# What does atheism offer?

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Not be a christian $\ne$ Being an atheist motivated to act based on ones non-belief in deities

A popular image of the Nazis is that they were fundamentally anti-Christian while devout Christians were anti-Nazi. The truth is that German Christians supported the Nazis because they believed that Adolf Hitler was a gift to the German people from God.

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There is no evidence that Hitler and top Nazis only endorsed Christianity for public consumption or as a political ploy — at least, no more so than political parties today which emphasize their support for traditional religious values and which rely heavily on support from religious citizens. Private remarks on religion and Christianity were the same as public remarks, indicating that they believed what they said and intended to act as they claimed. The few Nazis who endorsed paganism did so publicly, not secretly, and without official support.

Nazi Christians didn’t abandon basic Christian doctrines, like the divinity of Jesus. The actions of Hitler and the Nazis were as “Christian” as those of people during the Crusades or the Inquisition. Germany saw itself as a fundamentally Christian nation and millions of Christians enthusiastically endorsed Hitler and the Nazi Party, seeing both as embodiments of German and Christian ideals.

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Peace of mind when at sea.

Atheism also gives me the freedom to decide for myself about morality. I don't need to take someone's word for it that people who eat shellfish are evil. In the same way, it would be difficult for an

Prove it.               But yes, smartass'yness aside, I agree, but I would also add that when your claim is disputed (by more than one poster,a s you saw) then the burden of proof is even dou

Religion attaches one to a higher power than oneself and other humans. This orientation makes it harder for some humans to control other humans, since these other humans, place their oppressors at a lower tier. God is up there and Hitler is in the little chair down there.

Here is an analogy. Say you respected the opinion of your biological father for all your advice. If a fast talking professor came along and tried to alter your POV, there would a checks and balance, since you would confide in your father for his opinion. Then you could find a balance between the two or see things for what they are.

If you lost your father to philosophical cancer, so he is no longer there to give advice, and the same fast talking professor comes along to alter your POV, it would much harder to resist. Hitler needed to get rid of religion since this offered the most resistance to brain washing, because it placed god laws above Hitler's laws. The german atheists were much easier to influence since Hitler was about as high as a human could go in terms of power. He replaced god for them, just like the professor might replace the missing father.

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I suggest you read the book I linked to before you start taking Dawkins word for anything. It is certainly an inconvenient text for Dawkins anti-Christian dogma... but it's very real.

I didn't "take Dawkins word" I quoted sources and added an additional one, incidentally from Dawkins site. Did you even read it, or did you just automatically assume it's irrelevant?

As iNow said, even if Hitler wasn't a Christian, he was DEFINITELY not an Atheist. It's not an either-or situation, there are other religions and other beliefs *inside* christianity and outside of it.

All you did was show that he disliked some aspects of Christianity. That doesn't mean he was an atheist.

However, even if he was, I am not sure what that means in the context of this conversation. Unlike religion - which is a SYSTEM with rules - atheism is just a lack of belief in god. Atheists aren't bound to one another by a system of rules and definitions, they just lack a belief in god. Even *IF* Hitler was an atheist (which, if you'd have read his actual book, you'd see he did believe in god, and in the divinity of Jesus, even if he thought some of the aspects of the system of christianity required change) it has no bearing on atheism ITSELF. It's not a unified system like Christianity, where even the different factions inside christianity all go by a book of laws (the bible, their pastors, some sort of hierarchy).

Atheism is not a "SYSTEM". It's the lack of belief in a deity. Even *IF* Hitler was an atheist (which he was not, even if he wasn't a christian), it has no meaning about atheism in general.

For Hitler the heathen altars were what he wanted. His cult was the deification of Aryan men.

Absolutely not. His 'cult' was saying that God created the Aryan nation PURE and closest to the god. He did not say the Aryans were gods.

If you want to make a case that Atheism is what made Hitler the way he is, or that without faith it's unsurprising hitler was the way he was, then look at his belief in GOD. Atheism isn't "no belief in christianity", it's "no belief in god".

Let's look at what Hitler says about *GOD*:

I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator. - Adolf Hitler,
Mein Kampf
, Vol. 1 Chapter 2

Even today I am not ashamed to say that, overpowered by stormy enthusiasm, I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to live at this time. - Adolf Hitler,
Mein Kampf
, Vol. 1 Chapter 5

I had so often sung 'Deutschland über Alles' and shouted 'Heil' at the top of my lungs, that it seemed to me almost a belated act of grace to be allowed to stand as a witness in the divine court of the eternal judge and proclaim the sincerity of this conviction. - Adolf Hitler,
Mein Kampf
, Vol. 1 Chapter 5

Once again the songs of the fatherland roared to the heavens along the endless marching columns, and for the last time the Lord's grace smiled on His ungrateful children. - Adolf Hitler reflecting on World War I,
Mein Kampf
, Vol. 1, Chapter 7

What we have to fight for is the necessary security for the existence and increase of our race and people, the subsistence of its children and the maintenance of our racial stock unmixed, the freedom and independence of the Fatherland; so that our people may be enabled to fulfill the mission assigned to it by the Creator. - Adolf Hitler,
Mein Kampf
, Vol. 1 Chapter 8

And look here at what he says will happen to belief in god if his battle fails:

But if out of smugness, or even cowardice, this battle is not fought to its end, then take a look at the peoples five hundred years from now. I think you will find but few images of God, unless you want to profane the Almighty. - Adolf Hitler,
Mein Kampf
, Vol. 1 Chapter 10

If the battle fails, there will be less recognition of God. Does that sound like an atheist to you?

In short, the results of miscegenation are always the following: (a) The level of the superior race becomes lowered; (b) physical and mental degeneration sets in, thus leading slowly but steadily towards a progressive drying up of the vital sap. The act which brings about such a development is a sin against the will of the Eternal Creator. And as a sin this act will be avenged. - Adolf Hitler,
Mein Kampf
, Vol. 1 Chapter 11

And this, does this sound like he's an atheist?:

Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise. - Adolf Hitler,
Mein Kampf
Vol. 2 Chapter 1

Clearly, Hitler was a believer in God. What kind of God, what kind of religion, we can argue that, but one thing is quite obvious: He was *not* an atheist.

~moo

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All that discussion about Hitler is misplaced IMO. Being an atheist or a christian or a muslim does not mean anything about your behavior. All can be violent, peacefull or racist. Being a christian does not make you a saint and being an atheist does not make you a devil. People of the italian maffia are very good christians, for example. And you can find a bunch of reverse examples.Things are not that simple.

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Hitler was not a believer in God in any meaningful way. His "faith" was in the Aryan ideal superman. It was like a form of humanism in which the only humans were Aryans.

His private journals there seems to be little if any belief in an actual God.

He was also in to a religious form Scientism in which science and natural order were the defining goals of humanity, as displayed in some of the quotes above.

Claiming Hitler believed in God puts too much weight on public proclamations which in all other ways were demonstrably a calculated lie on his part.

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jryan, we gave you EVIDENCE that Hitler spoke of a divine creator, God, and "Him".

The fact YOU don't find his god meaninful doesn't make Hitler an atheist.

"Mein Kampf" is Hitler's own thoughts and feelings and agenda, spilled onto paper. On one hand you bring quotes from his speech to show he's not a believer, and on the other hand you claim that his quotes that do support his belief in a god (which god is irrelevant for this discussion) are putting too much weight on his statements.

C'mon now, jryan. You're moving the goal post and beating the bush. Either his statements are relevant, or they're not. You can't make them relevant and irrelevant arbitrarily when you feel like it.

That said, you didn't answer my point about the relevancy of Hitler's supposed atheism to this thread. Even if Hitler was an atheist (and the common conception among historians is that he was *not*), what relevancy is this to what atheism offers? To this thread?

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jryan, we gave you EVIDENCE that Hitler spoke of a divine creator, God, and "Him".

The fact YOU don't find his god meaninful doesn't make Hitler an atheist.

"Mein Kampf" is Hitler's own thoughts and feelings and agenda, spilled onto paper. On one hand you bring quotes from his speech to show he's not a believer, and on the other hand you claim that his quotes that do support his belief in a god (which god is irrelevant for this discussion) are putting too much weight on his statements.

C'mon now, jryan. You're moving the goal post and beating the bush. Either his statements are relevant, or they're not. You can't make them relevant and irrelevant arbitrarily when you feel like it.

That said, you didn't answer my point about the relevancy of Hitler's supposed atheism to this thread. Even if Hitler was an atheist (and the common conception among historians is that he was *not*), what relevancy is this to what atheism offers? To this thread?

And I am pointing out that Hitler had a History of using anything he could to gain power.

I mean, he also signed a non-aggression pact with Russia and a peace agreement with Chamberlain in Munich. Does that make him peaceful, too?

I am pointing out that in his private journals he cared little for a God beyond nature, and that his personal philosophy seemed heavily influenced by a bastardization of Humanism, Darwinism and Social Darwinism rapped in ancient German paganism... but the latter was primarily symbolic and as a tool for nationalist pride.

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So, "what atheism offers" is being Godwinned?

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Well, it's necessary to question the validity of some of the supposed benefits of atheism in practice. I would expect that a discussion of what religion has to offer would be destined to a discussion of the Crusades.

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So, suppose you somehow establish that Adolf Hitler was an atheist using religion. What conclusions do you suppose could be drawn from that?

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So, suppose you somehow establish that Adolf Hitler was an atheist using religion. What conclusions do you suppose could be drawn from that?

Meanwhile, many of folks on the Crusades were also using religion as a reason despite that not necessarily being their primary motivation.

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So, suppose you somehow establish that Adolf Hitler was an atheist using religion. What conclusions do you suppose could be drawn from that?

No useful conclusion that I can think of. I mean, Hitler also used peace treaties to extort huge concessions, and build large armies without repercussions. I would guess nobody here thinks that that invalidates the idea of peace or treaties.

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Alright, so no useful conclusions. So Hitler is irrelevant to the topic.

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Alright, so no useful conclusions. So Hitler is irrelevant to the topic.

Well, no, he becomes relevant when the idea of moral relativism, or personal moral code gets bandied about as a positive thing.

But I guess I am a pessimist. The first time I heard that Sheryl Crow song "If it makes you happy (it can't be that bad)" I immediately thought of Jefferey Dahmer.

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Relevant how? Are there useful conclusions, or are there not?

Also, how is Hitler a "moral relativist?" Nazis seem pretty damn sure they're right.

And finally, what, exactly is the alternative to a personal moral code, aside from simply total ammorality? If you have morals, you chose them yourself. The only distinction is whether you accept them unquestioningly from somebody else (like your parents, or Hitler, or the Pope) or whether you figure things out for yourself.

Edited by Sisyphus
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Relevant how? Are there useful conclusions, or are there not?

Also, how is Hitler a "moral relativist?" Nazis seem pretty damn sure they're right.

And finally, what, exactly is the alternative to a personal moral code, aside from simply total ammorality? If you have morals, you chose them yourself. The only distinction is whether you accept them unquestioningly from somebody else (like your parents, or Hitler, or the Pope) or whether you figure things out for yourself.

First, the useful conclusion is that the claim of a positive offering of personal moral choice is not what it appears to be. Very bad things can come from people who develop their own individual moral code, therefor there is no intrinsic value to personal morality. As such, personal morality can only be deemed of any value by comparison to others, and often in posterity.

Second, You assume that the Nazi moral code was something above Hitler's own personal code. For the average SS troop the was a strict external moral code, but their higher power was Adolph Hitler. For Adolph Hitler himself his moral code was of his own making.

Finally, one of the alternatives is codified morality. As I stated earlier, such an alternative is a morality that is attached to an unchangeable higher power and that has been developed through the test of time, and not on a whim. I would even argue that it is all but impossible to develop a multi-generational code of morality without pinning that code to a higher power.

People can still choose not to follow those moral guidelines, but as I have seen in my lifetime those rules are there, and persist for a reason whether they are followed or not.

Edited by jryan
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Atheism is not necessarily going against all the norms of the society. It's merely a state of mind developed by rational questioning of everything.

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First, the useful conclusion is that the claim of a positive offering of personal moral choice is not what it appears to be. Very bad things can come from people who develop their own individual moral code, therefor there is no intrinsic value to personal morality. As such, personal morality can only be deemed of any value by comparison to others, and often in posterity.

Very bad things can come from people who ____________, therefore there is no intrinsic value to __________. IMO, everyone has a personal morality, shaped by culture, education, observation and emotions. Morality should be in place to improve the human condition. The details are not always obvious, so it does take time

As I stated earlier, such an alternative is a morality that is attached to an unchangeable higher power and that has been developed through the test of time, and not on a whim. I would even argue that it is all but impossible to develop a multi-generational code of morality without pinning that code to a higher power.

the higher power cannot be demonstrated. the unchanging cannot be demonstrated. developed through the test of time sounds like it has evolved with society, not handed down on some tablets.

Relativity doesn't need to imply no rules. It just means that rules can have exceptions in different situations.

Our genes do not change very rapidly, but our memes can. We must be able to adjust our culture to new information, to scale it to fit larger and larger groups. This is how we learn and improve, it is how the books get written in the first place.

Maybe we couldn't have made it to civilization without religion. Maybe it is necessary without knowledge or structure. That doesn't mean it is needed going forward. In fact, maybe it retards our growth.

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• 2 weeks later...
What does atheism offer?

hard to accept (ugly) truths.

in other words; ego candy :-D

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