Dawkins brought up a similar point on the God Delusion (rapidly becoming the tome of budding atheists), as a response to the claim that Hitler was an Atheist where he shows (to those who werent already aware - leavinig cert history class) that Hitler was infact a Catholic.
There are many theories indicating that much of his dislike towards the Jews was either fostered or reinforced by his Catholicism (which is traditionally anti-semetic).
Anti-semitism manifested in most forms of Christianity. Have a look at Martin Luther's:
On the Jews and their Lies.
Dawkins is making a different point w.r.t. to Hitler and Catholism. His main point is that he is trying to rebutt the "atheists can also be lunatics and trouble makers" argument which many theists use referencing Stalin, Hitler etc. when they are rebutting the simplistic "look at all the wars religion causes" argument atheists use.
I don't think Dawkins rebutts it very well either but that's a different topic for a different thread.
The irony is, Hitchens gives out about these sectarian and biggotted attitudes that manifest in many Religions, but he is just propagating his own biggotry and intolerance.
Most critical readers will think "Pot, Kettle and Black".
Sorry, I see what you are saying I misread it the first time.
However I disagree, Dawkins is merely responding to claims that Hitler was an atheist (along with stalin) and they killed loads of people which is the claim that many theologians have made regrarding atheism and a lack of morality (extreme out come being war).
The argument on both sides is flawed because it requires that the root cause of wars be based on faith rather than base greed for wealth, territory etc
However, atheism is not used as a banner to unite one people against another which is, I think, where the issue stems from. Religions are capable of uniting people against a common enemy, notably by claiming that enemy to be "against god" whereas atheism would be uniting people behind a loose association of people who dont believe in something.
You disagree with what:
1. What I said?
2. What Dawkins said?
3. What the theologians say?
What do you mean "both sides"?
Who said it was used as a banner to unite people?
Sorry I can't follow your post. I don't understand your point(s).
Hitler was a Catholic in the same sense that most of the posters on the A&A board are Catholic. He was baptised and raised in Catholicism as a child, but explicitly rejected it in later years.
In the early years of Nazism Hitler made a few positive references to Christianity in order to appease his critics, but as his grip on power became stronger he derided Christianity both in private and in public.
"Christianity causes violence" is always flawed anyway because the Christian can just reply, the Christian doctrine is more about peace and love than violence, therefore so and so isn't a real Christian.
The "political derivatives of religion causes violence" might be a better argument but one could easily apply that also to any edifice that has political derivatives for example nationalism.
These silly atheism arguments omit these points and are a kin to the logical fallacy: act of omission.
No society has invented a system whereby violence, murder, rape etc. don't exist.
As far as I'm aware there is pretty strong evidence for the idea that Hitler believe in some form of Christian God right up to the point where he shot himself in the head (presumably believing that he was heading to meet him)
Of course what form that belief took I've no idea. I do agree that it is unfair to classify Hitler as a "Catholic", I would imagine Hitler had his own original idea of religion. He doesn't strike me as someone who would follow some one else's teachings.
As homework this evening, I want everyone to read Mein Kampf.
Meh, from the original post, this guy seems a bit wishy washy
Some reviews of "God is Not Great":
Actually you are wrong.
Hitler referred many times to Germany as Christian state and his obsession with the occult stemmed from a Judeo Christian understanding of the same.
From studying the nutter you realise that he was not merely a crank but a zealot who justified his actions through religion, philosophy, politics and socialism. Religion may not have caused the things he did but he used it like he used everything else in his life, to gain power.
I somewhat agree with the topic, BUT!, if we didn't have religion, we'd be hating over something else, boxers or briefs.
I disagree with your critique that Dawkins does not rebutt the arguement well. He makes a perfectly sensible argument against the position that atheisms lack of religious guidelines lead to moral degeneracy and this was the cause of wars and ethnic cleansing.
My point regarding both "sides" is the side claiming religion causes wars and the side that says atheism causes wars (genocide, ethnic cleansing insert your moral outrage of choice). Both arguments are flawed because they presuppose the wrong driving force behind such atrocities.
I mentioned banners as a methaphor, something that unites people, "we are all this particular thing that you arent so we can kill you" ... you have seen banners before right?
However, I would point out that no atheist hijacked planes and flew them into buildings in the name of a god who, for all intents and purpses, should be able to wipe out unbelievers with a mere thought.
Quotes from Hitler on Christianity. These are taken from Hitler's Table Talk, private conversations recorded by Martin Bormann.
Night of 11th-12th July, 1941:
National Socialism and religion cannot exist together.... The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity.... Let it not be said that Christianity brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution was in the natural order of things. (p 6 & 7)
10th October, 1941, midday:
Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure. (p 43)
14th October, 1941, midday:
The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death.... When understanding of the universe has become widespread... Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity.... Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity.... And that's why someday its structure will collapse.... ...the only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little.... Christianity [is] the liar.... We'll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State. (p 49-52)
19th October, 1941, night:
The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity.
21st October, 1941, midday:
Originally, Christianity was merely an incarnation of Bolshevism, the destroyer.... The decisive falsification of Jesus' doctrine was the work of St. Paul. He gave himself to this work... for the purposes of personal exploitation.... Didn't the world see, carried on right into the Middle Ages, the same old system of martyrs, tortures, faggots? Of old, it was in the name of Christianity. Today, it's in the name of Bolshevism. Yesterday the instigator was Saul: the instigator today, Mardochai. Saul was changed into St. Paul, and Mardochai into Karl Marx. By exterminating this pest, we shall do humanity a service of which our soldiers can have no idea. (p 63-65)
13th December, 1941, midnight:
Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery.... [here he insults people who believe transubstantiation] .... When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. Let's be the only people who are immunised against the disease. (p 118 & 119)
14th December, 1941, midday:
Kerrl, with noblest of intentions, wanted to attempt a synthesis between National Socialism and Christianity. I don't believe the thing's possible, and I see the obstacle in Christianity itself.... Pure Christianity-- the Christianity of the catacombs-- is concerned with translating Christian doctrine into facts. It leads quite simply to the annihilation of mankind. It is merely whole-hearted Bolshevism, under a tinsel of metaphysics. (p 119 & 120)
9th April, 1942, dinner:
There is something very unhealthy about Christianity (p 339)
27th February, 1942, midday:
It would always be disagreeable for me to go down to posterity as a man who made concessions in this field. I realize that man, in his imperfection, can commit innumerable errors-- but to devote myself deliberately to errors, that is something I cannot do. I shall never come personally to terms with the Christian lie. Our epoch in the next 200 years will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity.... My regret will have been that I couldn't... behold its demise." (p 278)
This is a common charge leveled at the anti-religion crowd (of which I'm a member).
But would we really? Boxers or Briefs won't promise you eternal afterlife, it doesn't tell you that you are special and loved from a supernatural deity, it won't convince you that you are the chosen people.
I think people seem to underestimate quite how powerful a hold religion has on the lives of people because it claims to offer so much that nothing else can.
I wont deny that.
Trouble is that his religious position was deeply confusing.
He defintiely believed in a god that was actively taking part in life itself rather than a detached spirit.
However, as i pointed out, I refered to Hitler in the first place merel as a great orator and nothing else. This is getting WAY off topic.