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  #11  
Unread 12th October 2003, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Eudaimonist
The log in whose eye? It was people attempting to implement communist ideology that were to blame for those horrors, not atheism as such.

This is like blaming Christianity on the horrors caused by Islam because both religions are monotheistic.
As Christians, we must take responsibility for the failures engendered by our Christian systems. Undoubtedly, the pogroms against Judaism culminating in the near extermination of European Jewry under the Nazis is the one primary failure that comes to mind.
Similarily, should not athiests be responsible for the failures of their systems? Marx was explicitly an athiest and communism was the logical result of his train of thought. Now I do realize that not all, nor even most, athiests are communists. But the fact remains that communism has so far been the most significant example of a practical athiestic system on the world stage. If we as Christians, athiest, free-thinkers, or what have you, regard human life, freedom, happiness and the well-being of the individual and his society as our supreme values, then we can only conclude that communism has been a spectacular failure. As Battered Angel implies, from the killing fields of Cambodia to the Stalin purges, Communism has become the primary example of left-wing philosophical evil.
My contention is that Marxism's failure is not so much a result of imperfect implementation but a poor philosophical foundation. As I pointed out Marx relied on Hegel for much of his interpretation of history. I don't believe that I am incorrect in stating that in Hegel's dialectic, the absolute rights of the state take precedence over the needs of the individual. I would also contend that the tragic history of communistim is the logical result of such a philosophy.
************************

I believe in my first post in this thread I expressed my disgust and contempt for authoritarian systems of both the right-wing and left-wing variety. Like most of the Christians I know, I very much believe in the values of democracy, human rights, and the dignity of the individual. I also strongly believe that such rights include the right of any individual to choose their own system of beliefs. I am certain such values are not exclusive to Christians but many people from many different backgrounds believe in them as well. Like Dark Angel, I would only point out that such values greww out of Christendom. Now if somebody comes to the conclusion that I am a fascist because of the fact that I hold Christian values, I conclude that their hearts have been hardened against the truth. I offer them my pity.
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Last edited by solomon; 12th October 2003 at 01:53 PM.
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  #12  
Unread 12th October 2003, 03:13 PM
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"As Christians, we must take responsibility for the failures engendered by our Christian systems."

Unfortunatly many dont. Often when you bring up things like the crusades or witch burnings, they say that those people weren't "true christians" and thus christianity was not responsible for those actions.


"Similarily, should not athiests be responsible for the failures of their systems?"

The problem is, atheism is a much broader group than christianity, its equal to Theism.

If I walked up to someone and said, "Hey theist, you need to take responsibility for flying planes into the twin towers"
What do you think they will say. The most common answer would probably be, "Why? I do not belong to any extremist islamic group, Im not even islam."

However, thats what many seem to do to atheists.
I do not belong to an extremist communist group, im not even communist (or whatever you would call their group) and thus, I, as an atheist, need to take as much responsibility for that comunist groups actions, as you, as a theist, need to for the sept 11 attack.




Originally Posted by solomon
[snip]
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Last edited by Arikay; 12th October 2003 at 03:15 PM.
  #13  
Unread 12th October 2003, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Battered Angel
{long rant}
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  #14  
Unread 12th October 2003, 05:24 PM
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Solomon brings up some good points. IE people have screwed up in all of our names.

Equating atheism with communism is like equating christianity with monarchy.

Also another good point arikay brings up, atheism is the opposite of theism. Lumping all atheists together is like lumping all theists together, it just isn't practical due to the diversity and disagreements within the larger community.


People love to bring up Marx but modern atheists disagree with nearly everything he said except that there is no god(s). If you're talking to an atheist communist (I don't personally know any) then you would be justified in bringing it up and have a valid point.

Witch burnings are still relevant today, although not quite so extreme. Just look at the Harry Potter problem. People are still scared of witchcraft and are using a religious platform to combat it. These people can be linked back to the witch burnings. Your average christian however thinks these people are nuts, thus the witch burnings don't apply to them.
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  #15  
Unread 15th October 2003, 02:34 PM
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[quote]
"Similarily, should not athiests be responsible for the failures of their systems?"

The problem is, atheism is a much broader group than christianity, its equal to Theism.



The common thread to all athiest thinking ,I would assume, is that the world would be better off without Christianity. The communist world is just one example of what an athiestic world might be like. Most reasonable people would agree that, in this case at least, a world created by the godless was in fact not better than our North American world where Christians still have a say.
Now since it has been contended that athiesm represents such a vastly broader bandwidth of thought than Christianity, it is very possible that my above assumption is wrong, and there may indeed be many athiests who do not agree that the world is better off without our Western value system with its strong Judeo-Christian roots. This would be my view as well.
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  #16  
Unread 15th October 2003, 02:43 PM
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I would say that most atheists seem to want a secular world (which is different from an atheistic one).
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  #17  
Unread 15th October 2003, 06:43 PM
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fascism: political ideology stressing nationalism, militarism and the subordination of the individual to the state.

That is a working definition I will use for my example. Christian ideology seems to be begging for the attributes of fascism. In fact this philosophy doesn't need to beg at all, for it is already there. To rally around a central figure, to redicule, coherse, and finally to persecute as a means to insure the survival of a religion. The president of the most powerful nation on earth often invokes the spirit of the Christian god to rally the individual in support of the exploitations of the state. Yes??

This was the first post put forward in the thread in which Battered Angel originally put forth her ideas that started out this thread. Several athiests have quite correctly responded that it would be incorrect to label ALL athiests as left-wing demons. If athiests find it offensive to be labelled as such, perhaps it is now more understandable to everyone how a Christian might likewise be offended by being labelled as fascist merely because the adhere to a Christian ideology. Far from being a monolith, Christian ideology covers a wide variety of postions all across the political spectrum.
"The log in whose eye", indeed!! As Carl Jung points out to us, Nietzche should have been able to see the effects that his hyperbole would have on the German people.
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  #18  
Unread 15th October 2003, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by solomon

This was the first post put forward in the thread in which Battered Angel originally put forth her ideas that started out this thread. Several athiests have quite correctly responded that it would be incorrect to label ALL athiests as left-wing demons. If athiests find it offensive to be labelled as such, perhaps it is now more understandable to everyone how a Christian might likewise be offended by being labelled as fascist merely because the adhere to a Christian ideology. Far from being a monolith, Christian ideology covers a wide variety of postions all across the political spectrum.
"The log in whose eye", indeed!! As Carl Jung points out to us, Nietzche should have been able to see the effects that his hyperbole would have on the German people.
Please...:rolleyes: yes I claim that Christians have more in common with fascism than me.! Still waiting for evidence that this is not true. Let us not forget that Jung was infatuated with Nietzsche and was fighting Nietzsche's psychological formulations till the day he died. Jung said Nietzsche was insane from the time he wrote "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" if I remember correctly. I have read many books of Nietzsche's and I cannot find any evidence of insanity. Actually I find a clear but troubled mind. Carl Jung was a great admirer of Nietzsche's and perhaps there was no greater influence on Jung Than Freddy.

below is from the Standford Encyclepdia of Philosphy, its a good resource you might want to check it out. http://plato.stanford.edu/contents.html




Specific 20th century figures who were influenced, either quite substantially, or in a significant part, by Nietzsche include painters, dancers, musicians, playwrights, poets, novelists, psychologists, sociologists, literary theorists, historians, and philosophers: Alfred Adler, Georges Bataille, Martin Buber, Albert Camus, E.M. Cioran, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Isadora Duncan, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Stefan George, André Gide, Hermann Hesse, Carl Jung, Martin Heidegger, Gustav Mahler, André Malraux, Thomas Mann, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jean-Paul Sartre, Max Scheler, Giovanni Segantini, George Bernard Shaw, Lev Shestov, Georg Simmel, Oswald Spengler, Richard Strauss, Paul Tillich, Ferdinand Tönnies, Mary Wigman, William Butler Yeats and Stefan Zweig.

That Nietzsche was able to write so prolifically and profoundly for years, while remaining in a condition of ill-health and often intense physical pain, is a testament to his spectacular mental capacities and willpower. Lesser people under the same physical pressures might not have had the inclination to pick up a pen, let alone think and record thoughts which -- created in the midst of striving for healthy self-overcoming -- would have the power to influence an entire century.
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Unread 16th October 2003, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by foolsparade
Please...:rolleyes: yes I claim that Christians have more in common with fascism than me.! Still waiting for evidence that this is not true. Let us not forget that Jung was infatuated with Nietzsche and was fighting Nietzsche's psychological formulations till the day he died. Jung said Nietzsche was insane from the time he wrote "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" if I remember correctly. I have read many books of Nietzsche's and I cannot find any evidence of insanity. Actually I find a clear but troubled mind. Carl Jung was a great admirer of Nietzsche's and perhaps there was no greater influence on Jung Than Freddy.
In many ways Nietzche's philosophy may be seen as a response to the morose extreme pessimism of the worldview set forth by Schopenhauer. Due to the inherently meaningless, impersonal universe proposed by Schopenhauer, (which is the world view shared by many of the most educated of us today), along with the advent of Darwinism and the hypercritical school of Biblical criticism proposed by the likes of Bauer, nihilism threatened to envelope the European mind as never before. Because Nietszche's response to such nihilism was his life affirming "will to power" with its strong rejection of nihilism, many of the great minds that have preceded him have admired his brilliance and have been inspired by such a courageous vision. His decision to embrace the eternal moment of the eternally recurring world in spite of the nausea endemic in living in an inherently meaningless universe defines this courage.
In spite of this, Jung was of course correct in his criticism of Nietzsche. By single-mindedly embracing the frenzied creativity of Dionysius, or in his admiration of the fierce warlike attributes of the Jewish God Yaweh, while at the same time downplaying the more sober second thought of the god Apollo, or the equally fierce demands of Yaweh on his to behave ethically towards the weaker memebersof society, Nietzschean philosopy has continued to have an appeal to the most sociopathic among us in their rejection of the mores of society. Such was the case in the rise of Fascism under its pyscopathic leaders.
While Nietszche gives of the overman rising above the common man of the herd, Christianity gives us the Good Shephard tending his sheep. Without pity or compassion, what is to keep the overman from a disdainful repression of the herd?
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Unread 16th October 2003, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by solomon
Nietzschean philosopy has continued to have an appeal to the most sociopathic among us in their rejection of the mores of society. Such was the case in the rise of Fascism under its pyscopathic leaders.
While Nietszche gives of the overman rising above the common man of the herd, Christianity gives us the Good Shephard tending his sheep. Without pity or compassion, what is to keep the overman from a disdainful repression of the herd?
Yes, all those who choose to be creative and make their own values are sociopathic. Such a shame, because you do the same, but you just don't or wont realize it. My suggestion would be to actually read what Nietzsche wrote. Then you will see unless you choose to deny that the concept of Fascism was one of the political ideologies that Nietzsche warned against. To rally around a central figure, to support nationalism, to use mass movements as a rally cry as to urge everyone else into submission or persecution. all of this based on false absolutes. Sounds like Christianity doesn't it? Still waiting for evidence that being an individual is related to Fascism, at least more-so than Christianity.

and now a few words from the "evil" Friedrick Nietzsche;

"And perhaps the great day will come when people, distinguished by wars and victories and by the highest development of a military order and intelligence, and accustomed to make the heaviest sacrifices for these things, will exclaim of its own free will, "We break the sword," and will smash its entire military establishment down to its lowest foundations. Rendering oneself unarmed when one had been the best-armed, out of a height of feeling—that is the means to real peace, which must always rest on a peace of mind; whereas the so-called armed peace, as it now exists in all countries, is the absence of peace of mind. One trusts neither oneself nor one's neighbor and, half from hatred, half from fear, does not lay down arms. Rather perish than hate and fear, and twice rather perish than make oneself hated and feared—this must someday become the highest maxim for every single commonwealth." from The Wonderer and His Shadow..

*decided to post the whole passage*

"The means to real peace.— No government admits any more that it keeps an army to satisfy occasionally the desire for conquest. Rather the army is supposed to serve for defense, and one invokes the morality that approves of self-defense. But this implies one's own morality and the neighbor's immorality; for the neighbor must be thought of as eager to attack and conquer if our state must think of means of self-defense. Moreover, the reasons we give for requiring an army imply that our neighbor, who denies the desire for conquest just as much as does our own state, and who, for his part, also keeps an army only for reasons of self-defense, is a hypocrite and a cunning criminal who would like nothing better than to overpower a harmless and awkward victim without any fight. Thus all states are now ranged against each other: they presuppose their neighbor's bad disposition and their own good disposition. This presupposition, however, is inhumane, as bad as war and worse. At bottom, indeed, it is itself the challenge and the cause of wars, because, as I have said, it attributes immorality to the neighbor and thus provokes a hostile disposition and act. We must abjure the doctrine of the army as a means of self-defense just as completely as the desire for conquests."

"Our liberal representatives, as is well known, lack the time for reflecting on the nature of man: else they would know that they work in vain when they work for a "gradual decrease of the military burden." Rather, only when this kind of need has become greatest will the kind of god be nearest who alone can help here. The tree of war-glory can only be destroyed all at once, by a stroke of lightning: but lightning, as indeed you know, comes from a cloud—and from up high."
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Last edited by foolsparade; 16th October 2003 at 08:19 PM.
 


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