So I'm sure we all have Facebook friends that post crazy, amusing, disturbing things about god. So what are the worst or most amusing things that you have seen? That and do you ever respond to these posts or just ignore them or even just delete people from your friends list? Furthermore how have other people reacted to your own posts about Atheism or subjects that might go against the faith of friends or family?
It was intellectually repugnant. However, there were more things about me which were decent than my slow journey toward the truth. I was a generous and caring person. I lived by an ethical code which, if flawed in its origin, still produced responsible behavior and generous actions. Things aren't black and white. The world can appear to be drawn in chiaroscuro, but its dimension derives from shades of grey and tints of white.
Ok, so tell me this then - do you think it would have been possible to be a Nazi yet still be a good and decent person?
I've had the unfortunate but informative experience of studying Nazi-era Germany, the Allied-Occupation, and the reconstructive era (Wiederaufbau). On its face your question elicits a knee-jerk answer: of course not. But, I think your questions deserves a closer look. This is the question children of the Nazis found themselves asking in the 1960s, having grown up in a reformed society and only newly aware of their nation's repressed recent history. Can a person do evil and be good? Who was responsible and how can justice be served? How should German society handle its past, so its people never again create such evil?
But, specifically, I'll only address the question, can good and evil coexist? In this case, I have to consider...What kind of a Nazi are we talking about? A party leader, making horrific decisions that destroyed lives? A Hitleryouth member, blindly following the propoganda they have been indoctrinated with from birth? A soldier, following his orders to avoid discipline? A civilian party member, who whole-heartedly supports all of the Nazi philosophy? A non-party member whose passive complicity excuses Nazis as they perpetuate evil? The officer who leads Jews into the gas chambers?
Each of these hypothetical Nazis participates in the system to a different degree. Their beliefs and their actions have to be weighed individually, the good and the bad--in light of eachother. Not all Nazis are the same and neither are all Christians. It is intellectually lazy to take any group sharing a common denominator and extrapolate from that group identity a conclusion that all members are uniform, and in the case of the Nazis, that they are equally culpable of war crimes and genocide.
I should hope that a person who is able to identify the mind-tricks employed by religion does not fall prey to the pernicious idea that one aspect of a person's identiy negates all of the good and decent aspects of their character. This is what racists do to "the other." This what the Nazis did to the people they enslaved and murdered in concentration camps. This is what Jihadists do to their victims.
One can easily see that many Nazis had little to no choice in their membership. Many knew party ideals were wrong and some actually conspired to assassinate Hitler to put a stop to the horror -> so sure, they were good, decent Nazis, but then they weren't really Nazis, were they?
The big difference is that Christianity is not a totalitarian regime and one can leave at any time without being sent to prison or shot. Given the reduced consequences, there is no excuse for sticking with such barbaric, anachronistic doctrines - yet they do, even the moderates.
So in this case we can't compare Christians with unwilling Nazis, we can only compare them to the enthusiastic Nazis taken up by the frenzy of hatred. They are vile disgusting people.
so sure, they were good, decent Nazis, but then they weren't really Nazis, were they?
You could make the same argument about Christians: that those who behave ethically aren't "true Christians." This is the 'no true Scotsman' argument and I'm not interested in engaging in it.
You're right, Christianity is not a totalitarian regime. It is rarely fatal anymore for people to leave Christianity but they do face other reprecussians. Similarly, the negative impact of Christianity in the world is no longer as strong. I really don't know why you brought up Nazis in this context--I feel the magnitude of their actions is so much worse than anything going on in present day western Christendom. We're talking about the morality of modern-day western Christians--we're not currently in the middle of the witch hunts or the crusades. Do you think it is accurate to compare what is done in the name of modern day western Christianity to what the Nazis did?
My point was that there is a range of culpability among actual Nazis, dependent on the severity of their actions, their beliefs, and factors like their ability to dissent. I am saying that not all Nazis are equally evil. I am also asserting that not all Christians are bad.
Have you watched the videos of people being burned alive, by Christians, in Uganda? Do you know what the suicide rate is for gay teens? Do you realize that rate is a direct result of Christian oppression of gays?
The death toll no longer adds up the what the Nazis were doing at their peak, but then even the Nazi numbers don't add up to what Christianity was doing at its peak. In a modern day context, Christian parents are still able to disown their own children for being gay - and smile about it, and sings songs on Sunday, and be praised by their friends for their upstanding Christian behavior. Did the Nazis ever actually sing joyfully about the horrors they perpetrated?
You are right, it's not fair to compare Christians to Nazis - that would be unfair to the Nazis.
It is intellectually lazy to take any group sharing a common denominator and extrapolate from that group identity a conclusion that all members are uniform,
If the extrapolation is sound and the conclusion is correct, what difference does intellectual exertion make?
All members of a group don't have to be uniform for the group to be harmful as a whole. Islam provided the incubation and cover for the 911 attacks. A harmful subgroup within a benign group is well camouflaged.
A 'friend' from HS was posting religious messages on my FB page a few months ago. One message stated that unbelievers were going to hell. I wrote back suggesting that such messages were intolerate and unwanted. She wrote back suggesting that I was the intolerate one, then unfriended me. Oh well. I quess I have issues!
Here are a few posts from my brother (I read, laugh, share with husband, laugh some more, then ignore) I could go on and on (that there took me about 10 seconds) I usually ignore them, but sometimes I just get so pissed at his holier than thou attitude and his never ending posts about god and jesus.
Can I slap your brother? Not too hard. Just enough momentum to knock out some delusion and make room for new ideas.
Please do, I've been wanting to do that forever now.
Facebook is a monstrous perversion of the public Internet. I'll stay out here in the free world, thanks.