Monday, July 29, 2013

The Lie that Nazism Was an Atheistic Movement VII

I have posted numerous times on this subject because I find it disturbing that so many religious apologists are trying to claim that the Nazis were atheists.  These claims are lies.  They are hate speech.  They are code for "kill them all".

I have pointed out the overwhelming evidence that they Nazis were Christians, but there is one particularly damning piece of evidence that I did not include in previous posts:  The Nazi Party Platform.  It states in Article 24:
"The Party stands for positive Christianity, without associating itself with any particular denomination." 
This, one would think, would put the debate to an end conclusively.  The Christian nature of the Nazi Party was enshrined in its very platform, which is a political party's defining document.  But, given the devious and dishonest nature of religion and religious people, the debate rages on as the religious' lust for power rather than truth causes them to, once again, play on the ignorance of the populace.

The Lie that Nazism Was an Atheistic Movement

The Lie that Nazism Was an Atheistic Movement II

The Lie that Nazism Was an Atheistic Movement III

The Lie that Nazism Was an Atheistic Movement IV

The Lie that Nazism Was an Atheistic Movement V

The Lie that Nazism Was an Atheistic Movement VI

Sunday, July 28, 2013

In His Image

Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form but with regard to their mode of life. -- Aristotle

Believers like to tell everyone that man was created by god in his own image.  But, as astute thinkers have noted for centuries, it is actually quite clear that men create their gods in their own images.  A study done a few years ago, shows this to be true.

The researchers (Epley, et al.) asked religious test subjects about their own views, the views of god, and the views of other people.  They found that people ascribed views to god that were much more in line with their own views than their estimations of other people's beliefs.

After the researchers asked the test subjects to present counterarguments to their own beliefs, they found that the subjects would often modify their own and "god's" beliefs in the same way but would not think that the beliefs of others had changed so much.

Finally, a neuroimaging study of the test subjects found that when asked about god's beliefs, the test subjects showed brain activity in the same area of the brain that was active when thinking about their own beliefs.  But, when asked about other people's beliefs, a different part of the brain was active.

This study confirms the conclusions of numerous astute observers throughout history.  Gods are merely the overlarge projections of the believer's personality.  It is yet another bit of evidence piled on the mountain of evidence that gods are figments of the human imagination.

Frankly, I have always thought that this insight should be combined with Robert A. Heinlein's observation:
Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.
Thus, when a religious person (for some reason) tells you that we are made in god's image, you can say something like

"We created god in our image, and the picture isn't a pretty one."

To which you can add

"I find it disturbing that you can't see that the god of Abraham is a deplorable character."

Because it is disturbing that so many people can be aware of the tales told about this god without noticing how disturbing and immoral they are.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Nothing can be quite so frustrating, even infuriating, as being accused of "intolerance" by a religious person.  One relatively neutral initial response you can give is: 

"I am tolerant of every belief except one:  The belief that you don't owe me the same courtesy."

If need be, you can then delve into the history of religion and the intolerance that seems to always follow it around.

The fact is that the religious have been extremely intolerant of anyone outside their religion for centuries.  They have been most intolerant of non-believers.  For centuries, the official policy of Christian churches was to exterminate non-believers in the most brutal way possible.  Even now, many of them will go out of their way to hurt, as much as they can, any non-believer they meet.

Thus, a more aggressive response could be:

"For centuries, your church's official policy was to exterminate people like me.  For you to accuse me of intolerance is the moral, historical, and logical equivalent of a Nazi accusing a Jew of intolerance."

That response is a little long, but the first part of it is necessary.  If you simply deliver the second sentence alone, all the believer will hear is that you are comparing his church to the Nazi party.  While this comparison is valid even without pointing out the history, because the Nazis were Christians, it is best to remind the person that there are facts that make the statement true and that it is not simply name calling.

Nevertheless, because of their tendency to take everything personally, you will probably be accused of simply making an ad hominem attack.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fear of Death II

Yesterday I published a brief post about the relationship between war and religion.  In it I made the point that religion not only aids the persecution of wars by psychologically preparing the populace but also can be said to be war itself because of the way it divides people and causes them to harm each other.

Buried in that post was the observation that religion makes both dying and killing easier.  This is an important point that often gets overlooked when discussing the merits of religion.  It is also a very good rejoinder to many of the attacks the religious level at us nonbelievers.

One of the most common attacks we hear is that we are trying to deprive people of the comfort religion gives them.  In particular, the comfort people get when faced with death--either their own or that of a loved one.  As I pointed out in my first post on the Fear of Death, this attack is really just an admission that religion is a delusion. 

Pointing out that it is an admission that religion is a delusion when faced with this criticism of atheism is a good start.  When faced with the more specific criticism that we are making it harder for people to face death, however, I think a very good reply is to say that it should be hard for people to face death.  Death is a bad thing.  It is not something to take lightly.

Virtually no one takes his or her own death lightly, but the death of others is often taken far too lightly.  By convincing people that death is merely a transition and not an end, religion makes it much easier for people to take the death of others lightly.

Thus, a couple of responses to the criticism that we are depriving people of comfort in the face of death could be:

"Don't you realize that by making your own death easier to face, you are making the deaths of others much easier to contemplate?"


"Good, death should be hard to face, because it is the end of someone's existence and not just a transition."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Religion IS War

Religion IS war.  It is the necessary first step in organizing and galvanizing a population for war.  It teaches the people to think of themselves and their cause as good and to see the "others" as irredeemably badIt gives them a way to quell the fear they might feel at the thought of their own deaths in war and the guilt they might feel over the thought of killing other people.

Once this dividing and demonizing of the "other" occurs, the war has begun--even if no one has committed an overtly violent act.  The effect of this process is to marginalize or even ostracize those who don't belong to the dominant religious group within a society.  This leaves them with little or no way to lead an ordinary life.  They will not be able to have as many friends--if any.  They will not be able to find a mate--or at the very least will be forced to choose from the least desirable available.  They may not even be able to find work and will be forced to live in poverty.  And, as Mahatma Ghandi said:  "Poverty is the worst kind of violence."

Here is a link to an article in the European Journal of American Studies concerning the history of the attitudes of people (particularly in the U.S.) toward atheists.  The article lays out in detail length, depth, and breadth of prejudice in Western Society and in the U.S. toward atheists.

Here are a few brief summations of these points:

1.  "Religion is a form of warfare--even if no violence is used."

2. "Religion is the original weapon of mass destruction."

3. "Religion divides people into mutually exclusive groups and gives them no way to form a single group without violence."

4. "Religion always results in bias against outsiders."