
    raven

    Hitler was a catholic in good standing right up until his put a cyanide capsule in his mouth, bit down and then shot himself.

    Even after he died, he was still a Catholic in good standing. The Catholic church never excommunicated him. They said a Requiem mass for the dead in his honor.

    Christianity and the Holocaust mark h umphrys.com/christianity.ww2.htmlCached – Similar

    Clerical Fascism – Roman Catholic church support for fascism in the mid-20th …..
    requiem mass to be said in all churches for his soul, that Hitler be admitted to paradise. …. “May God welcome in His mercy the soul of the illustrious deceased” .

    The Catholic church only excommunicated one Nazi leader, Joseph Goebbels. His crime was…marrying a divorced Protestant.

  189. 189
    Ichthyic

    The USA and the allies also killed millions of christians.

    They’ve been cleverly hiding the fact that they are really atheists all this time!

    It’s a grand atheist CONSPIRACY, I tells ya!

  190. 190
    Aaron Baker

    Sorry, Ichthyic, wrong again. I’ve read Kershaw’s two volumes and Evans’s three, all cover to cover.

    You spend so much time imagining some kind of malfeasance or malignancy on my part–and I’m not being sarcastic; I really don’t undersand why.

  191. 191
    Ichthyic

    Which . . . I’ve . . . never . . . argued . . . . and I do get tired of repeating it. It’s right up there with the contention that I think Hitler was an atheist, or that I’m a crypto-Christian.

    have you considered that your writing is so flippant, so mushy, that nobody even knows what the fuck you’re arguing, and that’s why people think you ARE claiming Hitler wasn’t a christian, you ARE one, and that you are making a case for Darwinism affecting the rise of nationalism in Germany?

    I seem to recall this being a recurring theme…

    hey so, let’s be clear, so we can forget about you:

    Hitler was a Christian:

    yes/no

    The rise of the National Socialist Party in Germany utilized Social Darwinism (yes/no) or Darwinism (yes/no) as part of their platform.

    Aaron Baker is:

    A Christian
    An atheist
    A Buddhist
    An agnostic
    A loser

  192. 192
    Ichthyic

    You spend so much time imagining some kind of malfeasance or malignancy on my part–and I’m not being sarcastic; I really don’t undersand why.

    because you’re wrong, and you’re spreading misinformation?

    that’s why.

    quite simple, really.

    I’m sure we can come to agreement if you answer the simple yes/no questions I posted above.

  193. 193
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Which . . . I’ve . . . never . . . argued . . . .

    Then why do you keep injecting the phrase “Social Darwinism” into a conversation about why many Christians think that Hitler was heavily influenced by the theory of Charles Darwin?

  194. 194
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Ichthyic, I have to be honest and admit that I have also used the “look at the index” line. I was trying to make the point that both works (both at over two thousand pages) bring up Charles Darwin a couple of time. If Darwin was such a huge influence, why just is he not discussed more.

    Waiting for fuckface to bring up “Social Darwinism” even he admits it is not really related to Darwin and make the claim, yet again that we are denying the influence of “Social Darwinism”. But, the Germanic idea of Blut und Boden was probably a bigger influence then an English ideology.

  195. 195
    Winterwind

    Janine OM #182…

    Slavs were not much better than Jews and except for the blond Slavs, were only fit to be the slaves of the Aryans. Hardly a new idea given where the term “Slav” comes from.

    Woah woah woah woah.

    Woah.

    Where does do you think the word “Slav” comes from?

  196. 196
    Ichthyic

    bring up Charles Darwin a couple of time. If Darwin was such a huge influence, why just is he not discussed more.

    this is the point.

    without seeing HOW he was discussed, IN CONTEXT, it’s meaningless to say that his name appearing in an index means anything more than the very point you made:

    that if it was a big deal, you’d think it would have appeared more often.

    but even that doesn’t really lead one to any firm conclusions.

    I’ve read the book, and it’s quite clear on the fact that neither Darwinism, nor social darwinism, were at all important, even in the tiniest degree, in the roots behind the formation of the Nazi party.

    I think instead, people see scapegoating specific cultural or religious groups, think “racism” where it really isn’t even that in this case, and then FURTHER project that it was all about social darwinism.

    It most unequivocally wasn’t, and to say that Evans even remotely suggested it was is disingenuous.

    Evans spend the first 200 pages of the book carefully detailing the events and history that lead to the nationalist fervor, and in that 200 pages mentions social Darwinism ONCE, in passing, as being largely irrelevant to what was happening.

    I’ve got to go out shopping, but tomorrow I’ll post the exact section of the book where this is brought up. I will say that Evans is a historian, and not a biologist, and his understanding of evolutionary theory is naive at best, but even so, it’s only mentioned in passing. For about a paragraph. In the entire section of the book that precedes Hitler’s early years in Bavaria.

    In fact, I think it would be entirely a detriment to Evans’ thesis in that book that Hitler himself had much to do with the formation of the Nazi party; he does an excellent job laying out how the history long before Hitler was even a glimmer in his parents eye was far more relevant to what happened than the man himself.

  197. 197
    pelamun

    Slavs were not much better than Jews and except for the blond Slavs, were only fit to be the slaves of the Aryans. Hardly a new idea given where the term “Slav” comes from.

    It’s probably the other way round.

  198. 198
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Hitler probably never read Darwin–but, somewhere or other, he had picked up tags from Social Darwinism (i.e. the “struggle for existence” of human races, which he harped on endlessly).

    Severing Darwin from Hitler is all well and good–but if you go so far as to deny his half-baked Social Darwinism, you’ll be mistaken.

    Are you saying that Herbert Spencer wasn’t referring to Darwin when he (Spencer) coined the phrase “survival of the fittest” and applied it to human economics? I think he explicitly did just that.

    A lot of the notions contained in Social Darwinisim undoubtedly predated Darwin, but I think there was an (illegitimate) effort to appeal to Darwin in making “struggle for existence” and “survival of the fittest” normative principles of human society.

    As a simple matter of fact regarding the transmission of ideas, “struggle for existence” (used by Darwin) and “survival of the fittest” (coined by Spencer but later, I gather, endorsed by Darwin in a biological sense) get used as socially normative expressions by a bunch of people in the later 19th and early 20th cs. What is wrong with pointing out that those people got these terms (directly or indirectly) from Darwin? If they derived them from Darwin, it’s quite simply false to say that Social Darwinism has nothing to do with Darwin. Rather, as I’ve already indicated, Social Darwinism is the applying of some notions taken from their biological context in Darwin to realms (ethics, politics, and economics) where I don’t believe they belong. Why are you choosing to be offended by this recognition of a tenuous connection? Misappropriation from Darwin, or misapplication of Darwin, does not = unconnected with Darwin, but it’s still a bad thing.

    Fuckface, your words from today. And as I kept pointing out, you said the link was tenuous. Yet you still felt the need to point this out as if it was something to keep in mind. Never the fuck mind that there are much more supportable connections between Hitler’s thoughts and the ideology of Chamberlain, Wagner and Luther. While you said that the Darwin to Hitler meme is bullshit, you still argue against the argument against this bullshit.

    What is your fucking point?

  199. 199
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Pelamun, you are correct. But is was still an expression of what many other Europeans thought of the Slavs.

  200. 200
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Winterwind, I did not mean to ignore you. I read up from the bottom and saw pelamun’s comment first.

  201. 201
    Ichthyic

    What is your fucking point?

    yes, this is what I’m thinking now too.

    What IS his point?

  202. 202
    Ichthyic

    If they derived them from Darwin, it’s quite simply false to say that Social Darwinism has nothing to do with Darwin

    If I grow a tiny square mustache, does that mean I did it because Hitler had one?

    Perhaps the better way to phrase the issue is:

    What did DARWIN have to do with Social Darwinism?

    and the answer to that, of course, is nothing at all.

  203. 203
    F

    Winterwind:

    ;) OK, calm down now, the derivation was just inverted. Janine accurately portrays the contempt for Slavic peoples, which was her intent.

    But you’re right. There are endless arguments as to where the word Slav originated. Or where the Slavic ethnicities or cultures or languages originated.

  204. 204
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    F, Winterwind was right to call me on my mistake. There is no need to calm down.

  205. 205
    Reynold

    I remember I once posted about this on SFN: Forgive if this counts as spamming…

    I am saving this page by the way, for more info. Thanks.

  206. 206
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Reynold, in years past, quite a few people pointed out that the works of Charles Darwin were among banned by the Nazis. Especially in the time period before and when the mocumentary,Expelled, was released. When Ben Fucking Stein was making the case the science leads to murder.

  207. 207
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    I hope I did not sound too dismissive. We have to keep these facts in mind for anytime people bring up any connection of Darwin to Hitler.

    On a tangential note, part of the reason why Richard Evans wrote his three part series about the rise and rule of the Nazis was because of his experience as an expert witness for Deborah Lipstadt, because it was so easy for David Irving to pass his works as historical facts.

  208. 208
    peterh

    It’s now pretty well clear that “social Darwinism” is a totally null phrase except for those groping for a red herring. Those attempting to use it (more or less positively) as a discussion point have twisted it into this that and the other such that Gumby would be challenged. It’s null.

    Raven said above,

    “Probably the original antisemite was a guy named Jesus. The first xian. The one who[m] the religion is named after.”

    Not really; Jesus was a proto-xian, and the other proto-xians around him & just after his death were somewhat in a turmoil having no real anchor-points for what was, in their world view, a world-changing event that had no clear sign posts. (Recall the now-comical “This generations shall not pass away before….”) It was the once-persecutor now-fervid convert Saul/Paul. No persecutor like a reformed persecutor. His vision was radically unlike anyone else’s of that time, proto-xian or no. I suspect he might have even been bipolar. No wonder the xian church began in a mess & remained there; that it was exacerbated by Luther’s & Calvin’s fire-breathing idiocy only maintained bad matters. Which circles back to some of my earlier post’s assertion of the horrors the past 2,000 years have visited upon the European Jew.

  209. 209
    Aaron Baker

    Ichthyic:

    The Coming of the Third Reich, pp. 34-37, lists a number of intellectual influences, including German examples of Social Darwinism, that Evans thinks had an influence on Nazism.

    You’re wrong so consistently, it really is a kid of gift.

  210. 210
    Aaron Baker

    “a kind of gift,” I should have said.

  211. 211
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Fuckface, that is not the fucking point and you fucking well know it. Name one person here who has argued that “Social Darwinism” was not an influence on the Nazis.

    Dishonest troll.

  212. 212
    peterh

    Possibly Social Darwinism and Aaron Baker are both null. But ever-present and obnoxious.

  213. 213
    Ing

    Yeah cause the social darwinism had so much foundations in science and wasn’t at all just the divine right of kings in a new package.

  214. 214
    Ing

    Also odd that the most vocal zealots of social darwinists are now Christians.

  215. 215
    Aaron Baker

    Janine wrote:

    “Name one person here who has argued that “Social Darwinism” was not an influence on the Nazis.”

    Well, Ichthyic for one: “I’ve read the book, and it’s quite clear on the fact that neither Darwinism, nor social darwinism, were at all important, even in the tiniest degree, in the roots behind the formation of the Nazi party.”

    As for my earlier point, which you keep demanding I explain, I don’t believe that “tenuous” = “bullshit”; and I don’t believe that “misapplies,” or “misinterprets,” or “applies in a new sphere, rightly or wrongly,” means the same thing as “is unconnected with.” So, though I’m not so sure now about Social Darwinian influence on Hitler, I’m not about to speak of people who explicitly applied concepts from Darwin to their political or ethical arguments as if they have no connection to his ideas.

    You act as if you don’t get this very elementary point. Since I’m having a hard time believing you’re really this stupid, I’m wondering whether there’s some other source of resistance. Is it because you think this point gives ammunition, however small, to creationists? I would say to any creationist who wanted to tar Darwin with Social Darwinism that Social Darwinists made a hash of him to the extent that they used him–and so they’re not on his moral balance sheet. Their values were quite antithetical to his, as I believe he made explicit. I really cannot think of any other way to explain my point than this.

  216. 216
    StevoR

    Thread “godwinned” on the first word? A new unbeatable record?

  217. 217
    StevoR

    Thread “godwinned” on the first word in the thread title? A new unbeatable record?

    Unless you post the swastika symbol as the first (& only?) part of the title in which case I guess it’d be the first character and a truly unbeatable “quickspeed” Godwin’s Law violation!

    Still, doesn’t the Godwin thing mean everyone arguing here has automatically lost the argument? (Erm .. incl. me?)

  218. 218
    Kseniya

    Speaking as a (virtually) full-blooded Slave, I appreciate you all clearing up the etymological sequence in advance of my arrival. ;-)

    And I’m still adjusting to the fact that FTB is the place to be, and that SB really is the “backwater”. I have have to abandon SB altogether, seeing as how I barely have time to follow oneblog.

    This is a very interesting discussion, and kind of close to the bone. My grandfather was in Kiev before and during WWII. He saw a lot of terrible things perpetrated by the Soviets (he was a child during the Holomodor) and, later, by the Nazis and their Ukrainian collaborators. How ironic that the Germans were initially welcomed as liberators, when virtually all Ukrainians were, at least in theory, on the Aryan hit list.

    I do wonder what he would think about all this debate about Hitler, Catholicism, Darwinism, Stalin, and atheism. To him, the acts of Stalin and Hitler were about ideological, political and ethnic domination. It’s important to understand the influences that can create a Hitler or a Stalin. But Darwin didn’t invent tribalism, and some of the forces at work in Eastern Europe were born in ethnic enmities and territorial struggles which predate the birth of Christ.

    It’s a shame that he’s no longer with us. He died when I was 16. A that age, I had other things on my mind other than my Ukrainian heritage or his thoughts about WWII, religion, and politics.

    Bedtime. +_+

  219. 219
    StevoR

    This excellent youtube clip :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP_iNCGH9kY

    By NonStampCollector is relevant here methinks.

  220. 220
    Kseniya

    Speaking as a (virtually) full-blooded Slave

    Slav. SLAV.

    *facepalm*

    Ok. Bed now.

  221. 221
    pelamun

    Here’s some data on the usage of

    Evolutionstheorie v. Entwicklungstheorie

    in German books

    http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=Evolutionstheorie%2CEntwicklungstheorie&year_start=1780&year_end=2008&corpus=8&smoothing=3

    Since Entwicklungstheorie can mean “development theory” and as such can be used in other disciplines, this graph shows the usage with Darwin’s name in front of it:

    Darwins Evolutionstheorie v. Darwins Entwicklungstheorie

    http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=Darwins+Evolutionstheorie%2CDarwins+Entwicklungstheorie&year_start=1780&year_end=2008&corpus=8&smoothing=3

  222. 222
    Aquaria

    Yes, let’s ignore Luther’s extensive anti-Semitic writing, which both reflected and shaped social norms of the country. I’m sure that had nothing with the Holocaust, but it was instead because of Darwin.

    Let’s also ignore the centuries of blood libel bullshit that the Catholitards vomited up.

    Let’s also ignore the Nazi obsession with the Cathars, and how maybe–just maybe–they might have known about the Catholic church making the Cathars wear yellow crosses on their clothes to identify them as heretics! Gee, I wonder if there’s any German equivalent in the 20th century…!

  223. 223
    Deren

    In the times before man, world history was primarily a presentation of geological events: the struggle of natural
    forces with one another, the creation of an inhabitable surface on this planet, the separation of water from land,
    the formation of mountains, of plains, and of the seas. This is the world history of this time. Later, with the
    emergence of organic life, man’s interest concentrated on the process of becoming and the passing away of its thousandfold forms. And only very late did man finally become visible to himself, and thus by the concept of
    world history he began to understand first and foremost only the history of his own becoming, that is, the
    presentation of his own evolution. This evolution is characterised by an eternal struggle of men against beasts
    and against men themselves.
    From the invisible confusion of the organisms there finally emerged formations:
    Clans, Tribes, Folks, States. The description of their origins and their passing away is but the representation of
    an eternal struggle for existence.

    If, however, politics is history in the making, and history itself the presentation of the struggle of men and
    nations for self preservation and continuance, then politics is, in truth, the execution of a nation’s struggle for
    existence. But politics is not only the struggle of a nation for its existence as such; for us men it is rather the art
    of carrying out this struggle

    Since history as the representation of the hitherto existing struggles for existence of nations is at the same time
    the petrified representation of politics prevailing at a given moment, it is the most suitable teacher for our own
    political activity.

    — Adolf Hitler, Second Book

  224. 224
    Aquaria

    “Probably the original antisemite was a guy named Jesus. The first xian. The one who[m] the religion is named after.”

    Not really; Jesus was a proto-xian, and the other proto-xians around him & just after his death were somewhat in a turmoil having no real anchor-points for what was, in their world view, a world-changing event that had no clear sign posts. (Recall the now-comical “This generations shall not pass away before….”)

    No. Just no.

    Jesus was a Jew, make no mistake about it. He was most likely an Essene, an umbrella term for Jews who lived in communes dedicated to intensive study of “the Word”, namely the Torah and books like Daniel (the Essenes are definitely the producers of the Dead Sea Scrolls). They also practiced abstinence, voluntary poverty and asceticism, with strains of mysticism, and messianic thought that were common to many of the Essenes. He was also closely aligned with the Jewish Zealots (one of his disciples is even called Simon the Zealot) who incited the Jews into revolt against the Roman occupation from the time of Herod that finally bore fruit in 66AD.

    The generation shall not pass idea is the very definition of a fusion between Essene messianic thought and the Zealot movement.

    It was the once-persecutor now-fervid convert Saul/Paul. No persecutor like a reformed persecutor. His vision was radically unlike anyone else’s of that time, proto-xian or no.

    Citation necessary, because all Paul did was weave a myth in a way that appealed to morons. He didn’t come up with anything that was new.

    Before Paul, there were literally hundreds of virgin birth stories. There had been resurrection stories for centuries. The idea of a god dying or risking death to save mankind was at least as old as Shiva. The christards didn’t even come up with evangelizing–that was the Buddhists, who were definitely in Palestine well before jesus’s birth.

    So what is this “vision” that was unlike anyone else’s? The melting pot of stupid?

  225. 225
    Aquaria

    What’s your point, Derren?

    What you stupidly highlighted still isn’t evolution, Darwinian or neo-Darwinian. It sounds stupidly religious, actually, so it still looks like the religious ramblings of a douchebag dolt.

    Was that your point?

  226. 226
    pelamun

    Deren,

    so what’s your point?

    At any rate we’d need to check the original German, a translation can’t really be relied on (also, the authorship of the Second Book is not 100% certain).

  227. 227
    raven

    Hitler was not only a Catholic in good standing, he was a creationist. As others have pointed out, Darwins and Haeckels books on biological evolution were on banned books lists put out by the Nazis.

    Below is an excerpt from a much longer essay by Alan MacNeill documenting Hitler’s creationism.

    Alan Macneill evolutionlist.blogspot:

    While Hitler uses the word “evolution” in Mein Kampf, it is clear that he is not referring to Darwin’s theory. Indeed, he never mentions Darwin at all. My note. He does mention jesus and god 33 times though. In fact, a look at his writings reveals his sentiments on the subject to be those of an orthodox creationist.

    Like a creationist, Hitler asserts fixity of kinds:

    “The fox remains always a fox, the goose remains a goose, and the tiger will retain the character of a tiger.” – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. ii, ch. xi.

    Like a creationist, Hitler claims that God made man:

    “For it was by the Will of God that men were made of a certain bodily shape, were given their natures and their faculties.” – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. ii, ch. x.

    Like a creationist, Hitler affirms that humans existed “from the very beginning”, and could not have evolved from apes:

    “From where do we get the right to believe, that from the very beginning Man was not what he is today? Looking at Nature tells us, that in the realm of plants and animals changes and developments happen. But nowhere inside a kind shows such a development as the breadth of the jump , as Man must supposedly have made, if he has developed from an ape-like state to what he is today.” – Adolf Hitler, Hitler’s Tabletalk (Tischgesprache im Fuhrerhauptquartier).

  228. 228
    raven

    Deren,

    so what’s your point?

    His point is that xians have never found a lie that they can’t repeat over and over, no matter how obvious it is that it is a lie.

    In point of fact, even a lot of xians have dropped the Hitler was an atheist lie. The Darwin killed the Jews lie persists even though the Jews themselves don’t believe it.

  229. 229
    fauxreal

    Hitler demanded that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion be taught in schools. I don’t know if he insisted on Darwin.

    However, he most certainly did take to a book that had already been outed as a forgery in the 1920s because it aligned with his pre-existing anti-semitism.

    The Protocols conspiracy talks about an international Jewish takeover of the world. It gained popularity, in part, b/c Jews were blamed for Bolshevism. It was also popular b/c Europe has a long history of anti-semitism. It was also popular b/c of the economic problems Germany faced as their empire collapsed. WWI marked the end of the Holy Roman Empire with the defeat of Germany – Germany was the most regressive political system in western Europe at that time.

    People longed for a romanticized past – the changes of modernity were scary – their pride was wounded b/c France was determined they would not be able to go to war again. Even so, the Germans started building armaments, in violation of the armistice. The nationalism that arose at this time is “the” inciting incident – combined with a conspiracy theory about Jewish plans to usurp power. The struggle in Germany during the Weimar was between aristocrats/the old military Hussars, the socialists, the communists and a fledgling democracy.

    Their economy was in shambles. So what they did, basically, was confiscate all the wealth of the Jews in the nation and used them as forced labor. They rationalized this not because of “fitness,” but because Jews were dangerous because they were identified with Bolshevism, with being “not Christian,” and with this ridiculous conspiracy put together by a Russian writer. This conspiracy aligned with Hitler’s mumbo-jumbo mysticism about a glorious Aryan past – with his claims to restore German boundaries before the Treaty of Verdun – or, in essence, back to the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne.

    This was the propaganda in Hitler’s speeches that spoke to the “good Germans.”

    The Christian right wing in the U.S. also lies and tries to conflate Nazis with abortion. This is an out-and-out lie. Nevertheless, it doesn’t stop them from making this claim because they want to demonize women who think they should have a choice about whether or not to give birth. The anti-abortion crowd has more in common with Nazis than the choice crowd – the birth rate in Germany had fallen so far that abortion was outlawed. One officer was executed for providing an abortion for his girlfriend.

    So, honestly, the so-called Christian right should just shut the fuck up about trying to tie science to fascism or Nazism because the reality is that their view of the role of women, the state, and nationalism is more aligned with what went down in Germany than with anything Darwin ever wrote about. Their history in Europe is more aligned with the persecution of Jews than anything Darwin ever had to say about change over time or selection pressures.

    And the current so-called Christian right that wants to deny social services to the poor is far, far out of line with Darwin’s claim that humanist impulses evolved along with physical features. Their attempts to tie Darwin to Nazis remind me, more than anything, of latching onto something like, oh, say The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in order to make claims that have already been shown to be false. Creationists are conspiracy theorists who rely upon a gullible population to keep them in business.

  230. 230
    pelamun

    fauxreal,

    WWI marked the end of the Holy Roman Empire with the defeat of Germany

    No, the Holy Roman Empire ended in 1806. There’s a reason the Nazi period is called the Third Reich, you know…

    Their economy was in shambles. So what they did, basically, was confiscate all the wealth of the Jews in the nation and used them as forced labor.

    Not really. Most of the forced laborers came from the occupied territories in the East, mostly non-Jewish Polish and Russians/Ukrainians. Jews were usually sent straight to extermination camps, not to forced labor camps.*)

    *) forced labor camps were concentration camps on German territory, mostly for political dissidents, and forced laborers that had been brought from the occupied territories. The extermination camps were mostly outside of Germany.

  231. 231
    Ichthyic

    pp. 34-37, lists a number of intellectual influences, including German examples of Social Darwinism, that Evans thinks had an influence on Nazism.

    I’ll post the relevant tracts tomorrow, so you can see, that out out 200 plus pages where he builds up what really contributed to this period, social darwinism is actually mentioned in passing ONCE in that section….

    Hell, you even note it yourself! not even the full section of of the 3 fucking pages between 34 and 37 that you cite relates the relevance of it, OUT OF THE HUNDREDS OF PAGES PREVIOUS.

    so, tell me again how wrong I am, fuckwit?

    Are you really trying to lie about what Evans’ thesis actually is, when I HAVE THE FUCKING BOOK RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME??

    go on, I fucking dare you.

    goddamn idiot.

  232. 232
    Ichthyic

    fuckwit has got my hackles up.

    that should read:

    OUT OF THE HUNDREDS OF PAGES PREVIOUS TO THE SECTION WHERE HITLER HIMSELF IS INTRODUCED.

    I seriously fucking HATE history and book revisionists.

    especially ones so obviously clueless and so obviously misrepresenting the entire thesis of a book.

    YOU are just like the people that read the full title of Darwin’s Origins, and think it is about racism.

  233. 233
    fauxreal

    until it became a republic in 1918, Germany was still, basically, an empire. The second reich had an emperor – it was called the German Empire – so, you’re technically correct but the idea that the Weimar Republic marked the fall of the empire is also correct and aligns with the fall of the landholding aristocracy’s hold on power in Prussia.

    Since Jews all over Europe, not just in Germany, were under the control of the Nazis and those Jews were part of the labor camps and battalions and work shops, I would assume that someone would recognize that it wasn’t just Jews in Germany who were part of the forced labor whose wealth had been confiscated.

  234. 234
    fauxreal

    alex says: It is well-known that Darwin believed that believed that Africans were more closely related to gorillas than Caucasians, a belief made possible by the concept of evolution.

    oh please do not tell me you are trying to pretend that slavery never existed, that Europeans and Americans did not already dehumanize Africans long before Darwin.

    that’s one of the stupidest claims I have ever seen – you’re trying to argue that racism started with Darwin?!?!?!

    so what was going on in the 1600s, 1700s? You know, that thing that began with the importation of slaves by Spanish Catholics in the 1500s?

    you know, that selective breeding of those people who were forced to come to the U.S. for the purpose of forced labor? was that Darwin, too? Before he existed, even?

    he’s quite an amazing guy to create a view of others as an inferior race hundreds of years before he was ever born.

  235. 235
    KG

    All the more ironic then, that the Darwinian belief in species mutability could lead to conclusions uncannily similar to the continuation of point 1: ” … that the lowest of them is further removed from the highest than it is from the highest species of animal”. It is well-known that Darwin believed that believed that Africans were more closely related to gorillas than Caucasians, a belief made possible by the concept of evolution. – alex

    The last sentence is simply a lie. Darwin was a “monogenist”: he believed human beings were a single species with a single evolutionary origin: so he did not believe Africans were more closely related to gorillas than to Caucasians. Many of the early Christian anti-evolutionists among prominent scientists, such as Agassiz, were by contrast polygenists, believing that human races were separate species.

  236. 236
    StevoR

    @165. raven : 28 October 2011 at 12:42 am

    For the xians, jesus was the first anti-Jewish bigot. That is just a well known historical fact.

    I think that holds true for some Christians but not all of them.

    Christian anti-semitism is an immensely ironic and dumb-foundingly stupid sentiment given that not only was Rabbi (“teacher”) Jesus himself Jewish – and all his family, (& all or almost all friends and disciples) but he also begged in practically his last words that the people who crucified him be forgiven “..for they know not what they do.”

    (Assuming Biblical specific quotation and general accuracy, which, yes, is open to question.)

    Supposedly the Christian “vibe” is showing mercy and forgiveness and loving thy neighbour as thyself.

    If only.

    If only only it worked out that way in practice for the majority of them.

  237. 237
    Stewart

    Yes, this thread has been derailed countless times and much ignorance has been on display, but I am suffficiently encouraged by Aaron Baker’s admission that “the case for a Darwinian source for Hitler’s ‘struggle for existence’ is much weaker than I thought” to make a stab at pointing some other things out (the facts actually getting through to even one person is such a breath of fresh air).

    Let’s start by admitting the ambiguities in the Nazi attitude to the churches. These are exploited by our opponents, some of whom see Nazi criticism of or conflict with churches as proof of Nazi atheism. Most ambiguities in Nazi policy or attitudes are easily explicable as the result of simple opportunism, in exactly the same way as their pact with the Soviets was. There are plenty of things that were not ambiguous, regardless of what some Nazis may have thought privately. Atheism or godlessness of any kind was always condemned. The Aryan destiny with its unmistakeable supernaturally divine aspect runs through everything (the lack of predestination in Darwin may have been the single greatest hurdle to his acceptance by the Nazis). We all know the names of a few courageous churchmen who opposed the Nazis. Why is that the case? Because they were the exceptions, not the rule. It’s inconceivable the other way round; try making a list of all the clergy who cooperated, often very enthusiastically. Why did the Nazis permit the independent existence of Catholic youth movements for years after all others had been made to give way to the Hitler Youth? The banning of Darwin’s books ought to be enough, but just in case it isn’t, let’s remember Goering using the Creator’s intentions when he introduced the Nuremberg Laws, or Julius Streicher being explicit about the New Testament roots of his antisemitism. The 1940 antisemitic feature film “Jud Suess” was set nearly a century before Darwin’s birth; the most virulent antisemitic incitement in the film came in the form of direct (explicitly attributed) quotes from Martin Luther. Later in the war, an anti-Soviet documentary was planned but never completed; I’ve viewed part of what has survived of it. The title? “Die Gottlosen” (The Godless). It included scenes of how the Soviets defiled churches by turning them into factories.

    The churches are sometimes indicted for having cooperated with the Nazis in the matter of making available the records that were used in determining race back for several generations, but a wider implication seems to be neglected. It’s not just church complicity here in fingering those who might have had Jewish ancestors. The bigger picture is that, because church records were used as a primary source of racial affiliation, in order to belong to the German people one had to have been at least nominally Christian for a number of generations. Anyone who, let’s say for reasons of freethought or atheism, had broken away from the church, had a problem with the Nazis regarding origins.

    The sufficiently ignorant are impressed by Weikart’s finding links between Darwin and Hitler. There are no two things in the world that are not connected by some path or other. Weikart’s association with the ID crowd does mean he has a prior agenda involving an anti-evolution bias. He has found it easiest to smear evolution by tainting Darwin’s name with the implication that he was a progenitor of something as awful as the Nazis. Weikart begins his work by having a pre-ordained starting point (Darwin) and a pre-ordained goal (the Holocaust) and proceeds to find whatever he can that might constitute some kind of path between them. This is not honest enquiry. Honest enquiry would mean – without a pre-ordained goal – either looking forward from Darwin (in which case one hits mainly today’s evolutionary scientists), or tracing the roots of the Holocaust (in which case, via Hitler and Alfred Rosenberg, one hits people like the pre-Darwin Gobineau and the religiously inclined and anti-Darwin H.S. Chamberlain – take a look at his books “Worte Christi,” 1901 and “Mensch und Gott,” 1921).

    I have been interested in seeing how the school textbooks addressed questions of evolution, as this is surely of much greater relevance than an off-the-cuff remark Hitler may or may not have made, and last year had the opportunity to question someone associated with the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig. Printed textbooks seem not to have been the way most things were done, though I haven’t given up on finding at least some paperwork.

    It is true that in works detailing the origins of races, the Nazis went back thousands of years to the end of the last Ice Age, in such a way that makes it unlikely they could have managed with Young Earth Creation, but it did not stop them insisting on non-material grounds for Aryan superiority. Italian racial theorist Julius Evola’s 1941 “Sintesi di dottrina della razza” was published in German in 1943 (he was to flee to Germany in that year), which can be taken as a confirmation that there was official German approval of its contents. The book is overflowing with references to the godly and the divine and, while there is some criticism of Chamberlain in it, Darwin is roundly dismissed. Oft referenced is L.F. Clauss, who was into the souls of the races and whose career seems to have been hindered by Rosenberg because of internal rivalries, pointing back to the opportunism that is so crucial in trying to understand what happened and why.

    One need not get bogged down in arguments about what was meant by “Entwicklung.” Rejection of Darwin on so many other levels is clear and unambiguous and it is petty to try to draw clues from Hitler’s Table Talk while completely ignoring official and enforced pronouncements that could not have been made without Hitler’s approval.

  238. 238
    StevoR

    @229. fauxreal : 28 October 2011 at 8:20 am

    Hitler demanded that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion be taught in schools. I don’t know if he insisted on Darwin

    Sadly I’m pretty sure I’ve read somewhere that that notorious anti-Semitic forgery & propaganda tract ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ is a best seller in the Muslim world even today.

    Don’t know if they teach it in schools but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was taught as fact in many Madrassas across the Arab world.

    Also, just as Christianity has been twisted almost opposite its intended (?) meaning into a warped excuse for anti-Semitism so too has been much Left wing and Human rights agenda ideology esp. regarding the so-called Palestinian issue which becomes an excuse for “anti-Zionist” anti-Semitism.

    The political “progressuive” liberal (in the US not Aussie sense) Left needs to really watch out for and question itself about that tendency towards anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish feeling.

    I think anti-Semitic impulses and vibrations are something those on the Political Left need to be very careful and thoughtful about because the old Judaeophobic ugliness seems to be rearing its disgusting head again these days.

  239. 239
    pelamun

    until it became a republic in 1918, Germany was still, basically, an empire. The second reich had an emperor – it was called the German Empire – so, you’re technically correct but the idea that the Weimar Republic marked the fall of the empire is also correct and aligns with the fall of the landholding aristocracy’s hold on power in Prussia.

    Go back and read up on German history between 1806 and 1871, in which period Germany was NOT an empire. Sheesh.

    Since Jews all over Europe, not just in Germany, were under the control of the Nazis and those Jews were part of the labor camps and battalions and work shops, I would assume that someone would recognize that it wasn’t just Jews in Germany who were part of the forced labor whose wealth had been confiscated.

    You know, there are studies about forced labor under the Nazis. You’re wrong.

    (Of course the story is complicated. In 1942, the SS wanted all Jews out of Germany, and exterminated as quickly as possible (and forced labour was part of the process, but the point was, outside of Germany). In 1944, due to acute lack of labour, this policy was reversed. But from the 11 million forced laborers under the Nazis, the vast majority were POWs and other citizens from the occupied territories in the east)

    Reference: Geschichte der Ausländerpolitik in Deutschland, by Ulrich Herbert. 2003.

    About aryanisation: I think it was something like 100,000 Jewish businesses. However, I haven’t seen studies totaling the amounts confiscated in this way. I do think that the Nazis were primarily driven by their racist ideology in this area, and secondarily by monetary gain (but both goals were desirable from p.o.v. of the Nazis).
    A yardstick of some kind might be the cynically termed “compensation” for the Reichskristallnacht, which amounted to 20% of Jewish property in 1938, or 1b Reichsmark. This was indeed needed at the time, but that wasn’t because the economy was in shambles, by 1938 it had more than recovered, the problem was that Hitler was already rearming the military, and spending a lot on that. There was a deficit of 2b Reichsmark in the 1938 budget plan, and the 1b came in very handy indeed. The revenues thus rose from 16b to 17b.

  240. 240
    StevoR

    Not that today’s political Right wing is immune from the ugly stain of anti-Semitism or anti-Semitic undercurrents either.

    With exhibit A being the rantings of Pat Buchanan (spelling?) and some conspircay minded militia plus tehravings of tehdrunk melGibson influenced by his ftaher’s toxic belief system.

    Jews can’t win really – the Right blames them for Communism (and often – hah – atheism) the Left blames them for Capitalism and for all the troubles in the Middle east /Southwest Asia plus “neo-conservatism”.

    All with no real valid or logical foundation natch.

  241. 241
    StevoR

    D’oh! Flipping typos.

    With exhibit A being the rantings of Pat Buchanan (spelling?) and some conspiracy minded racist militia groups plus the ravings of the drunk Mel Gibson influenced by his father’s toxic belief system.

  242. 242
    pelamun

    Stewart at 238, that was an excellent post. I’d like to quote it if I may..

  243. 243
    KG

    Also, just as Christianity has been twisted almost opposite its intended (?) meaning into a warped excuse for anti-Semitism so too has been much Left wing and Human rights agenda ideology esp. regarding the so-called Palestinian issue which becomes an excuse for “anti-Zionist” anti-Semitism. – SteveoR

    I have protested against left-wing antisemitism in the anti-war movement, and discussed the general phenomenon here more than once, but you reveal your own racism by talking of the “so-called Palestinian issue”. Whatever the balance of right and wrong between Israel and the Palestinians, if millions of people living in highly restrictive conditions under occupation or boycott, and the illegal annexation and settlement of occupied land, do not constitute an “issue” for you, that can only be because you do not view those concerned as fully human.

  244. 244
    Stewart

    Thanks, pelamun, no problem from my end.

  245. 245
    KG

    Correction: “boycott” in my #244 should be “blockade”.

  246. 246
    Aaron Baker

    Ichthyic:

    I don’t have the book with me at work, but in the pages I cited Evans mentions a number of German thinkers who applied Darwinian concepts to social thought (so it’s disingenuous of you, to put it as nicely as I can, to claim that Social Darwinism is mentioned only once in those three pages). He concludes on pg. 37, after his review of Social Darwinism & other notions like Rassenhygiene, that this was the intellectual milieu out of which Nazism emerged.

    So I stand by everything I said: correctly or incorrectly, Evans thinks Social Darwinism had some influence on Nazism–and none of your huffing and puffing changes that fact.

  247. 247
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    So if I misunderstand and misapply an idea am I really using that idea? Is it honest to claim I am inspired by my strawman version of what I think that idea is saying or means?

    Really?

  248. 248
    Sleeper

    Writing about centrist political circles in the Hapsburg State

    “The gentlemen were fonder of any Pole, any Alsatian traitor and Francophile than they were of the German who did not want to join such a criminal organisation. Under the pretext of representing catholic interests, this party even in peacetime had lent a helping hand to harm and ruin the major bulwark of a real Christian world view, Germany, in all possible ways. And this most mendacious party did not even shrink from going arm in arm, in the closest friendship, with avowed deniers of god, atheists, blasphemers of religion, as long as they believed they could harm the German National State and the German Folk.

    Thus in the establishment of the insane German foreign policy, the Centre, the Christian catholic pious Centre, had Jewish god denying Marxists as loving allies at it’s side.”

    - Hitler’s Second Book

  249. 249
    dogmeat

    Steigmann-Gall, who makes the best scholarly case for the importance of Christianity to Nazism, admits that from 1937 on, the Party became much more hostile to the Catholic and Protestant churches. (btw, All of the anti-Xn statements I’ve seen by Hitler are post-1937).

    This makes perfect sense. The churches and the religious were useful to the Nazi agenda. They could couch their conservative agenda in religious terms and then implement it with the full support of the majority.

    To use a modern parallel, the Republicans of 2011 are having a problem with their Christian supporters who were useful to increase their voting base and promote their policies but who now want to emphasize socially conservative positions that are problematic for Republicans who wish to emphasize financial/corporate policies rather than social ones. It was useful for the Republicans in the 70s and 80s to motivate social conservatives to adopt policies that were often quite damaging to their own bests interests by emphasizing socially conservative “issues” that they never really intended to act upon. Abortion, same sex rights, prayer in school, censorship of naughty bits, all things that matter a great deal to social conservatives and motivate them to vote, but all things that the Republican leadership for decades really didn’t care much about or do much about. Why ban abortion if it will bring millions to vote and push them to vote (R)? Why do anything about same-sex rights if it will accomplish the same thing?

    Problem is for the Republicans of 2011, these social conservatives are true believers™, and honestly believe that these policies are integral to the Republican dream. Folks who were convenient to the Republican goal of taking power now actually want to make policy and implement their goals!?!?!?! Shocking!

    The Nazis were able to use the existing antisemitism already prevalent in their fellow religious Germans to acquire their support. They emphasized socially conservative positions, pointed out the superiority of the “Aryan Race” and used their own bigotry and arrogance to obtain their support. Once they had power they could then ignore or suppress the elements of their supporters they really didn’t care about or care for.

    None of this changes the religious foundations of most of their arguments. They couched their arguments in religious terms because they knew that much of their religious audience “knew” that antisemitism was proper and just. That they later cast off specifically Christian language and established their own doesn’t change the mystical/religious origins of their ideology.

    Hitler probably never read Darwin–but, somewhere or other, he had picked up tags from Social Darwinism (i.e. the “struggle for existence” of human races, which he harped on endlessly).

    Two problems with this. First, it does nothing to change the fact that the supporters of the Nazis who actually carried out the atrocities were Christians by a massive majority. Second, the tag “Social Darwinism” has nothing to do with the theory of evolution but is instead the twisting of that theory to justify policies that were in existence centuries before Darwin was born. The argument that “It’s okay because it is simply survival of the fittest,” is simply rewording of “It’s okay because God established the existing social order.” The key is the “it’s okay” not the phony justification behind why people were treated like animals.

    Severing Darwin from Hitler is all well and good–but if you go so far as to deny his half-baked Social Darwinism, you’ll be mistaken.

    This argument makes no sense whatsoever. You begin by arguing that Hitler and the Nazis were anti-Christian, thereby suggesting that the tie-in between the Nazis and theology is false; you then suggest that there is some validity to tying the Nazis to evolution based on a rather specious argument that “Social Darwinism” is tied to the theory of evolution in any manner but name. That’s like arguing that George W. Bush is an environmentalist because of the “Clean Air Act.”

  250. 250
    Anthony K

    You misrepresented what I said; pointing that fact out might lead a more modest person to realize he was behaving badly.

    If you need help nailing yourself to that cross, I’ve got some very thick spikes, a large mallet, and a lot of enthusiasm.

    But I’d like to point out the issue is not modesty or immodesty; the point is that you’re a shitty writer and shitty at argumentation. As I’ve noted, I’m not the only one who seems “not to get you”. At some point, you should start considering the appropriateness of bleating about misrepresentation when it’s clear you’re just no good at making a point.

    And when you reply to things like:

    You’re right; the idiocy you’ve written deserves a perfect analogy.

    With:

    Good, you admit your analogy sucks.

    You can take any pretense of integrity and choke on it, fucker.

    So if I misunderstand and misapply an idea am I really using that idea? Is it honest to claim I am inspired by my strawman version of what I think that idea is saying or means?

    Since Aaron is essentially saying “yes”, it’s completely fucking disingenuous of him to cry because we haven’t cracked his skull open and thin-sliced his brain to make damn sure we completely and thoroughly understand his point despite his apparent literary inadequacy.

  251. 251
    Aaron Baker

    dogmeant wrote:

    “Second, the tag “Social Darwinism” has nothing to do with the theory of evolution but is instead the twisting of that theory to justify policies that were in existence centuries before Darwin was born.”

    If you’re using Darwinian evolutionary concepts to make sociopolitical arguments (something that Richards’ article shows Darwin himself wasn’t completely immune to doing), your theorizing, whatever its merits or demerits, does have something to do with Darwin.

    Richards has the following passage re Darwin, confronted by a Spencerian proposal to keep the disabled from breeding (p. 38):

    When he was confronted with the idea that it would be of long-term benefit to a society to prevent the weak in mind and body from marrying and propagating their kind, he
    demurred: “We must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind.”114 [114 Darwin, Descent of Man, 1: 169] The attempt to check our sympathies for the poor and wretched of the earth would, Darwin averred, cause “deterioration in the noblest part of our natures.”115[Ibid., pp. 168-69.

    You can reasonably (and accurately) say then that the normative principles of Herbert Spencer were antithetical to Darwin’s, and Darwin himself made explicit here that they were, and that Spencer was misapplying some of Darwin’s ideas in furtherance of those normative principles; but he’s still using Darwin’s ideas. Nor is it true that Darwin rejected out of hand the application of some of his ideas to human social questions.

    It seems to me that in your definition of Social Darwinism, you’re question-beggingly minimizing its relation to Darwin, as if he’s somehow discredited unless you can establish that all the political theorizing that made use of his ideas HAD NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH HIM. And I persist in not thinking that’s an accurate approach.

  252. 252
    Glen Davidson

    The fact of the matter is that Hitler and the Nazis at large were German Romantics who looked fondly back at ancient empires. Rome and Sparta were their inspirations:

    Hitler praised Arminius (“Hermann”), who annihilated ancient Roman legions, as “the first architect of our liberty,” and the aggressive medieval monarch, Charlemagne, as “one of the greatest men in world history”. In 1924, Hitler urged that “the new Reich must again set itself on the march along the road of the Teutonic knights of old, to obtain by the German sword sod for the German plow” (1).

    A second model was Roman history itself, which Hitler considered “the best mentor, not only for today, but probably for all time”. He considered Rome’s genocide of Carthage in 146 BCE “a slow execution of a people through its own deserts”. Classical Sparta was a third Nazi model. Hitler recommended in 1928 that a state should “limit the number allowed to live”, and added: “The Spartans were once capable of such a wise measure… The subjugation of 350,000 Helots by 6,000 Spartans was only possible because of the racial superiority of the Spartans”. They had created “the first racialist state”. Invading the USSR in 1941, Hitler saw its citizens as Helots to his Spartans: “They came as conquerors, and they took everything”. A Nazi officer specified that “the Germans would have to assume the position of the Spartiates, while … the Russians were the Helots” (2).

    “I’ve just learnt”, Hitler further remarked, “that the feeding of the Roman armies was almost entirely based on cereals.” Now, he added, Ukraine and Russia “will one day be the granaries of Europe,” but they merited that responsibility only with German agricultural settlement “. The Slavs are a mass of born slaves”, Hitler claimed, but under the German peasant “every inch of ground is zealously exploited”. Thus, “all winter long we could keep our cities supplied with vegetables and fresh fruit. Nothing is lovelier than horticulture”. Germans were more advanced because “Our ancestors were all peasants”. But the country suffered from excessive, “harmful” industrialization, causing “the weakening of the peasant”. Hitler considered “a healthy peasant class as a foundation for a whole nation… A solid stock of small and middle peasants has been at all times the best protection against social evils. “Germany’s future”, he claimed in 1933, “depends exclusively on the conservation of the peasant”

    http://www.un.org/en/holocaustremembrance/docs/paper3.shtml

    Nazis were not above using whatever was popular at the time, including Social Darwinist rhetoric. What Aaron and his equally disreputable fellows at the DI want to do is to ignore what actually occurred, ignore the distinction between evolutionary theory and Darwin himself, and to imply that a bit of rhetorical opportunism means that Darwin or “Darwinism” was a substantial cause of the Holocaust.

    I’ve argued at Pharyngula that there is indeed a connection between Darwin and Nazis, largely an illegitimate Social Darwinism piggybacking off of evolutionary theory, and Nazi use of that. But big deal, “Darwinian” ideas predated Darwin by a couple of millenia, and Mendel’s genetics seem to have done more to kickstart ideas of eugenics than did Darwin’s writings. That’s why I don’t keep coming back to such an exceedingly tenuous link between evolutionary theory (which ceased to belong to Darwin almost immediately) and the Nazis.

    Why Aaron does raises questions of why he seems so bent on bringing up this garbage. And why he thinks that Darwin is somehow important when we’re arguing about actual science and its lack of proper application:

    If you’re using Darwinian evolutionary concepts to make sociopolitical arguments (something that Richards’ article shows Darwin himself wasn’t completely immune to doing), your theorizing, whatever its merits or demerits, does have something to do with Darwin.

    So the fuck what, moron? Of course it has something to do with Darwin, what does it have to do with evolutionary theory, other than an illegitimate appeal to it? You’re aping the lying buffoons at the DI, and rightly blasted for such dull plodding stupidity.

    Glen Davidson

  253. 253
    Ichthyic

    vans mentions a number of German thinkers who applied Darwinian concepts to social thought (so it’s disingenuous of you, to put it as nicely as I can, to claim that Social Darwinism is mentioned only once in those three pages

    again, NO, FUCKWIT.

    think about it:

    how long is Evans’ book?

    If it was even a MINOR part of his thesis, do you really think it would take up so little space in it?

    yeah, that’s the fucking point.

    you’re lying.

    like I said, I will actually type out the relevant passages today, verbatim, so people can see just how much you are lying about what Evans thinks the importance of social darwinism was.

  254. 254
    Ichthyic

    If you’re using Darwinian evolutionary concepts to make sociopolitical arguments (something that Richards’ article shows Darwin himself wasn’t completely immune to doing), your theorizing, whatever its merits or demerits, does have something to do with Darwin.

    OK, that’s it.

    I mentioned before that if I grow a small square mustache, it has fuck all to do with Hitler.

    likewise, if I randomly assume someone’s name and project my own thoughts onto it, that has fuckall to do with them.

    you’re quite the disingenuous fuckwit there, buddy.

  255. 255
    Amphiox

    It is well-known that Darwin believed that believed that Africans were more closely related to gorillas than Caucasians, a belief made possible by the concept of evolution.

    No it is not. Other evolutionists at the time and soon after did believe such a thing, but Darwin himself did not, and in fact campaigned against slavery and used his understanding of evolution as his justification for this.

    But even if he did believe this, the prior attitude it was supplanting was that Africans weren’t even humans and not related to Europeans at all, so it still counts as a progressive step forward, for the time.

    It is the standard anti-Darwin slander, to bring up some Victorian-era attitude attributed to him and try to compare it with modern sensibilities, where it comes off badly, without realizing that it only looks bad BECAUSE of all the social progress we have made in the intervening time, much of it inspired at least in part, BY the diffusion of Darwinian evolutionary ideas into the general consciousness.

  256. 256
    Amphiox

    The true relationship between Darwinian Evolution and Social Darwinism isn’t the “parent-child” dynamic that the slanderers so love to point out. It’s actually a “bastard half-brother” thing.

    Darwinism (ie Evolutionary theory as first proposed by Darwin and Wallace) was the child of ancient concepts of Selective Breeding mated Malthusian scarcity. (Modern Evolutionary theory is the child of Darwinism with Genetics)

    Social Darwinism is the child of ancient concepts of Selective Breeding with the pre-existing ideas of racial and social prejudice.

    The only part that Darwinism played in the rise of Social Darwinism was in drawing popular attention and credibility to its own foundational concept of selective breeding, through its increasing popularity, which then went on to combine with other prevailing ideas to produce Social Darwinism.

    And the further popularity and appeal of Social Darwinism after its initial conception had far more to do with the pseudo-Christianity inspired concept of the Great Chain of Being than evolutionary theory.

    It is no more justifiable to blame Darwinism for Social Darwinism than to blame Bill Clinton for the foibles of Roger Clinton.

  257. 257
    raven

    Darwin was open and early in opposing slavery.

    The southern US xian churches were just as open and early in supporting slavery.

    That is why all the US Protestant churches split up during the civil war. That is where the Southern Baptists got their start, supporting slavery, seccession, and the breakup of the USA.

  258. 258
    Aaron Baker

    Glen Davidson wrote:

    “I’ve argued at Pharyngula that there is indeed a connection between Darwin and Nazis, largely an illegitimate Social Darwinism piggybacking off of evolutionary theory, and Nazi use of that.”

    And how does that differ from what I said here?

    E.g. “A lot of the notions contained in Social Darwinisim undoubtedly predated Darwin, but I think there was an (illegitimate) effort to appeal to Darwin in making “struggle for existence” and “survival of the fittest” normative principles of human society.”

    If you were subjected to unremitting personal abuse after throwing off your remark (as I would have been if I’d said the same thing), combined with repeated demands to explain yourself, which somehow never appease the person making the demands, you might find yourself “bent on bringing up this garbage” more than once–at least until you gave up in frustration.

    Then again, when someone, whose position isn’t obviously different from yours, calls you a moron and insinuates you’re a creationist shill, perhaps it doesn’t provoke you the way it does me. Just look at the comment thread here and tell me what an even-tempered reaction you’d have in my place.

  259. 259
    Aaron Baker

    Reverend BigDumbChimp wrote:

    So if I misunderstand and misapply an idea am I really using that idea? Is it honest to claim I am inspired by my strawman version of what I think that idea is saying or means?

    Really?

    Well RBDC,

    it appears to me that an enormous part of the history of ideas and their transmission has been a matter of misunderstanding ideas, or applying them in ways their originators would never have intended (whether fruitfully or not). To take a perhaps less contentious example: Lenin’s effort to establish communism in a country without a large proletariat might have had Marx rubbing his eyes, and perhaps rightly. Are we to say in cases of misunderstanding or not-originally-intended application of A’s ideas by B, that A didn’t influence B? I think that’s wrong as a matter of fact.

  260. 260
    Aaron Baker

    My my, Brownian,

    for a person who regards me as insignificant, you sure blather at me a lot.

    And when you reply to things like:

    You’re right; the idiocy you’ve written deserves a perfect analogy.
    With:

    Good, you admit your analogy sucks.

    You can take any pretense of integrity and choke on it, fucker.

    I’m sorry, Brownian, I didn’t realize you were the only one allowed to be sarcastic here.

    So I’m dishonest, or I’m too a shitty writer to make myself clear, or I’m both. It doesn’t really matter which. What’s really clear here is that any response I make, any effort I make to explain, will incur essentially the same response from you.

    That’s because, despite your hauteur, you’re just one more anonymous internet troll, bravely typing abuse that you’d never get away with in a face-to-face encounter with another human being–if you have such encounters. You and your troll friends just love beating the stuffing (rhetorically) out of some unfortunate Christian or new-ager who stumbles into your lair. It’s bullying without having to break a sweat. And, like other bullies, you definitely don’t like getting it back.

    Except that, in a way, you do feed off it. Well, troll, I’m tired–I’m not feeding you any more today.

  261. 261
    Ze Madmax

    Aaron Baker @ #260:

    “I’ve argued at Pharyngula that there is indeed a connection between Darwin and Nazis, largely an illegitimate Social Darwinism piggybacking off of evolutionary theory, and Nazi use of that.”

    And how does that differ from what I said here?

    It differs in the way that you chose to omit:

    But big deal, “Darwinian” ideas predated Darwin by a couple of millenia, and Mendel’s genetics seem to have done more to kickstart ideas of eugenics than did Darwin’s writings. That’s why I don’t keep coming back to such an exceedingly tenuous link between evolutionary theory (which ceased to belong to Darwin almost immediately) and the Nazis.

    You keep harping on a link that is non-existent. If the only link between Darwin and Nazism stems from the misunderstanding of evolutionary theory on the part of those promoting the idea of Social Darwinism, then there is no link between Darwin and Nazism

  262. 262
    'Tis Himself

    Aaron Baker #262

    That’s because, despite your hauteur, you’re just one more anonymous internet troll, bravely typing abuse that you’d never get away with in a face-to-face encounter with another human being–if you have such encounters. You and your troll friends just love beating the stuffing (rhetorically) out of some unfortunate Christian or new-ager who stumbles into your lair. It’s bullying without having to break a sweat. And, like other bullies, you definitely don’t like getting it back.

    Your concern is noted.

  263. 263
    Andrew

    Hitler hated Christians as much as Jews. Speer said he had to wait untill he had “won the war” to setttle accounts with the Church.

    He killed Millions of Christians in camps in Poland. He declared, “Bolshevism and Christianity are Jewish inventions.”; Dawkins points out in TGD that Hitler said one thing in public and another in private, as revealed in the writings of Goebbells and Speer.

    And then, to top it off, so to speak, this “Catholic in good standing” blew his frigging brains out. Suicide.

    Hardly the actions of a “good” Catholic.

  264. 264
    Stewart

    Andrew wrote:

    “Hitler hated Christians as much as Jews.”

    I won’t bother with more than the first sentence. Just explain to us why a smaller percentage of the total Christian population under Hitler’s control was sent to concentration camps than the percentage of the total Jewish population under his control. If the hatred was equal, why was there a difference in the treatment? I presume you would have no difficulty subscribing to the same sentence, phrased in the other direction: “Hitler did not hate Jews more than he hated Christians.” Your source for that first sentence, please.

  265. 265
    Andrew

    Because, as Speer pointed out in Inside The Third Reich Hitler did not feel he could take on the Church, and the Jews, and the allies at the same time.

    But he hated them all.

    If you had “bothered” with more than the first sentence that would have been clear.

  266. 266
    Stewart

    Sorry, Andrew, nothing you said subsequently backed up that first sentence. I was hoping, by being reasonably polite, to get you to see that yourself. Are you implying that it was Hitler’s plan after the war to have all German Christians gassed with Zyklon B? And are you implying that things he is alleged to have said privately cancel out public statements he made that had the force of law? If so, why?

  267. 267
    echidna

    Andrew described Hitler’s suicide as

    Hardly the actions of a “good” Catholic.

    Hitler was Catholic, no matter how much people might now wish otherwise. I wouldn’t describe Hitler as being a good human, either. But that doesn’t change his status as human.

    My family lived through this time in Austria. I have heard many times, from people who were in the congregations at the time in different parts of the country, how the local priests encouraged people to vote for the incoming Nazis, because they were perceived to be less dangerous than communists. The racism that led to the holocaust was not new to Europe, and hardly introduced by the Nazis. you could almost think of the holocaust as an extension of the Inquisition that had started in the twelfth century and was barely over, so the mindset that it was dangerous to have heretical people about was still there. But the collapse of the empire, the subsequent economic collapse and the treaty of Versailles made people desperate for strong leadership. Hitler was strong and a gifted orator, and initiated public works programs that helped a lot. Unfortunately, he was also insane.

  268. 268
    Pierce R. Butler

    Morrison @ # 176: Hitler killed Millions of Christians, three million Catholics in Poland alone.

    Information about this is often omitted from Holocaust histories, but Susan Zuccoti’s Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy mentions in passing that scholars put Hitler’s Polish-Catholic-civilian toll at 1.3-1.8 million.

    The commonly circulated 3M figure apparently includes Stalin’s WW2 PCc body count: Poland lost a totemic 6M, about half of them Jews. The Jews lost the same total, about half of them Poles.

    The Germans hunted all potential resistance leaders after 9/1/39, so priests were specifically targeted (along with teachers, mayors, cops, aristocrats, veterans…). Well over a million of Pope Pius XII’s Polish sheep were butchered, including one Bishop Wetmanski, whose obituary appeared promptly in the Vatican’s newspaper – without mention of his place of death (Auschwitz).

    Pius XII, fully aware of what was going on but prioritizing his fear of “Bolshevism”, sacrificed at least 1,300,000 of his nominal children, without a murmur, to a man his Church acknowledged a member in full standing.

    This pope’s moral infallibility was matched only by his strategic brilliance. (Why the first Polish pope, a survivor of this bloodbath, added a second layer to this whitewash by nominating Pius XII for sainthood will keep Catholic apologists employed for generations; they may even find sophisticated moral reasoning in der Panzerpapst‘s endorsement of this sanctification.)

    Hitler played the Pope like a violin (or a battered wife); Christ’s Vicar pandered to him accordingly, even after his precious toy nation was safe from the Luftwaffe, even after cathedral bells tolled and prayers rose for the Church’s faithful son Adolf’s entry into Heaven and the grace of the Virgin, and Nazi leaders scrambled for the Vatican “ratlines” out of Germany.

  269. 269
  270. 270
    se habla espol

    Pete Rooke says:
    27 October 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Hitler was no kind of Christian I recognise.

    Of course. One of the fundamentals of christianities is exclusivity: you are not recognized as a True Christian unless you belong to my One True Christianity, or one of the christianities allied to mine.
    In the arrogance of faith, this exclusivity is taken as given by that christianity’s gods. Hitler was RCC and/or Lutheran: Apparently, Petey’s christianity doesn’t allow that combination in its definition of True Christian.

  271. 271
    raven

    Andrew the dumb xian lying:

    Because, as Speer pointed out in Inside The Third Reich Hitler did not feel he could take on the Church, and the Jews, and the allies at the same time.

    But he hated them all.

    This is the last Big Lie of the lowest of xian kooks.

    That they can read the mind of Hitler, someone who has been dead for 66 years. Not believable inasmuch as Andew is clearly a pathological liar.

    Hitler was a good Catholic, and the Nazis were all Lutherans and Catholics. His millions of willing followers were all German christians. Without xians, HItler couldn’t have done anything except sit in a bar and rant and rave.

    Andrew the lying evil xian:

    And then, to top it off, so to speak, this “Catholic in good standing” blew his frigging brains out. Suicide.

    Hardly the actions of a “good” Catholic.

    And afterwards, The Catholic church ordered a Requiem Mass for the Dead said for Hitler. They only do that for Catholics.

    Andrew is clearly lying. Hardly the actions of a “good” xian. But typical, the bad xians outnumber the good ones by some incredible factor. Being a xian doesn’t make people good and has never been a requirement of the religion, more often than not it is the opposite.

  272. 272
    raven

    Andrew the lying evil xian:

    And then, to top it off, so to speak, this “Catholic in good standing” blew his frigging brains out. Suicide.

    Hardly the actions of a “good” Catholic.

    If the xian churches tossed out everyone who violated the Ten Commandments and other rules, they wouldn’t have anyone left.

    There might be a very few but the troll Andrew wouldn’t be one of them.

  273. 273
    hotshoe

    Except that, in a way, you do feed off it. Well, troll, I’m tired–I’m not feeding you any more today.

    teehee
    You’re cute, Aaron.

  274. 274
    raven

    wikipedia:

    Total German deaths during WWII 6,750,000
    to 8,800,000

    The USA and its allies killed 7,000,000 good German christians during WWII and 1/2 million good Italian Catholics.

    This is, of course, because our European enemies during World War II were all christians.

    You really have to be a delusional lying idiot to not realize that people get killed in wars for reasons other than religion. Things like territory, idealogy, and ethnicity are a lot more common.

    The Germans killed Slavs like the Polish and Russians because they were enemy nations that they intended to annex and they were just Slavs anyway so who cares. In many cases those Polish Catholics were killed by…German Catholic soldiers. Roughly half of the German army was Catholic, the other half Lutherans.

  275. 275
    raven

    Andrew the xian kook lying:

    Because, as Speer pointed out in Inside The Third Reich Hitler did not feel he could take on the Church, and the Jews, and the allies at the same time.

    But he hated them all.

    Looks like Andrew is just lying here. According to wikipedia, Speers said no such thing.

    wikipedia:

    According to Hitler’s chief architect Albert Speer, Hitler remained a formal member of the Catholic Church until his death, although it was Speer’s opinion that “he had no real attachment to it.”[18]

    According to biographer John Toland, Hitler was still “a member in good standing of the Church of Rome despite his detestation of its hierarchy, he carried within himself its teaching that the Jew was the killer of God. The extermination, therefore, could be done without a twinge of conscience since he was merely acting as the avenging hand of God — so long as it was done impersonally, without cruelty.”[19]

  276. 276
    raven

    We can draw two conclusions from the Vatican document I cited. First, that as far as the Catholic Church was concerned, National Socialism was an inherently anti-Christian ideology. This immediately casts suspicion on the notion that “Hitler was a True Christian”.

    It didn’t stop the Catholic church from saying a mass on Hitler’s birthday every year.

    It didn’t stop the Catholic church from saying a Requiem Mass for the Dead after Hitler died.

    Hitler was never excommunicated.

    None of the Catholic Nazis were excommunicated except Goebbels. His crime was marrying a divorced Protestant. The RCC has its own priorities and marrying a divorced Protestant was a lot worse than murdering millions of Jews.

    Half of Hitler’s supporters and soldiers were Catholic.

    It’s not for no reason that Pope Pius XII is known as Hitler’s Pope.

    European antisemitism has deep roots going back to the NT bible. The Catholic church kept it alive for 2,000 years. During the middle ages, Catholics frequently massacred Jews. Even today, the Catholic church has antisemitic elements within it that they feebling try to root out every once in a while.

    The German Nazis owe their antisemitism to the Catholic church and its offshoot, Martin Luthers Protestantism. Martin Luther wrote 3 anti-Jewish books and drew up the first final solution plan.

    Darwin had nothing to do with it. In fact, his and Haeckel’s books were banned by the Nazis.

  277. 277
    raven

    BTW Alex, genocide was invented by the xian god. Not Darwin. In Book 1 of the bible, Yahweh kills all but 8 people in the Big Boat incident. It’s a record of mass murder than has never been surpassed or even come close to, at least in percentage terms.

    Racism was invented shortly thereafter. Much of the OT bible is the story of Jews conquering Canaan, massacring the Canaanites, and stealing their land, women and stuff.

    And as you don’t known, the ancient Israelis of the bible were neither atheists or Darwinists.

  278. 278
    raven

    hearnow.org:

    315 Constantine the Great established “Christianity” as the State religion throughout the Roman Empire; issued many anti-Jewish laws.

    379-95 Theodosius the Great expelled Jews from any official gate position or place of honor. Permitted the destruction of their synagogues if by so doing, it served a religious purpose.

    613 Persecution of the Jews in Spain. All Jews who refused to be baptized had to leave the country. A few years later the remaining Jews were dispossessed, declared as slaves and given to pious “Christians” of position. All children 7 years or over were taken from their parents and given to receive a “Christian” education.

    1096 Bloody persecutions of the Jews at the beginning of the First Crusade, in Germany. Along the cities on the Rhine River alone, 12,000 Jews were killed. The Jews were branded second only to the Moslems as the enemies of Christendom.

    1121 Jews driven out of Flanders (now part of Belgium). They were not to return nor to be tolerated until they repented of the guilt of killing Jesus Christ.

    1130 The Jews of London had to pay compensation of 1 million marks for allegedly killing a sick man.

    1146-47 Renewed persecution of the Jews in Germany at the beginning of the Second Crusade. The French Monk, Rudolf, called for the destruction of the Jews as an introduction to the Second Crusade. It was only because of the intervention of Emperor Conrad who declared Nuerenberg and a small fortress as places of refuge for the Jews, and that of Abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, that the result was not quite as devastating as at the time of the First Crusade.

    1181 French King Philip banished the Jews from his domain. They were permitted to sell all movable possessions, but the immovable such as land and houses reverted to the king. Seven years later he called the Jews back.
    1189 At the coronation of Richard the Lionhearted, unexpected persecution of the Jews broke out in England. Most Jewish houses in London were burned, and many Jews killed. All possessions of the Jews were claimed by the Crown. Richard’s successor alone, relieved the Jews of more than 8 million marks.
    1215 At the IV Lateran Church Council, restrictions against the Jews by the church of Rome were issued.
    1290 Edward I banished the Jews from England. 16,000 Jews left the country.
    1298 Persecution of the Jews in Franconia, Bavaria and Austria. The Nobleman Kalbfleish alleged that he had received a divine order to destroy all the Jews. 140 Jewish communities were destroyed, and more than 100,000 Jews were mercilessly killed.
    1306 King Philip the Fair banished the Jews from France. 100,000 Jews left the country.
    1320 In France, 40,000 shepherds dedicated themselves for the Shepherd Crusade to free Palestine from the Moslems. Under the influence of criminals and land speculators, they destroyed 120 Jewish communities.
    1321 Jews were accused of having incited outlaws to poison wells and fountains in the district of Guienne, France. 5,000 Jews were burned at the stake.
    1348 Jews were blamed for the plague throughout Europe, especially in Germany. In Strausberg 2,000 Jews were burned. In Maintz 6,000 were killed in most gruesome fashion, and in Erfut 3,000; and in Worms 400 Jews burned themselves in their homes.
    1370 Jews were blamed for having defiled the “Host” (wafer used in the Mass) in Brabant. The accused were burned alive. Again, all Jews were banned from Flanders and until the year 1820, every 15 years a feast was kept to celebrate the event.
    1391 Persecutions in Spain. In Seville and 70 other Jewish communities, the Jews were cruelly massacred and their bodies dismembered.
    1394 Second banishment of Jews from France.
    1453 The Franciscan monk, Capistrano, persuaded the King of Poland to withdraw all citizens’ rights of the Jewish people.
    1478 The Spanish inquisition directed against the Jews.
    1492 The banishment of Jews from Spain. 300,000 Jews who refused to be “baptized” into the Church of Rome left Spain penniless. Many migrated to the Muslim country, Turkey, where they found tolerance and a welcome.
    1497 Banishment of the Jews from Portugal. King Manuel, generally friendly to the Jews, under pressure from Spain instigated forced baptism to keep the Jews. 20,000 Jews desired to leave the country. Many were ultimately declared slaves.
    1516 First Ghetto established in Venice.
    1540 Banishment of Jews from Naples and 10 years later, from Genoa and Venice.
    1794 Restriction of Jews in Russia, Jewish men were forced to serve 25 years in the Russian military. Many hundreds of thousands of Jews left Russia.
    1846-78 All former restriction, against the Jews in the Vatican State were re-inforced by Pope Pius IX.
    1903 Renewed restrictions of Jews in Russia. Frequent pogroms (massacres); general impoverishment of Russian Jewry.
    1933 Commencement of persecution of Jews in Hitler Germany. Inception of the systematic destruction of 6,000,000 Jews throughout Nazi-occupied Europe.

    Official state xian persecution of the Jews, started in 315 CE with emperor Constantine. He was the very first xian emperor. BTW, Constantine wasn’t an atheist or a Darwinist either.

    It continues for the next two millennia.

    It culminates in the Nazi Holocaust. German antisemitism owes everything to xianity.

    To this day, there are still anti-semitic groups within the Catholic church.

  279. 279
    raven

    Pope called on to condemn bishop’s new anti-Semitic slur | JTA …www.jta.org/…/2011/…/controversial-catholic-bishop-makes-new-ant…Cached
    You +1′d this publicly. Undo
    … on the pope to condemn the latest anti-Semitic remarks by a Holocaust- denying Catholic bishop. … October 19, 2011 … Goldschmidt called for the Church to “suspend negotiations with extremist Catholic tendencies until it is clear that these …

    There are still groups within the RCC that are antisemitic. I suppose you can’t expect a sacred tradition that is 2,000 years old to die out easily.

    It’s no secret the current Pope, Ratzinger, was a member of the Hitler youth. To be fair, I’ve neve seen any indication that Pope Benny is really sympathetic to Nazis.

  280. 280
    se habla espol

    To be fair, I’ve neve[r] seen any indication that Pope Benny is really sympathetic to Nazis.

    There’s no surprise there. Hypocrisy is well known as one of the most precious sacraments of most christianities.

  281. 281
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Traudl Junge, one of Hitler’s secretaries, had this to say about that eminent Christian: “He was not a member of any church, and thought the Christian religions were outdated, hypocritical institutions.”

    And of course, being a lying little weasel, you won’t continue on to explain that he felt that Christianity in its conventional form was “outdated and hypocritical” on the grounds of the true Christian faith supposedly being tainted by Jewish influence, rather than any kind of secular conviction….

  282. 282
    se habla espol

    Alex sez, with correction:

    In theory One could conjecture that a particular human population could diverge from the rest of humanity. From there, it’s just a short step to claiming that a particular group of humans is closer in evolutionary terms to its predecessor than the rest of us. Such a claim might not be true but it could be. I daresay most evolutionists would say that Darwin was simply wrong in this particular case, or that there is no evidence that he was right, but it remains a theoretical conjectural possibility, does it not?

    One can conjecture most anything; around here, a theory is much more than a simple conjecture.
    In order for it to be theoretical, there would first need to be a property defined on species and subgroups that is at least (a) free from presuppositions (i. e., not one that begs the question); (b) not dependent on some property of individuals (e. g., not like intelligence, which, in the human species, has an inverse relationship with fecundity in the fundy christianities); (c) meaningful; along with other appropriate properties.
    In the arrogance of faith, not many christianities would sign off on an unbiased and unbiasable property, one that they couldn’t preload with the answer they want to see. The humility of science requires the lack of bias.
    With an appropriate ordering on this property, you could, conceivably, convert your conjecture (or other conjectures) into hypotheses for evaluation. If the hypotheses cover enough ground, then (and only then) may you use the term “theory” among literate folks such as pharynguloids.

  283. 283
    se habla espol

    Alex sez:

    Anyone who uses an expression like “not many christianities” is in no position to lecture others about literacy.

    I don’t lecture. I just point out the obvious. What does literacy have to do with anything here, anyway? Granted, I do make the occasional offering to Tpyos, but don’t we all?
    Nor do I agree with the gnu accommodationists, the Gnu Atheists who let xtians get away with the pretense that a single, definable “Christianity” exists as a meaningful subject of discourse (except as the set of all christianities, with no unifying characteristics).
    Nor do I pretend that “Bible” is a meaningful, singular reference (except, possibly, referring to the large set of bibles in the wild).

    We know, already, that there are about 35,000 (censuses give totals from 32,000 to 40,000, depending on their identification criteria) identified christianities.
    Each person who considers himself a christian may be “going it alone” (inventing his christianity from scratch) or has adopted his own interpretation and understanding of some other christianity — perhaps one of the ca 35,000, perhaps not. The multitude of individual understandings and interpretations must raise the total number of christianities into the millions.
    Each of these christianities has a bible, constructed from one or more of the various texts titled “Holy Bible” by selection of canon, selection of particular rewrites of the content of that canon, quote mining and interpretation, yielding a number of personal bibles that likely does not exceed the number of christianities, but certainly exceeds the number of identified christianities.
    Are you claiming that there is no more than one christianity? Your own christianity, I trust. Your own bible, too. The arrogance of faith almost guarantees that only your christianity and your bible are True™, in your eyes.

  284. 284
    raven

    alex the creepy troll:

    What’s your source for this?

    Alex is just a creepy troll. I gave a lot of my sources above in the thread. If Alex is too lazy to read the thread, too bad.

    I’m not going to waste time on a troll playing wack-a-mole.

    Catholic Church – Issuepediaissuepedia . org/index.php?title=Catholic_Church&oldid=20121You +1′d this publicly. Undo
    Jul 26, 2010 –

    The only Nazi leader who was excommunicated was Joseph Goebbels, for the crime of marrying a divorced Protestant. The Church apparently

    You can tell the xians have their D team in now. People claiming to be able to read the mind of a long dead German dictator and trolls too stupid and lazy to read a thread..

  285. 285
    raven

    Alex playing wack-a mole:

    Personally I would take anything culled from a Messianic Jewish site with a pinch of salt, but since you repeat these allegations perhaps you would care to do the research they apparently couldn’t be bothered to do and provide me with full details of the precise circumstances of each and every allegation you list, including primary sources. Then I’ll be happy to address them.

    Alex the troll is playing xian wack-a-mole. The troll asks for sources and then complains when sources are given.

    This is what trolls have to do when their lies collide with reality.

    Alex the troll, you are the one claiming the source I used is wrong. It’s up to you to prove that, not me. You can’t and you won’t.

  286. 286
    Ingdigo Jump

    One could conjecture that a particular human population could diverge from the rest of humanity. From there, it’s just a short step to claiming that a particular group of humans is closer in evolutionary terms to its predecessor than the rest of us.

    No it’s a rather LARGE step. A Chimp and a Human are equally distant from their last common ancestor. Marsupials are not the same form of early mammals frozen in time while placental mammals are more advanced, One has just retained a physiological trait the other did not. Bacteria are not “early” or “simple” life, they are evolutionary heavy weights who are as descended from the first proto-bacteria as we are.

  287. 287
    Ingdigo Jump

    As a side note that was one thing I liked about the King Kong remake. In the official material they realized their dinosaurs wouldn’t be a T-rex, but a evolutionary descendent of a T-rex like dinosaur so they modified it’s anatomy and made up a unique name for it.

  288. 288
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Alex, where are you citations refuting our claims? That makes you have the stronger hand. Except, I suspect, you don’t have anything other than trolling available to your meager intellect and honest.

  289. 289
    axilet

    alex@286: Are you for serious?

    Since you believe “Yahweh” is a fictional character created by the “ancient Israelis [sic]“, it follows that they were ultimately responsible for the genocide and racism “invented” by their fictional deity. So you blame the Jews for inventing genocide and racism. Guess that makes you an antisemite.

    Genocide and racism was around way long before the Jews came up with this particular bunch of fairy tales to justify having violent fantasies re: their enemies, moron. It’s hardly unique to them. Furthermore, crime of inventing fake accounts of genocide =/= inventing the concept of genocide. Try harder next time.

  290. 290
    Kagehi

    At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla

    This depends a great deal on interpretation. Its unfortunate that gorilla is in that last sentence, but this is a statement about the loss of *both* other races of men, as well as species like gorillas. And, yes, if you lose all of what, at that time, where considered “closer to human” apes, it widens the gap. Removing whole groups of humans, if you assume, as was believed at the time, that they are species, you “might” lose some traits connecting to other species. And, if you are such a huge asshole that you cherry pick this one section out of his works, to support the idea that blacks where somehow “closer to apes”, while ignoring everything else he wrote about inheritance, what “species” actually means, or doesn’t mean, and a whole host of other things that, taken logically, contradict the idea that such superficial differences *could* make other people “races”, then sure, you could claim that he supported such a contention. You could also test every car on the planet, and find that 5% of them floated, then declare that they where therefor actually boats. It wouldn’t make the conclusions reached, while ignoring every other damn thing known about those cars, any less idiotic.

    But, yeah, if you have an agenda, its possible to find fragments from just about anything, anyone, might ever write on a subject, that can be “extended” to mean complete bullshit.

  291. 291
    Ingdigo Jump

    Genocide and racism was around way long before the Jews came up with this particular bunch of fairy tales to justify having violent fantasies re: their enemies, moron. It’s hardly unique to them. Furthermore, crime of inventing fake accounts of genocide =/= inventing the concept of genocide. Try harder next time.

    Because Jews today are TOTALLY exactly the same as a hypothetical bronze age tribe.

    Just like how all Greeks bare the blood on their hands from the Spartan race.

  292. 292
    Ingdigo Jump

    Fucking Hellenistic mutton loving bastards

  293. 293
    Aaron Baker

    Also posted on the latest installment of the endless thread:

    I’m making this over-long posting because there’s been a controversy here on how to interpret the historian Richard Evans’s views of the influence of Social Darwinism on Hitler and his followers.

    Before I go further, I want to make very clear that I am not now arguing that Evans is right to think so. Robert J. Richards has recently published an article (“Was Hitler a Darwinian”) which to me convincingly documents that Hitler’s most Social-Darwinian-sounding language was derived from the anti-Darwinian Houston Stewart Chamberlain (see pgs. 32-34). (My only reservation would be this: as Evans does make clear, Darwinian terms were tossed so frequently into the toxic stew of racist and elitist theorizing in late 19th- and early 20th- century Germany that it’s simply impossible to prove conclusively that Hitler never sampled the wares of some crank or other who appealed explicitly to Darwin.

    But this posting isn’t about the rightness or wrongness of Evans’s opinions. Rather, it addresses the question of what Evans does, and does not, say about Social Darwinism in his book The Coming of the Third Reich. Further, it addresses the question of whether I am a liar.

    Earlier on the thread, “Hitler was a True Christian,” I contended that Evans, and not Evans alone among scholars of the Third Reich, believes that Social Darwinism influenced Hitler.

    This statement aroused a truly extraordinary series of responses by Ichthyic, the most detailed of which I will now quote (note that where Ichthyic quotes me, I put the passage in italics.)

    [Aaron Baker:] both of them [Ian Kershaw & Richard Evans] thought Social Darwinism had influenced Hitler.

    which Evans book are you talking about then, because THIS ONE [The Coming of the Third Reich], most certainly carefully explains, in glorious and oft repeated detail, that the entire nationalistic scapegoating strategy only culminated with the Nazi party; it really had nothing to do with Social Darwinism, and Hitler was a latecomer to the affair that simply was a good poster boy.

    so you must have projected a great deal on to your reading of that book.
    . . . . . . .
    I’ve read the book {The Coming of the Third Reich, and it’s quite clear on the fact that neither Darwinism, nor social darwinism, were at all important, even in the tiniest degree, in the roots behind the formation of the Nazi party.

    [Aaron Baker:] pp. 34-37 [of The Coming of the Third Reich lists a number of intellectual influences, including German examples of Social Darwinism, that Evans thinks had an influence on Nazism.

    I’ll post the relevant tracts tomorrow, so you can see, that out out 200 plus pages where he builds up what really contributed to this period, social darwinism is actually mentioned in passing ONCE in that section….

    Hell, you even note it yourself! not even the full section of of the 3 fucking pages between 34 and 37 that you cite relates the relevance of it, OUT OF THE HUNDREDS OF PAGES PREVIOUS.
    so, tell me again how wrong I am, fuckwit?

    Are you really trying to lie about what Evans’ thesis actually is, when I HAVE THE FUCKING BOOK RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME??
    go on, I fucking dare you.
    goddamn idiot
    . . . . . . .
    [Aaron Baker:] Evans mentions a number of German thinkers who applied Darwinian concepts to social thought (so it’s disingenuous of you, to put it as nicely as I can, to claim that Social Darwinism is mentioned only once in those three pages.

    again, NO, FUCKWIT.
    think about it:
    how long is Evans’ book?
    If it was even a MINOR part of his thesis, do you really think it would take up so little space in it?
    yeah, that’s the fucking point.
    you’re lying.
    like I said, I will actually type out the relevant passages today, verbatim, so people can see just how much you are lying about what Evans thinks the importance of social darwinism was.

    Icthyic’s position is pretty clear and consistent, if inelegantly expressed: The Coming of the Third Reich is “quite clear on the fact that neither Darwinism, nor social darwinism, were at all important, even in the tiniest degree, in the roots behind the formation of the Nazi party” (emphasis supplied). Social Darwinism is mentioned “in passing ONCE” in Evans, pgs. 34-37 (emphasis Ichthyic’s).

    Ichthyic then draws a few inferences. Because I have said that Evans does regard Social Darwinism as an influence on Hitler, I am not simply mistaken. Instead, I must be projecting a great deal. I am a not just a fuckwit, but a FUCKWIT, and a goddamn idiot. And I’m lying. And he fucking dares me say otherwise.

    Well, I checked today on the “Hitler Was a True Christian” thread, and it seems Ichthyic has not yet fulfilled his promise of typing out pgs. 34-37 of The Coming of the Third Reich for our edification. But that’s OK. I am providing here, not the entirety of those pages, but either a direct quotation or a paraphrase of most of what they say—enough I think to give you a fair and accurate picture of what Evans believes. (The book is very easy to find, so you’ll have no trouble checking the whole section against my treatment of it here, if you wish.)

    (NB: I have italicized all mentions of “Social Darwinism,” plus any other word derived from “Darwin,” and also the first mentions of writers or scientists to whom, rightly or wrongly, Evans imputes Social Darwinian views. I’ve also italicized some of the more pertinent statements.)

    (NB2: Evans’s endnotes are omitted.)

    Pg. 34, section II

    Chamberlain’s work impressed many of his readers with its appeal to science in support of its arguments; his most important contribution in this respect was to fuse antisemitism and racism with Social Darwinism. The English scientist Charles Darwin had maintained that the animal and plant kingdoms were subject to a law of natural selection in which the fittest survived and the weakest or least well adapted went to the wall, thus guaranteeing the improvement of the species. Social Darwinists applied this model to the human race as well.

    Evans next says (section III, pg. 34):

    Chamberlain was not alone in putting forward such views. A variety of authors, scientists and others contributed to the emergence in the 1890s of a new, tough selectionist variant of Social Darwinism, one that emphasized not peaceful evolution but the struggle for survival.

    A characteristic example was Ludwig Woltmann, who argued in 1900 that the Aryan or German race represented the height of human evolution and was thus superior to all others. “Therefore, he claimed, the ‘Germanic race has been selected to dominate the earth.’ But other races, he claimed, were preventing this from happening [pg. 34].”

    Evans goes on from this to make general remarks about the application of notions of Lebensraum to foreign politics, and then says on pg. 35:

    Such visions of international politics as an arena of struggle between different races for supremacy or survival had become common currency in Germany’s political elite by the time of the First World War.

    Then follows a list of WWI-era military ideologues who “saw war as a means of preserving or asserting the German race against the Latins and the Slavs.” The list concludes with General Bernhardi, who had written that war “was a ‘biological necessity.’”

    Evans concludes this part of his analysis with these remarks:

    Foreign policy was no longer to be conducted between states, but between races. Here was one beginning of the downgrading of the importance of the state that was to play such an important role in Nazi foreign policy [pg. 35].

    Evans goes on in the next paragraph to a discussion of some features of “the selectionist turn in Social Darwinism”:

    One aspect of the selectionist turn in Social Darwinism during the 1890s was to put greater emphasis than before on ‘negative selection.[pg. 35]’

    It was all well and good to concern oneself with things like improved sanitation and nutrition:

    But this would do little to counteract the influence of society’s abandonment of the principle of the struggle for survival by caring for the weak, the unhealthy and the inadequate. Such a policy, argued some medical scientists, whose views were reinforced by the emergence of the fledgling science of genetics, was bringing about the increasing degeneracy of the human race. It had to be counteracted by a scientific approach to breeding that would reduce or eliminate the weak and improve or multiply the strong. Among those who argued along these lines was Wilhelm Schallmeyer, whose essay advocating a eugenic approach to social policy won first prize in a national competition . . . . Alfred Ploetz was yet another medical man who thought that the height of human evolution had been reached by the Germans. He suggested that inferior specimens should be sent to the front if a war came, so that the unfit would be eliminated first. Most widely read of all was Ernst Haeckel, whose popularization of Darwinian ideas, The Riddle of the World, became a runaway best-seller . . . . [pg. 35]

    After this wide-ranging and (it has to be said) rather vague catalogue of Social Darwinian ideas, Evans expresses a sensible caution (on pg. 36): “It would be a mistake to see such views as forming a coherent or unified ideology, however, still less one that pointed forward in a straight line to Nazism.” To illustrate this point, he notes that Schallmeyer was not antisemitic, and rejected the idea of Aryan superiority. Woltmann wasn’t hostile to Jews.

    Haeckel certainly argued that capital punishment should be used on a large scale to eliminate criminals from the chain of heredity. He also advocated the killing of the mentally ill through the use of chemical injections and electrocution. Haeckel was a racist, too, . . . . [pg. 36]

    But Haeckel was also a pacifist, thinking that war would be “a eugenic catastrophe.”

    The next paragraph (pg. 36) begins:

    The nearest any of this came to prefiguring Nazi ideology was in the writings of Ploetz, who spiced his theories with a strong dose of antisemitism and collaborated with Nordic supremacist groups. Still, before the First World War there seems little evidence that Ploetz himself considered the ‘Aryan’ race superior to others, though one of his closest collaborators, Fritz Lenz, certainly did. Ploetz took a ruthlessly meritocratic line on eugenic planning . . . . The Darwinist Alexander Tille openly advocated the killing of the mentally and physically unfit, and agreed with Ploetz and Schallmeyer that children’s illnesses should be left untreated so that the weak could be eliminated from the chain of heredity. In 1905 Ploetz and his sometime brother-in-law, the like-minded Ernst Ru[e]din, founded the Racial Hygiene Society to propagate their views [pg. 36].

    This is Evans’s segue to a lengthy discussion of the influence of ideas of “racial hygiene” (pgs. 36-37), which he appears to elide, whether correctly or not, with Social Darwinism.

    Then he says (pg. 37):

    To be sure, for all the discussion and debate over these issues, the effect that such ideas had on government policies and their implementation before 1914 was not very great. Beyond the scientific establishment, propagandists for the breeding of a blond, Aryan super-race, such as the self-styled Lanz von Liebenfells, editor of Ostara: Newspaper for Blond People[!], appealed only to an underworld of extremist politics and tiny, eccentric political sects. Nevertheless, despite all these qualifications, the emergence of these ideas, together with the increasing role they played in public debate, was a significant element in the origins of Nazi ideology.

    (Pgs. 37-39, incidentally, provide further discussion of antisemitism and racial hygiene.)

    A few remarks from me now: a weakness of Evans’s account is a lack of citations to explicit appeals by Hitler and other Nazis to the named scientists and writers. Also, Evans appears to be wrong about Houston Stewart Chamberlain, whom Robert Richards argues pretty convincingly (in “Was Hitler a Darwinian?”) to have been emphatically anti-Darwinist (pgs. 23-24). Evans is also (though this may be unavoidable in discussions of this sort of subject matter) a bit vague, and his eliding of Social Darwinism with racial hygiene may require more substantiation.

    But whether Evans is right or wrong on these points is irrelevant. It’s also irrelevant whether he’s right or wrong on this question: did Social Darwinism influence Hitler?
    All that’s relevant here is: does Evans maintain that Social Darwinism influenced Hitler? Does he maintain that Social Darwinism was among the ideas that formed “a significant element in the origins of Nazi ideology”? I maintain that on an unprejudiced reading of his words, Evans believes both propositions—and that he does explicitly conclude that Social Darwinism was significant.

    Please note also that in these pages, contrary to Ichthyic, Evans mentions “Social Darwinism” quite a bit more than once, and not in passing. It is clearly the main subject of section III. Evans writes “Social Darwinism, -ist, -ian” five times in sections II-III by my count, and he mentions (on a conservative reckoning) at least seven people whom, correctly or not, he regards as Social Darwinians: Chamberlain, Woltmann, Schallmeyer, Ploetz, Lenz, Tille, and Ruedin. Evans calls Tille simply a “Darwinist”; whether Evans means us to take this as shorthand for “Social Darwinist” is unclear, but I suspect he does mean us to do so, as Tille was a philosopher, not a scientist. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Tille)

    Nor are these pages the only ones in the book that give a significant role to Social Darwinism in Hitler’s thinking. On pg. 245, Evans mentions a speech given by Hitler to industrialists on in 1932:

    Delivered in a two-and-a-half-hour oration, these remarks were extremely general, and offered nothing concrete in the way of economic policies at all. They revealed Hitler’s Social Darwinist view of the economy, in which struggle was the way to success.

    I submit it is impossible to read Evans honestly and conclude that he thinks either that:

    Hitler was uninfluenced by Social Darwinism;

    or:

    such influence as existed was insignificant.

    So, Ichthyic, I’m not a liar. You are—or, because of some mental defect, you’re having a very hard time telling fact from fantasy.

    As a bonus: before taking issue with me about Evans, Ichthyic had this to say: “starting right at the beginning of Aaron Bakers inevitable attempts to paint Hitler as an atheist…”

    Another lie. I have repeatedly stated my opinion that Hitler was a theist, as anyone who cares to can check.

    Now Caine, Fleur de Mal and some others have decried examples of repeated assholishness on this site. Well, Caine, I expect you, Glen Davidson, and the rest to descend now with righteous outrage on Ichthyic and demand that he stop his malevolent, dishonest, trollish sliming of me every time I say something he doesn’t fully agree with.

  294. 294
    Ingdigo Jump

    You deserve every insult for cross posting that wall of text to the endless thread after you put it in the relative one.

  295. 295
    Aaron Baker

    And Azkyroth:

    What kind of lying weaseliniess does it take to read Goebbels’s statement that Hitler was “deeply religious but entirely anti-Christian” and assert that it means: Hitler was “deeply religious but entirely anti-Christian”?

  296. 296
    Aaron Baker

    Well, Ing,

    I wanted to make extra-special sure that Ichthyic didn’t miss it.

  297. 297
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Also posted on the latest installment of the endless thread:

    why?

  298. 298
    se habla espol

    Sorry (he says non-apologetically), but life has called me away from the keyboard for a large number of hours. I haven’t delayed my response to read any other possible responses to this:
    alex says: 29 October 2011 at 12:24 pm

    se habla espol:
    What does literacy have to do with anything here, anyway?

    You raised the subject, along with a gratuitous and fatuous insult (“intelligence, … in the human species, has an inverse relationship with fecundity in the fundy christianities”).

    Yes, it’s an insult in the eyes of practitioners of the arrogance of faith to point out to that they are indeed practicing the arrogance of faith. But that insult is strictly of the practitioners’ volition: it’s not the responsibility of anyone else to avoid reality to prevent insult.
    Fatuous: Silly and pointless.
    gratuitous: Uncalled for; lacking good reason; unwarranted.
    [per various dictionaries]
    Why is it fatuous or gratuitous to point out that (a) human intelligence is a voluntary characteristic; it is based on biological faculties, but usage of it is strictly at the volition of the human in question; (b) that both the volitional and biological aspects are heritable; and (c) that a person who chooses a fundy christianity either cannot or will not use intelligence, preferring the arrogance of faith over the humility of reality. The parents pass on their unwillingness and/or inability to their kids (even to use “Christian Love” to beat the willingness to observe and think out of the kids). What’s the consequence going to be of an increased proportion in the population of a subpopulation that is incapable of, or unwilling to use their, intelligence?

    Now then -

    OK it’s a conjecture. But is it a reasonable conjecture given the premises of Darwin’s theory? FWIW other Darwinists I’ve spoken to have said it’s a perfectly conceivable scenario.

    Without the definitions I describe (or usable equivalents), it’s hard to determine what your conjecture actually might be.

    the pretense that a single, definable “Christianity” exists as a meaningful subject of discourse (except as the set of all christianities, with no unifying characteristics).

    Well with enough mental gymnastics you could redefine “Christianity” so that everyone is a Christian.

    You can also, with enough mental gymnastics, define “Christianity” so that noöne is “Christian”. Isn’t that the point? Your definition of “Christian” is bogus in the eyes of many, whatever that definition might be: that’s because “Christian” is not defined; thus it’s susceptible to being defined differently at the whim of the definer.

    Is theologian Don Cuppitt, who doesn’t believe in God, a Christian?

    I don’t know, since the question has no meaning. The word “Christian” only has meaning in the presence of an agreed upon definition, and there ain’t one of those around here anywhere.

    In any case, for the purposes of this thread, it’s reasonable to concentrate on Roman Catholicism since the charge is basically that “Hitler was a true Catholic” or “Nazism derives from/has affinities with Catholicism”.

    But then, “Roman Catholicism” is just the name given to a particular undefined subset of christianities, so this concentration represents hardly any progress. It just eliminates certain christianities from consideration: those well beyond any reasonable attempt at definition. There still remain those christianities for which it is indeterminable whether they are catholic or not.
    It is, however, well established that Hitler was a catholic (by self-identification and by institutional identification), with a strong flavor of lutheranism (yet another undefined subset, of course).

  299. 299
    pelamun

    Some random thoughts:

    Suicide and the Catholic Church
    Even today, the Catholic Church grants funeral rites for those sufficiently famous, even if they committed suicide. Seems to me that the prospect of a state funeral shown on TV is just too delectable to pass up.

    raven

    No-one disputes the long history of antisemitism in Europe, but it would have added to the list if it had included some of the positive steps too – like the Emancipation Edicts of the 19th century, or other places in Europe welcoming Jews who had been expelled elsewhere (like some of the German Jews, especially in the North which had never been Roman). Also, who was the “Noble Kalbsfleish”? It is very unlikely that a nobleman would have been called “mutton”.

    Focus on Catholicism

    In any case, for the purposes of this thread, it’s reasonable to concentrate on Roman Catholicism since the charge is basically that “Hitler was a true Catholic” or “Nazism derives from/has affinities with Catholicism”.

    Which one is it? Do you know so little about German history to know that Martin Luther was German? And I mentioned upthread that the Nazi Party did particularly well in predominantly Lutheran areas, though its origins were in Catholic Bavaria. If we’re looking at the Nazi Party, we have to look at both denominations…

  300. 300
    pelamun

    Sorry, I must’ve forgotten to close a tag properly…

  301. 301
    pelamun

    I’ve checked Evans’ book and indeed he seems to make the connection between Social Darwinist ideas and the Nazis. But many people here, with the notable exception of Ichtyhic, don’t deny this.
    Evans also seems to have an unfortunate habit of conflating Darwinism and Social Darwinism by using terms such as “Darwin’s disciples”. But let’s not forget that his book is written for a general audience. Historians that specialise in the history of Darwinism, and the history of Chamberlain’s ideology, might be more reliable here.

    What they object to, it seems, is that AB is trying to link Darwin’s ideas to Hitler’s by bringing up Social Darwinism every time Darwin and Hitler are mentioned in the same sentence.

  302. 302
    Aaron Baker

    Pelamun wrote:

    “But Aaron Baker misses the point. It’s a thread about Darwinism and Hitler, and not about Chamberlain’s ideas.”

    I think I was writing here about Darwinism and Hitler. I’d always assumed that when Hitler talked about the struggle for existence, he was parroting some Social Darwinist he’d read–and early in the thread I said that he (Hitler) was a Social Darwinist. Then, in the course of the discussion, I read Richards’s excellent paper–which supports quite well the thesis that Hitler wasn’t even influenced by Social Darwinists (if by SDs we understand people who explicit link Darwinian ideas to rightwing normative theories), and links Hitler’s use of Kampf ums Dasein convincingly to Chamberlain.

    I think my chief mistake (when it came to avoiding hostility from others) was in saying the connection of Social Darwinism to Darwin was a matter of misapplying Darwin, rather than being nonexistent. This led me to be accused of dishonestly insinuating in favor of the Darwin-led-to-Hitler line.
    So, for whatever good it does, I’ll emphatically assert here that even if Hitler had picked up a few Darwinian catchphrases from some questionable application of Darwinian ideas to politics, that fact (and it may not be a fact) would obviously not entail Darwin caused any of Hitler’s crimes.

  303. 303
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Aaron Baker has intellectual honesty. But I will not take back any of the invectives I tossed at him. Those were honestly earned.

  304. 304
    Aaron Baker

    “Aaron Baker has intellectual honesty. But I will not take back any of the invectives I tossed at him. Those were honestly earned.”

    Well, Janine, I don’t agree that I earned them, but I wouldn’t have you be anything other than what you are–you’d most likely be less interesting.

  305. 305
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    Aaron Baker, I will explain one of the main problems I have with people who try to link the ideas of Darwin to Hitler. Despite the sound and fury that emits from the likes of Behe, Gish and DI; they have nothing to truly say about the field of biology. And evolution is the main frame that supports just about every thing.

    So many creationists try to stain the name of Charles Darwin. This, despite the fact that a modern biologist can do work without needing to know anything about him or his ideas. People who make the link to Hitler are trying to make a moral argument. Just like the related arguments that Darwin leads to racism (Just ignore all of history.), atheism (Though Voltaire and William Godwin predates him.) and every other perceived modern evil.

    You need to keep in mind why some people keep these kind of attacks on Charles Darwin. It is the idea that if Darwin is discredited, much of modern thought and methods are also discredited. And their religious outlook is somehow verified.

    This argument was never about if somehow Darwin, through a very distorted lens, influenced Hitler. (Though, to make that argument, one has to ignore Hitler’s youth in Austro-Hungarian Empire, his years in anti-semitic Vienna and the history of anti-semitism in Germany) It is about throwing shit on the name of Darwin and hoping that some of it stick. This argument is but one part of the meta argument about modern thought and methods. And you made yourself seem like you were arguing that the creationists have a valid point.

    That is where the vitriol came from.

  306. 306
    Aaron Baker

    Fair enough.

    Darwin is actually one of my heroes (if I thought heaven were anything but a pretty dream, I ‘d like to chat there with him, David Hume, and Thucydides).

    I’ll work on trying to make my points in less needlessly abrasive ways.

  307. 307
    Anton Mates

    alex,

    All the more ironic then, that the Darwinian belief in species mutability could lead to conclusions uncannily similar to the continuation of point 1: ” … that the lowest of them is further removed from the highest than it is from the highest species of animal”. It is well-known that Darwin believed that believed that Africans were more closely related to gorillas than Caucasians, a belief made possible by the concept of evolution.

    Darwin believed that Africans and gorillas were more closely related than Caucasians and gorillas were. That’s sharply different from your point 1, which would imply that Africans and gorillas were more closely related than Caucasians and Africans were.

    Darwin was quite clear that the various races of human resembled one another far more than they did any other species.

    We have seen in the last two chapters that man bears in his bodily structure clear traces of his descent from some lower form; but it may be urged that, as man differs so greatly in his mental power from all other animals, there must be some error in this conclusion. No doubt the difference in this respect is enormous, even if we compare the mind of one of the lowest savages, who has no words to express any number higher than four, and who uses hardly any abstract terms for common objects or for the affections, with that of the most highly organised ape.

    Again,

    Many of these points are of so unimportant or of so singular a nature, that it is extremely improbable that they should have been independently acquired by aboriginally distinct species or races. The same remark holds good with equal or greater force with respect to the numerous points of mental similarity between the most distinct races of man. The American aborigines, Negroes and Europeans differ as much from each other in mind as any three races that can be named; yet I was incessantly struck, whilst living with the Fuegians on board the Beagle, with the many little traits of character, shewing how similar their minds were to ours; and so it was with a full-blooded negro with whom I happened once to be intimate.

    Such a claim might not be true but it could be. I daresay most evolutionists would say that Darwin was simply wrong in this particular case, or that there is no evidence that he was right, but it remains a theoretical possibility, does it not?

    Not under modern evolutionary theory, no. All modern humans share a set of common ancestors which postdate our divergence from other apes, so it’s meaningless to say that any one human population is particularly closely or distantly related to nonhuman apes. On this matter, I think it’s fair to say that Darwin simply didn’t understand the implications of his own theory. He–like many people today–was still influenced by the traditional concept of a “Great Chain of Being,” even though evolutionary theory completely invalidated it.

    Evolutionary theory does allow for human populations to be more or less “apelike” in some particular trait, of course. One population could have more body hair than another, or climb trees better, or perform worse on language-learning tasks, or be fonder of bananas, or whatever you consider to be characteristic of apes. But you don’t particularly need evolutionary theory for that viewpoint. European writers were likening black people to monkeys since at least the early 1700s, and of course they were all creationists then.

    In other words, a false scientific idea led Agassiz to embrace what, from from the perspective of orthodox Christianity, was and is a heresy, namely polygenism. No True Christian he!

    Heresy some considered it, but Christian polygenism went back to at least the 16th century. Paracelsus, Giordano Bruno and Sir Walter Raleigh were proponents, as well as John William Colenso, one of the first Anglican bishops in Southern Africa.

    But it’s true that, by and large, polygenists were consciously unorthodox thinkers. And in some ways the early ones had reason on their side; they pointed out how absurd a monogenist origin for mankind would be given a 6,000-year-old universe, while the Catholic Church tended to oppose polygenism because it conflicted with the doctrine of original sin!

    Alas, with the arrival of a geological timescale and evolutionary theory, there wasn’t much reason to be a polygenist anymore unless you just really didn’t like brown people.

  308. 308
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    One more thing, I just read your little act in the undead thread. Very bad form. Yes, I am very insulting. (Call it my attempt for making up how much I withdrawn in real life.) And I have told some people to drop dead. Sailor was completely out of line to claim that you are part of the Aryan Brotherhood, he deserved a tart retort. But save the drop dead lines for those people who active support policies that brings death to people.

    Also, Ichthyic was hardly chewed up by you. I have been around long enough to know that he would not move his personal bullshit to other threads just to get a response.

  309. 309
    KG
    It is well-known that Darwin believed that believed that Africans were more closely related to gorillas than Caucasians, a belief made possible by the concept of evolution. – alex

    The last sentence is simply a lie. Darwin was a “monogenist”: he believed human beings were a single species with a single evolutionary origin: so he did not believe Africans were more closely related to gorillas than to Caucasians.

    Oh but I’m afraid he did. The relevant passage occurs in The Descent of Man. Here it is in context so no-one can accuse me of quotemining:

    The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those who, from general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution. Breaks often occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies—between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridae between the elephant, and in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or Echidna, and all other mammals. But these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct. At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla. – me

    This passage is important not because it shows that “Darwin was a racist” but because it gives the lie to cosy notions of Darwinism acting as a prophylactic against racism. Darwinism may hold (like Christianity) that all human beings share a common descent, but it also holds that all biological life shares a common descent. Species or subgroups within species can evolve into different species as part of a fluid continuum. In theory a particular human population could diverge from the rest of humanity. From there, it’s just a short step to claiming that a particular group of humans is closer in evolutionary terms to its predecessor than the rest of us. – alex

    Oh but he did not, and the passage you quote does not show what you claim it shows. There is no dispute that Darwin thought Africans were more similar to gorillas than Europeans were to gorillas (emphatically not more similar than Africans and Europeans – I wonder if the ambiguity in your statement was merely careless) and that he was, like practically all Europeans at the time, a racist. Even if he had thought Africans were closer to gorillas than to Europeans, in evolutionary terms more similar does not mean more closely related. Coelocanths are surely more similar to salmon than to humans, but are more closely related to the latter.

    As to “cosy notions of Darwinism acting as a prophylactic against racism”, who has been promulgating such notions? Darwinism itself says nothing specific about the distribution of heritable traits across human populations*, let alone about the sociological phenomenon of racism, and most of us here will be aware of unpleasant recent examples such as James Watson’s racist remarks.

    *Alleged differences between “races” on specific traits are frequently given as the justification for racism, but they are not of course the real source of racist behaviour, instituions and attitudes.

  310. 310
    Proreason

    This Blog and the excellent Comments Section have provided me with clear retorts to, “But Hitler was an atheist!” which I’ve had the pleasure of being told by my Catholic mother (who was parroting Bill O’Reilly). I want more inescapably simple, clear responses!
    So far:
    - No, read his quotes from Mein Kampf about being a Christian
    - No, there is a clear, documented relationship btw Nazi Germany and the Vatican
    - even the damn SS belt buckle read “Gott MIT Uns”!
    - Hitler didn’t commit the Holocaust by himself. The fact that a Christian people can commit such atrocities is the best evidence that being Christian is meaningless in terms of moral superiority. His millions of willing followers were all Lutherans and Christians.

    Would love additional responses for my skeptical arsenal… Thanks to everyone here!

  311. 311
    KG

    What kind of lying weaseliniess does it take to read Goebbels’s statement that Hitler was “deeply religious but entirely anti-Christian” and assert that it means: Hitler was “deeply religious but entirely anti-Christian”? – Aaron Baker

    Goebbels was of course known to his intimates by the nickname “Washington”, because he was notoriously unable to tell a lie. This was something of a handicap in his duties as Minister of Propaganda.

    Seriously, Aaron, get a grip: Goebbels is well known as one of the anti-Christians (more specifically anti-Catholics) among the Nazi leadership: in late 1935, Hitler reined in his campaign of uncovering sexual abuses among the clergy. When he reports Hitler’s attitude, he is almost bound to distort it in his preferred direction. Hitler, in any case, was entirely unconcerned with consistency – he would say, and probably believe, contradictory things in different circumstances, according to what was tactically convenient.

  312. 312
    KG

    Proreason@216,

    See if you can find Derek Hastings’ book Catholicism and the Roots of Nazism:
    Religious Identity and National Socialism
    . Hastings focuses on the early history of the Nazi Party, which drew heavily on a strand of right-wing Catholic nationalism in Austria and Bavaria. Hastings does say that the relationship became less close after the failed Beer Hall putsch of 1923, when Hitler reoriented the party to broaden its appeal to Protestants.

  313. 313
    raven

    Proreason, find Hitler’ Pope The Secret History of Pius XII by John Cornwell. It’s not an obscure book at all, found it at the public library yesterday.

    Cornwell is a Catholic scholar at Jesus college, Cambridge. He started out to write a sympathetic book about Pius XII, the Pope during and before WWII. He couldn’t do it because of what he found in the Vatican archives.

    The RCC had a complicated and changing relationship with the Nazis. But at one point, the RCC decided to make a deal with the Nazis. The Concordat of 1933, traded enabling the Nazis to rule unopposed for favors to the German Catholic church.

    Pacelli, later Pope Pius XII ended up regretting that, but it was too late. He also didn’t do much to stop the Holocaust although he could have. Pius XII had the typical 2 millennia old antisemitic attitude of the RCC. Cornwell says he probably thought massacring 6 million Jews was horrible but the Pope was far more concerned with preserving and extending Catholic power and just ignored it.

    History isn’t at all kind to the role the Catholic church played before and during WWII.

  314. 314
    raven

    wikipedia Hitle’s Pope:

    Hitler’s Pope is a book published in 1999 by the British journalist and author John Cornwell that examines the actions of Pope Pius XII during the Nazi era, and explores the charge that he assisted in the legitimization of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime in Germany, through the pursuit of a Reichskonkordat in 1933. The book is critical of Pius’ conduct during the Second World War, criticizing him for not doing enough, or speaking out enough, against the Holocaust. Cornwell argued that Pius’s entire career as the nuncio to Germany, cardinal secretary of state, and pope was characterized by a desire to increase and centralize the power of the Papacy, and that he subordinated opposition to the Nazis to that goal. He further argued that Pius was antisemitic and that this stance prevented him from caring about the European Jews.[1]

    Cornwell’s book has, of course, been criticized by Bill Donohue class Catholic defenders. The Catholic church almost never admits they were wrong. They’ve tried to rehabilitate Galileo after 4 centuries, but they still aren’t sorry about burning Giordano Bruno at the stake.

    One thing has been clear for millennia. The RCC seems to care more about its own power and wealth than its reason for existing, the religion of xianity and the people that make up the church. That is why there was a Reformation among other events.

  315. 315
    Aaron Baker

    Janine #14:

    Yes, it was bad form. I said so myself, and I repeat my apology here.

    My personal history (black wife and child and all) make me a little more sensitive to the kind of accusation The Sailor made than I might otherwise be. When I said what I did, I thought it obvious that I don’t really want him to go down with his boat; but I do understand how such remarks can be rationally construed in the worst possible sense.

    As for Ichthyic, he thought nothing of publicly & repeatedly callling me a liar over the interpretation of a book, which he obviously got wrong. I had this very poorly thought-out idea of conveying to as many people as possible that the accusation was false. Again, I shouldn’t have done what I did. But publicly accusing someone of being a liar when you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about is also something you should not do–and, I would submit, worse than anything I did last night. I’m still waiting for Ichthyic to be overwhelmed by a raging storm of righteous indignation.

  316. 316
    Aaron Baker

    KG,

    read the Hossbach Memorandum, and the similar remarks of Hitler reported by Speer in his memoir. Combined with Traudl Junge’s account, you have four (non-Table Talk) accounts by people with personal access to Hitler of Hitler expressing hostility to Christianity. The remarks all come from the late 30s and the 40s, after Hitler’s effort to “coordinate” the Xn churches had failed.

    I think the real question is not whether Hitler expressed anti-Xn sentiments later in his career (it’s pretty clear he did); it’s what he really believed re Xnty in the period before his strife with the churches ended in failure. I think agnosticism on that subject is probably warranted; but given his complete dropping of Xnty as an issue from 1937 on, I think it plausible to infer that he had little or no sincere commitment to Xnty before then. But I certainly admit I can’t prove that.

  317. 317
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Aaron Baker

    Why is it so hard to accept that like now, Nazis saw those who disagreed as “not TRUE Christians?”

  318. 318
    Aaron Baker

    KG,

    another observation: I think it’s an occupational hazard for historians of the Third Reich that so many of their sources are Nazis, pretty much unreliable narrators by definition. But this goes at least as much for Hitler, the arch-liar and arch-manipulator, as any of the others. I’m a little bemused at how readily people will take public statements by Hitler at face value without a second thought.

    The most trustworthy testimony for me is Col. Hossbach, a military functionary whose job was to make an accurate summary of a crucial speech Hitler gave to his generals during the run-up to war. He reports Hitler opining on the desintegrative effect of Xnty on the Roman Empire:

    The British Empire and the Roman Empire could not be compared in respect of permanence; the latter was not confronted by any powerful political rival of a serious order after the Punic Wars. It was only the disintegrating effect of Christianity, and the symptoms of age which appear in every country, which caused ancient Rome to succumb to the onslaught of the Germans.

    Why would Hossbach have made this up?

    This theme of Xnty as having been destructive of the Ancient World is echoed by Goebbels (without, so far as I know, any knowledge of Hossbach’s memorandum):

    [Hitler] expressed his revulsion against Christianity. He wished that the time were ripe for him to be able to openly express that. Christianity had corrupted and infected the entire world of antiquity” [Elke Frölich, Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels, Teil I, v. 6, p. 272]

    Speer atributed to Hitler a somewhat similar statement in his memoir many years later:

    You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?” [Speer, Inside the Third Reich, p. 96]

    Speer and Goebbels were both as veridically challenged as any other career Nazi. However, Hossbach, the sober factotum, agrees with them here.

    If you like, you can take these reports, together with more positive private statements about Xnty, and interpret them as Hitler, always the consummate political juggler, conciliating and controlling both his Christian and anti-Christian henchmen. But what did the man really believe? I think the core of his religious belief was God or Destiny, of whom, or which, in his egotism he believed he was a chosen agent. He’s consistent about that idea both in public and private.

  319. 319
    Janine Is Still An Asshole, OM,

    And yet the Holocaust would not have happened if catholic and protestant true belivers did not play their part.

  320. 320
    Aaron Baker

    @25:

    You get no argument from me on that point.

    It may be have been the biggest moral failure on the part of any Christian churches anywhere–which is saying quite a bit.

  321. 321
    Ing

    I despise the idea that because Hitler was a liar he clearly wasn’t a believer. Belief in a greater good has time and time again shown no sign of preventing people from lying. He was a horrible bastard…but he very well could have been a horrible bastard who believed in his horrible bastard world view.

  322. 322
    Ing

    I mean there’s not the same discussion that Stalin wasn’t really a communist or really an atheist because he was a notorious liar. This debate is always one sided

  323. 323
    Watchman

    As truly interesting as this thread has been, the teasing out of Hitler’s precise religious leanings is, in my mind, considerably less important than recognizing how easily he leveraged God-soaked nationalism to his advantage. That’s the true horror of the Holocaust: not that one small group of men imagined it, but that they made it real. Fascism, “wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

    On a side note, let us not forget this.

  324. 324
    Watchman

    I mean there’s not the same discussion that Stalin wasn’t really a communist or really an atheist because he was a notorious liar. This debate is always one sided.

    QFT.

  325. 325
    raven

    This is silly.

    Being a notorious liar is almost a requirement for being a xian.

    Lying is one of the 3 sacraments of fundie xians.

  326. 326
    aaronbaker

    “I despise the idea that because Hitler was a liar he clearly wasn’t a believer.”

    I think you’re missing my point. Because he was a liar, evaluating his statements, public and private, is more difficult than it would otherwise be. It has no bearing at all on whether he was a believer.

  327. 327
    se habla espol

    I think the core of his religious belief was God or Destiny, of whom, or which, in his egotism he believed he was a chosen agent. He’s consistent about that idea both in public and private.

    And that is different from the arrogance of christian faiths, just how? You’ve just described the “Personal Relationship with [his] God” that xtians imagine for themselves. Hitler exhibited qualities that made him an excellent leader for those christianities (catholicisms and lutheranisms) that agreed with the goals he imagined his gods to have given him; and to resurrect the RCC tactics that the RCC didn’t think they could get away with any more.

  328. 328
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    The other issue with the argument that Hitler didn’t personally believe that he sure as hell acting in public like he did believe, so as to keep the loyalty of his devout followers. A consummate liar, yes absolutely. He was always quite careful to strike a tone of piety in public, though, no matter what he actually believed.

  329. 329
    pelamun

    Ah, this thread is still alive ;)..

    So since someone brought up Stalin and communism, I was wondering if calling him and his regime atheist actually is all that useful.

    First, personal background of Stalin: I know he dropped out of the seminary for orthodox (?) priests, which might explain his stance towards religion. But then I also read that he once believed to have received a sign from heaven, upon which he reinstated the Patriarchy of Moscow. Not exactly an atheist stance either.

    Could a case be made that his regime was actually anti-clerical instead of atheist? Usually, and this is why I’m also against dictionary atheism, atheism also includes a rational approach in general. Stalin is well known to have meddled in scientific matters himself, ranging from linguistics to botany, that also being hardly a scientific approach.

    Or would this just be a variant of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy? I’m just growing tired of the fact that theists always bring out the communist regimes when they want to talk about the alleged evils of atheism…

  330. 330
    julian

    The burden of proof is with the accuser — innocent till proven guilty and all that.

    Evidence has been given. You have denounced this evidence. As the accuser it up to you to explain hy evidence provided is false according to your standards.

  331. 331
    JUMA JUMA NASSIB

    IF CHRISTIANS DISOWN HITLER, THEN THEY SHOULD DISOWN THE BIBLE AS WELL!
    REASON? WELL, I REMEMBER READING SOMEWHERE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT “GOD” ORDERING THE JEWS TO COMMIT AN “ETHNIC CLEANSING!”…… “KILL ALL THE……”

  332. 332
    Watchman

    What is the real source of racism?

    Tribalism and xenophobia.

  333. 333
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Alex the idjit

    I don’t need to refute your claims, as you have not substantiated them.

    That’s not how science works. You make claims against present knowledge, you are the one to put up or shut the fuck up. I guess you need to shut the fuck up, as I made no claims. I simply pointed out your lack of evidence to support your claims, which you acknowledged is the case. Citation, or shut the fuck up.

  334. 334
    Ing

    Maybe so, but the fact remains that a particular human subgroup could diverge from the rest of the human population, notwithstanding the fact that the latter might continue to evolve along different lines.

    If you separate two groups of people and put them in radically different environments you will over geologic time get different divergent traits and possibly speciation.

    If you put people in a dome and kill sated anyone who demonstrated intelligence or creativity above a certain metric you could guide the evolution away from higher brain function.

    What’s your point? It hasn’t happened, nor is it a ladder.

  335. 335
    Ing

    Seriously, what are you arguing? Your claim is still wrong. Everything evolves in response to the environment. Nothing is ‘more’ evolved than any other form of life because it all traces back to one genetic bottleneck. If anything Bacteria and simpler life forms are more evolved because their generation time is shorter.

  336. 336
    se habla espol

    alex:

    So “a person who chooses a fundy christianity” is either too stupid or too wilfully blind to appreciate “reality”. Perhaps you could define what you understand by “a fundy christianity”?

    A christianity is the bundle of imaginings held as True by a christian, that he uses to justify his christian self-identification. A fundy (or fundamentalist) christian is a person who identifies himself, by his christianity, as a fundamentalist christian.

    se habla espol:

    What’s the consequence going to be of an increased proportion in the population of a subpopulation that is incapable of, or unwilling to use their, intelligence?

    Well in Darwinian terms, I guess it would depend on whether their stupid/blind faith increases or decreases their chances of survival.

    Harken! A classic apologist maneuver! When a question is embarrassing, change the subject, subtly, hoping that nobody will notice. I’ll address the original topic, before digging into the attempted sidetrack.
    The quote from me is a semi-rhetorical question, in partial response to alex’s challenge of an earlier remark of mine: “…intelligence, which, in the human species, has an inverse relationship with fecundity in the fundy christianities”, as a example of a factor that could not be used in determining any metric concerning species or subspecies. The context makes the point that fundies, by the necessity of their arrogance of faith, must either already be below par in intelligence or refuse to use whatever intelligence they may have: these are heritable characteristics. The obvious short-term (decades, small number of centuries) consequence is lowering the population’s intelligence.
    Instead of addressing, or simply ignoring the question in context, the christian apologist misrepresents ToE, in two ways. First, “Darwinian” refers strictly to Darwin’s original publications, which has the same relationship to more developed evolution theory as a building’s foundation has to its upper floors: the same basic shape, but a lot less interesting, and much less usable. He also refers to the fundies’ “chances of survival,” which is only marginally related to the evolutionary (and Darwinian) concept of “chances of reproduction”.

    Without the definitions I describe (or usable equivalents), it’s hard to determine what your conjecture actually might be.

    I don’t pretend to match your understanding of evolution, but I suspect you’re being evasive here.

    Well, certainly: from the ‘worldview’ that uses the arrogance of faith, definitions are to play games with, and have no consistent meaning from utterance to utterance. To that worldview, insisting on solid definitions is “being evasive”, since there are no such things.

    Doesn’t evolutionary theory hold that humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor? If so, is there any reason why two divergent species could not evolve from a common human ancestor?

    I don’t see any reason that some such process might occur. When you speak of theory, a hypothesis, or even a well-formed conjecture, definition is necessary. The humility of science requires it, so that the scientists can understand when they’re discussing, observing, and measuring the same thing. The arrogance of faith revels in subjectivity — personal and unsharable imaginings; the humility of science recognizes the futility of that, and works hard to minimize subjectivity in order to produce the most accurate, objective results it can.
    These two questions are a tad clearer than the original, which postulated a metric — a distance between species and between subspecies. Absent an actual metric, the conjecture has precious little meaning. This version of the original conjecture has eliminated the need for a metric; consequently, it’s a trivial word game, suitable for faithies, in their arrogance, but meaningless in reality.

    Your definition of “Christian” is bogus in the eyes of many, whatever that definition might be: that’s because “Christian” is not defined; thus it’s susceptible to being defined differently at the whim of the definer. …

    Including the whim of someone who categorically defines someone else as subscribing to “a fundy christianity”?

    Who does that? Look again at the discussion of fundies.

    “Roman Catholicism” is just the name given to a particular undefined subset of christianities, so this concentration represents hardly any progress. It just eliminates certain christianities from consideration: those well beyond any reasonable attempt at definition. There still remain those christianities for which it is indeterminable whether they are catholic or not.

    The Roman Catholic Church defines a Catholic as a baptised person who accepts (or at least doesn’t knowingly dissent from) certain clearly defined propositions. What’s problematic about that self-definition?

    Nothing, in principle: but that’s an institutional definition, not a self-definition. It’s also a de jure definition, and differs from the de facto definition, according to reports that have been published right here in Pharyngula.

    It is, however, well established that Hitler was a catholic (by self-identification and by institutional identification), with a strong flavor of lutheranism (yet another undefined subset, of course).

    It is by no means well-established. And if both Catholicism and Lutheranism are essentially undefined and indefinable, what sense does it make to define someone as a “a catholic … with a strong flavor of lutheranism”? What does that even mean?

    It doesn’t make much sense to “define someone as a catholic”. That’s why I didn’t attempt any such definition. Instead, I observed a self-identification, an institutional identification, and behavior.
    As I said in the very sentence that you quoted: Hitler self-identified as a catholic, and self-identification is the only real definition of a christian and of a catholic. Hitler was identified by the RCC as one of their kinds of catholics. Hitler exhibited certain traits that characterize (roughly, not definitively) the various lutheranisms. Where’s the definition?

  337. 337
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    A claim that isn’t substantiated isn’t “present knowledge”. People wouldn’t have taken Darwin seriously if he hadn’t marshalled evidence to support his theories.

    And you failed to substantiate your claims. Liar and bullshitter, nothing you say is to be taken as anything other than your apologetic opinion. You have had your chance to prove yourself. You did, but not the way you wanted. You lost your chance to be the expert.

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