Shermer’s disgrace continues apace


Not that it will cost his reputation in the skeptic community anything — he is the master of falling upwards. But recently he has been saying really stupid things on Twitter to defend the alt-right, including this bizarre declaration:

Yeah, right. As we’re seeing in the American concentration camps today, German Nazis didn’t have a monopoly on evil. Ordinary, not-very-bright American Trumpkins are doing a phenomenal job of imitating them right now. Shermer had even more to say, though, including this astonishing canard: Good to remember that Nazi=National Socialism. Not far right but far left. Do we really need to debunk this exercise in naive etymology anymore?

Also, in case you didn’t get the memo, Nazis were not atheists, but were generally Lutherans and Catholics. They also weren’t demonic satanists incarnate.

Anyway, just enjoy Rebecca Watson’s thorough takedown of this skeptic fraud.

Comments

  1. garnetstar says

    “Uniquely evil”? How can anyone say that, knowing that his own country held people as slaves for three centuries? That his own country carried out a genocide against native americans?

    There is no uniquesness in evil: it is depressingly similar everywhere.

  2. says

    Yes that’s incredibly stupid. The name of the party translates as National Socialist but they murdered actual socialists en masse and were allied with Germany’s capitalists. Utterly inane. The official name of North Korea is the Democratic People’s Republic so obviously it’s a democracy and a republic and the people rule. QED.

  3. chrislawson says

    Also, when the party changed its name to NAZI, Hitler was a vocal opponent. But he was not in charge of the party yet. The easy way to tell that the Z in Nazi was not an accurate representation of their politics as that two of their most hated political targets were trade unionists and communists.

  4. chrislawson says

    Seriously, why does anyone in the skeptic community think Shermer represents skeptical thinking? This is about as thoughtless a regurgitation of duplicitous political propaganda as possible.

  5. raven says

    Michael Shermer, the total idiot and troll:

    As tempting as it is today to analogize groups we don’t like today to the Nazis, Nazism was unique and uniquely evil.

    This is just wrong.

    The Nazis were just us.
    Any group of people under the right conditions can produce groups and leaders just like the Nazis.
    We in the USA have done it before.

    .1. American slavery was brutal and evil, even by slavery standards.
    .2. This continent was occupied by Native Americans. All of which were almost genocided one way or another and eventually moved to out of the way Reservations.
    .3. The US had concentration camps for the Indians. They had concentration camps for the Japanese-Americans during World War II.
    Some of these same concentration camps are now being used with atrocious conditions on asylum seekers from south of our border.
    .4. I grew up during the Vietnam war.
    We killed around 2 million Vietnamese, mostly civilians, for no good reason or purpose.

    Shermer long ago vaporized his credibility.
    This is just him, in a deep hole, still digging away to complete irrelevancy and mediocracy.

  6. Saad says

    Didn’t this harasser also say he sort of believes in ghosts? Or am I thinking of a different atheist skeptic?

  7. raven says

    Also, in case you didn’t get the memo, Nazis were not atheists, but were generally Lutherans and Catholics.

    QFT.

    .1. The group that actually carried out the Holocaust was the SS.
    They prohibited atheists from joining!!!
    Wikipedia: In fact, atheism was banned within the SS as Himmler believed it to be a form of egotism that placed the individual .
    The SS was almost all Lutherans and Catholics.
    As was the Nazi leadership.

    .2. The Holocaust was a xian production from start to finish.
    The roots of anti-semitism are in the New Testament bible, mostly in Matthew and John.
    Martin Luther drew up the first plans for the Final Solution of genocide.
    The Nazis, almost all xians, carried it out.

  8. weylguy says

    Also, in case you didn’t get the memo, Nazis were not atheists, but were generally Lutherans and Catholics. They also weren’t demonic satanists incarnate.

    True. In his Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote “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.”

  9. raven says

    My father, like many Boomer parents, fought in WW II.
    I was raised to consider the Nazis and the Germans as a synonym for evil.

    It’s not that simple.
    There was a lot of opposition in Gemany to the Nazis and the Holocaust.
    One of the reasons the SS was formed was because the German army wasn’t interested in rounding up civilians and massacring them.
    A lot of Germans might not have liked the Jews, but they weren’t all that crazy about genociding them either.

    The Nazis managed to seize power more or less legally and then used a lot of force to maintain and extend their power.
    When being an anti-Nazi German became a death penalty offense, most opponents learned to keep silent.

    As it dismaying as it is, the Germans were just us.
    Under their conditions, most Americans would behave like most Germans.

    This is worth knowing because knowledge is power.
    You know what to watch out for and what not to do.
    Without eternal vigilance, it can happen here!!!

  10. says

    Without eternal vigilance, it can happen here!!!

    It is happening here.

    The question is how much worse it will get. They are already rounding people up and putting them in camps. What’s next? Right where we are now: letting them die of misery and neglect until someone says “let’s give it a nudge.”

  11. Akira MacKenzie says

    So, the Nazis are the “Far Left.”
    The KKK are “Liberal Democrats.”
    Black is white.
    Up is down.
    Ignorance is strength.

  12. dianne says

    Without eternal vigilance, it can happen here!!!

    Has happened here. Everyone voting for Trump knew what he was when they voted for him. In comparative evil terms, Hitler never got more than about 1/3 of the German vote whereas nearly 50% of USian voters went for Trump. So who’s the ultimate evil?

  13. microraptor says

    Didn’t Shermer once try to claim that American slavery was a net positive for black people?

  14. Pierce R. Butler says

    Correction to my # 16: the “new book” excerpt, which compares Trump’s campaigning to Hitler’s, was published in 2016, but I can’t find any info about the book itself.

  15. kome says

    Isn’t it funny how people who like to label Nazis as a far left group, the KKK a democratic organization, or argue that the caging of children was really started under Obama, and so on and so forth don’t actually fight against any of those things despite saying they oppose the left, Democrats, Obama, etc.?

    It’s almost as if they’re being disingenuous and just want any excuse to try and stop people from fighting against racism, antisemitism, and the like.

  16. says

    I’m pretty sure that Ian Kershaw’s Hitler biography is only two volumes, “Hubris” covering Hitler’s birth through 1936, and “Nemesis” covering 1936-1945. Kershaw later condensed the material into a single volume, “Hitler: A Biography,” and has published numerous shorter works on Hitler, but not a 3-volume biography. The notable three-volume history of the Nazi regime is Richard J. Evans’ “Third Reich Trilogy.” Neither Evans nor Kershaw would agree with the statement that the Nazi’s were uniquely evil.

  17. davidc1 says

    @20 I was going to point out that Kersaw’s biography was in two volumes .I have read them ,plus Evans Third Reich Trilogy .
    Number one niece thinks i am a Nazi because i have a lot of books about The Third Reich .

  18. cartomancer says

    As an historian, I’d put things a little differently.

    Yes, the Nazis were a unique phenomenon, and a unique kind of evil. But so was every other thing in human history. All events are unique, and no historical occurrence is a carbon copy of another. There are all kinds of unique evils in our past and still are in our present. Nero was a unique kind of evil. The conquistadores were a unique kind of evil. The crusaders were a unique kind of evil. The British imperialists in India were a unique kind of evil. We get absolutely nowhere trying to establish a hierarchy of evils and choosing one to top the list as the undisputed acme of nastiness. That’s an utterly childish thing to try to do.

  19. wzrd1 says

    The first reality is that of history, the Republican party’s senior levels were accepting fascism and Nazism, right until the concentration camps were revealed, their pale efforts, due to that entire war thing, previously, loud championing, went dark.
    Somehow, people think that went away, by magic.
    Just as phrenology went away.
    Chiropractic “medicine” went away.
    Modern medicine failed, due to an inability to detect “vital fields”.
    Eugenics turned into a dirty word for a reason, it attacked the weakest for no real reason.
    And Hitler started out exterminating “idiots” and the “infirm”, from nursing homes, then started his camps campaign, desensitizing the masses.

    Something new? Nope, age old, that it was correlated and focused was novel
    What Hitler did was focus things on The Other, via an electron microscope intensity and burn out their grids, repeatedly.
    Just as a TEM isn’t new, it’s old hat for me, prepared grids of all sorts in my day and that was back in junior high school and high school. Since, well, knowledge improves in time for those willing to learn.

    @23, not at all new, I can draw parallels back to Julius Caesar, so can you, if you open your eyes without rose colored glasses.
    Exercising military power to acquire regional power is not unique at all, history is replete with it.
    None are precise duplicates of each other, but the lesson taught by history was ignored and hence, repeated horrors.
    That a shade of the same color spectrum is like saying one bed bug species is better than the other, giving zero reasons as to how.
    And that’s out of two species!
    Humans have many more political flavors.
    As bad as “get rid of the two party system”, ignoring history yet again, as usual, as we’ve had far more than four parties throughout our nation’s history, the two party system of today is relatively rare, in its Imperial Standing.

  20. ck, the Irate Lump says

    cartomancer wrote:

    We get absolutely nowhere trying to establish a hierarchy of evils and choosing one to top the list as the undisputed acme of nastiness. That’s an utterly childish thing to try to do.

    I think the point of this kind of thing isn’t to establish a hierarchy, but to set them off from the body of humanity so that no introspection is ever required. That way, you can say that this is a unique evil, but since I’m not part of that evil, I don’t need to worry about the things I’m accepting today. It separates and places hard barriers between us and the past which is very comforting.

  21. says

    dianne
    3 July 2019 at 10:50 am

    Without eternal vigilance, it can happen here!!!

    Has happened here. Everyone voting for Trump knew what he was when they voted for him. In comparative evil terms, Hitler never got more than about 1/3 of the German vote whereas nearly 50% of USian voters went for Trump. So who’s the ultimate evil?
    Yes it has happened here in more ways than one slavery, native genocide… I do not agree everyone that voted for trump knew what he was. Most of them are not that smart. They are very ignorant

  22. dianne says

    @26 Margecullen: Then what did Trump voters think they were voting for? There’s really just nothing else to him but racism. They knew. They knew and they did it anyway. They knew and they voted for him because of it, not despite it. No excuses. The people of the US in 2016 were obviously and distinctly worse than the people in Germany in the early 1930s. The country is unredeemable. Well, maybe not entirely. A multinational invasion with complete reformation of the government followed in 20-30 years by an internal denazification might do it. But nothing short of that.

  23. A Sloth named Sparkles says

    What’s frustrating about this is that nearly half of the IDW, including Shermer, decried against Trump, yet keep falling in with his crowd and attract more far right nuts than they should’ve admitted. Using “freedom of speech” as a shield to defend hypocrisy, they’ll keep defending more nuts while ignoring the plight of minority skeptics & atheists.

  24. KG says

    nearly half of the IDW, including Shermer, decried against Trump, yet keep falling in with his crowd

    Easy to understand: they found Trump’s vulgarity and incoherence embarrassing, but agree with his racism and misogyny.

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