Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Lie that Nazism Was an Atheistic Movement IX

The next time you hear a believer spreading the outrageous lie that Hitler or the Nazis were atheists and you want to reply with something relatively subtle and non-confrontational, you can simply ask the following:

"Why would atheists try to exterminate the Jews?"  (You can then add:  "A lot of Jews are atheists.")

Or you can say:

"Have there been other incidents where alleged atheists tried to kill or otherwise persecute Jews?"


"Do you have any evidence proving that atheists would hate Jews enough to persecute them?"  "Or have ever persecuted them?"

The truth, of course, is that atheists have no reason to hate Jews.  In fact, given that Jews tend to be much more tolerant of us than members of other religions, it might even be said that we are more likely to actually prefer them.  I know I usually do.  You can point that out as well:

"Jews have virtually no history of hostility toward atheists.  In fact, they are usually quite tolerant of usAn atheist would be much more likely to see Jews as natural allies because we are both hated and persecuted by Christians and Muslims."

This point is a good example of the type of relatively subtle points we need to make.  It points out a rather obvious problem with the way the religious think without being too confrontational.  It is highly unlikely that the religious person has ever given this any thought.  At most, they may have some vague notion that the holocaust was a sort of attempt to practice Darwinism, which, in their minds, is inextricably bound up with atheism.

While they are right that atheism and Darwinism are connected, there is no connection between Darwinism and the holocaust

The Holocaust was clearly an example of "artificial selection" not "natural selection". Artificial selection was around for thousands of years before Darwin and has nothing to do with his ideas. His idea was that natural selection, over time, would result in the creation of different species. There is nothing in Darwin's work about artificially selecting members of your species for extermination because they don't have the right religion. That is an age old religious idea.

People with evil intent will always look for ways to make their goals seem respectable, and there are undoubtedly people who invoke Darwin to support their callous social politics. In fact, I have heard people do just that. They happened to be religious people, however.

Calling it Darwinism is a misnomer and a perversion of Darwin's thesis. Because there is no evolution of a new species occurring or even being encouraged. Such people may talk about breeding "new men", but they don't intend to bring about a new species. They simply intend to cull the herd of those they consider defective.

Darwin's thesis has two essential components: 1) natural selection over time--which has no design but is brutally non-random; and 2) accumulation of naturally selected traits resulting in the creation of new and distinct species.

So-called "social Darwinism" has neither of these.

Making the point that atheists have no reason to persecute Jews could thus give you a chance to correct the religious person's thinking with regard to Darwinism.

In any event, the point can act like one of the little thought barbs I recommend you throw into the workings of religious minds where they can fester over time and perhaps lead the religious person to think deeper about his or her beliefs--which can only lead to questioning them.

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