Today, on his visit to the UK, Pope Benedict XVI stated the following:

“We can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews.

“As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the 20th century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of
man and of society,”

“May it [Britain] always maintain its respect for those traditional values and cultural expressions that more aggressive forms of secularism no longer value or even tolerate,”


Great, so... Atheism leads to Nazi-like tendencies? OK, little boy molesters.

Hitler wasn't even an atheist. In fact, didn't he claim to have "eradicated Atheism from the face of the earth"? Stalin was, in fact, an atheist. Sometimes bad people do have good ideas.

But that the Pope himself would say such things, make such comparisons, shows only how ignorant he is on what atheism is truly about. Talk about disgusting. I find Atheists to be more moral humans than most religious people.

Views: 156

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

The Nazi beltbuckles read “Gott Mit Uns”, which translates to "God is With Us".

And I think it is absolutely disgusting that they canonized Edith Stein. How dare they betray her to her death and then subsequently canonize her. F-ing sickening.
Ok so I have been discussing this with my devil's advocate hubby, and I am going to try to see the Pope's side.

His first contentious statement:

Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a “reductive vision of the person and his destiny”

He says we are reflecting on the sobering lessons of atheist extremism, so I wanted to try to find out what he thought was this extremism and I think he means that when you kill people for believing in something in this case Jews, that is atheist extremism. So is he right could this be considered 'atheist extremism', persecuting someone for being a theist?

Later he says:
'Today, the United Kingdom strives to be a modern and multicultural society. In this challenging enterprise, may it always maintain its respect for those traditional values and cultural expressions that more aggressive forms of secularism no longer value or even tolerate. '

And here he says more aggressive forms of secularism, is he referring to perhaps overt promiscuity or other godless acts, which while I disagree that they are necessarily negative it is acceptable that the head of the Catholic church would not.

I am interested to hear responses to this, is it atheist extremism to persecute the religious?

And he seems to be making an implication that we need to reflect on atheist extremism to conclude that without god in our lives society will turn bad. Now while I disagree with him perhaps this is a reasonable position for the head of the catholic church to hold.

What do you guys think?
I think it's fitting that the devil's advocate would represent the Pope, though I suppose it's never a bad idea to try and understand the other side's perspective. In this case, however, I don't see anything benevolent or benign in the Pope's motives. I think he's making a sale's pitch to compensate for the decline in membership in the Catholic Church ad is targeting atheism as a common point to rally against.

"He says we are reflecting on the sobering lessons of atheist extremism, so I wanted to try to find out what he thought was this extremism and I think he means that when you kill people for believing in something in this case Jews, that is atheist extremism. So is he right could this be considered 'atheist extremism', persecuting someone for being a theist?"

Well, I suppose this brings up two issues. 'Atheist extremism' and 'more aggressive forms of secularism' are little more than equivocation in this case. To whom do these terms refer, specifically? I'd wager this vagueness is a deliberate attempt to undermine atheists as a whole while leaving himself a back door to escape through.

The second issue has been widely addressed in this thread. When it comes to the example of the Nazis, I'm very hard pressed to see how this fits as an example of atheist extremism. It is an intentional fallacy for the Pope to make that faulty association. The perpetrators of the Holocaust were almost certainly predominately Catholic, and the religion of the Jews was probably relatively unimportant next to their ethnicity. That is not to say that there was no religious persecution in Germany, but if I'm not mistaken, the dominant considerations in whom the Nazis chose to persecute came down to two things: reinforcing an idea of purity, and removing anything that undermined or challenged government authority.

"And he seems to be making an implication that we need to reflect on atheist extremism to conclude that without god in our lives society will turn bad. Now while I disagree with him perhaps this is a reasonable position for the head of the catholic church to hold."

It could be had the Church held higher moral standards within its own ranks. In my life, the Catholic Church has always come under fire not for it's belief in God, but rather for it's moral shortcomings and their negative impacts on various cultures. I think there are many who justifiably find the Pope's words to be pure hypocrisy.
Thanks for your thoughts, I also believe that the Pope has an agenda, his message is propaganda, and that he has his convenient 'extremist' out. At least with this in mind he is not an idiot who has not thought through his address, but rather a crafty fellow. I am not sure if this appeases me or not. :-/ I think it mostly worries me, but then I was already sufficiently worried.
One can only but wonder at the pope's (*no capital intended) constant Nazi theme. Is he trying to hide something?
well...the term atheist DID use to mean anyone who wasn't christian....that was like, before the word pagan was thought of. lol

RSS

Support T|A

Think Atheist is 100% member supported

All proceeds go to keeping Think Atheist online.

Donate with Dogecoin

Members

Forum

Science Isn't About Truth

Started by Ari E. S. in Philosophy. Last reply by Simon Paynton 1 hour ago. 19 Replies

Blog Posts

Dead man's Switch

Posted by Philip Jarrett on April 18, 2014 at 11:29pm 0 Comments

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Services we love

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Into life hacks? Check out LabMinions.com

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

© 2014   Created by Dan.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service