The Idea That Morality Is Supernatural.

I got into another discussion with a xangan about the idea that atheists/naturalists/materialists couldn’t possibly explain something like morality because it must transcend nature, which is no different than saying 2,000 years ago that we must have a supernatural explanation for lightning because a natural one is not currently available.  I do not think we should take a stand on a subject based on our own ignorance – “we don’t understand what this is so it must be that” simply doesn’t impress me, any more than a detective saying “I don’t know who committed this crime, so steve did it” would impress a judge, or even the average Law & Order fan.

Morality is not, as I said to this xangan, some ethereal goo that exists somewhere between the soul and the aura.  Morality can be generally defined as the things that guide and inhibit human activity – why we do what we do, what makes us tick.  And many things fall under that category, some of them nice and useful and some of them nasty and harmful.  The most common is probably sympathy, we have what are called mirror neurons in our brains that make us feel what the people around us are feeling.  If you see someone in physical pain, you feel psychic pain.  This offers both a disincentive toward hurting others and an incentive toward helping people, cooperation, promoting happiness, etc.  This is why we tell jokes, we enjoy making other people smile and laugh, cheering them up, even pleasing them sexually – because they are in a very real way an extension of ourselves.  We feel their pleasure and pain as if it were our own, and this is a very profound thing.  When jesus said “what you do to the least of them you do to me”, people interpret this as some kind of deep mystical comment, but he could have been expressing something as basic and human as sympathy for his fellow man.  What hurts you hurts me, because I am connected to you by my nature and because as a sentient being I have concern for the welfare of other sentient beings.  As someone who can feel pain and know how unpleasant it is, I believe in preventing and easing suffering.

This is the stuff of morality.

“When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.”

– Abraham Lincoln

People for centuries have been trying to get others to do good, or at least what they thought was good.  To inspire on one hand and bully on the other.  And this is also because of human nature.  Our minds are the end product of a gradual process of evolution (sorry fundamentalists, but it’s true).  And as a result we have many different gizmos working in our minds simultaneously which make us who we are.  One of the more basic ones left over from the days when our ancestors had no higher brain functions is the ability to learn by repetition and stimuli, rather than intelligent thought or imagination.  This is the mechanism which allows you to train a dog to do tricks, you punish and reward and it “learns” that x behavior is good and y behavior is bad.  This is also how you raise a small child, you use positive and negative reinforcement to make them not piss on the floor like the pets until they’re old enough to learn other forms of right and wrong.  But because we have higher brain functions and imagination, these different mechanisms combine and we can react to perceptions of reality and imagined threats or benefits, and not just direct stimulus.  As such we can make people conform to behavior (for better or worse) by offering abstract threats like hell, or incentives like heaven.

The ancients  knew that lightning hit people, fires burned people, floods drowned people – and diseases, mysterious and terrifying as they were, wiped out entire populations with varying levels of destructiveness.  And much like modern people who assign patterns to things in nature, they personified that which they did not understand and took it as gods and devils and spirits inflicting pain on them.  Which made them wonder why they would do such things.  Maybe the gods were malevolent, maybe they did not exist, and maybe they were displeased with us.  So it wasn’t long before people began thinking there might be some kind of retaliation from the powers that be if they do certain things – whether those things be murder or failing to murder the right people.  Or not cutting the skin off of the end of your child’s penis, or not performing a certain ceremony.  People tried desperately to please the gods and gain some sense of power over their own destiny, and their methods varied dramatically, from animal and human sacrifice to performing harmless rituals, to “god wants you to give me money”.  There’s always some grift in the system I suppose.

Various cultures cobbled together a loose understanding of what the gods supposedly wanted from us, partly I’m sure based on superstition, partly based on sympathy and empathy and an idea of the kind of world they wanted to have, partly based on supposed divine revelation.  But the people who decided which books were divinely revealed did so based on criteria of their own I’m sure.  They had good intentions and bad intentions, selfish intentions, bias, reason and the like, just like people have today.  But they codified the morality of the day as “the” morality.  And now we are made to think that the only morality is religious morality – which I feel is just a snapshot of human morality.  Or do you think a supreme being really thinks setting people on fire is okay or condones slavery? 

Sadly most religious people won’t contemplate these ideas because if they question the divine origin of these passages they have to question the rest, which they do not wish to do.

And if you want to follow religious morality then you can do so.  But don’t try to set me on fire or own slaves or make others conform to you because at the end of the day, well, what you do to the least of us you do to yourself.

/sermon

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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45 Responses to The Idea That Morality Is Supernatural.

  1. jmallory says:

    I really liked what you wrote here. Of course, my perception is a bit different, since I am a Christian. Morality changes as our culture changes. That’s a fact. I do, however, believe that there is a basic morality that we, as a human race follow. And I believe that there is a morality that we are supposed to follow, but don’t. These are the morals that God has instilled in us. After all, we are created in His image. I won’t sit here and say that a person can’t be moral without God. As a Christian, I believe that we can’t be anything without God, because without God, we don’t exist. But I believe we are moral because of the ingrained values we’ve inherited from God, himself. Every single one of us. Then again, there are people with a skewed view of morality… this, I believe is the result of living in a fallen world. Again, I’m not expecting you to agree, but that’s how I understand it.

  2. agnophilo says:

    @jmallory – That is an interpretation based on assumptions within your worldview – if you were muslim you would say I could not be moral without Allah.  If you were hindu you would say I would not exist without Krishna the creator and Vishnu who sustains the universe until Shiva destroys it.  We can’t infer these things from anything in nature. Also if I found a potato chip that looked like your favorite aunt, you would conclude that god wanted you to see a potato chip that looked like your favorite aunt because god is ultimately responsible for everything – as you say if it exists god made it.  But it’s worth pointing out that you likely do so selectively, I doubt you would conclude that charlie manson or ted bundy did what they did because god put it on their heart to do so, though it follows the exact same logic.  Arbitrarily praising god for everything good and rationalizing everything bad or blaming it on humans is, well, arbitrary.

  3. My sister and I go beyond emotional sympathy, and actually have physical aches in our legs (her in her thighs, and me in my calves) in response to seeing someone get hurt.  It reminds me of one of Octavia Butler’s characters who has hyperempathy, and involuntarily feels exactly what others are feeling.I, too, think it’s bizarre when people see themselves, and their machines, as being separate from nature.  Much like you said, I think our technology is the end result of nature.  For now, anyway.

  4. CoderHead says:

    I want that shirt.

  5. agnophilo says:

    @methodElevated – Yeah, reminds me of sympathetic pregnancies where the guy’s ankles swell and they get morning sickness etc.  Sadly before the neurology of it was understood people probably wrote it off as being a drama queen or a weakling.@CoderHead – Me too, lol.

  6. As I mentioned to you before on SirNics site, I think morality is subjective and relative. Morality is what is right and wrong. We have many competing ideas of what is moral and what isn’t.Because most religions were made up a long time ago many of the ideas of what are moral seem really silly…like not playing with a football or eating shell fish.There are moraliy ideas that are largely universal through all cultures…murder, theft, rape etc but even these are negociable and deemed acceptable at times even when it is plainly stated in the religious text to no do these things…Context is the most used excuse of course.There is the inherent, instincual knowing what is right and wrong that I think you are refering to as to how it helps us as a species to survive much like for Buffalo sticking together in a pack standing ones ground as a group vs running every which way when a predator approaches would be clasified as moral.Human Morality however is much more complicated and defined many different ways and ultimately I think we begin to create our own morality. (We definately did with creating religions).Atheist create their own morality as well. Some, I find disgusting. Some Conservative Atheists stress Selfishness as the highest form of morality.Thus somehow dominating a resource like water and profiting on its sale where you let some people die of thirst to increase profitablity is seen as perfectly moral. I think otherwise but…it is debateable.

  7. craigwbooth says:

    Bill Clinton once responded during an investigation into the morality of his own behavior while in the Whitehouse, “Well that all depends on what the definition of is is.”  Definitions are very important.A kind of morality is certainly naturalistic or community imposed.  A kind of morality assuredly comes from within every person’s own passions, musings, and heart.  Another kind of morality comes from “sacred writings” which are attributed to God.  In fact, everyone acts according to the morality they have personally adopted.  However, what one person defines as “moral” is by definition “immoral” to another person.  It is for that reason I do not get excited when an atheist tells me he or she is “moral,” because I know they are telling the truth according to their own individualistic definition of morality.  For me, the more important question has always been: Am I moral in the eyes of God?  The answer: No, not in terms of the perfection He requires for living with Him.  That is why I needed Christ as a sacrifice for my sins and to reconcile me with God.  That definition of morality is the one that carries both temporal and eternal consequences.

  8. maniacsicko says:

    hmm…   without a definition of moral, i’m not sure if i should even give any opinion here..

  9. This is a tricky subject I’ve tried to address many times, but philosophy isn’t my bag. I’m glad other people are willing to take that up for me.

  10. I disagree because I think that biology more makes us tick than morality. Like, what about psychopaths or sociopaths or what-have-you? When they see a person in physical pain they don’t feel mental pain. Some even feel gladness, and some don’t feel anything at all. Apparently (and I’m not an expert, so let’s not get too crazy) that’s because of something that’s wrong with their brains, like they’re mentally different or wrong or something. I don’t know. All’s I’m saying is, in that case, they don’t operate from morality. But I think the same goes for a lot of people. I don’t think a lot of people operate from morality, I think a lot of people operate from biological imperatives, learned behaviours, etc etc. Morality has little, if anything, to do with it. Therefore morality isn’t something that is inherent in every human being. It has to be something that comes from another source.

  11. @GodlessLiberal – Actually it’s quite simple. All you need is the ability to think clearly and understand simple facts.See my comment above for my usual simple, very understandable explanation.

  12. Since morality is natural and specifically tailored to man by the Creator, the notion that morality is supernatural is absurd.Your first premise is wrong, as always. And that means that the rest of your post is nonsense.

  13. agnophilo says:

    @tendollar4ways – I find that kind of selfish morality disturbing as well, though ironically most atheists I know agree and the ayn rand philosophy is actually very popular on the political right.@craigwbooth – I think part of the transition to adulthood is to go beyond doing good or bad to seek approval and avoid disapproval, and start doing good for goodness’ sake.  If WWJD or would god approve of me is how you interpret right and wrong then that is your moral perspective, but it is by no means the only one.  And remember that hitler thought he was god’s right hand man – having that attitude does not necessarily make one a good person.  If you read the bible in it god has told people to do all kinds of things which by any modern moral standard vary widely in terms of being good or evil.@maniacsicko – I was talking more about morality than moral and immoral.  Speaking of the moral frameworks rather than the particulars.@GodlessLiberal – This stuff is well worth contemplating – I agree with socrates when he said “the unexamined life is not worth living”.@howsaboutsomemilk – I was speaking of morality not in terms of absolute rights and wrongs, but rather moral systems – islam is a system of morals whether I think it’s a good one, for instance.  I do think biology is a big part of it, and sociopaths are people without the capacity for sympathy or anxiety, whose brain is broken relative to ours.  But, as I have said in other blogs and comments, even a sociopath usually doesn’t go around murdering people because even they have forms of morality which apply to them, such as reciprocity, laws and so forth.  I didn’t go into that in this blog because I didn’t want to be too repetitive.

  14. craigwbooth says:

    @agnophilo – You wrote, ” I think part of the transition to adulthood is to go beyond doing good or bad to seek approval and avoid disapproval, and start doing good for goodness’ sake.  If WWJD or would god approve of me is how you interpret right and wrong then that is your moral perspective, but it is by no means the only one.  And remember that hitler thought he was god’s right hand man – having that attitude does not necessarily make one a good person.  If you read the bible in it god has told people to do all kinds of things which by any modern moral standard vary widely in terms of being good or evil.”Forgive me, but I find it very shallow to assert that attempting to live to please God is somehow juvenile.  If one does not live to please God (and consequently to please other people via love) then they live to please only themselves.  That I do find to be selfish and shallow.If you have read Hitler’s public speeches, then yes, you could assert that he thought of himself as God’s right hand man.  On the other hand, if you have updated yourself and have read what Hitler’s own associates recorded about what Hitler told them he believed about God (he was a closet atheist), and about Christianity (he wanted Christianity banned from the planet), what he thought about God’s chosen people called the Jews (he wanted to murder every last one of them), and what he thought about the Bible (it was all Jewish mythology), well then an educated and well read individual would not make such historically and factually false assertions about Hitler’s belief system.  Of course, it is permissible to uncritically continue to cite Hitler’s public self-serving speeches as if Hitler were not a manipulator and liar and to assert Hitler was some kind of deist, but, that would raise questions as to the credibility of any points being made by the one invoking the Hitler speeches.

  15. jmallory says:

    @agnophilo – I’m not being sarcastic, I really want to know… Have you ever been a Christian? Because it seems to me that you have a skewed view about what Christians actually believe.

  16. heckels says:

    This thought that Atheists can not be moral is absurd. First of all, we have to follow the law just like everybody else. Also, we do have empathy and sympathy, unlike 90% of the Republican party and a good percentage of Christians. The whole cutting the tip off of the end of a baby’s dick has always mystified me; I mean, what is the fucking point? Having said that, I love a cut cock, it is so much more pleasing to the eye than an uncut one.

  17. agnophilo says:

    @craigwbooth – “Forgive me, but I find it very shallow to assert that attempting to live to please God is somehow juvenile.  If one does not live to please God (and consequently to please other people via love) then they live to please only themselves.  That I do find to be selfish and shallow.”I did not say loving others and serving other peoples’ needs is juvenile, I said doing good only for approval or rewards is juvenile and is something to be grown out of.  I was not trying to insult you, I just honestly see this as an important part of growing up.  What would you think of an adult who only cleaned their home because their parents made them do it?  Some people need rules imposed upon them from outside, and I was not trying to insult you if this is how you view right and wrong, I was simply disagreeing that it is the best (and more to the point the only) way to be moral. “If you have read Hitler’s public speeches, then yes, you could assert that he thought of himself as God’s right hand man.”  His public speeches, private remarks to his leutenants, letters, eva braun’s letters, his writings, his religious art, all of his policies, pictures of him praying, his being surrounded by religious icons, the fact that he attended church, and every damn piece of historical evidence of his existence that pertains to his religious beliefs*”On the other hand, if you have updated yourself and have read what Hitler’s own associates recorded about what Hitler told them he believed about God (he was a closet atheist),” Nowhere is any quote attributed to hitler where he says there is no god or that he is an atheist, and he was violently opposed to atheism and persecuted atheists in nazi germany you tool.”and about Christianity (he wanted Christianity banned from the planet),” He considered traditional christianity a perversion of his theology.  The KKK is extremely religious but also very hostile to conventional christianity in the same way.”what he thought about God’s chosen people called the Jews (he wanted to murder every last one of them),” He saw them as the enemy and betrayer of christ, who he believed to be an aryan – but why let a little history get in the way of a good yarn.  And hitler didn’t ignore scripture any more than the average christian in the US does.  Or have you stoned many people to death this week?”and what he thought about the Bible (it was all Jewish mythology),” The word “myth” does not always imply falsehood and the quote was in german so who knows what the original word even was.  You are basing hitler’s supposed atheism on a connotation of one word in an english translation of a quote, not even a sentence.  This is just cherry-picking quotes.  And he was a militantly anti-semitic, he thought the jews had perverted the religion.  You have to look at these quotes with unbelievable bias to hear the phrase “jewish mythology” from hitler and conclude that he meant “there is no god” rather than simply meaning to insult the jews.  .”well then an educated and well read individual would not make such historically and factually false assertions about Hitler’s belief system.”Oh go blow it out your ass.  Lying about christian dictators to make them into atheists, who are among the victims of nazi persecution (remember also that jews have a very high rate of atheism).  Is there anything lower?  Really?”Of course, it is permissible to uncritically continue to cite Hitler’s public self-serving speeches as if Hitler were not a manipulator and liar and to assert Hitler was some kind of deist, but, that would raise questions as to the credibility of any points being made by the one invoking the Hitler speeches.”Yes, his thousands of remarks espousing belief in the christian god are lies, but two or three quotes taken from the same book which imply hostility to conventional christianity make him an atheist.  Way to be honest.

  18. agnophilo says:

    @jmallory – Yes, I am a former christian, person who just ignored my response again.@heckels – Maybe that was the point.  No pun intended.And while I agree that atheists are generally decent people, christians are too.  Please don’t make negative generalizations on my blog.

  19. jmallory says:

    @agnophilo – I didn’t ignore your response. Your response is just written with false notions like, “God is responsible for everything”. This is what your comment is based off of, and if it isn’t even what Christians believe, why should it be addressed? Rather, I decided it would be more appropriate to determine how familiar you are with Christianity. You don’t seem to be very familiar with it.

  20. agnophilo says:

    @jmallory – So the alpha and omega, creator of the universe with dominion over all is responsible for nothing in existence?Lovely.In reality I probably know more about the bible, christianity and religion than you do.  And atheists in general know more about the bible than christians in general.And yes, not responding to what I said and ignoring it are the same thing here on planet earth.

  21. craigwbooth says:

    @agnophilo – Hello agnophilo.To be perfectly honest here, I had thought the old-wives-tales about Hilter being a sincere Christian and the fictional accounts of Hilter being a crusader for Christ had been long ago laughed into oblivion by serious historians.  I really did not think anyone was still pulling out those stories and passing them off as history.  “Adolf Hitler’s religious views are a matter of some dispute. While raised by a skeptic father and Catholic mother, after childhood, he ceased to participate in the Sacraments completely. He sometimes made public statements which seemed to affirm religion (which suited his political purposes) and prior to 1940 had promoted a ‘positive Christianity,’ purged of Judaism and instilled with Nazi philosophy, but in private was hostile to Christianity and had a plan to destroy it after the war.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler%27s_religious_views)Numerous histories of Hitler have been written affirming that his public adherence to religion was a sham so as to win the hearts of the people, but in private he had an utter hatred of God; and his hatred of the Christian faith was such that he intended to abolish all churches of any denomination after the war.

  22. daavidd says:

    Heck I wish Hitler succeeded. What a mistake.

  23. agnophilo says:

    @craigwbooth – Nothing but unsubstantiated claims – and no, wikipedia is not a source, the sources wikipedia gives are sources.  And the source in this instance is these documents from the neuremburg trials relased a few years ago which were spun as “hitler’s plan to destroy christianity” and justification for the claim that hitler was an atheist, when in reality they say no such thing, and talk about their plans to strip the churches of their political power and replace what they considered “negative” christianity with the nazi “positive christianity” as the official state religion.  Their persecution of christians and christian churches toward this goal is comparable to the catholic church’s persecution of rival sects (remember most of the people tortured and executed during the inquisition were christians, this does not mean catholics = atheists).  Nowhere in those documents will you find anything about atheism or the christian god not existing, and on the contrary, they characterize the threat of jews as the threat of “jewish materialism”.  Remember hitler modeled his dogma after the teachings of the catholic church which advocated the death penalty for christian heretics well into the 20th century. “The death sentence is a necessary and efficacious means for the Church to attain its ends when rebels against it disturb the ecclesiastical unity, especially obstinate heretics who cannot be restrained by any other penalty from continuing to disturb ecclesiastical order.”  – Pope Leo XIIIEnforcing your theology as the one true theology is not atheism, how could you confuse it with atheism?

  24. agnophilo says:

    @daavidd – It’s not actually true, read the below response.

  25. jmallory says:

    @agnophilo – I didn’t ignore it. I commented. I said that you have some giant misunderstandings about Christianity. And I would say that you might know more about my religion than I do, if I were your typical Christian… but I’m not. I’m one of the ones who tries.Also, I never said that God was responsible for nothing. What I said was, he isn’t responsible for everything. There is a big difference.

  26. agnophilo says:

    @jmallory – “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)”And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)”Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?  Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?” (lamentations 3:37-38)”Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?”  (Amos 3:6)Etc.But you’re right, christians don’t believe what the bible says, they believe what they want to believe.

  27. jmallory says:

    Isaiah 45:7- A more accurate translation of the Hebrew isn’t “evil”, but doom or destruction- meaning he creates things, but he has the ability to destroy things as well. Again, this shows God as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, but it doesn’t show  that he is in control of everything. He can have control of everything, but he gave us free will. God, in this sense had to limit himself.2 Thessalonians 2:11&12- All that is saying is that God is going to judge those who follow in their own ways. Any commentary will tell you that.Lamentations 3:37&38- This is a fairly legitimate verse for your argument. However, I look at lamentations as a book filled with questions as to why things happen the way they do. It doesn’t give answers… just so many questions. I believe that the writer was misjudging God. I can say that. I’m not a fundamentalist/biblical literalist.Amos 3:6- Another good one. However, the context is about prophecy. God declares that bad things will happen. But, in the next verse, it mentions that God would not do anything until he speaks through a prophet… And the way I understand this, it isn’t God who is actually doing the destroying, but the people God is trying to speak to. That’s the point of prophecy- fair warning. The destruction that comes is the destruction that the people ultimately bring to themselves. It’s like telling a drunk man not to drive or he may get in an accident, kill himself and other people around him. He does anyway, and sure enough, he does it… So this is common sense here. This isn’t God controlling everything.“But you’re right, christians don’t believe what the bible says, they believe what they want to believe.I can agree with this to an extent. Many other thinking Christians can. But there is plenty about my religion that I don’t want to believe, but do…

  28. agnophilo says:

    @jmallory – If you can convince yourself that “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” means “God is going to judge those who follow in their own ways”, you clearly are not being honest or objective in your interpretation, so this conversation, like the last one, is a waste of both our time.Thanks again, it never gets old.

  29. daavidd says:

    @agnophilo –  I was being a bit sarcastic, never would I wish such a thing. I went to the dude’s Xanga, he makes up definitions of atheism. Just a Tool box.

  30. jmallory says:

    @agnophilo – That verse throughout Christian history (at least since the age of John Calvin) has been looked at as God giving people over to their total depravity. It’s the same thing that Paul talks about in Romans 1.

  31. craigwbooth says:

    @agnophilo – Agnophilo, you wrote, “Enforcing your theology as the one true theology is not atheism, how could you confuse it with atheism?”  Hitler asserted that he, the Reich, and Germany must become the true focus of worship.  In Christian terms, that is idolatry.  If you would like to call Hitler an idolator, I would not quibble.

  32. agnophilo says:

    @jmallory – Anything but what it actually says.@craigwbooth – He was christian and was trying to establish the third reich as a unified christian theocracy – admit you are wrong please.  The argument was not that he was a bad christian, it was that he was an atheist, which he clearly was not.

  33. jmallory says:

    @agnophilo – What it actually says… You are reading it in an archaic form of English, not to mention you aren’t putting it in context to their time, their place, their language. You are the one who is reading your own interpretation into it by not looking at commentaries.

  34. craigwbooth says:

    @agnophilo – Hello agnophilo.  Right, I hear you, I get it…you think Hitler was a genuine Christian based on religious references in his public propaganda speeches.  Everyone gets to have an opinion in a pluralistic society.Source of the following quote: http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/mischedj/ca_hitler.htmlHitler may in public have claimed to be doing the will of God, but records of his private conversations show otherwise.  Many of these were recorded by his secretary and published in a book called Hitler’s Table Talk (Adolf Hitler, London, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1953).  I have lifted the text of these from the soc.religion.christian newsgroup’s Hitler FAQ. 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 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…. …. “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 .” (p 278)

  35. agnophilo says:

    @craigwbooth – Did it ever occur to you to wonder why every single supposedly anti-christian quote attributed to hitler comes from one specific translation of one specific book?Do some homework.These quotes were in fact talking about the church and what they called “negative” christianity, ie conventional christianity which the nazis saw as a perversion of the “true” christianity.  And even if I granted that the quotes are accurate, which I do not – they still say that paul falsified christianity after jesus’ death and made the religion a “mockery of the godhead” and that christ’s original views were more like his own, and nowhere say that he doesn’t believe in a god.  So can you at least stop insisting he is an atheist please?He viewed conventional christianity as being corrupted by jewish influence, and saw his version of it as the original aryan ideal of jesus.  This is born out not only by quotes from hitler (including in table talks when you don’t quote mine them) but also from the testimonies of nazis I have previously given you.

  36. Mikke3vArt says:

    just saying i enjoyed this read, but the analects of confucius was one of the best things ive ever read ~w~

  37. agnophilo says:

    @Mikke3vArt – Being compared to confucius ain’t bad : )

  38. Mikke3vArt says:

    @agnophilo – right? he was pretty awesome. ^-^

  39. Mikke3vArt says:

    @agnophilo – lol i gets smileys

  40. I won’t join in the debate here, but I will say this was an extremely interesting read.

  41. agnophilo says:

    @deadsunflowers – Always nice to hear : )

  42. liquor90 says:

    I honestly don’t want to read this entire post but I was searching through your morality posts and was pleasantly surprised by the seriousness with which you have rendered the topic. Because I recently had an issue with atheists and morality. 

  43. agnophilo says:

    @liquor90 – And?  Any comment?  Thanks for the compliment btw.

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