Hitler & Nazism. Not Atheist.


I have heard it argued–not exactly sure what it has to do with anything but nevertheless…that Hitler was an atheist and Nazism was an atheist movement.

I have also seen websites highlighting Hitler’s speeches that indicate he considered himself to be doing god’s work.

The below link was made in tribute of the brilliant, passionate warrior against the oppressions and delusions (and harm to society and self-esteem) of religion, the late Christopher Hitchens.   Anyone who thinks Hitler was an atheist or his Nazi movement was atheist, should go 15 minutes into this and take a listen the reasons Hitchens disagrees. 

http://youtu.be/KR1uorQWNDg

 

 

Advertisements

101 comments on “Hitler & Nazism. Not Atheist.

  1. Hitchens makes some good points about Hitler and the Nazis, and I don’t think it’s fair to characterize Hitler and the Nazis as exclusively atheist. Nonetheless, Hitler and other prominent Nazis like Himmler were lapsed Catholics/Christians and had some very strange religious beliefs that are (quite obviously) in opposition to Christianity. Hitler’s religious beliefs in particular are quite murky and strange (“Aryan Christ” and all that). Moreover, there was a dose of atheism present in Nazism and the SS and I think Hitchens goes a bit too far in distancing atheism from the Nazis. Consider the following:

    A flood of anti-Christian propaganda was loosed on the heads of the [SS Verfugungstruppe*] to compel them to renounce all the rules of bourgeois Christian morality and to sever all ties with the Church. The Verfugungstruppe became a stronghold of that atheism peculiar to the SS which, in their perverse terminology, the Nazi propagandists christened “Gottglaubigkeit” (belief in God). By the end of 1938 53.6% of Verfugungstruppe men had left the Church, a figure surpassed only by the even more rabid SS Totenkopfverbande** with 69%. Many men were literally compelled to leave the Church…Every opportunity was taken to humiliate and ridicule [those who had not left the Church]…The young Verfugungstruppe officers were continually called upon to prove their uncompromising opposition to the Christian message of reconciliation and tolerance, which the SS regarded as un-German. From the outset they were ordered to abjure the Christian faith as a destructive, effeminate and “Jewish” doctrine. — Heinz Hohne, “The Order of the Death’s Head: The Story of Hitler’s SS”, pp. 449-450

    * Precursor to the Waffen-SS.
    ** “Death’s Head Units” which were responsible for the administration of the concentration and death camps.

    The Nazis and SS had such bizarre beliefs about religion that it’s difficult to characterize them as either religious or atheist (and they were ultimately a political organization anyway). I think such characterization is ultimately beside the point and a waste of time (as you say yourself, you’re “not exactly sure what it has to do with anything”).

    • Good information, thank you.

      What I take issue with is the fact that so often Christians bring up Hitler or the idea that Hitler and Nazism were atheist, when they were not, like that’s some kind of argument against being an atheist. One has nothing to do with the other, for one. But also…all evil in the world is not the fault of atheists any more than all evil in the world is the fault of Christians. It is a fact that religion can and has motivated good people to do very evil things. When atheists do evil things it’s usually not because they are atheists, but rather for seeking power, wealth, etc. Oh wait, never mind. The same can be said for theists. 🙂

      • I agree that evil acts are usually motivated by things like lust for power and wealth, whether those evil acts were committed by someone with or without religious beliefs. In Hitler’s case I think he was motivated primarily by lust for power.

      • I very much agree, Null. About Hitler’s motivation being power. And I agree that the Christian god is evil. One reason I would not follow him even if I did think he exists.

      • “And I agree that the Christian god is evil. One reason I would not follow him even if I did think he exists.”

        As a Christian I definitely do not think God is evil. In any case, it makes no sense to say that God is evil yet also say that you don’t believe He exists. Either He exists and you think He is evil, or He does not exist and as a nonexistent being He would be neither good nor evil.

      • He does not exist anymore than Zeus exists or Hercules exists or Mithras exists or unicorns exists. However, I can look at unicorns and say this imaginary creature, if I chose to put it in my imaginary world, would likely be benigh. Or I could look at trolls and say these imaginary creatures, if I wanted to put them in my imaginary world, they would likely be evil. Same goes for your imaginary super being. I was a Christian for over 30 years only because I was ignorant and did not think outside the box the churches I went to built for me. When I started actually reading the bible cover to cover, I realized that the protagonist in that story–GOD–is not a nice fair or just guy, and I’m very glad he doesn’t exist because if he did…holy shit. SATAN, who Christians call evil, has killed oh, maybe 10 people in the bible. GOD on the other hand, in addition to ordering rape of 3200 young virgins and the dashing to pieces of little children, has killed or ordered the slaughter of over 400,000.00. If the bible is to believed that is. And that doesn’t count the mass genocide he committed by sending the (again mythical) flood.

      • “I can look at unicorns and say this imaginary creature, if I chose to put it in my imaginary world, would likely be benigh. Or I could look at trolls and say these imaginary creatures, if I wanted to put them in my imaginary world, they would likely be evil. Same goes for your imaginary super being.”

        1. I notice you say that unicorns and trolls and other imaginary creatures are only LIKELY to be good or evil, yet you say definitively that God is evil despite the fact that you consider him to be an imaginary creature, too. Odd.

        2. It still makes no sense to judge nonexistent, imaginary things. It’s a waste of time. Who cares if unicorns are good or evil? They don’t exist! Likewise, who cares if God is good or evil if He doesn’t exist? It wouldn’t matter.

        “When I started actually reading the bible cover to cover, I realized that the protagonist in that story–GOD–is not a nice fair or just guy, and I’m very glad he doesn’t exist because if he did…”

        Okay, where do you derive your sense of “nice”, “fair”, and “just”? Is morality universal or subjective?

      • “I notice you say that unicorns and trolls and other imaginary creatures are only LIKELY to be good or evil, yet you say definitively that God is evil despite the fact that you consider him to be an imaginary creature, too. Odd.”

        Why is this odd? I say these other imaginary beings are only likely to be good or evil because you can find a multitude of fantasy fiction novels that have either unicorns or trolls in them and depending upon the author, they can be by nature however the author wants them to be. 9 out of 10 times unicorns are portrayed as good or pure creatures. 9 out of 10 times trolls are depicted as evil or vile creatures.

        However, there is only one book depicting the imaginary being you call god and it portrays him as evil. If there were several books about this same god that didn’t portray him as committing mass genocide, rape and in support of slavery (among other things), then I would settle with saying that the Christian god is only most likely to be evil.

        It still makes no sense to judge nonexistent, imaginary things. It’s a waste of time. Who cares if unicorns are good or evil? They don’t exist! Likewise, who cares if God is good or evil if He doesn’t exist? It wouldn’t matter.

        I agree. This is why I think it’s a waste of time not only discussing this, but certainly it is a waste of time throwing my life away worshipping something imaginary and evil.

        “When I started actually reading the bible cover to cover, I realized that the protagonist in that story–GOD–is not a nice fair or just guy, and I’m very glad he doesn’t exist because if he did…”

        Okay, where do you derive your sense of “nice”, “fair”, and “just”? Is morality universal or subjective?

        I go by the definitions in my dictionary mostly, and also by my own understanding of what is nice and what is not–which includes my understanding of the “do unto others as you would have others do until you” golden rule which Christianity tries to get the credit for inventing but was actually around a hell of a lot longer than either Christianity or the made up Christian god.

      • “Why is this odd? I say these other imaginary beings are only likely to be good or evil because you can find a multitude of fantasy fiction novels that have either unicorns or trolls in them and depending upon the author, they can be by nature however the author wants them to be. 9 out of 10 times unicorns are portrayed as good or pure creatures. 9 out of 10 times trolls are depicted as evil or vile creatures. However, there is only one book depicting the imaginary being you call god and it portrays him as evil. If there were several books about this same god that didn’t portray him as committing mass genocide, rape and in support of slavery (among other things), then I would settle with saying that the Christian god is only most likely to be evil.”

        It is odd because it is not consistent. There are many books about God, both within the Bible and outside of it. Not all the books of the Bible even talk about rape, slavery, etc. The vast majority of books speak of God only in good terms, even if we count every book that mentions rape and slavery and such as evidence that God is evil.

        In any case this seems like a poor metric for determining the goodness or evil of imaginary beings. I and a bunch of other Christians could churn out thousands upon thousands of books about how good God is and declare that He is now “likely” good because 9 out of 10 times this apparently imaginary being is depicted as good!

        “I agree. This is why I think it’s a waste of time not only discussing this, but certainly it is a waste of time throwing my life away worshipping something imaginary and evil.”

        If it’s a waste of time to worship an imaginary, evil being, then why do you have an entire category of your blog devoted to the discussion of how imaginary and evil He is? That seems like such a waste of time.

        “I go by the definitions in my dictionary mostly, and also by my own understanding of what is nice and what is not”

        Okay, so does your dictionary tell you that morality is universal or that it is subjective? How did you derive your understanding of what is nice and what is not, and does that understanding tell you that morality is universal or subjective?

      • It is odd because it is not consistent. There are many books about God, both within the Bible and outside of it. Not all the books of the Bible even talk about rape, slavery, etc. The vast majority of books speak of God only in good terms, even if we count every book that mentions rape and slavery and such as evidence that God is evil

        As a Christian (and now as a former Christian) the only book I consider being written about god is the bible, old and new testament, and if I look at the majority of descriptions of this being, he is depicted as evil. It is the majority of books in the bible that depict him as all the things I think of him as. I am not able to say oh god is loving because after JESUS came he suddenly got all warm and fuzzy.

        I don’t know what other books you mean outside of the bible. Christianity only recognizes the bible as relevant and as a Christian it is the only thing I ever read. I do not give credit to other books like the dead sea scrolls, etc., because the Christian religion does not.

        In any case this seems like a poor metric for determining the goodness or evil of imaginary beings. I and a bunch of other Christians could churn out thousands upon thousands of books about how good God is and declare that He is now “likely” good because 9 out of 10 times this apparently imaginary being is depicted as good!

        Can you list all those times god was good? I’d really like to know because as I have said–I have been through the entire bible and really, I couldn’t hardly see any times when your god wasn’t acting like a childish brat or slaughtering entire civilizations.

        But even if he hadn’t brought the flood or ordered genocide dozens of the times in the bible, i would call his actions reprehensible for his commanding 3200 virgins who had just watched their entire families being slaughered, to be the spoils of war (sex slaves) for Israelite soldiers. Most likely these were children or very young girls.

        If it’s a waste of time to worship an imaginary, evil being, then why do you have an entire category of your blog devoted to the discussion of how imaginary and evil He is? That seems like such a waste of time.

        I am an enemy of Christianity and I feel much like Christopher Hitchens and Dawkins do. Such a wrong needs to be spoken out against. Which I will as loudly as I am able and as often as I am able. When I was a Christian I refused to read anything not written by my fellow Christians and I went 30+ years wandering in the dark. I wish now I could have known the truth sooner. Now I would like to hope that I might help someone else get there. I would not call that a waste of my time at all.

        Okay, so does your dictionary tell you that morality is universal or that it is subjective? How did you derive your understanding of what is nice and what is not, and does that understanding tell you that morality is universal or subjective?

        Okay, so does your dictionary tell you that morality is universal or that it is subjective? How did you derive your understanding of what is nice and what is not, and does that understanding tell you that morality is universal or subjective?

        Morality is having a sense of right and wrong, which I have had for as long as I’ve been able to form words with my mouth–perhaps even before that. I had a good strong sense of what is moral and right before I becamse a Christian–it didn’t change or become more acute while I was a Christian, and now that I’m not anymore it remains very much entwined with my being. I don’t know what you mean by subjective or universal. I’m at work and I don’t have time to do your homework for you and explain what you mean. I don’t think morality can be summed up with just one word. It is the innate sense of right and wrong most people and other animals as well, are born with. The only humans that are not born with this sense are called sociopaths or…the new term is Antisocial Personality Disorder. It is a mental illness that causes a person to not have, or not have any sense of, a conscience. People like this can do harm to other people and not even understand (or care to know) why it’s a bad thing.

      • “the only book I consider being written about god is the bible, old and new testament”

        If God does not exist and the Bible is “fictional” then there is no reason to consider the Bible the only and definitive book on God. If it’s all made up we can just make up more stuff and write books about how good God is.

        “Can you list all those times god was good?”

        Sorry, I can’t. Because that’s an infinite list. 😉

        “I don’t know what you mean by subjective or universal. I’m at work and I don’t have time to do your homework for you and explain what you mean.”

        The concepts of subjective versus objective/universal morality are fairly basic (they are sometimes called moral relativism and moral absolutism, respectively) so I figured an atheist who had devoted so much time to promoting atheism would have heard of these concepts. I also talked about it in one of my posts to myatheistlife. If morality is universal then it applies to everyone (regardless of their culture, beliefs, etc.). If morality is subjective then it is subject to our personal interpretations — what you interpret as morally good I may interpret as morally evil. So, is morality subjective or universal?

        “It is the innate sense of right and wrong most people and other animals as well, are born with.”

        Indeed, as if “written on [our] hearts” (Romans 2:15) by our creator.

  2. The Catholic Church was behind Hitler, and against the IRA when they were fighting to get the Brits out of Ireland, and stood aside and watched as Mussolini shipped Italian Jews off to Germany. The Church is always on the side of established power to protect itself. It lost any kind of moral authority in the Middle Ages but keeps on going.

  3. I have written about this before on my blog but you cannot say Hitler was evil without surrendering the idea of objective morality. Not one person has tried to tell me that Hitler was an atheist in these posts, not one. I invite such folk to come talk with me. If Hitler was evil, so then is the Christian god. We have only to look at Joshua to see it, unless the theist wants to admit that morality is subjective. You’re right.

    • I don’t like the word evil as it has religious implications. Hitler’s actions were evil, but Hitler himself was a psychopath–mentally ill. I’m quite sure he didn’t wake up each morning and think “today I’m going to be especially evil!” HE thought he was furthering god’s work. He thought of himself as a force of good.

      I have several times noticed while watching YouTube videos “The Atheist Experience” among others, that it really does happen sometimes; when a theist runs out of arguments (always rather quickly), they throw out Hitler and Stalin being atheist. Like that somehow proves that being an atheist is bad. What if Hitler was a vegetarian? Would that make being a vegetarian bad? Lol! Anyway…I have yet to personally be handed the Hitler argument, but I’m waiting for it. 🙂

    • “If Hitler was evil, so then is the Christian god.”

      The only way to make this claim is to prove that Hitler was actually a Christian following God’s orders (you also have to show how you — a creation of God — have the authority to judge God to be evil, but that’s an entirely different argument…). I read your post “Was Adolf Hitler Evil?” and you didn’t make any serious attempt to prove this. You basically just said that “Hitler was an avowed Catholic”. Although it’s true that Hitler never formally left the Catholic Church, he only became a member of the Church because he was raised by a Catholic mother. Furthermore, many of his words and actions in adulthood were in direct conflict to the teachings of the Catholic Church — he was obviously anti-Semitic and attempted to apply his anti-Semitism to Christianity, he ordered murders of not only Jews and other “subhumans” but even Catholic priests, he committed suicide, etc. The only thing you’ve really shown is that Hitler says he was Christian, but it’s easy to say you belong to a religion while not actually adhering to that religion’s beliefs.

      “We have only to look at Joshua to see it, unless the theist wants to admit that morality is subjective.”

      Christians believe that God is the source of morality. I suppose you can say that this means morality is subjective (God as the subject), so perhaps a better way to describe the Christian view of morality is that it is universal (i.e. it is the same for all of us humans, so evil is not “relative” or subject to “our own interpretations”). The question regarding Joshua — as with Hitler — is whether he was really acting under God’s orders (but that would require an entirely different debate on Biblical inerrancy). Under the Christian point of view: if Joshua was acting under God’s orders then, since God is the source of morality, he was good; if not, then he was evil. It is logically possible for Joshua to have been good (acting under God’s orders) and Hitler to have been evil (acting against God’s orders) while maintaining the Christian belief of universal morality.

      • Null,
        ==”If Hitler was evil, so then is the Christian god.” The only way to make this claim is to prove that Hitler was actually a Christian following God’s orders ==
        My point in my blog post was not an assertion that he was, but that we cannot know that he was not. Given the writings we can assume that he was, or thought he was. The same is true of Joshua or Moses, and thus the problem for those wanting to believe objective morality exists.

        ==(you also have to show how you — a creation of God — have the authority to judge God to be evil, but that’s an entirely different argument…). ==
        I have the authority to judge anything and everything. My judgement may be wrong or unenforcible but I have the right/authority to judge.

        ==I read your post “Was Adolf Hitler Evil?” and you didn’t make any serious attempt to prove this. You basically just said that “Hitler was an avowed Catholic”. Although it’s true that Hitler never formally left the Catholic Church, he only became a member of the Church because he was raised by a Catholic mother. ==
        This is exactly the reason that almost all Catholics become a member of the church, where either or both parents works in place of mother in Hitler’s case.

        ==Furthermore, many of his words and actions in adulthood were in direct conflict to the teachings of the Catholic Church ==
        And paedophilia is not? How do his actions make him not a Christian? The news will tell us that plenty of Christians do morally bad things. In fact prisons in the USA are about 70% full of strong Christian believers.

        == he was obviously anti-Semitic and attempted to apply his anti-Semitism to Christianity,==
        Some history for you:
        http://shatteredparadigm.blogspot.com/2008/07/brief-history-of-roman-catholic-anti.html

        == he ordered murders of not only Jews and other “subhumans” but even Catholic priests, he committed suicide, etc.==
        Like I said, how does this make him non-Christian? Are you trying the no true scotsman plea?

        == The only thing you’ve really shown is that Hitler says he was Christian, but it’s easy to say you belong to a religion while not actually adhering to that religion’s beliefs.==
        How does that show he was not doing god’s work?

        == “We have only to look at Joshua to see it, unless the theist wants to admit that morality is subjective.” Christians believe that God is the source of morality.” — I suppose you can say that this means morality is subjective (God as the subject), so perhaps a better way to describe the Christian view of morality is that it is universal (i.e. it is the same for all of us humans, so evil is not “relative” or subject to “our own interpretations”).==
        So if your god says do a thing, that thing is morally good. What if someone else’s god says it’s morally bad? Who’s god is the true arbitor of morality then? If you are a Christian, your god says that you have a moral imperitive to kill all witches, those who work on the Sabbath, homosexuals, unruly children, those who eat shellfish etc. Do you think these acts are morally good?

        == The question regarding Joshua — as with Hitler — is whether he was really acting under God’s orders (but that would require an entirely different debate on Biblical inerrancy). Under the Christian point of view: if Joshua was acting under God’s orders then, since God is the source of morality, he was good; if not, then he was evil.==
        So you are saying that to Christians it is morally good to kill witches and people who work on the Sabbath?

        == It is logically possible for Joshua to have been good (acting under God’s orders) and Hitler to have been evil (acting against God’s orders) while maintaining the Christian belief of universal morality.==
        It is logically possible, but that is not what we are told. If we cannot know that Hitler was not acting at the behest of YHWH, how can we judge him as evil?

      • Sorry, I thought it was you saying the Christian god is evil. I guess you’re not. I do believe I do have the authority to judge if an imaginary being is good or evil and after reading fully about the actions and attitude of this particular imaginary friend, I can’t see how he could be anything else. I also don’t consider the bible to be a good moral guide. Unless we are to hate our friends family and ourselves and be willing to gut our children just to demonstrate to this fiend who claims to know everything that we love him more.

      • I also think the attitude “who are we to question god” is a cheat and a cop out. I do question how any of it can be true or make sense, and I question how an all knowing being can deliberately make flawed creations and then punish them for being flawed. The Christian god is a sadist and abuser. He was made in man’s egotistical image…clearly…having all the qualities i would not wish to have.

      • And lastly…you would have to first produce evidence to prove I am a creation of this imaginary being before having the authority to tell me I don’t have authority to judge great evil for what it is.

      • “I do believe I do have the authority to judge if an imaginary being is good or evil and after reading fully about the actions and attitude of this particular imaginary friend, I can’t see how he could be anything else.”

        Again, it makes no sense to say that a nonexistent being is evil (or good).

        “Unless we are to hate our friends family and ourselves and be willing to gut our children just to demonstrate to this fiend who claims to know everything that we love him more.”

        Not sure where the “hate our friends family and ourselves” comes from but I assume by “gut[ting] our children” you’re talking about Abraham and Isaac?

      • Well God himself is clearly perfectly ok with committing child abuse–seeing what he does with his son. I’m sorry but I do not think there is any situation where someone else should be punished for wrongs I have committed. I am not evil. But if I went along with that plan, I would be.

        And yes, I refer to Abraham and Isaac. That is just one of many stories that shows this all-knowing supposedly omniscient god ISN’T, and apparently enjoys torturing small animals. Which is really all humans are in the big scheme of things.

        And Luke 12:51-53, Jesus says, “Do you suppose that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, nay; but rather division, for from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.”

        Anyway. I have found arguing about the bible is rather pointless. You see what you want to see and that’s fine. But I am not a Christian anymore and I do not believe your pretend super being is anything BUT evil. I did buy into the arguments that he is a loving god. If you pick out the 10 verses or so in the bible that support this…I suppose it might seem true. The the majority of the bible…the other 3/4ths of it…paint an entirely different portrait of this god you proudly worship.

      • “I also think the attitude “who are we to question god” is a cheat and a cop out.”

        I’m not saying you can’t question God. But you do have to show where you derive the authority to judge Him.

        Since you don’t believe God exists then there is apparently nothing to question or judge anyway.

        “I question how an all knowing being can deliberately make flawed creations and then punish them for being flawed.”

        We are not punished for being flawed, we are punished for disobeying.

        “you would have to first produce evidence to prove I am a creation of this imaginary being before having the authority to tell me I don’t have authority to judge great evil for what it is.”

        Since you are an atheist we are speaking about a hypothetical here anyway. The Christian God is by definition the creator of all humans (if He exists). So, under the hypothetical assumption that He exists (and therefore that you are His creation), what authority do you have to judge Him as evil?

      • I’m not saying you can’t question God. But you do have to show where you derive the authority to judge Him.

        I am alive and I have a brain. I am real. I’m not pretend. That does give me the authority to imagine this imaginary being however I want to. Since the bible portrays him as evil and the creator of evil, I judge him to be evil.

        And you’re right. Since he doesn’t exist it’s a waste of my time having this conversation. All I can say is the protagonist in the fictional bible is evil, and I base that by the actions he demonstrates in most of it.

        We are not punished for being flawed, we are punished for disobeying.

        How can it be disobeying when God himself, (this mythical being that is rather silly of me to talk about since he doesn’t exist), deliberately created both Lucifer and humans knowing ahead of time what he was doing and wanting exactly what happened to happen. He made humans in a way that they would disobey because he wanted them to. It was part of his plan. They did as he wanted them to and he punished them for it. He made Lucifer (and Lucifer’s followers) in a way that he would have free will when angels by nature are not intended to have free will. But for Lucifer god made a special effort to give him the capacity to be self-serving, and other angels to be able to decide for themselves who they wanted to follow. This was all so Lucifer would do exactly what god wanted him to do so god could punish Lucifer for being what God intended him to be. ALl of this was part of god’s plan. He makes his failures to be failures, and then punishes them for doing what he made them to do. How is this not evil?

        Since you are an atheist we are speaking about a hypothetical here anyway. The Christian God is by definition the creator of all humans (if He exists). So, under the hypothetical assumption that He exists (and therefore that you are His creation), what authority do you have to judge Him as evil?

        Only to a Christian is this god the creator of humans. He is nothing to me. Therefore I am outside your silly little rule that says I need some kind of authority to judge your malignant creator.

      • “Well God himself is clearly perfectly ok with committing child abuse–seeing what he does with his son.”

        Jesus sacrificed His life by his own will. God the Father did not force Him.

        “I refer to Abraham and Isaac. That is just one of many stories that shows this all-knowing supposedly omniscient god ISN’T, and apparently enjoys torturing small animals.”

        God stopped Abraham before he killed Isaac. It was a test of Abraham, though not for God’s knowledge (God, being omniscient, already knew Abraham would obey — that’s why God picked him in the first place!). It forced Abraham to make his (very difficult) choice and as a result of it Abraham knew how far he was willing to go to obey God.

        “And Luke 12:51-53, Jesus says, “Do you suppose that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, nay; but rather division, for from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.””

        This is merely saying that there are those who will believe and those who will not, those who will obey and those who will not. There will of course be division and conflict between these groups.

        “I have found arguing about the bible is rather pointless.”

        Okay. You’re the one who brought up the Bible, though.

      • “How can it be disobeying when God himself, (this mythical being that is rather silly of me to talk about since he doesn’t exist), deliberately created both Lucifer and humans knowing ahead of time what he was doing and wanting exactly what happened to happen”

        God created Lucifer and humans with free will, and as creations it is our choice to obey God or not. The fact that God knows who will disobey does not mean He is responsible for that choice — it is still our choice, which we are personally responsible for.

        “angels by nature are not intended to have free will”

        How can you possibly know this? You don’t even believe that angels exist so you are speculating on the nature of these allegedly imaginary creatures. If they are imaginary then their nature can be whatever you imagine!

        “Only to a Christian is this god the creator of humans. He is nothing to me. Therefore I am outside your silly little rule that says I need some kind of authority to judge your malignant creator.”

        Yes, only to a Christian is God the creator of humans. But the only way to judge Him is to assume (if only for the sake of argument) that He exists, in which case under the same assumption you are His creation. Now, creations are generally subject to their creators. Do parents (who “created” a child) not have authority over the child? So if God is your creator He has authority over you, and what authority do you have to judge Him?

        As an aside, I would ask that you kindly refrain from belittling my statements with phrases like “silly little rule”. I have maintained a respectful attitude toward you, and I do not condemn you for being an atheist or disagreeing with me. I would appreciate it if you would show me the same respect.

      • I wasn’t going to reply again just now–I’m supposed to be working while I’m here at work, but one last time. Maybe I’ll come back to this later. Kinda having fun.

        “God created Lucifer and humans with free will, and as creations it is our choice to obey God or not. The fact that God knows who will disobey does not mean He is responsible for that choice — it is still our choice, which we are personally responsible for.”

        Apparently your version of god is not omniscient–he cannot see or know the future or future events. This would explain why you seem to think when god created Lucifer and humans he did not know that they would “disobey him.” Odd.

        How can you possibly know this? You don’t even believe that angels exist so you are speculating on the nature of these allegedly imaginary creatures. If they are imaginary then their nature can be whatever you imagine!

        Actually I was always taught that angels did not have free will. I was taught that by the church I went to and like many Christians tend to do, I assumed what I taught was true. i just looked up this question via Google and it seems the popular concensus is that angels do have free will.

        Again I have to wonder how free is this free will really when god (maybe not yours but to most Christians) is omniscient and knows the future. He would know before we are even born which of us will be going to heaven and hell and it’s all a part of his divine plan. Just like it was part of his divine plan to put a flawed creation, humans, in close proximity to a flawed fallen angel (Lucifer) knowing ahead of time what the consequences would be and wanting those consequences to happen.

        Yes, only to a Christian is God the creator of humans. But the only way to judge Him is to assume (if only for the sake of argument) that He exists, in which case under the same assumption you are His creation. Now, creations are generally subject to their creators. Do parents (who “created” a child) not have authority over the child? So if God is your creator He has authority over you, and what authority do you have to judge Him

        And since I do not believe in your god I do not believe I have a creator to be “subject” to. IN fact I think it rather arrogant that you would deny me the right to have my own opinion. I read about Ted Bundy–I decide the man was despicalble. I read about your god. Same reaction.

        As for the silly little rule thing, I don’t disrespect you at all. I disrespect your religion. I disrespect it and I loathe it. I disrespect all the misery and death and hatred and bigotry and obstacles put in the way of women having an equal portion of human rights–your religion has caused. And I will continue to disrespect it as long as I live.

        But I do not disrespect you. I do wonder why you seem to want to play this little game with me. Am I not entitled to have an opinion? Are you so intolerant of other people forming different opinions than your own?

      • “Apparently your version of god is not omniscient–he cannot see or know the future or future events.”

        No, I specifically said God knows who will disobey. That doesn’t mean He is responsible for our personal choice to disobey.

        “And since I do not believe in your god I do not believe I have a creator to be “subject” to.”

        Once more, the only way to judge God is to also assume — at least for the sake of argument — that He exists and created you.

        “IN fact I think it rather arrogant that you would deny me the right to have my own opinion. Am I not entitled to have an opinion? Are you so intolerant of other people forming different opinions than your own?”

        I am not denying you the right to have your own opinion. You of course have a right to your opinion and I have a right to mine. I am simply asking you to justify your judgment of your creator. Are children allowed to judge their parents (their “creators”)? Children do have a right to form an opinion of their parents, but generally they do not have any authority over their parents by which to judge them. Everyone has a right to an opinion but a judge requires some sort of authority.

        “I do wonder why you seem to want to play this little game with me.”

        I do not see this as a “little game” but as a serious and interesting discussion.

      • No, I specifically said God knows who will disobey. That doesn’t mean He is responsible for our personal choice to disobey.

        This is illogical. God knows who will disobey. Of course he does. It’s part of his unchanging divine plan. Yet he makes us anyway. Why do you think we have a choice if we are made with our fate already known and planned out for us? For that matter, why did god make a satan and a hell in the first place? If we have a choice, which we do not because we are made pre-destined for hell or heaven, then that would mean god did NOT know ahead of time what decisions we would make and he is NOT omniscient. You cannot have it both ways.

        Once more, the only way to judge God is to also assume — at least for the sake of argument — that He exists and created you.

        But he did not, and does not, so this is also illogical. I am not “created” at all, except by the efforts of my mom and dad.

        of authority….am simply asking you to justify your judgment of your creator. Are children allowed to judge their parents (their “creators”)? Children do have a right to form an opinion of their parents, but generally they do not have any authority over their parents by which to judge them. Everyone has a right to an opinion but a judge requires some sort

        I believe I have already answered this question. I justify it by the fact this god YOU, not I, choose to worship does not exist. He is not my parent. He is not my teacher. He is not my anything. He is nothing at all to me. He does not exist.

        I do not see this as a “little game” but as a serious and interesting discussion

        And one that has nothing to do with what I posted in my blog.

      • No, I specifically said God knows who will disobey. That doesn’t mean He is responsible for our personal choice to disobey.

        You don’t think god is responsible for his actions? I do. If I made a horse so dumb that it couldn’t decide whether or not to get off the train tracks when a speeding train is bearing down on it–and the horse was killed, whose fault would it be? The horse, or the so called “intelligent” designer who created the horse too dumb to save itself?

      • MYATHEISTLIFE has also replied to your note to him, Null. I didn’t see it right away to approve it so it’s a ways down the list…case you haven’t seen it.

      • myatheistlife,

        “My point in my blog post was not an assertion that he was, but that we cannot know that he was not. Given the writings we can assume that he was, or thought he was. The same is true of Joshua or Moses, and thus the problem for those wanting to believe objective morality exists.”

        You have called into question our ability to know God’s will, but that does not lead to the conclusion that the Christian God is evil.

        Also, Hitler’s (public and private) writings and actions are mixed: some suggest that his religious beliefs were not consistent with Christianity, while others suggest he believed to be Christian. Your assumption that Hitler was Christian is dubious.

        “I have the authority to judge anything and everything. My judgement may be wrong or unenforcible but I have the right/authority to judge.”

        You have the right to an opinion, but a judge requires some sort of authority. If by judging you simply mean to give an opinion then I am in agreement.

        “This is exactly the reason that almost all Catholics become a member of the church, where either or both parents works in place of mother in Hitler’s case.”

        True, but the most reliable way to know if a person is joining the Church out of true belief is if he does so as an adult. And even then that person can stop believing (as our blog host did). Such a person who stops believing may not bother to formally leave the Church (or, in Hitler’s case, it may have been politically advantageous to “stay”).

        “And paedophilia is not? How do his actions make him not a Christian? The news will tell us that plenty of Christians do morally bad things.”

        Of course pedophilia is in direct conflict with Christianity and Christians do morally bad things. This is not news. The central message of Christianity is that we are all sinners in need of salvation (Christians included), and that salvation comes through Jesus Christ. The fact that someone does morally wrong things tells us nothing about that person’s true religious beliefs, nor does it invalidate Christianity.

        “Some history for you:”

        Again, Christians are sinners, too. The Catholic Church condemns the Holocaust now and also did so at the time. Catholic priests were murdered during the Holocaust. If Hitler was a practicing Catholic why would he allow Catholic priests to be killed?

        “Like I said, how does this make him non-Christian? Are you trying the no true scotsman plea?”

        No, I am saying that just because he called himself a Christian doesn’t mean he is actually a Christian.

        “How does that show he was not doing god’s work?”

        It’s your burden of proof to show that Hitler was doing God’s work in order to conclude that God is evil.

        “What if someone else’s god says it’s morally bad?”

        As a Christian I don’t believe in anyone else’s god. I believe that only the Christian God exists.

        “So you are saying that to Christians it is morally good to kill witches and people who work on the Sabbath?”

        We first have to establish whether morality is universal or subjective, and then we can look at the implications. That is an entirely different debate.

        “If we cannot know that Hitler was not acting at the behest of YHWH, how can we judge him as evil?”

        You stated that “if Hitler was evil, so then is the Christian [G]od”. Since you made the claim the burden of proof is on you to show that we DO know Hitler was acting at the behest of God. If you’re questioning our ability to judge Hitler as evil (the premise of your statement) then you’re only further questioning your statement’s conclusion (that God is evil).

      • Hitler called himself a Christian, Null. He was also supported by the German church who called Hitler the Holy Spirit of god on earth. That is enough for me. You can’t pick and choose who you accept as real Christians based on how they behave. A lot of atheists are wonderful people and a lot of Christians are shallow, hard hearted and mean.

      • People judge me all the time who have no special authority over me. I have every right to judge this mythical god. All it requires is the ability to see the bible not through the distorted lenses of belief. When I do that I see 1. God is created in man’s image and 2. He is evil.

      • I am not a sinner. Sin was invented by man to make religion seem necessary. There is doing right and doing wrong. That’s it. Sin is a human invention just like god, satan and hell.

      • And um…how can you know he wasn’t a Christian, Null?

        I believe if he was raised by Christian parents he likely knew very well what a Christian is. If he declared himself in allegiance with god and Christianity likely he agreed enough with the religion to want to be one himself. Which makes complete sense to me that a man like Hitler would. He probably admired god’s use of genocide to erase and or punish his mistakes.

      • “why did god make a satan and a hell in the first place?”

        Satan made his choice to disobey God and hell is separation from God which we choose by disobeying God. Since God is good then hell is necessarily evil.

        “If we have a choice, which we do not because we are made pre-destined for hell or heaven”

        Knowing what a person has chosen (or will choose) does not mean they were not free to make the choice. For example, I know my wife well enough that: given a choice between eating a piece of chocolate or a piece of licorice she will choose the chocolate. I know this even before she is presented with the specific choice. But my knowledge doesn’t mean she does not have the freedom to make the choice.

        “He is nothing at all to me. He does not exist.”

        So then it makes no sense to judge Him. In order to take the logical step that God is evil you must start from somewhere — specifically, at the premise that God exists. You would consider this merely a hypothetical, but you would still have to assume His existence to reach your conclusion.

      • “He was also supported by the German church who called Hitler the Holy Spirit of god on earth.”

        Citation?

        “You can’t pick and choose who you accept as real Christians based on how they behave.”

        I’ll address this in a response to myatheistlife.

        “A lot of atheists are wonderful people and a lot of Christians are shallow, hard hearted and mean.”

        I am not disputing that some atheists are wonderful people (some are not) or that some Christians are mean (some are not), although you would need to provide evidence to say “a lot” of atheists are wonderful and “a lot” of Christians are mean. This is beside the point, anyway.

      • No. I have done wrongful things in my life–I do not call that sin. Sin implies committing a wrong in heaven and to god. Since I do not believe in either, I do not believe in sin. Sin is a man made invention. It was required to make religion necessary. First you create the imaginary wrong that all humans are born with. Then you create the imaginary fix, the only fix, all humans must subjugate themselves to for their whole lives in order to make it into an imaginary heaven. That’s what sin is, and no, I have never sinned because the courtroom and judge of sin do not exist.
        Definition of sin:
        1. A transgression of a religious or moral law, especially when deliberate.
        2. Theology
        a. Deliberate disobedience to the known will of God.
        b. A condition of estrangement from God resulting from such disobedience.
        3. Something regarded as being shameful, deplorable, or utterly wrong.
        intr.v. sinned, sin·ning, sins
        1. To violate a religious or moral law.

      • I will add to this. When I was a Christian I had a conversation with my Aunt who was (at that time) in her 80’s. She made the declaration to me she had never sinned and it took me aback. I couldn’t fathom what she meant or how anyone could say that. She was an atheist and I was not. But now that I am, I do understand. Before religion and before the belief in hellfire and eternal damnation for even thinking the wrong things, there was something else. Doing right vrs. doing wrong. If you tried to do right and obey the rules set down by the society you lived in, you received good consequences for it–or a better chance of good consequences. If you sought to do wrong against your fellow man and your society, you likely suffered negative consequences for it.

        This is all there is in reality, in the real world. You throw out words like sin or sinner, you are speaking of something that is religion based–an invention of your religion–and it is utter nonsense to me. That is what Evy my Aunt meant when she stated what she did, and that is what I mean now.

        I could say eating grapes is immoral and anyone who eats grapes will be punished for eternity by the Vineyard god, “Grapeleaf” and I could say that the only way to not be punished for eating grapes is you must go out and plant a hundred thousand grape seeds. Just because I say this or write this down on some tablet doesn’t make it true anymore than someone saying that doing wrong isn’t just doing wrong anymore but now also a sin against their personal imaginary god for which I must also believe and bow down to or else I will go to their made up, imaginary hell.

      • “I have done wrongful things in my life–I do not call that sin.”

        When I say that Christians commit sin I am saying that Christians do commit morally wrong things…as does everyone. I understand your distinction, but we are talking about the same thing (morally wrong actions).

        “I don’t care what you call it–subjective opinion, objective opinion, whatever.”

        I don’t understand why you refuse to answer my direct and simple question: is morality universal or subjective?

      • Are you replying to me, Null? I did not invoke the terms subjective or objective in the first place so why do I need to answer you and why should I care?

        Morality, sin, evil…all these words imply a celestial court and a supernatural judge. What is the difference between wrong and morally wrong? I see no difference. What is the difference between doing something wrong and sinning? Again, I see no difference.

        Objective : it is important to be objective when you are making any kind of a rational decision. It might involve purchasing something or deciding which job offer to take. You should also be objective when you are reading, especially news sources. Being objective when you are meeting and having discussions with new people helps you to keep your concentration focused on your goal, rather than on any emotions your meeting might trigger.
        Subjective : can be used when nothing tangible is at stake. When you are watching a movie or reading a book for pleasure, being subjective and getting caught up in the world of the characters makes your experience more enjoyable. If you are discussing any type of art, you have to keep in mind that everyone’s opinions on a particular piece are subjective.

        Read more: Difference Between Objective and Subjective | Difference Between | Objective vs Subjective http://www.differencebetween.net/language/difference-between-objective-and-subjective/#ixzz1tpRsK7gg

        In light of the above definitions (sorry, I like to be familiar with words or phrases before I try to apply them to other words and phrases I do know), I am giving an objective opinion. I don’t honestly know why this is a big hairy deal to you. Or why is it a big deal to you that we must think like you do? Religious notions do not exist in my head or in my vocabulary. It seems no matter how I explain, this, you do not seem to GET that.

      • “I did not invoke the terms subjective or objective in the first place so why do I need to answer you and why should I care?”

        You have asserted that Hitler, God, Christians, etc., are evil. I am wondering whether you consider that an objective or subjective opinion.

        “sorry, I like to be familiar with words or phrases before I try to apply them to other words and phrases I do know”

        No need to apologize. This is good practice.

        “I am giving an objective opinion.”

        Thank you. This is actually in opposition to myatheistlife, who claims that morality is subjective.

        If morality is objective, how do we all come to know it? How do you know, for example, that Hitler’s actions were objectively evil?

      • You are asking me to be proficient and familiar with two terms that are not words I use or are familiar with.

        I consider god and Hitler’s actions evil based on my understanding of what evil is from 30+ years of brainwashing I received as a Christian…which I also consider to fall within my definition of evil. I would not call Christians evil. They are brainwashed as I was. But I do call a lie that deceives and gives false hope and takes people’s time and money, evil. I think men or women of the cloth who are closet atheists who still nevertheless perpetuate this lie…because they see no other way to make a living, are in a way spreading harm and doing an evil thing…though I do understand and sympathize what a nightmare it is for preachers to come out about losing their faith.

      • “You are asking me to be proficient and familiar with two terms that are not words I use or are familiar with.”

        Fair enough, I won’t press it. I encourage you to look into the debate between moral absolutism vs. moral relativism because they are somewhat relevant to the debate between theism and atheism (which you are obviously interested in).

  4. I’m not even going to address this man’s username because it sounds like a pseudonym for impotence. You must think it’s easier to debate with the softer sex because Diane is the only person you’re quibbling with. (And quite frankly you sound like a mama’s boy in your constant attempts for justification of this tightly manufactured world you barely survive in). I’ve watched Diane literally hand you the answers during this discussion, but you’d rather spew the same kind of propaganda that we used to exercise on the high school debate team! Quite frankly, it’s about time for you to hit it pal. The next time you want to debate my friend be slicker than a six year old.
    ~ Jamie Michels

    • He is also debating with Myatheistlife, actually. And no one needs to “hit it.” Null is not being offensive to anyone…just a little frustrating. but I remember very clearly being like this–or thinking like this. That circle you can’t break free from. To properly argue with Null I have to go by his rules and imagine a supernatural being with a very human overly inflated ego, created me. I can’t do that. And I certainly can’t say that he is better than I am. I would not have created a “first batch” of humans knowing ahead of time they’d be too corrupt to tolerate and then drown not only them, but their unborn young and all the animals on the planet, to death in a massive flood. I would have simply done it right the first time.

      • Replying to myself… That’s another thing I find laughable about the Christian god. His obvious sad dependency on constant praising and stroking of his ego from the little creatures he supposedly makes. I would even go so far as to say he created life for the sole purpose of groveling at his feet praising and thanking him–punishing those with eternal misery and torment who don’t. Gee. Nice guy. Loving.

        Yuh, right.

      • Another reply to myself. It annoys me, the whole angels thing . And this is yet another reason I can’t see any truth behind Christianity. Apparently this message is hugely important to god to get out to the world. It’s supposed to be clear and beyond interpretation. Yet how many hundreds if not thousands of interpretations are there? I read once there are almost as many interpretations as there are Christians. A religion should not need apologists to explain all the contradictions or errors in its holy book. The fact no Bethlehem existed at the time of Jesus birth…or not anything livable in. And when was a Nazareth actually built exactly? I’m sorry but 300 years after Jesus death to make the prophecy seem more true does not strike me as a credible religion, but rather one scrambling to make itself look true.

        Anyway, back to the angels thing. I can’t even say how many times I have heard it said angels have no free will. This is why, I was told, humans are higher than the angels in heaven. Because humans do (actually I don’t see that they do either) have free will and so if they choose to follow god it’s a pretty major big thing, whereas angels do not have a choice. this is what I was taught–and now that I bother to read about it myself, I learn what I was taught is wrong. BIG surprise (heavy sarcasm) there. Wonder what other things I was taught that are not true. Or maybe they are true according to the Presbyterian church or the non-denominational bible camp I worked at, but aren’t true according to some other denomination.

        Will the real Christianity please stand up?

        Oh that’s right. There isn’t one. Christianity happened when Judaism was merged with Mithraism. Read about Mithraism, Null. The Roman Catholic church took that cult’s doctrines and changed a few names and then destroyed the evidence that it did. Holy Communion with bread and wine signifying the body and the blood? Mithraism. Baptism in blood? Mithraism. Priests and Bishops? Mithraism. The pointy hats Catholic Cardinals wear? Mithraism. Only son of God? Mithraism? Born in a cave by a virgin? Mithraism. Crucified and resurrected three days later? Mithraism. Twelve disciples? Mithraism. Coincidence? I think not.

  5. Null, you seem to have lost the plot, so let me see if I can get you caught up.

    On judging: A person who is a judge assesses the available information and makes a decision, That judge is often empowered or authorized to pronounce both guilt and sentence/punishment. Mathew 7 clearly shows that everyone/anyone can judge. You have been judging Hitler this entire thread. We ALL judge and need no authority.

    My point/post stated that you can’t call Hitler evil if you believe in objective morality. It did not conclude that your god is evil, rather the conclusion is that it requires subjective morality to judge Hitler as evil and therefore objective morality does not exist. Those who claim to use it appear to be no different than those using subjective morality.

    The only way to conclude that your god is evil is to assert that objective/absolute morality exists and that if Hitler is evil, YHWH must also be evil for committing the same morally bad acts. I did not claim that objective morality exists, in fact I claim the exact opposite.

    My assumption (as you call it) that Hitler was a Christian is based on the same evidence that I have that you are a Christian. You tell me that you are and because I cannot know what is in your heart except by what you tell me, I must conclude that you are a Christian or at least you believe you are. The historical facts surrounding Hitler’s life include many items which indicate that he was or believed he was a Christian. His anti-Semitism is fully in line with the history of the Catholic church. Moses and Joshua are assumed to be righteous since we are told that they are in the only record of their lives.

    YHWH has a history of both genocide and punishing the Jews for this or that. Clearly it is not unthinkable that YHWH might have been doing it again and this matches with Hitler’s writings.

    “True, but the most reliable way to know if a person is joining the Church out of true belief is if he does so as an adult. And even then that person can stop believing (as our blog host did). Such a person who stops believing may not bother to formally leave the Church (or, in Hitler’s case, it may have been politically advantageous to “stay”).”

    Here you tell us HOW to judge another and yet Mathew 7 indicates that you have no moral authority to do so. You go on to contort the known information with what-if scenarios that are not relevant to the conversation, just to try to show cause for you to judge him. You cannot know what was in his heart nor can you know what your god YHWH did or did not say to him. When you assert that you do know I’m going to ask for proof of how you know.

    You have asserted that Hitler was not a Christian because he did morally bad things then go on to assert that Christians do bad things all the time, and that it is in fact the very nature of Christians to do morally bad things because they are human. This validates further that we cannot say that Hitler was not a Christian.

    “If Hitler was a practicing Catholic why would he allow Catholic priests to be killed?”
    With that question you have shown how very little you know about the situation. Hitler was also killing anyone not fit for the master race. How many paedophiles, gay, Polish, and other not-fit priests were there? Do you think Hitler would have spared them just because they were in the clergy? You yourself think he was evil.

    You’ve done a fairly good job of supporting my claims. Thank you. My claims support the conclusion that objective morality does not exist. When you assert that it does then we have reason to think your god is evil. Some of us think that anyway, but there you go.

      • Thank you (yes the changing gravatar is odd, I logged in with the wrong email address… sigh) How I communicate in blogs/on-line now is something that I am trying to get better at.

    • I converted the first time in the 3rd grade. It was for show…I wanted the attention…didn’t know what it meant. The second time I converted at the Billy Graham Crusade in Seattle. My early 20’s. I had the whole soul wrenching tears running down my face hands shaking experience. Religion is a placebo. If you believe it in strongly enough you feel inside whatever you are told or imagine you’re supposed to feel. Then suddenly you no longer have your own inner voice of common sense speaking to you anymore…it’s GOD.

      Yeah, right.

    • I never considered that Hitler might have thought himself a tool for god. No way to know know…perhaps he heard voices and assumed it was god. Schizophrenia has caused a lot of people with even mild religious belief to become fanatical in their “faith” and kill.

    • “That judge is often empowered or authorized to pronounce both guilt and sentence/punishment.”

      Right. You have to show how you have the authorization to pronounce guilt on God and sentence/punish him (an extremely difficult job for you inasmuch as you deny His existence in the first place). That’s different than simply offering an opinion that you think God is evil.

      “My point/post stated that you can’t call Hitler evil if you believe in objective morality.”

      I am talking about your statement: “If Hitler was evil, so then is the Christian [G]od.” In that statement “Hitler was evil” is the premise, and you are calling/assuming Hitler was evil in order to reach your conclusion that “so is the Christian God”.

      “The only way to conclude that your god is evil is to assert that objective/absolute morality exists and that if Hitler is evil, YHWH must also be evil for committing the same morally bad acts.”

      You still have the same problem: you haven’t shown that Hitler was following God’s will. The Christian conception of morality is that God is the source of (universal) morality and is by definition good. You are attempting to catch Christians as hypocrites by calling Hitler evil and God good while maintaining universal morality, but you haven’t shown that God’s will was for Hitler to commit his evil.

      “I did not claim that objective morality exists, in fact I claim the exact opposite.”

      Yes, which would mean that your subjective interpretation of morality is applicable only to you, and we can all “interpret” morality differently to ignore it.

      “My assumption (as you call it) that Hitler was a Christian is based on the same evidence that I have that you are a Christian. You tell me that you are and because I cannot know what is in your heart except by what you tell me, I must conclude that you are a Christian or at least you believe you are.”

      You are taking Hitler’s word for it because it suits you, but actions speak louder than words. People lie (and Hitler did plenty of that). Hitler’s actions were in clear contradiction with Catholicism (ordering murder, killing Catholic priests, committing suicide, etc.), which is evidence that he was lying when he said he was Christian/Catholic.

      If someone tells you he’s an atheist but then you see him participating in church services are you going to conclude he’s an atheist only because he says so? Or are you going to conclude from his actions — participating in the worship of a deity — that is not really an atheist?

      I don’t think “taking Hitler at his word” is a good approach for you in the long run. My first comment includes a quote that members of the SS were compelled by atheist and anti-Christian SS leaders to leave the Church, and by the end of 1938 (before WWII had even started) 69% of the SS Totenkopfverbande (the future administrators of the concentration and death camps who carried out the murders) had left the Church. Taking these men (the actual murderers) at their word, we conclude that they were atheists (and, moreover, became so upon joining the organization that carried out the Holocaust). Now you’ve opened yourself up to letting theists blame atheists for the Holocaust (which the original blog post was attempting to counter).

      “Here you tell us HOW to judge another and yet Mathew 7 indicates that you have no moral authority to do so.”

      Reading all of Matthew 7 for the full context, we see that (1) we are going to be judged by the same standard as we judge others and (2) once we “take the plank out of our own eye” we have the moral authority to “see clearly to remove the speck from our brother’s eye” (i.e. judge him). Someone with a plank in his eye judging others is a hypocrite, and hypocrites have no moral authority. Matthew 7 affirms that we have the moral authority to judge others. More on that here: http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/who-are-you-to-judge-answering-the-challenge-of-moral-relativism/

      “You cannot know what was in his heart nor can you know what your god YHWH did or did not say to him. When you assert that you do know I’m going to ask for proof of how you know.”

      You’re the one who needs to show that Hitler was following God’s will.

      “it is in fact the very nature of Christians to do morally bad things because they are human. This validates further that we cannot say that Hitler was not a Christian.”

      Nor does it validate a claim that Hitler was a Christian.

      “With that question you have shown how very little you know about the situation. Hitler was also killing anyone not fit for the master race. How many paedophiles, gay, Polish, and other not-fit priests were there? Do you think Hitler would have spared them just because they were in the clergy?”

      I am well aware of the situation and who was killed. The Catholic priests who died are particularly relevant, though, since it makes no sense for Hitler to allow their deaths if he was a practicing Catholic. It also demonstrates that the Catholic Church did not support the murders.

      • Null, you are beating a dead horse. HItler’s actions were evil. God’s actions in the bible were evil. I don’t care what you call it–subjective opinion, objective opinion, whatever. Both are very valid opinions shared by many. No amount of your dancing around the subject is going to change it.

        I am at work and I can’t devote another day of debating this with you. I don’t understand why MyAtheistLife or myself have to adhere to your rules in order to have an opinion. You say we have to do this or do that or whatever to judge your god. Um, no, we don’t. ‘

        If you want to continue to debate this subject please try to come up with something new as an argument. Your previous argument that you keep repeating over and over is not getting any of us anywhere and is piling a huge load of comments on my blog.

  6. I’ve got a question null, if you were born in an Islamic society (Saudi Arabia) of Islamic parents, would you be a Christian today?

    • It’s difficult to speculate on how my life would have turned out if it started with completely different initial conditions. If you are asking whether I’ve studied the claims of other religions and atheism, then yes I have done so and I conclude that Christianity is most likely the truth. If I had been born in an Islamic society would I have even had a chance to study other religions and atheism?

      • At least you admit a bias for your belief system. How honest are you in your assessment of other religions?

      • Lol! I’d really love to know why you think Christianity is “most likely the truth.” Both Islam and Christianity are the offspring of Judaism. Both have taken bits and pieces of various pagan religions and mixed that with Judaism. Neither have any non-biblical evidence to support their claims. Both defy reason and science. So I’d love to know why you think one is less likely to be “truth” than the other. What do you base this on exactly?

      • Jeff,

        Everyone has at least some bias in their belief systems. I’m as honest as a human can be. It doesn’t do me any good to spend my time going to church, worshipping God, defending my Christian faith to atheists, etc., if I don’t have a high confidence in my faith.

        I don’t believe in Christianity just for the promise of a reward of eternal life, either. My Christian belief in heaven also includes a belief that I will be judged by God and, if I fail that judgment, I will suffer for eternity in hell. As a Christian I also believe I have additional moral obligations to God that I would not believe I have if I were an atheist or believed in a different religion (I’m not saying that atheists cannot behave morally, but atheists obviously do not believe they have moral obligations to any deity since they believe no deity exists — see, e.g., lonewolfdee’s denial of the existence of sin).

      • “I’d really love to know why you think Christianity is “most likely the truth.””

        That’s an entirely different debate and would take far too long to address. After all, there’s so much evidence for Christianity. 😉

        “Both defy reason and science.”

        I obviously don’t think so. Perhaps some denominations of Christianity include beliefs that do so, but the core of Christianity is consistent with both reason and science.

      • No really, I would like to know. Or should I pester you for two days until you provide an answer that satisfies my requirements?

        I’d also really LOVE to know how your belief in the supernatural that hasn’t one tiny shred of science or reason backing it up, can possibly be consistent with these things? Religion…any religion, flies in the face of reason and science…is on the opposite end of the spectrum. By saying what you just did I now too have to assume you’re an idiot. Either that or you make this shit up as you go and think by saying so, you make it true.

      • null, Does one need a deity to be moral? No. I would put forth that morality and ethics are preservers of society; religion (ie. Christianity) has incorporated morality and ethics from many diverse groups in the middle east.

        Do the Chinese have morality and ethics? Yes.
        Did Christianity have an effect on Chinese society (other than being a barbarian import by the colonial nations to destabilize China)?

      • null, is the core of Christianity consistent with reason and science? Historically the answer is no. If anything you are using an elasticity of a core that doesn’t exist. Now if you selectively ignore parts of the Bible, the outer shell of belief is forced to follow reason and science. And we’ve seen this with Copernicus, Galileo and Keppler.

        (My apologies to Diane for derailing this post and thread).

      • “I’d also really LOVE to know how your belief in the supernatural that hasn’t one tiny shred of science or reason backing it up, can possibly be consistent with these things?”

        Rather than type up all the ways in which my belief in God squares with science and reason here in your comments section, I’ll just point you to some links where you can read about the major scientific arguments for theism. These include such things as the kalam cosmological argument, fine-tuning argument, origin of life problem, etc. Wintery Knight has the most comprehensive online coverage of Christian apologetics I’m aware of, so I’ll point you to him. Here are some links to get you started:

        http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/the-kalam-cosmological-argument-defended-in-a-peer-reviewed-science-journal/
        http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/some-examples-of-cosmic-fine-tuning/
        http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/can-naturalism-account-for-the-origin-of-the-20-amino-acids-in-living-systems/

        Feel free to follow the links at the bottom of those articles or search his blog for additional information. These links do not specifically argue for Christianity, but before you can be convinced of the truth of Christianity you have to be convinced of the truth (or at least the plausibility) of theism.

        Let me know if you have any questions.

        “Religion…any religion, flies in the face of reason and science…is on the opposite end of the spectrum.”

        Religion (more precisely, theology) attempts to answer different questions than science. For example, science studies physics while theology studies metaphysics. Religion and science are not even on the same “spectrum”.

      • Jeff,

        “Does one need a deity to be moral? No.”

        I said as much myself.

        “is the core of Christianity consistent with reason and science? Historically the answer is no. If anything you are using an elasticity of a core that doesn’t exist. Now if you selectively ignore parts of the Bible, the outer shell of belief is forced to follow reason and science.”

        I just posted a response to lonewolfdee with some links demonstrating the use of science and reason to argue in favor of theism (you may not see that response yet since it has to be moderated by lonewolfdee). I assume you are an atheist? If so, then as I mentioned to lonewolfdee it is appropriate to first show that theism in general is consistent with reason and science before showing that Christianity is consistent with reason and science.

        The core of Christianity is, specifically, that (1) God exists and is the creator of the universe, and (2) Jesus is the Son of God, was crucified, died, and was resurrected. All Christian denominations must believe this by definition (for if Jesus was not the Son of God and was not resurrected, then he was not the Christ). (1) relies on scientific and philosophical arguments for theism and (2) relies on historical evidence. The bit about “selectively ignor[ing] parts of the Bible” is a question about Biblical inerrancy, which not all Christian denominations agree about — even if they agree with (1) and (2). Things like Biblical inerrancy are outside the core of Christianity.

      • I think atheists would believe if evidence beyond the bible with its 400,000 errors is shown to exist. But it is a widely accepted fact in the science community that there is no scientific proof of a god, or that a Jesus existed (why do you think your only son of god is real but all the prior ones are not?), or that Creationism is even a valid supported theory?

        I have already read plenty of apologetic websites. They are Christian and they clearly have a bias to that religion and a desire to make it sound reasonable to believe that religion’s unsupported claims. If any of these links are not articles written by Christian apologetics, let me know,

      • “You wish me to read Christian apologetics? Are any of these references respected scientists in any field?”

        The very first link (the kalam cosmological argument) is about a paper that appeared in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, written by a doctor of philosophy!

        Here’s a link about fine-tuning from a doctor of physics: http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/luke-barnes-reviews-victor-stengers-critique-of-cosmic-fine-tuning/ (Be advised that the article is VERY technical and the physics is too advanced for many people to understand.)

        “But it is a widely accepted fact in the science community that there is no scientific proof of a god…”

        There are plenty of theistic scientists, and in any case there is no scientific proof of God NOR scientific proof that God doesn’t exist.

        “…or that a Jesus existed…”

        See http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/why-do-christians-believe-that-jesus-tomb-was-found-empty/ as an example of evidence of Jesus’ existence. Also http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/easter-is-a-good-time-to-learn-how-to-defend-the-resurrection-of-jesus-2/. Here is a debate on Jesus’ resurrection: http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/william-lane-craig-and-james-crossley-debate-the-resurrection-of-jesus/

        “or that Creationism is even a valid supported theory”

        Define Creationism.

        “They are Christian and they clearly have a bias to that religion and a desire to make it sound reasonable to believe that religion’s unsupported claims.”

        So what? The atheists you read clearly have a bias to atheism and a desire to make it sound reasonable to believe their claims. It sounds like you want to insulate yourself from seeing any evidence of Christianity. If these Christian apologists have such biased, faulty arguments then you should have no trouble seeing their error(s) that make their arguments false.

        Whether you want to read Christian apologetics or not you still have to explain how your belief in no God is consistent with the universe’s origin ex nihilo, the problems of the origin of life, etc.

        “If any of these links are not articles written by Christian apolog[ists], let me know,”

        Alright, watch a debate so you can see both sides. I linked to one above about Jesus’ resurrection. Here’s one about the existence of God: http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/william-lane-craig-debates-victor-stenger-does-god-exist/

        I obviously can’t link to any articles defending Christianity that were not written by a Christian apologist since the author of such an article is BY DEFINITION a Christian apologist. You’re obviously not going to find an article written by an atheist defending Christianity — that would be like an atheist praying.

      • It’s rather silly of you, Null, to tell me I am biased against religion or Creationism considering I was a Christian for a very long time and wanted very much to, during those decades I was, believe the bible was true about creation. But it is not. Yes, there are a few small scattering of actual scientists who cling to the notion that there is a creator, but even they will say the account of the bible is wrong–and none of them as far as I know, are new earth Creationists, but rather old Earth Creationists.

        I’ll check out the links when I’m not at work. Thanks.

      • “I looked at your first link. Not sure exactly what that proves, Null. Maybe you can elaborate?”

        You claimed that my belief in God “hasn’t one tiny shred of science or reason backing it up”, and the first link uses science and reason (specifically, cosmology and the origin ex nihilo of the universe) to argue that the universe was created (we call that creator God). This is called the kalam cosmological argument. Here is a more explicit explanation of the kalam cosmological argument: http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/how-to-defend-the-kalam-cosmological-argument-just-like-william-lane-craig/.

        Here’s another good link: http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2009/03/25/is-there-scientific-evidence-for-an-intelligent-designer/. This is Wintery Knight’s summary of a lecture given by a Baylor University Professor of Engineering (the audio for the lecture is linked in the summary). It covers the origin ex nihilo of the universe, problem of the origin of life, and evidence that the universe was designed (fine-tuning argument).

      • This “science” is another approach to arguing the notion of intelligent design. I think if it really had proven something it would be a main topic of conversation by folks like Dawkins. So far all I see of it are blogs or a few science journals debunking it.

        I’m sorry, it’s kind of sad. I remember being on your end of the spectrum and trying to produce evidence where none exists. It’s really not fun.

        This conversation again has the huge potential of going no where… It has done and will for all the decades atheists have waited for Creationist “scientists” to provide proof. I would rather not pound this into the ground either. I will say I applaud the fact you actually went out to find something to support your claims. That right there puts you head and shoulders above many Christians. I really do appreciate Christians who think for themselves.

      • “This conversation again has the huge potential of going no where…I would rather not pound this into the ground either.”

        As you wish, I will end the discussion here.

        “I will say I applaud the fact you actually went out to find something to support your claims. That right there puts you head and shoulders above many Christians. I really do appreciate Christians who think for themselves.”

        Thank you. I too respect your desire to critically evaluate your beliefs and look for evidence to support them. I am glad we have been able to find some common ground.

      • Me too. I need to be honest. I’m not a great atheist mind like Dawkins or Hitchens. I only did a year of college– all I can do as a person of average education and intelligence is try to find reliable sources of information. When I first became an atheist I was into Acharya S writings. I thought she was a respected religious scholar. Since however, I have learned differently. Most atheists who know better scoff at the Zeitgist film, for which Acharya was one of the sources.

        I am sure Acharya knows her stuff…knows a lot of stuff. But it’s frustrating when you then hear a scientist who is well thought of grumble that ever since the Zeitgist film he now has to spend an added five or ten minutes clearing up what his position is…as opposed to the claims in the Zeitgist film.

        Anyway…I felt kinda dumb for accepting everything Acharya said as true without, again, employing my own brain to look further. But sometimes it’s hard when the person you’re listening to sounds so convincing!

  7. Mr. Null, Adolf Hitler was a Roman Catholic and you don’t need Joseph Goebells to tell you that. He escaped assassination with the help of the Vatican and not “divine intervention.” I suppose you’re the type of extremist who believes that God occasionally suspends the laws of physics too? You need to put away American History X, your History Channel DVD’s, and get some fresh air because you’re coming off as an idiot.
    ~ Jamie Michels

    • Jamie, Null is arguing that Hitler couldn’t possibly be a Christian because he did not behave morally. Or at least that’s what I gather. Apparently you can’t be a “true” Christian and still commit atrocities. Rather a funny claim considering the god of this religion committed more atrocities against humanity than very likely all our evil dictators combined.

      • “Apparently you can’t be a “true” Christian and still commit atrocities.”

        I didn’t say that. My point is that (a) it is possible for people to lie and therefore taking Hitler at his word is insufficient evidence that he was a Christian and (b) Hitler’s actions are in direct conflict with Catholicism, which is evidence that he was lying about being a Christian. It is possible to believe in Catholicism or Christianity and commit atrocities, but it makes no sense to believe in Catholicism and order the murder of Catholic priests who say you are doing wrong.

        I gave the example of someone who says he’s an atheist but you find him participating in church services. By your argument you would conclude that he is an atheist despite the fact that he is participating in the worship of a deity, only because he says he is an atheist. The correct conclusion is that he is lying about being an atheist since he’s acting like a theist.

        As I mentioned to myatheistlife, this line of argument puts you in danger of undercutting the argument you made in your blog post in light of the quote I posted on atheism in the SS (particularly the SS Totenkopfverbande, the actual murderers). If we’re just going to take Hitler’s word that he was a Christian, we have to take the SS members’ word that most of them were atheists.

      • If Hitler said he was a Christian, likely he was. It is absurd to say he was lying about such a thing. Why would he?

        the fact of the matter it is a horrible shame to Christianity and ever since Hitler Christians have been scrambling to cover up the fact of his religious affiliation. They even go so far as try to call him an atheist, which he was not.

        Hitler’s actions are in direct conflict with Catholicism? Oh really? Tell that to all the Protestants during the inquisition.

        And no, I disagree with your black and white definition of what a true atheist or a true Christian is. An atheist is perfectly welcome to go to a church and participate for other reasons than because he agrees with the religion. He might go for social reasons only. To meet new people. he might go because he plays the guitar and someone needed a guitarist. Does that make him a liar? I don’t think so. Nor do I think a Christian is necessarily determined by whether or not a person goes to church.

      • “If Hitler said he was a Christian, likely he was. It is absurd to say he was lying about such a thing. Why would he?”

        We have agreed that Hitler was motivated by lust for power. Perhaps it was politically advantageous to say he was Christian in order to gain better support from the German populace, many of whom were Christians.

        “Hitler’s actions are in direct conflict with Catholicism? Oh really?”

        Yes, his actions were in conflict with Catholicism. The last time I checked Catholics are not supposed to order the murder of Catholic priests (or anyone else, for that matter) or commit suicide. Do you have documentation proving otherwise?

        “An atheist is perfectly welcome to go to a church and participate for other reasons than because he agrees with the religion.”

        So someone can call himself an atheist and actually worship a deity, but you would consider him an atheist just because he says so? I’m not talking about playing a guitar or socializing — if someone goes to church, prays to God, kneels before the altar, sings praises to God, but claims to be an atheist would you believe he is an atheist?

        More succinctly, what if I told you I am an atheist? Would you believe me?

      • And then again maybe not. Maybe he was a Christian and he developed schizophrenia like my mom did and it fucked with his perceptions of reality.

        We can speculate all day. Why are you caring so much if Hitler was or was not? Why the fuck are you pounding this dead horse?

        An atheist would not go to church or pray. The only time an atheist would do such a thing is if he or she is a closet atheist. Someone afraid to come out because so many of us who do end up losing friends, relatives, marriages, our kids, etc.

        I’m rather all done with this what if this, what if that conversation. Frankly I find it absurd.

      • And no I would not believe you because you have already told me you are a Christian.

        Do you have a job? I do. I’m trying to do it while you go round and round about something of zero importance as far as I’m concerned.

      • “An atheist would not go to church or pray. The only time an atheist would do such a thing is if he or she is a closet atheist. Someone afraid to come out because so many of us who do end up losing friends, relatives, marriages, our kids, etc.”

        Exactly. You cannot simply take someone at their word. If they act contrary to what they say (an “atheist” praying, a “Catholic” ordering the murder of Catholic priests) then you have evidence that they are lying.

        Sounds like you just gave some great reasons why Hitler might have been a closet atheist, though in his case I’d substitute marriage and kids with power.

        “And no I would not believe you because you have already told me you are a Christian.”

        Maybe you and your atheist friends here have shown me the error of my ways and I’ve become an atheist. You used to tell people you were a Christian, right? It’s possible to change your mind. Why don’t you believe me? Why don’t you take me at my word?

  8. Null, for you and others, I’ll restate my claim, but not argue with you about it. You have shown yourself to be ill-mannered about it and almost incapable of understanding other people who do not agree with you.

    As previously argued, we must accept that Hitler was a Christian or thought himself to be. Further he cl.aimed to be doing his god’s work. In addition to this we cannot know what was truly in his mind nor what his god may or may not have said to him. Because it fits the known facts, lets suppose that he was told by his god to punish the Jews, among others.

    This makes Hitler no different than Joshua from the Christian Bible with the exception that we are told that Joshua talked with YHWH and of course that Hitler was not recorded in the Bible.

    Now, if it is asserted that objective or absolute morality is true we can conclude two things:
    1 – Because Joshua was righteous, we cannot call Hitler evil.
    2 – on the other hand, if Hitler was evil, then Joshua was evil, and by logic so is YHWH for his part in the whole mess.

    If we say that Hitler was evil but Joshua was not we necessarily are using subjective morality.

    If we presume that morality is universal but not absolute, it is okay to be a genocidal mass murderer if your god tells you to be, but not if your god does not. This removes the stink of moral wrongness from genocide and mass murder and attaches it to motivation. If your motivations are from your god they are morally right, but if they are not from your god then your motivations are morally wrong – but in either case for this supposition, genocidal mass murder is not morally wrong — so we still cannot say that Hitler was actually evil since we do not know what his god may or may not have told him, and can only presume he acted on his god’s orders as that is what he said.

    If we instead presume that morality is subjective and that Hitler was evil because he was a genocidal mass murderer(among other things) we can also conclude that Joshua and thus YHWH are evil for their celebrated participation in not only genocide and mass murder but of being far more ruthless about it than Hitler was.

    Further we cannot say that Hitler was not a Christian because we can say no such thing of any other character. For instance, Null, we cannot claim with any hope of accuracy that you are not a Christian if you claim to be one. Clearly, being a Christian does not prevent you from doing wrong – you yourself have claimed this. The Bible gives us plenty of reason to believe that the holocaust could simply be one more instance of YHWH using something other than his own hand to punish the Jews. He had done so many times before.

    Null, the logic that you use to tell us what Hitler could or could not have done has been refuted by all other participants (I think). The logic that you use to tell us what atheists can and can’t do is similarly a steaming pile of fail.

    That is the nutshell version of what I have said. You don’t have to like it but you do need to stop twisting it about and claiming that I’ve said other things than this.

    • My Atheist… Brilliant. I really need to read that article of yours! I have two jobs though. Definitely this weekend I’ll check out your blog(s). 🙂

    • “You have shown yourself to be ill-mannered about it”

      How so? I have been trying to have a calm, respectful debate so please point out where you think I have been ill-mannered.

      “As previously argued, we must accept that Hitler was a Christian or thought himself to be. Further he claimed to be doing his god’s work. In addition to this we cannot know what was truly in his mind nor what his god may or may not have said to him. Because it fits the known facts, lets suppose that he was told by his god to punish the Jews, among others.”

      It’s unfortunate you re-typed your entire argument because I actually do understand it. If you can actually “suppose that [Hitler] was told by [God] to punish the Jews” then your argument is mostly correct. But the problem is that supposing (by definition assuming) Hitler was following God’s will does not prove it. And in order for you to reach your argument’s conclusion you must prove all steps. Here’s an example of what happens when you “suppose” something that is incorrect:

      1. Suppose 2 + 2 = 5.
      2. Subtract 4 from each side. We have 0 = 1.
      3. Let x be any number (0, 1, 2, pi, infinity, etc.). Multiply both sides of 0 = 1 by x. Since x times 0 equals 0 and x times 1 equals x we have 0 = x.
      4. 0 is equal to any number.

      All steps used perfectly valid mathematical operations, but the conclusion (that 0 is equal to any number) is nonetheless absurd since the original assumption (2 + 2 = 5) is incorrect.

      Your fellow atheist Bertrand Russell is said to have used a similar argument to “prove” that he is the Pope.

      In order to show that your conclusion is correct you must prove that Hitler was actually doing God’s will (not that he merely THOUGHT he was doing God’s will, but that he was ACTUALLY doing God’s will). It is not enough that Hitler claimed to be a Christian: people can lie about their religious beliefs (my discussion with lonewolfdee came up with loss of friends, relatives, power, etc., as reasons for lying about religious beliefs) or may have a false sense of what Christianity is (lonewolfdee gave the example of someone who believes he is a Christian but developed schizophrenia which apparently distorted his perception of reality — such a person may believe himself to be a Christian and doing God’s will while actually not). As you said yourself, “we cannot know what was truly in [Hitler’s] mind nor what [God] may or may not have said to him” — so you cannot possibly prove that Hitler was doing God’s will, just as you cannot possibly prove that 2 + 2 = 5.

      Your argument fails since it depends on an unprovable assumption.

      “we cannot claim with any hope of accuracy that you are not a Christian if you claim to be one”

      Nor can you claim that I am a Christian simply because I claim to be one. The same applies for Hitler.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s