Dogmas kill. The stronger the dogmatic belief, the more insulated it becomes
from the scientific method and actual evidence and hence, the more dangerous it
becomes. It matters not whether the dogma is religious or "secular" (ie.
Communism, Nazism). Now, was that so hard kids?? If the author did his homework
(aka - eschewed his own dogmas and sought out actual evidence) he would have
realized Hitchens himself makes this point...that unsubstantiated dogmas are the
culprit. BTW - atheism is inherently non-dogmatic since dogmas require belief
not un-belief. For example, saying "Due to a lack of evidence for the existence
of your sky-god, I do not believe in your sky-god" is an entirely non-dogmatic
Lumping the exploration and explanation of the physical world by Darwin with the
value based ideologies of Marx or even with the pseudo-science of Freud, shows
the misunderstanding that many defensive religious intellectuals have about the
structure of scientific thinking. Surely the blame for the violent atrocities of
human history, religious or secular, rests on the ability of human beings to
deceive themselves into extreme reactionary thinking. To blame secular thinking,
or religious thinking, is to remove this universal human tendency from the
equation. Humans have and will continue to react violently to perceived threats
out of self-interest. The only change has been the banner under which people
choose to react. Whether a Cross, or a Swastika, the reaction and fear based
hatred is the same. I would argue that the cultural leaders that take captive
the scientific ideas of Darwin and mold them into ideas of Social-Darwinism or
the belief in a superior race, do so in the same way that the religious argue
the leaders of violent brands of the religious idea have done. Once again the
distinction between scientific progress and the world views created around it by
cultural leaders is missed.
NO!!! *My* belief system is Better!!!
Th Nazis need a RICH Enemy for people to hate on and blame for their
problems,Today its CEOS and BIG corporations,before that it was the rich, the educated, the anyone didn;t go along with
them in vietnam, cambodia, cuba, etc,befoere that it was the Rich
Jews and other undesirables who must be blamed and their wealth taken in
europe,before that it was the RICH An the Elite and Czars,
Then the educated then the farmers, in Russia,before that it
was the RICH and elite and noble classes in france.Things never
change with socialist/marxists, and communists,do you see the
pattern?Today in america they are going after the CEOS, the big
corporations, the conservative and the religious.Who will be
next?THis is why remembering and knowing history is SO important.
@whomeverThough Nazism ultimately treated Jewishness as race, it was
founded on anti-Semitism that was founded on religion that prevailed throughout
Europe over the centuries.Regarding my comment about
"religious-like." Friends, I'm talking about the same mentality as religion.
I'm faulting the very mode of thinking, which includes unsubstantiated beliefs,
mob mentality, and mob boss rule.You all allow yourselves to believe
outrageous things, and you follow. The Germans were so desperate, they turned
off their nonsense detectors. So have people of faith.
Your ignorance is showing.Nazi-ism is based on eugenics and
darwinism and evolution and creating the superior race,The same
philosohy that also gave birth to Progressivesm in the US,and such
liberal democrat luminaries like:Pres. Woodrwo Wilson:RE-segregated the miltary, jailed over hundred and fifty thousand for
political crimes,shutdown hundreds of newpapers for poltical crimes,FDR:interned the japaneseattempted to stack the
court,The founder of planned parrenthood:you can suppose
your own reason for her creating abortion clinics for the poor and
..."all ought to refrain from marriage who cannot avoid abject poverty for their
children; for poverty is not only a great evil, but tends to its own increase by
leading to recklessness in marriage....if the prudent avoid marriage, whilst the
reckless marry, the inferior members tend to supplant the better members of
society..... the most able should not be prevented by laws and customs from
succeeding best and rearing the largest number of offspring."Charles
Darwin: The Descent of Man. Chapter XXI"General Summary"
The human mammal is the finest fighting and killing machine ever created;
discussions of whether the idea of "God" (religion) coming first, or the idea of
"war" and "killing" coming first, are simply distractions vis-a-vis the core
nature of humans. Humans commit atrocities regardless of the nature of their
"-isms". The US Supreme Court has ruled, in pertinent part, that
Secular Humanism is a religion. Jainism is a religion that rejects the idea of
"god," but focuses on doing good, among other things. Arguably all humans
ascribe to a "religion."The cause of war is mankind; not religion
and not "God."
One has only to look at the history of the Popes to see that religion itself can
be bad, not just outside people putting on the cloak of religion.They still haven't improved. They did little until they were sued to stop what
was happening to children, and they refuse to fix the root cause, of making
thier clergy so lonely. People need love of an other human being, we simply
aren't satisfied with Gods love when it comes to this need.
Your comment shows a complete ignorance of what Nazi-ism was and it's roots,Nazis-ism is based on eugenics and creating a master race,which is founded upon and has it's roots in darwinism and evolution,the scary thing is this same philosophy spawned progressivism in the
US,and such liberal democrat luminaries like Pres. Woodrow wilson
(RE-segregated th miliatry jailed shutdown newpapers and jailed thousanda for
political crimes), and the founder of planned parenthood Stanger, FDR
(attempted to stack the supreme court, interned the japanese), etc.
@Kevin (7:47)You keep using the word "religious-like." You
apparently wish to connect these movements (e.g., Nazis, fascists, Marxists,
etc.) with religion in order to denigrate religion, but in your own language you
are obligated to admit that they are not RELIGIOUS but RELIGIOUS-LIKE. In other
words, there is no substantial connection. You should have stopped at that
point, because this undercuts your whole argument. We are not discussing
"religious-like" movements. We are discussing religion and secularism, and
their historical impacts.
@Roland Keyser (2:09)"The author seems to support the proposition
that it is a legitimate prerogative of government to prohibit the sale of
contraceptives." How did you get that? He stated no opinion on the
legality of banning birth control. He simply connected the dots between the
court decision and current cultural thinking at the time (he emphasized that he
believed the court was following, not leading, on this issue). Actually,
whether Cannon "supports" this proposition or not is irrelevant to the whole
theme, and one wonders why you felt compelled to reach on this point.Regarding your second paragraph, I again fail to see any relevance to your
statement. Why does it matter if Darwin used those words or if the phrase was
invented by "conservatives"?I wonder if you might benefit by
re-reading the piece and thinking about the actual topic on hand.
Adolf might have thanked heaven, but too soon he thought he was god.Appreciate your article J. Cannon. I'm grateful for my faith. It answers to
the sun rising every morning and the stars at night, the coming and going of the
seasons, the beauty of the forest and the magnificence of a newborn.
"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
that JoeC selected from his online thesaurus the term "screed" in his opening
paragraph to describe Christopher Hitchens' work.Because we all know
that screed also means: "a ranting piece of writing."Spot on, Joe.
Spot on. Please enlighten us with more of your own screed, Mr. Editor.
When did I miss the part when it became the role of the newspaper editor to play
quad-roaming philosophy prof, or better yet, quasi-intellectual Sunday School
teacher?C'mon, Mr. Cannon, how about giving us a secular opinion.
About anything. Or are you attempting to leave some published spirit'ual legacy
of faux-fawned and ripped academic footnotes because you're not really a
newsman? Or statesman?
Right on Joe. As usual the far left is whining about your conclusions.
I believe in God, that God has inspired many of the great discoveries we now
know about and enjoy.However religion does not deserve the same
credit. Religion is a drag on society and on the individual. Too many
superstitions, non sensical rules, and making people grow up in straight
Religion is about rules, do this, don't do that, not that rules don't help in
certain situations, but how do rules such as don't drink green tea or don't use
birth control help?Science is about free thinking, its hard to be a
free thinker when one grew up their entire life being given a multitude of
nonsensical rules and being told that these rules really make some difference in
being a good person or not.
Why when religion ceases to be a great power did civilization start thriving?
It seems the enlightenment went hand in hand with throwing off the shackles of
religion.Its hard to get ahead when scientifically when one knows
you are at risk for being burned at the stake for certain discoveries.The moslem culture is backward, what has religion done to help fix their
situation?What overly religious culture is advanced? Not us when we
were and not one today that is.
God is good, but we need checks and balances because unrestrained faith can do
whatever it wants with no justification. We see this in utah all the time.
The problem with all these arguments, is that they are pretexts for the authors
preformed conclusion. If you apply physical laws of science, like the
second law of thermodynamics, and inertia, and some concepts of probability and
treat societies like bodies of mass. You actually can see the importance of God
in a society. Without a God, our society will irreversibly deteriorate in to a
state not unlike the animals. As time progresses and societies are not
connecting any more, society will develop a dual nature. The aligning of
society to two different ideals, proves that there are two external influences
in society, these will be the religious and the secular. Those who ascribe to
God's influence, and those who don't.Also, those who use religious
texts to encourage murder are not going to God for help. They found a support
in religious texts for their secular ideal. Those who ascribe to God and are
truly listening to Him act without self-interest with love to all men. They
preserve the society that we enjoy.
Religion is/was the easiest, cheapest, most dependably reliable way to
enslave the minds of men and women. I preys upon the most basic fear of all
life, that of survival. All you need to do is come up with a good story about
life after death and how to get it.Wars are fought for economic
reasons between nations which are all Capitalistic in their relations. No
matter what internal government a nation may have, externally they operate and
behave like ordinary Capitalist. Since there are very few rules of conduct in
this big world market, and those are mostly unenforceable, nations use military
force to gain or protect their economic wealth.All wars are not
religious wars, but all religious wars are economic wars. Churches are simply
capitalist entities operation in the sale and distribution of Hope.In todays world people need religion, it provides a necessary crutch to help
us get through a very tough life. Someday, as our minds grow and our knowledge
of the world increases, we may not need religion, But until we find something
better, God is good.
Nazism was an entirely Christian creation. I think the point many of the
authors of secular "screeds" is that many of the murderous dictators have risen
to power because of people's religious-like gullibility and worship. People of faith have their brains switched off when it comes to following
certain leaders. Examples abound. Just look at all the cults around world
lead by so-called profits. But also Hitler, Stalin, and others Mr. Cannon
points out. They came to power in their own religious-like movements, and
people were bamboozled as people of faith are.Hitchens and others
argue that it is taking too much on faith that leads to man's demise, not man's
critical rational thinking. Any thinking can be wrong, but religion is neither
self-criticizing nor rational. You rant about secularism, and
site examples of things gone bad, but do not consider the dangers from switching
off brains to accommodate silly, far-fetched religion.
The historical horrors of the 20th century did not grow from a lack of faith in
God, from secularism or from materialism (the term Cannon is using rather than
the more accurate scientific naturalism). The totalitarian states of the last
100 years could hardly be described as rational - they are a perfect example of
what happens when a society embraces blind belief. The common thread uniting
those regimes is hostility to open debate, science and the liberal traditions of
the west. The rational, honest thinking that led Darwin to his conclusions are
the polar opposite of the actions of the regimes Cannon rightly deplores. The murderous impulses of religious authorities flow DIRECTLY from
various holy texts. "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" gave license to
centuries of officially sanctioned mob violence against "aussenseiters" of
various stripes. The Biblical text clearly approves the practices of slavery
and genocide. Theocrats of all kinds approvingly and accurately quote holy writ
while brutalizing people in the name of God and faith.Our problem as
a species is too much belief with too little evidence.
The author seems to support the proposition that it is a legitimate prerogative
of government to prohibit the sale of contraceptives. I would disagree.Another point: The phrase "survival of the fittest" appears nowhere in
Darwin's work. It was coined by conservatives to give a scientific sounding
rationale for denying aid to the poor. After all the poor were obviously less
fit than the rich. If the poor became extinct, it was simply natural law at
Spot on Joe,This article nails our social maladies on the head. No matter whether you believe in God or not, we need him, in our
marriages, families, neighborhoods and countries. Our society is entering
a foxhole, and there are no atheists in foxholes.