Monday, March 21, 2011

Were the Nazis Atheists?


This question is a little bit complicated. The Nazi government did not aggressively promote atheism in the way that most Communist governments did and still do. The Nazi party preferred to persuade the churches to cooperate with the government when possible, rather than to outlaw the churches.

I also have a feeling that many Nazis harbored a soft spot for Christianity, since Nazi antisemitism was clearly rooted in Christian antisemitism.

On the other hand, the Nazis certainly promoted Darwinism. In Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote

"In the struggle for daily bread all those who are weak and sickly or less determined succumb, while the struggle of the males for the female grants the right or opportunity to propagate only to the healthiest. And struggle is always a means for improving a species' health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of its higher development."

This is a cornerstone of Nazi philosophy and is merely a statement of the Darwinian concept of natural selection. Nazism and evolution are both based on the same fundamental belief.

At the same time, Nazism certainly discouraged the concept of a personal, Biblical God. The Waffen SS did not seem to possess an official chaplaincy of any sort, at least not in the earlier years when recruitment could be more selective.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no record of any Nazi official in Hitler's bunker praying even during the final days of the war.

If we therefore define atheism, as I do, as a belief in evolution and a disbelief in the Biblical God, I believe that we can describe Nazism as being a fundamentally atheistic movement.

85 comments:

NC said...

I would agree with the general premise that the Nazis were godless. But I think that this is besides the point. Had they not been godless, would they not have committed crimes against humanity?

This is a hypothetical question regarding the Nazis. The classic association vs causation dilemma. However, you can generalize the question as follows: Given a power hungry and charismatic leader, taking charge of a powerful country with social unrest, and in a position to exercise this power over other weaker parties-- will the presence of belief in god mitigate the use of aggression and violence?

I believe that history (both remote and recent) has answered this question. No.

I believe that Islam and Christianity have a rather bloody past. As regards the Jews, they have been relatively powerless since antiquity so the question doesn't really apply to them.

"This is a cornerstone of Nazi philosophy and is merely a statement of the Darwinian concept of natural selection. Nazism and evolution are both based on the same fundamental belief."

This is incorrect on 2 counts:

1. Murdering weaker people is artificial selection, not natural selection.

2. Evolution doesn't make species "improved", just better adapted to a particular environment. A mole is uniquely adapted to living in underground tunnels. That doesn't make him "improved" in comparison to other species. This of course, was Hitler's misrepresentation of Darwin, and yours...

Garnel Ironheart said...

While not formally atheistic, and technically speaking tolerant of religion, fascism preaches that the State, as represented by the Leader, is the ultimate authority. Therefore one could be a good Lutheran or Protestant as long as one recognized that being a good Lutheran or Protestant meant treated Hitler, y"sh, as your personal leader and that nothing in your religion contradicted Nazi ideology.
But that's the way with all atheists. They all wind up worshipping something - money, power, celebrity, even themselves, just not God but they do worship something.

jewish philosopher said...

"It may be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinising, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, whenever and wherever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life."

Origin of Species

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/origin/chapter4.html


"In the struggle for daily bread all those who are weak and sickly or less determined succumb, while the struggle of the males for the female grants the right or opportunity to propagate only to the healthiest. And struggle is always a means for improving a species' health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of its higher development." 

Mein Kampf 

http://www.hitler.org/writings/Mein_Kampf/mkv1ch11.html

This post merely underlines the fact that atheism is terribly destructive religion of death.

JRKmommy said...

It helps to look at the role of the philosophy of Nietzsche as the intermediate step.

jewish philosopher said...

Nazism was the product of many influences, however it can be convincingly argued that if there had been no Darwin there would have been no auschwitz.

http://www.trueorigin.org/holocaust.asp

NC said...

I repeat what is your recurring error: confusing association with causation. A common fallacy among non-scientists and demagogues. It is a sign of sloppy thinking or deception.

I'll tell you a short true story. In the 1940's before the polio vaccine, health officials noted that there was a correlation between greater soft drink consumption and the incidence of polio. This led to a scare that coke and pepsi was causing polio. Guess what? It turns out that polio spreads more easily in warm weather, when people drink more soda. So the season was a confounding variable.

http://blog.lib.umn.edu/moore144/ahcarchives/2010/03/soft_drinks_and_polio.html

You have to be very careful drawing conclusions about causation.

nc said...

The article isn't very convincing, because the Nazis were willing to lie, distort and use any propaganda they could. The used all kind of pseudoscience. They used the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. If that forgery had not been written, would there have been no holocaust?

Anonymous said...

In "Mein Kampf" Hitler y"s used the therms cretaor and nature interchangibly. Thsi would seem to indicate that he was a pantheist. He does the same in his second book.

jewish philosopher said...

There is no question that evolution provided a supposedly scientific basis for Nazism.

Darwin himself may not have openly advocated murder, but he came very close.

http://www.discovery.org/a/7251

NC said...

"There is no question that evolution provided a supposedly scientific basis for Nazism."

Let's say that's true for the sake of argument.

Similarly, there is no question that organic chemistry and physics provided for the scientific basis of the final solution.

Does that mean that organic chemistry=nazism?

That people use whatever tools that are at their disposal for evil purposes-- is that a surprise to you?

Nate said...

If that forgery had not been written, would there have been no holocaust?

What makes you think that the Holocaust was anything but a devastation brought by Hashem Himself? The Nazis were mere pawns and tools. Of course it would have happened regardless of Darwin. The Jews assimilated to the point where they were barely recognizable as Jews any longer, so Hashem kept His promise and showed them that no matter how hard they try to hide themselves among the goyim, they will always be separated.

Nate said...

why is my post on this not showing up?

jewish philosopher said...

This post is not really discussing the truth or falisy of Nazism or atheism. Those are separate issues.

The views of Darwin and Hitler were almost identical however. The only difference is that Darwin would have gassed blacks while hitler had a thing for Jews.

Anonymous said...

NC:

The Nazis felt that evolution gave them a moral basis for the final solution. I don't know ifthat could be said for physocs and chemistry.

NC said...

"The Nazis felt that evolution gave them a moral basis for the final solution. I don't know ifthat could be said for physocs and chemistry."

What's the difference? They were using, or rather misusing, ideas and knowledge for their own warped purposes.

Nate, I am impressed that god spoke to you to inform you of his reason for the holocaust. As far as I know, prophecy ended about 400 BC. Has he chatted with you about the reasons for the tsunami, or progroms of the 1900s in Russia, or the inquisition, for that matter? Are they predicted by your book?. Do you have any other predictions?

As JP pointed out, you have a loving father in heaven, who, when you need a little guidance, he helps you -- he rapes you and burns you alive and gases you. Sounds like a Hollywood psychopath to me.

Nate, this is really very shoddy thinking. When something happens that agrees with your philosophy, your "book" refers to it and proves it. Yea, sure, the holocaust was "predicted". So were all of the events in the world or among Jews that WERENT in the book, like the formation of Israel (whether or not you agree with it), or the other things I mentioned above.

Do you have some objective criterion whereby you can determine which events are or are not referenced in your Book? I suspect you are just guessing, like everybody else...

jewish philosopher said...

"As JP pointed out, you have a loving father in heaven, who, when you need a little guidance, he helps you -- he rapes you and burns you alive and gases you. Sounds like a Hollywood psychopath to me. "

You sound like an addict in denial to me.

Nate said...

As the Gaon of Vilna said : All that ever was, or ever will be, is in the Torah.

So yes, NC. Like Prego sauce, it's in there.

NC said...

Well, if he says so, it must be.

Funny that nobody else has discovered the fortune-telling abilities of the chumash. Can you give me the latest stock tip?

If you want to debate dogma, I'll get you in touch with some Christian fundamentalists. I'm sure the two of you would have a good time exchanging unfounded statements.

Abe said...

"Nate said...
If that forgery had not been written, would there have been no holocaust?

What makes you think that the Holocaust was anything but a devastation brought by Hashem Himself? The Nazis were mere pawns and tools. Of course it would have happened regardless of Darwin. The Jews assimilated to the point where they were barely recognizable as Jews any longer, so Hashem kept His promise and showed them that no matter how hard they try to hide themselves among the goyim, they will always be separated."

And don't forget the earhtquake and tsunami that devasted Japan. Those Japanese must have done something almost as evil as the Jews for Hashem to visit upon them his devastating retribution. I bet it was some evolutionary mechanism that the Japanese employed to produce their slanty eyes. You know that god hates evolution.

NC said...

It seems that Nate and others who make claims like his don't have any consistent objective criteria to determine when something is "divine" punishment from the Torah and for what.

Nate said...

And your explanation that things just happen for no reason is supposed to be rational? LOL

"Funny that nobody else has discovered the fortune-telling abilities of the chumash. Can you give me the latest stock tip?"

It's not funny at all. It's called free will. But ultimately Hashem is in control and causes everything. Holocaust, tsunamis, earthquakes, and sudden infant death syndrome. The why's are not our business.
What's funny is how you have no trouble saying "Thank God" when something good happens, or something you perceive as good, rather.
The bottom line is that we have no clue how He runs the world, nor is it something we need concern ourselves with. Is He responsible for the death of the Fogel family? Of course. What do you think? That He was asleep at the wheel? That awful things happen and He snaps His finger and says "Darn, I should have been there"? Fools.

NC said...

" But ultimately Hashem is in control and causes everything. Holocaust, tsunamis, earthquakes, and sudden infant death syndrome."

Let's say that I would follow one of the more rational streams of Orthodox thought, of which there are several. Yours is the kindergarten version of the man in the sky god, who needs our worship, sounds like you haven't gotten past that.

"And your explanation that things just happen for no reason is supposed to be rational? LOL"

Is a coin landing 50% heads and 50% tails just by the laws of chance, so irrational?

Are you talking about what is comforting, or what actually makes sense? Because a good and perfect god creating an imperfect world and thus being responsible for both good and evil-- that is not very rational, my friend.

I know that you have ways of explaining it away, giving man free choice, bla bla bla, but "shit happens", however disconcerting that is, is much more logical. The tsunami victims had none of your "free will".

But, as we say, to each his own, you live by your "truth" and I'll live by mine.

Abe said...

Nate said...
"And your explanation that things just happen for no reason is supposed to be rational? LOL"

There is a reason, in fact a number of reasons. Random chance is one. Another is events forcast by scientific laws of probability. But neither is dependent on Hashem, Jesus, Zeus or Bessie the cow.


"It's not funny at all. It's called free will. But ultimately Hashem is in control and causes everything. Holocaust, tsunamis, earthquakes, and sudden infant death syndrome. The why's are not our business."
The old 'I can't explain it but I don't have to' response. Well, I think you can use that reasoning to ascribe those events to good old Bessie because, even though your infantile mind can't fathom her superior intellect, she's the most intelleigent, astute, brilliant, comprehending entity in he universe. Why she does these things is none of your business.

"What's funny is how you have no trouble saying "Thank God" when something good happens, or something you perceive as good, rather."
I only say thank god when the laxative he created works for me. All the other times, its Bessie's resourceful powers that are responsible for everything. Thank Bessie!

"The bottom line is that we have no clue how He runs the world, nor is it something we need concern ourselves with."
You're right, I don't and whenever I get the urge to concern myself, I nosh down a cheeseburger and all my concerns disapear.

"Is He responsible for the death of the Fogel family? Of course. What do you think?"
Now you're correct. Only god would do something that awful. Bessie would never do that.

JRKmommy said...

Re-reading the original post, I have a couple of questions/points:

1. Are you saying that Judaism denies that natural section exists at all as an explanation for adaptation to environment, or just that it does not explain how new species arise?

2. I think it's obvious that whatever their view of the Divine, Nazis clearly rejected the basic moral message of both Christianity and Judaism.

3. While I'm not crazy about using Wikipedia as a source, these provide some food for thought about the precursors of Nazi ideology.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariosophy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%9Cbermensch

jewish philosopher said...

First of all, the concept that our ancestors were monkeys entirely contradicts Jewish tradition. An honest person would have to say that if this is true, then Judaism is false.

However one great moral danger of Darwinism is the concept that man is merely an animal and he should therefore logically be bred or slaughtered as animals are.

As outrageous as this may sound, I'm not certain that the Nazis were actually cruel or sadistic. They simply, based on the pseudo-science of evolution, believed all life to be of equal value. Let's not forget that Hitler was a vegetarian and a champion of animal rights.

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_welfare_in_Nazi_Germany

NC said...

Abe- I like Bessie, but like George Carlin, really prefer praying to the sun.

It keeps me warm and sustains all other plant and animal life. It also keeps the earth from hurling endlessly through space. It is a fair god, shining its warmth on everybody equally, regardless of creed. It gives me a great tan. And finally, it doesn't get pissed off if I wack off or don't keep 4 complete sets of dinner and cookware.


"However one great moral danger of Darwinism is the concept that man is merely an animal and he should therefore logically be bred or slaughtered as animals are."

What? This does not follow logically. The reverse is true, as according to Darwinism, a species struggles to preserve its own kind.

Also, as we discussed previously, re Pinker, pre-Darwin concepts of man didn't seem to bother those from previous eras who slaughtered and tortured people. I don't think its really a moral danger, JP. In fact today, if you look at who are the humanists and who is doing the slaughtering, I don't think you can make this slippery slope argument. You are focusing on the wrong sociological variables to explain violence.

" believed all life to be of equal value."

This is indeed a problem for misguided animal rights extremists. And, BTW, some animal rights advocates used religious arguments-- all animals are god's creatures, etc--

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_rights#First_known_laws_protecting_animals_in_the_English-speaking_world

Picking up further on Abe's comment about randomness and probability--

If the laws of coin tossing don't require divine intervention, than neither do the laws of probability regarding disease, car or airplane crashes, lotteries, earthquakes or weather events.

If the latter events require divine intervention, so does the coin toss. In which case, God obeys the laws of probability, so he is limited.

NC said...

Finally, as you have mentioned, JP, prophecy no longer exists. even according to your own concept of god. So, given that there is no unambiguous form of communication from god, interpretation of any event--including the holocaust, a coin toss, or a tsunami---is just a guess. Was it the laws of chance? Was it a punishment? A reward? God not paying attention?

So you (or Nate or the Vilna Gaon) have no basis to make any conclusions about god doing something for this or that reason.

jewish philosopher said...

"What? This does not follow logically. The reverse is true, as according to Darwinism, a species struggles to preserve its own kind."

That's absolutely false.

"The dependency of one organic being on another, as of a parasite on its prey, lies generally between beings remote in the scale of nature. This is likewise sometimes the case with those which may strictly be said to struggle with each other for existence, as in the case of locusts and grass-feeding quadrupeds. But the struggle will almost invariably be most severe between the individuals of the same species, for they frequent the same districts, require the same food, and are exposed to the same dangers."

"All that we can do is to keep steadily in mind that each organic being is striving to increase in a geometrical ratio; that each, at some period of its life, during some season of the year, during each generation, or at intervals, has to struggle for life and to suffer great destruction. When we reflect on this struggle we may console ourselves with the full belief that the war of nature is not incessant, that no fear is felt, that death is generally prompt, and that the vigorous, the healthy, and the happy survive and multiply."

Origin of Species, Chapter 3

http://www.literature.org/authors/darwin-charles/the-origin-of-species/chapter-03.html

I always tell atheists: Read your Darwin!

So the Nazis were just doing what we as animals naturally do.

At least we can be consoled "that death is generally prompt"; like in a gas chamber. "And that the vigorous, the healthy, and the happy survive and multiply." Well, that makes me feel a lot better.

Interestingly, Darwin himself was a very sick man who had ten children. I guess there are always exceptions to the rule. Or maybe the whole idea is nonsense. Whatever.

"pre-Darwin concepts of man didn't seem to bother those from previous eras who slaughtered and tortured people"

I'm not arguing that atheism is the world's only bad religion, but it's probably one of the worst.

NC said...

JP, I think you are oversimplifying this. Part of the struggle to perpetuate ones genes are other instincts as well, such as cooperation, pack behavior, etc. Just look at the facts.

Most species kill their own kind at a much lower rate than anything even approaching what humans do. Most animals prey on other species:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predation#Degree_of_specialization

They fight over dominance and they show territorial aggression like humans do:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territory_(animal)

But only humans murder wantonly:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder

So if humans were to emulate animal behavior we would probably be better behaved than we are. That's why I never understood why a irrationally violent person is called an "animal". Its an insult to animals.

jewish philosopher said...

I suppose even the Nazis killed more cattle and poultry than other people, in spite of Hitler's personal vegetarianism. However Darwin emphasized that the fiercest competition for survival is within species. But at least the deaths are prompt.

Don't forget that the full title was originally:

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Origin_of_Species

NC said...

For the sake of argument let's say that Darwin meant what you say he meant. OK. People struggle with each other in order to survive, like animals do. Big chidush.

It is a far stretch to claim that had he not written that, the Nazi Party would not have formed and try to conquer Europe. And since Hitler had a pathological hatred for Jews (for various reasons having nothing to do with evolution), in a context of pre-existing Christian antisemitism, I don't see how any "intellectual" barrier would have prevented his carrying out of the Final Solution. If somebody could have "proved" to him that Jews are superior on some way, would that have changed his attitude?

The idea of racial purity was not invented with evolution. In our own Bible it is alluded to, in its opposition to intermarriage, different tribes, priests and Levites, etc. The Nazis just gave the idea a modern spin, using many pseudo-scientific arguments for propaganda purposes.

Again JP, theory of mind.

Ancient men used many different methods to rationalize their violence and slaughter. Self-defence. Survival. God wants us to do it. Dehumanization. The good of the many. etc.

BTW, if you consider atheism a religion, than there is no such thing as a non-religious person. No matter what you do or don't believe, you have an opinion, therefore that is religious. So you empty the term "religion" of all meaning, other than, "having an opinion"

That is not a definition of religion that appears anywhere I am familiar with.

jewish philosopher said...

It was really an unfortunate blending of Jesus and Darwin which caused the holocaust. Both were dangerous liars whom I would recommend avoiding.

I think every mentally competent human has an opinion about our origins, our purpose and our afterlife or lack of any of the above. Animals however genuinely have no religion.

NC said...

"I think every mentally competent human has an opinion about our origins, our purpose and our afterlife or lack of any of the above. Animals however genuinely have no religion."

Sorry buddy, no go.

Suppose I am born a Christian, and I reject Christianity.

That does not make be a believer in "non-Christianity". I did not join a new faith or religion called "non-Christianity", because it is not a religion.

Anonymous said...

NC:

The Germans were Christian for centuries, but they didn't build gas chambers until they became Darwinists.

jewish philosopher said...

Whatever you believe, it's a religion. I used to work with a russian guy named zavel who had one Jewish grandfather and kind of believed in everything. We used to kid him about "zavelism".

NC said...

The English became "Darwinists", too and didn't become Nazis.

Your logical error: association is not causation.

NC said...

"Whatever you believe, it's a religion"

OK, that's a psychological statement, from that perspective you may have a point. But its still a colloquial use of the word "religion". Like we might say to a someone who has a serious hobby "don't make a religion out of it!"

But its not a religion in the sense of "faith-based belief".

Anonymous said...

But if the Germans became Nazis shortly after becoming Darwinists, but cneturies after becoming Christians, it is more likely that cause was Darwinism rather than Christianity.

jewish philosopher said...

Well, then judaism's not a religion. It's fact based, not faith based. Evolution is faith based.

Nate said...

I don't understand this whole Nazism thing with regard to Darwin. I believe that even if they were Buddhists, they would still have implemented the Final Solution because they were God's pawns. Their own beliefs and religion had nothing to do with it.

NC said...

"But if the Germans became Nazis shortly after becoming Darwinists, but cneturies after becoming Christians, it is more likely that cause was Darwinism rather than Christianity"

Boy, Nathan, I mean no disrespect, but that is really weak, sloppy, and unscientific thinking. Maybe the Germans became Darwinists because of the national socialism, not the reverse? Or maybe both Naziism and Darwinism or both related to some third factor which creates a false link? Like national character, technological development, or some other sociological or historical factor?

If you are biology teacher, surely you should know of the pitfalls of making conclusions about causation based on time association. [assuming the association actually is true, which as I pointed out it is not]

An example of this pitfall using your thinking: World cancer rates are rising. So are IPad sales. Therefore IPads must be causing cancer.

Anonymous said...

NC:

I said "more likely." Stonger evidence for the fact that Nazism had its origins in Darwinism comes from reading "Mein Kampf" and Hitler's Second book.

And if Darwinism preceded Nazism, its more likely that Darwinism was the cause of Nazism. Again, "more likely."

And history and sociology sre condsidered soft sciences because nothing is ever 100%. All we've got are probabilities and precentages.

jewish philosopher said...

"I believe that even if they were Buddhists, they would still have implemented the Final Solution because they were God's pawns."

No, everyone has free will. If the Germans had chosen peace, then everyone would still have died at exactly the same time with exactly as much pain. There could have been a plague, meteor strike, whatever. Instead, they chose evil and were punished for it.

Joseph said...

"When exterminating Jews, Hitler saw himself as doing the work of God. “Christ was the greatest early fighter in the battle against the world enemy, the Jews …. The work that Christ started but could not finish, I—Adolf Hitler—will conclude,” he said in 1926

Hitler had the German Army wear belt buckles inscribed with “Gott Mit Uns”—God with us. He modeled his SS after the Jesuit order, and directed SS officers to study the work of the Jesuits’ founder, Ignatius of Loyola .
http://www.thetrumpet.com/?q=6111.4510.0.0

Nazism was the ultimate expression of Christianity-not Darwin. First the Gospels taught that Jews were damned for rejecting Jesus. Then the Churches created the repressive laws that the Nazis copied- almost exactly to the phrasing.

The Church considered Jews to be beasts and considered relations with Jews to be miscegenation.

All this is well documented in the seminal works on the Holocaust written by Raoul Hilberg.

Whether or not they used Darwin as a pseudoscience- the Holocaust very well would have happened. Just look at what the Church did to Native Americans in this hemisphere, much less Jews and "heretics" in Europe.

jewish philosopher said...

The belt buckles were pre-Nazi, as I understand it. And Hitler was no great supporter of any church.

Anonymous said...

I understand that church membership was declining during the Nazi years. And in "Mein Kampf" Hitler explicitely wrote that he had a utilitarian approach to religion. It was useful for strcututing society, but it was time to move on to a science and evolution based approach. And some of the nice things he said about religion were said in speaches early in his career when he was seeking office. He was doing what politicians do best and lying to gert votes.

NC said...

Nathan,

However you try to spin the the narrative, you are still making an unjustified and unproven claim of causation. I don't believe that any reputable historian has made such a link, and certainly not a claim of causation. I actually agree with part of Nate's comment that WW 2 would probably have happened anyway, as I think that there is a certain inevitable flow of history, and people are just the players in the unfolding drama.

The human brain is wired to see linkages between things and infer causation, even when there is none. Your statement about the "soft" social sciences is partially correct and even further weakens your own claim. Today in social sciences a claim is only accepted if accompanied by an actual experiment.

BTW I think that much of the origin of religion is based on the human tendency to find causes for things. The scientific revolution changed how we find causation.

OTD said...

Garnel: You've said Nazism and Communism are "avowedly atheist political movements." In this thread, you say fascism is "not formally atheistic." Which is it? Garnelish?

Anonymous said...

NC:

Hitler's whole obbsessio was with race. This meant that the problem he had with Jews was based on the belief that they had bad genes. Most Christians who hated Jews based their hatred on the belief system of the Jews. If a Jew converted to Christianity, they accepted him. Hitler's racial theories did not allow for the possibilty of conversion. The only solution was extermination. This is closer to what Darwin himself wrote than to anything coming from a theologian.

NC said...

Nathan-

Slavery is also based on race. It existed for thousands of years, well before Darwin. It existed in the United States, a religious Christian country. It had nothing to do with Darwin, but everything to do with economics, human nature, tribalism and culture.

But let's say that Darwin advocated extermination. He didn't, and the claim is absurd, but lets say he did.

What does that have to do with evolution now? By the 20th century, evolution had become so widely accepted in the scientific community, that Darwin was no longer an "authority". Evolution stood on its own. And, BTW had Darwin not discovered it, Alfred Wallace would have. It was inevitable.
So Hitler and the Nazi concocted some new racial theory about Aryans, that had no basis in science or Darwin. They made it up to suit their purposes-- ie to dehumanize Jews and other enemies.

ksil said...

"If the Germans had chosen peace, then everyone would still have died at exactly the same time with exactly as much pain."

huh? how in the world can you say that? its a claim that is not only bologna, but cannot be proven.

Shalmo said...

"As regards the Jews, they have been relatively powerless since antiquity so the question doesn't really apply to them."

lol. Jews have and are doing their fair share of slaughters. Consider the current genocide of Palestinians for starters! Which makes the Nazis look like cake walk

Anonymous said...

NC:

Throughout history, slavery had nothing to do with race. Most slaves were the same race as their masters. The race based slavery in America was an exception.

And Darwin did worse than advocate extermination. He said that it was inevitable.

JRKmommy said...

Shalmo:

Let's leave theology for a moment and talk about basic research and math skills.

Please provide:

1. Arab population of Palestine as of May 1, 1948.

2. Number of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians living in either the state of Israel, Gaza or West Bank in 2011.

3. Jewish population of Europe in 1939.

4. Jewish population of Europe as of May 1, 1945.

jewish philosopher said...

You know I think shalmo is a Jewish convert to Islam. I can't say I take him seriously as a rule. Atheism - I get the attraction. Sex, drugs, rock and roll. But Islam??

JRKmommy said...

Shalmo is parroting a common line, which I have heard from otherwise-intelligent individuals who have heard it in mosques or left-wing political organizations. This is my standard response.

Since the original claim defies reality, make someone engage with real figures. If you make an allegation of genocide, numbers matter.

YC said...

"The Nazi government did not aggressively promote atheism in the way that most Communist governments did and still do."

Still do? There are no Communist governments still in existence, with the probable exception of Cuba, but Cuba is a robustly Catholic nation. (Unless of course you consider Catholicism a form of atheism.)

North Korea, for instance, was never Communist or "atheist" for most of its history. It started out as a Stalinist puppet republic, but ideological oreintation of the (ironically named) Democratic Republic of Korea rapidly evolved into the Juche ideology Juche is based on a neo-feudal socio-economic system, and a fascistic isolationist political system. And the Juche state religion is not "atheism" but cult-worship of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il as gods.

So where are your "Communist governments that still aggressively promote atheism" now? You must be stuck in the 1950s...

"If we therefore define atheism, as I do, as a belief in evolution and a disbelief in the Biblical God, I believe that we can describe Nazism as being a fundamentally atheistic movement."

Granted, your definition of atheism is incoherent, perpetually inconsistent, and completely fucked up. Accordingly a polytheistic Hindu who accepts evolution is "fundamentally atheistic."

"Atheism - I get the attraction. Sex, drugs, rock and roll. But Islam??"

Actually JP, I think you should! Serious suggestion, this whole Judaism does not seem to work well for you, and you do not think that you are really cut out for it. Islam seems like a perfect fit for you. You get to do all the same things you do with Judaism, and it seems to fit your core values!

Boxed Whine said...

My husband told me that the Nazis were somewhat pagan, and not in a good way.

Anonymous said...

Hitler used "Creator" and "Nature" interchangibly. So, IMHO, he could best be described as a pantheist.

The Nazis were intrigued by the Norse gods. But they didn't Thor or Odin. Their interest in Nordic mythology was more historical and cultural than religious

jewish philosopher said...

I think the Nazi pagan thIng was merely a little nostalgia for the pre-Christian past. In the F├╝hrerbunker 3/1945 nobody was running around offering sacrifices to Thor.

jewish philosopher said...

Remember that the Nazis were basically radicals, not reactionary. They believed themselves to be on the cutting edge of science. And they were: the v2, jet aircraft, the volkswagen, autobahn. If they had gotten the bomb before the US, God forbid, I might be singing German beer hall songs today while you guys would dead (sorry).

Parek said...

jewish philosopher says: If they had gotten the bomb before the US, God forbid, I might be singing German beer hall songs today while you guys would dead (sorry).

That's an interesting bit of alternate history you got there JP, but there are several problems. First of all, there was never any real chance of the Nazis getting "the bomb" before the Allies, considering that they dismissed most of the prerequisite physics as "Jew physics" and to all our good fortune!

Second of all, there is no guarantee that you would have been born, considering that you were born long after WW2, and that your birth in particular was improbable (statistically speaking you probably shouldn't have been born, you were a "mistake").

But even assuming that Hitler managed to win the war, and whoever would be your parents would meet almost exactly when they did, I very much doubt you would be singing German beer hall songs. What do you think would happen to a hook-nosed Jew-bastard like yourself? (Not an insult, you are a Jewish man abandoned at birth by his parents, who were unwed, and who has no idea who his real father is. Literally a Jew bastard!) One look at your raccoon eyes and your crooked little nose (not to mention your questionable origins), and the SS would have slapped a "Jude" star on you and sent you on a one-way train ride along with your Litvish rabbis.

Probably not singing German beer songs, I imagine you would be "Sig Heiling" the whole way until they made you a kapo. Granted, I think you would have made a wonderful kapo in an alternate history, and you would have received the privilege of being among the last to die, but aren't you thankful for EVERYONE who fought Hitler and his regime? Both religious and secular, even those godless commies? Just a thought...

jewish philosopher said...

The Nazis had an active nuclear project

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_nuclear_energy_project

And my ancestry isn't Jewish.

Anonymous said...

Nobel prize winner Werner Heisenberg was working on the atom bmb for Hitler. Some historians feel that he would have succeeded, but he was a better theoretician than he was a researcher, so he made a math error.

Parek said...

Well, the Nazis did exclude some of the best physicists. As for your baseless denial of Jewish ancestry, how else do you explain that Semitic-type aquiline nose of yours? It is clear that your biological mother was a Quadrojew and so was your alleged biological father, assuming that he was indeed your biological father as it is likely he was not!

Both of the people you list as your parents had at least one Jewish grandparent, which would make you a Quadrojew as well. Your mother was evidently somewhat of a cultural Jew. She was involved with Ethical Culture, a culturally Jewish atheist/humanist club. Also, her maternal grandmother, Catherine Bluxome was Jewish. Your relatives have an impression that she was! (And I would trust their word before I trust that of some bastard child turned amateur genealogist.)

There is also your alleged father's maternal grandfather, Emanuel Newman. His ethnicity is unspecified but he is described as a Swedish-speaking Lutheran from (then Russian) Finland. Well, "Newman" does not sound particularly Finnish nor does it sound particularly Nordic/Scandinavian/Swedish. It is a very common "Anglo-Jewish" surname, on the other hand. Of course, you claim that his family name was Abrahamsson before it was changed to Newman. I do not think Abraham is a very common given name in Scandinavia. On the other hand, it makes sense for a Jew to take Abrahamsson as a patronymic surname. B'nai Avram? Abrahamsson... Most likely Emanuel Jewman's father converted his family to Lutheranism like Karl Marx's father did. After all, why did your German Lutheran father merely change the spelling of his name (no doubt to facilitate a more correct pronunciation) while your crypto-Jewish great grandfather's name was changed from Abrahamsson to Newman? (For understandable reasons, Jews are notorious for name changes.)

One crypto-Jewish great-grandfather plus one Jewish great-grandmother = 1/4 Jewish ancestry. That is just going back three generations. (And I do not take your fanciful attempt to forge a genealogy linking you to every knight, aristocrat, king, Holy Roman Emperor, etc. of Medieval Europe seriously. Based on what? Some AMATEURISH genealogy that you conveniently found in a library book written by someone whom you believe to have possibly been related to you. Obviously all a red herring to draw attention from your Juden blutig, which you seem ashamed of for some reason.)

Of course, do you even know who your real father was for sure? As I have established, you are at least an Octojew. Chances are that your mother slept around with more than one man. Perhaps black men. Why else do you think she was so eager to give you up? I don't think someone who is only one fourth Jewish is likely to have such a stereotypical Ashkenazi phenotype. The guy your mother used to sneak around with probably looked like what would result if Mort Goldman impregnated Ben Stein! Chances are good you are about 62.5% Jewish by ancestry. That would explain your deep set eyes, beaky nose, and sharp angular facial features, all of which are typical for Ashkenazic Jews.

Tragically, it seems that your conversion ceremony was redundant!

jewish philosopher said...

"That would explain your deep set eyes, beaky nose, and sharp angular facial features, all of which are typical for Ashkenazic Jews."

Wow, that's a compliment!

Dale said...

Dear Jewish Philosopher, thank you for spreading the truth. I'm really really tired of people erroneously claiming that the Nazis were Christian. More likely, Hitler decided to use Christian imagery in order to give himself legitimacy. In a Christian nation, what better imagery to use? However, I have to disagree with your claim that he had a soft spot for Christianity. However, once in power, he soon realized that the Churches had become troublesome because their theology was opposed to his ideas of social darwinism. Hence, he sought to break their power by creating his own religion. For instance, Hitler's Positive Christianity (the state religion) claims that Jesus was an Aryan, removes many of Jesus' miracles, and adds Zoroastrianism into the mix. Futhermore, the official Nuremberg trials have concluded that he had begun dismantling and oppressing the Church in Germany.

B.R. said...

"On the other hand, the Nazis certainly promoted Darwinism."

Which explains why the banned Darwin's works and burned every copy of them they could get their hands on.

http://www.library.arizona.edu/exhibits/burnedbooks/documents.htm#guidelines

"This is a cornerstone of Nazi philosophy and is merely a statement of the Darwinian concept of natural selection. Nazism and evolution are both based on the same fundamental belief."

Wrong. You sir, are a shameless liar. Here's what Darwin thought about eugenics;

"“The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature.” (emphasis added)

Nazism was attempting to pervert Darwin's ideas in order to give itself some basis of authority when it spoke about race and genetics. Social Darwinism is a misnomer. Darwin didn't start it; it was started by his distant cousin after he died. Natural selection means a "natural" process by which the organisms that are best equipped to survive will outlive other species. Obviously, if humans start selectively breeding, then it become artificial selection. You know less about science than the average high school student.

jewish philosopher said...

"the banned Darwin's works and burned every copy"

What that link actually says is that in 1935 German libraries were asked to throw away copies of books containing "primitive Darwinism and Monism (Haeckel)". I have no idea what that's supposed to mean. Probably neither did librarians who were more literate than whoever wrote that.

"Darwin didn't start it"

I appears he would not have opposed it. Darwin's son Leonard was Chairman of the British Eugenics Society between 1911-1928 and became Honorary President from 1928 until his death.  

B.R. said...

Did you read the entire list? It also explicitly prohibits books that oppose Christianity and mock religion; a very strange policy for an "atheist" regime.

"I appears he would not have opposed it."

Despite being completely opposed to it and considering it a "deterioration in the noblest part of our nature." Did you even read that quote I put up?

"Darwin's son Leonard was Chairman of the British Eugenics Society between 1911-1928 and became Honorary President from 1928 until his death."

Because if someone's children engage in an activity, or condone it, or basically do anything, their parents simply must agree with it. Your attempted character assassination of Darwin is childish and outdated. There are no parallels between his theories and social Darwinism. Artificial breeding is the complete opposite of natural selection, and yet you haven't edited the OP.

jewish philosopher said...

The Nazis, including Hitler, were certainly atheists in the sense of believing that the Biblical God did not exist and evolution created us.

In Origin of Species Darwin bases his theory on pigeon breeding. Have you read it? And I think Leonard understood his father better than you do.

B.R. said...

"The Nazis, including Hitler, were certainly atheists in the sense of believing that the Biblical God did not exist and evolution created us."

All of the evidence does not support that. If they didn't believe in god, why did they go to church and reference the bible as a source of inspiration? Hitler alone referenced god nad Jesus dozens of times in Mein Kamphe and his Nuremberg speeches. And by the way, they didn't believe "evolution created us". Nobody intelligent has ever beloved that evolution created us. That idea doesn't make any sense. As I said before, you know less about science than the average high school student.

"In Origin of Species Darwin bases his theory on pigeon breeding."

Which gave him the idea of inheritable traits being passed on to offspring. He later looked at the fossil record and connected the dots.

"And I think Leonard understood his father better than you do."

Your opinions do not dictate fact. You can assert anything you want on this blog; informed people recognize it as lies. Darwin was not a proponent of eugenics. His own words bear that out. If you lack the intellectual integrity to admit you were wrong, so be it.

jewish philosopher said...

"All of the evidence does not support that."

All the evidence supports it. Read this post.

"Darwin was not a proponent of eugenics."

OK, so Leonard broke with Darwin's anti-eugenics stance. Has anyone else noted that?

B.R. said...

"All the evidence supports it. Read this post."

As I sad, your personal opinions do not dictate fact. You make lots of bare assertions here, and self-reference. I've already debunked your attempt to link Darwinism with Nazism.. If you can show me evidence of strong, wide-spread atheist sentiment in the Third Reich, good for you; but mindlessly repeating yourself over and over does not equate fact.

"OK, so Leonard broke with Darwin's anti-eugenics stance. Has anyone else noted that?"

What are earth are you talking about? If you're asking whether it's widely known Darwin was opposed to eugenics, then yes. It's been common knowledge for a long time.

jewish philosopher said...

By the way, this link explains why "Nazis burned Darwin". They didn't; they vehemently rejected the Darwinist Ernst Haekel who considered Jews to a be a superior race along with Germans.

http://www.strangescience.net/haeckel.htm

B.R. said...

Oh, I almost forgot;

"All the evidence supports it. Read this post."

“We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.” -Adolf Hitler, in a speech in Berlin on 24 Oct. 1933

"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows . For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people." –Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942)

Oh yeah, Hitler was definitely an atheist./sarcasm/

You know, why are you so keen on defending Christian Fundamentalism? Hitler's antisemitism came from his strong Catholic upbringing, and Germany has persecuted Jews for centuries(like in Nuremberg during the Black Death). As an orthodox Jew, shouldn't you be attacking religious racists? Atheists are not know for racism, but a lot of conservative Christians are.

jewish philosopher said...

I don't believe Darwin really opposed eugenics.

Darwin himself gave serious consideration to Galton's work, but considered the ideas of "hereditary improvement" impractical. Aware of weaknesses in his own family, Darwin was sure that families would naturally refuse such selection and wreck the scheme. He thought that even if compulsory registration was the only way to improve the human race, this illiberal idea would be unacceptable, and it would be better to publicize the "principle of inheritance" and let people decide for themselves.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Darwinism#Theories_and_origins

jewish philosopher said...

"Oh, I almost forgot"

And you assume that anything said in a political campaign speech is absolutely honest.

B.R. said...

"By the way, this link explains why "Nazis burned Darwin". They didn't; they vehemently rejected the Darwinist Ernst Haekel who considered Jews to a be a superior race along with Germans."

But they still perverted his theories to get the Aryan myth. It's also curious to see a Creationist linking to a site offering proof for evolution.

"I don't believe Darwin really opposed eugenics."

Then you're delusional. His own words rebuke it.

As for the rest of your comment, again, Darwin, in that very passage, cautioned that hard logic should not override compassion, which clearly makes him an opponent of eugenics. In fact, your Wikipedia page even goes into that. Perhaps you should read your links.

"And you assume that anything said in a political campaign speech is absolutely honest."

Hitler went to church, was never excommunicated, was raised as a catholic, referenced Jesus, god and the bible as inspiration both privately and publicly, and rebuked atheists and Communists.
If he was an atheist, then he is indistinguishable from a Christian. If it looks like a duck, quakes like a duck, and swims like one, then what is it?

jewish philosopher said...

The Nazi leadership vehemently and violently persecuted Christianity and promoted social Darwinism.

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

Obviously Judaism was suppressed.

Even when facing death in the last weeks of the war the Nazi leadership to my knowledge never prayed. The SS had no chaplaincy.

This would put Nazism in the atheist category in my opinion.

B.R. said...

"The Nazi leadership vehemently and violently persecuted Christianity and promoted social Darwinism."

Martin Bormann was one man. He was the only overt opponent to the church amongst Hitler's inner circle. Furthermore, the Nazis did not persecute Christianity in general, but clergy and laymen who spoke out against their policies. The vast majority of churches and churchgoers in Germany remained untouched during the Reich.

"Even when facing death in the last weeks of the war the Nazi leadership to my knowledge never prayed."

Were you there with them? If they prayed, it's possible that they did so in private. Saying that they didn't pray at all is speculation.

"The SS had no chaplaincy."

But the Wehrmacht did, and so did non-German S.S. units. The Luftwaffe had no established chaplaincy as such, but often had guest chaplains visit them.

B.R. said...

"This would put Nazism in the atheist category in my opinion."

As I've shown, the vast majority of Nazis were church-going Christians. And the leaders of the Reich banned atheist books and societies. Your opinion is a bare assertion, nothing more.

jewish philosopher said...

The Wehrmacht was not a Nazi organization any more than the US Army is a Democratic Party organization because the Commander in Chief happens to be a Democrat.

Atheists groups were probably banned because they were usually socialist.

B.R. said...

"The Wehrmacht was not a Nazi organization any more than the US Army is a Democratic Party organization because the Commander in Chief happens to be a Democrat."

But unlike the Wehrmacht, the U.S. Army does not require it's soldiers to be members of the Democrat Party in order to enlist. Do yourself a favor; read a history book(or several).

"Atheists groups were probably banned because they were usually socialist."

Speculative drivel.

jewish philosopher said...

Many Wehrmacht personel were anti-Nazi, although to what extent this is true is still debated by historians.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wehrmacht#Resistance_to_the_Nazi_regime