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4/20/09

Adolf Hitler’s Birthday Present - Joe Keysor, "Hitler, the Holocaust, and the Bible”

Please note that this essay will now be housed in True Freethinker’s section on Adolf Hitler / Nazism / Communism

14 comments:

  1. When you say "why would Adolf Hitler the good, practicing, devout Roman Catholic", you reveal how superficial you are. As when you suggest that those who charge that Hitler was a Christian base their entire argument on "the Wehrmacht wore belt buckles that read “Gott mit uns".
    This is a silly "straw man" argument and if that is the way this book argues, then you have done a good job of discrediting it.
    See what I mean when I argue that Hitler was "a Catholic" ( NOT a"good, practicing, devout Roman Catholic" or a model "Christian") at http://JesusWouldBeFurious.Org/Hitlersfaith.html .

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  2. >"good, practicing, devout Roman Catholic"

    I reply: Try Ex-Catholic & self-hating anti-Catholic. Hitler made many anti-Catholic statements during his lifetime. He hated Pius XII & Pius XII wasn't fond of him either. Also as a teenager Hitler stopped going to Mass. According to Canon Law refusing to attend Mass results in automatic excommunication.

    He very well could have praised Martin Luther if only as a pretense to take a dig at the Church(not that he gave a Rat's behind about the issues involving the Reformation vs Counter-Reformation). In TABLE TALK he openly spoke how he would abolish the Papacy & apoint a "Pope for each National Church". Right after he delt with the Russians.

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  3. I know self-identified christians who claim that catholics aren't christians.

    This is what happens when you have no principles that are susceptible to open and objective inspection. Anybody can claim they/you are/aren't a REAL christian. Its all unanchored subjectivism. You can't even agree on which texts are or are not valid.

    When I lived in the South I knew some people from a snake-dancing sect who swore they were good christians. How could I disagree; its all about personal revelations and who am I to question someone who talks to God? My Mormon friends swear they're christians too.

    Hitler was raised catholic and was certainly a believer, although in what he believed I can't say. It seems to have been very idiosyncratic. And what does it matter: one imaginary Super Being is as good as another.

    So, what has Hitler to do with atheism?

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  4. Ray Dubuque,
    Thanks for the comment.
    I cannot discern if you did not understand what I wrote and/or do not recognize sarcasm and/or literary devices.

    aDios,
    Mariano .

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  5. >I know self-identified christians who claim that catholics aren't christians.

    I reply: As a Catholic I don't believe Mormons or JW's are Christian but I am forced by the Teachings of the Council of Trent to recognize all Trinitarian Baptised Protestants as Christians(even the ones who don't believe Catholics are Christians) even thought I believe they are technically Christian heretics(& the civilized among them believe the same of me).

    >This is what happens when you have no principles that are susceptible to open and objective inspection.

    I reply: Actually the issue is a consistant definition Vs inconsistant ones. If a particular Protestant has an definiton of Christianity that taken at face value applies to Catholics & he doesn't apply it to Catholics simply because they are Catholic I consider such a person an anti-Catholic.
    OTOH I have no problem with a Protestant who is consistant in the application of his definitions who merely thinks we Catholics hold "unbliblical" beliefs(I think the same about Protestant...suprised?).

    >Anybody can claim they/you are/aren't a REAL christian. Its all unanchored subjectivism. You can't even agree on which texts are or are not valid.

    I reply: No, Mormons are Christians BY MORMON STANDARDS however by classic Catholic, Eastern Orthodox & Reformation Protestant standards they are NOT Christians.

    A Classic pagan definition of an Atheist is anyone who denies the existence of any gods. Thus Jews & Christians are Atheists in regards to Zeus. Literally an Atheist is Not-A-Theist in which case people who deny the existence of God & Agnostics, Deists & Pantheists could be classified as Atheists. OTOH an Atheist may simply mean "impious".

    "Atheism" like "Christianity" has multiple definitions like it or not. Of course your average New Atheist acts as if the definiton "Someone without God belief" was the only "true" definition of Atheism.

    >When I lived in the South I knew some people from a snake-dancing sect who swore they were good christians. How could I disagree; its all about personal revelations and who am I to question someone who talks to God? My Mormon friends swear they're christians too.

    I reply: I hope you don't fail to realize by your own standards the definition of "Atheism" is equally subjective.


    >Hitler was raised catholic and was certainly a believer, although in what he believed I can't say. It seems to have been very idiosyncratic. And what does it matter: one imaginary Super Being is as good as another.

    I reply: Hitler was a pagan Deist thus under the "Not-A-Theist" definition he was an Atheist. OTOH he was validly baptised & at minimum by Catholic standards that would make him sacramentally a Christian but the same could be said of Richard Dawkins.


    >So, what has Hitler to do with atheism?

    I reply:Hitler is used as a stick by Fundie New Atheists to hit Christians with. So some Christians want to hit back. Of course Atheists don't have that luck with the likes of Stalin. Indeed the back flips proformed by New Atheists to downplay the Atheism of Stalin
    are beyond comical.

    The Stalin=Atheism, Inquisition=Catholics, Salem Witch Trials=Protestants etc meme is what Catholic Apologist Karl Keating once called "The Best Worst Argument".

    In the end Dawkins, Hitchens, & Harris are stupid for using it. Mature apologists know better. I only advocate using it against them for self-defense & illustraighting absurdity by being absured.

    It's just Cheap.

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  6. Ben Yachov:

    I reply: As a Catholic I don't believe Mormons or JW's are Christian but I am forced by the Teachings of the Council of Trent ...I'm not a Bible scholar, but I don't recall hearing about Jesus ratifying the Council of Trent. They, the council, were just a rough bunch of guys reaching a political compromise on religious issues, and they did it a long time ago. On what authority and by what evidences and reasons that make sense today?

    I reply: Actually the issue is a consistant definition Vs inconsistant ones. Consistent/inconsistent? Issue wise, I would have thought that accuracy, reliability or something like that should matter more. Otherwise, how does one choose the proper phantom to follow?

    I reply: No, Mormons are Christians BY MORMON STANDARDS ...What other standards are there? In the not too distant future when the mormons outvote protestants or catholics, will the human race be forced to learn yet another New Improved Cannon of Imperishable Verities and don Magic Underwear? I don't see any appeal in, or reason for hitching my beliefs to popularity polls. I also see no overall progress from the religoius strategy drifting hither and yon over time like wind-blown leaves.

    I reply: I hope you don't fail to realize by your own standards the definition of "Atheism" is equally subjective.I suppose, but I really don't care. "Atheism" is a category that people like you put people like me in, not something objective or that I care much about. Its an absence or belief in magical beings, not a positive belief in somebody else's unbelievable Truth-claims. There's no deep politics or contorted rationalization of fables and legends here in my subjectivity. I come by it honestly: I don't believe in your god for the same reason I don't believe in any god or even the Easter Bunny. And I don't need to consult long-dead Renaissance politicians to know what I should think today.

    I reply: Hitler was a pagan Deist thus under the "Not-A-Theist" definition he was an Atheist.He believed in magic, just like and all other variants of christians, pagans, deists, animists and whatevers. You think that the brand of magic a person buys into matters. I don't. So, yeah, in a technical way, they are different, but its a difference that doesn't matter. Its as if you were saying that a debate about whether Superman could beat The Hulk in fist fight is a meaningful one. I just don't buy it.

    I reply:Hitler is used as a stick by Fundie New Atheists to hit Christians with. ..."Fundie New Atheist"!?!?!? That's funny. (do you perchance have a defintion, so I can know what I Really Am?)

    I would say that the issue arises as a reaction to the false accusations theists and other magical-thinkers make against atheists. Hitler (and Stalin, among others, like Martin Luther, several Popes, John Smith and other religious leaders) is another example of what happens when societies get unhinged by delusional magical thinking. You use an inconsequential technicality (see above) to try to exclude Hitler et al. from your "magic trumps reality" club, but it really doesn't work. Hitler is just being thrown back at you, right where he belongs. Its not some conspiracy to disgrace religion, as you seem to want to think. To an atheist the only thing sillier than having a religion is persecuting somebody for having a different one.

    Both Stalin and Hitler had histories of being abused by their authoritarian father as children. Why is that a less plausible explanation of their behavior and attitudes to you than their unwillingness to believe in an orthodox magician?

    ... I only advocate using it against them for self-defense & illustraighting absurdity by being absured.Don't knock it. There's gold and power in absurdity. Ask any video evangelist. Pat Roberts bought his diamond mine selling absurdity to christians. And as Tertullian, one of your guys, said: "And the Son of God died; it is by all means to be believed because it is absurd."


    Other than the lack of the technical wherewithal to implement a final solution, how was this arch christian's solution to the "Jewish Problem" different from Hitler's?
    What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? ...

    First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. ...

    Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. ...

    Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them.

    Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. ...

    Fifth, I advise that safe­conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. ...

    Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. ...

    Seventh, I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen 3[:19]}. For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants.
    Martin Luther, in "On the Jews and Their Lies"

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  7. >I'm not a Bible scholar,

    I reply: Obviously.

    >but I don't recall hearing about Jesus ratifying the Council of Trent. They, the council, were just a rough bunch of guys reaching a political compromise on religious issues, and they did it a long time ago. On what authority and by what evidences and reasons that make sense today?

    I reply: Your not a scholar of history either it seems. Councils where called to settle doctrinal & pastoral issues. They are not about politics. Jesus told his Apostles & Peter “What your bind on Earth Shall be bound in Heaven..etc” s & in the OT the Torah said religious disputes should be settled by the Priests & the Law interpreted by them. Councils are landmarks in the development of doctrine. Even the Protestants had their Synods which were significant to their beliefs.

    >Consistent/inconsistent? Issue wise, I would have thought that accuracy, reliability or something like that should matter more. Otherwise, how does one choose the proper phantom to follow?

    I reply: How does being inconsistent in the application of one’s particular category definition, contribute to accuracy & reliability? Common sense & logic clearly suggest the opposite. Also how does failing to recognize different philosophies, disciplines and worldview having different definitions of a thing contribute to accuracy & reliability? That doesn’t make any sense.

    >>I reply: No, Mormons are Christians BY MORMON STANDARDS ...

    >What other standards are there?

    I reply: Other-than-Mormon standards? You might as well ask me “What color is an orange?”.

    >In the not too distant future when the mormons outvote protestants or catholics, will the human race be forced to learn yet another New Improved Cannon of Imperishable Verities and don Magic Underwear? I don't see any appeal in, or reason for hitching my beliefs to popularity polls. I also see no overall progress from the religoius strategy drifting hither and yon over time like wind-blown leaves.

    I reply: If the majority of people in the world became Mormon the Catholic, Protestant & Eastern Orthodox minority would still reject their definition of Christianity. So what? If an Atheist wants to dialog with any of these groups or polemic them it would at least help if he knew some of the distinctions in terminology. That is just good research. If you are a person who thinks “I don’t believe in this magical mumbo jumbo” then you have nothing of value to contribute to the discussion but to showcase your willful ignorance at learning.


    >>I reply: I hope you don't fail to realize by your own standards the definition of "Atheism" is equally subjective.

    >I suppose, but I really don't care.

    I reply: Then you cripple yourself from making any meaningful or logical exposition on it.

    >"Atheism" is a category that people like you put people like me in, not something objective or that I care much about.

    I reply: Rather objectively there are a bunch of historic & modern definitions of “Atheism” & common curtsy dictates that you spell out your version for the benefit of those who believe or disbelieve differently then you do & allow others to do the same.

    >Its an absence or belief in magical beings, not a positive belief in somebody else's unbelievable Truth-claims.

    I reply: Objectively, pleading a hyper-negative agnosticism in regards to the existence of the supernatural is STILL objectively making a positive claim. You are clearly claiming you have no belief in the supernatural & that such belief is “unbelievable”. Thus you are MAKING a positive assertion that belief in the supernatural is “unbelievable”. Sounds like a form of Metaphysical Naturalism to me. It’s a cowardly dodge like the non-Catholic I might argue doctrine with on the internet who refuses to tell me his denomination. Why? So he can bash the Church all he wants & I can’t hit back by criticizing his denomination.

    New Atheists just want to bash Theism in the same way & avoid any logical scrutiny of their own beliefs by trying to claim in essence they “Don’t believe in anything”. They claim have an absence of metaphysical belief. But that is practically impossible.

    >There's no deep politics or contorted rationalization of fables and legends here in my subjectivity. I come by it honestly: I don't believe in your god for the same reason I don't believe in any god or even the Easter Bunny. And I don't need to consult long-dead Renaissance politicians to know what I should think today.

    I reply: Fine but you have no means to discuss your subjective views rationally or your reasons for them (if any) if you don’t yield to an agreed upon terminology.

    >>I reply: Hitler was a pagan Deist thus under the "Not-A-Theist" definition he was an Atheist.

    >He believed in magic, just like and all other variants of christians, pagans, deists, animists and whatevers.

    I reply: Belief in a Supernatural Deity is not magic. Magic is the active manipulation of alleged mindless mystical forces threw ceremony & ritual. A Deist merely believes a Supernatural God started the Cosmic Watch & doesn’t get involved. A Theist may pray to an interventionist God but there is no guarantee for him the God will answer him. Thus there is no manipulation. Hitler didn’t believe God intervened supernaturally but only in reference to natural providence. OTOH it would be foolish to treat him as a deep or consistent spiritual thinker. He was too busy trying to take power for himself.

    >You think that the brand of magic a person buys into matters. I don't.

    I reply: Clearly it would since the distinctions reveal an insight into their thinking.

    >So, yeah, in a technical way, they are different, but its a difference that doesn't matter. Its as if you were saying that a debate about whether Superman could beat The Hulk in fist fight is a meaningful one. I just don't buy it.

    I reply: Yes, we get it, you are absent of a positive belief in the supernatural & you think belief in the supernatural is “unbelievable”. But your analogy is a clear category mistake since both Superman & the Hulk are clearly Fiction. There are no Five Philosophical Proofs for the existence of the Hulk by Aquinas based on the rational insights of Aristotle. Nor could you come up with any. Thought you are welcome to try I’m sure we all could use a good laugh.

    >>I reply: Hitler is used as a stick by Fundie New Atheists to hit Christians with. ...

    >"Fundie New Atheist"!?!?!? That's funny. (do you perchance have a defintion, so I can know what I Really Am?)

    I reply: Fundamentalism like Pornography is difficult to define but I know it when I see it. Any unthinking, unreasoning, irrational, illogical, unlearned boob (& I didn’t say you BTW so calm down) who believes just because he denies the existence of god(s) that such a thing automatically confers rational thought processes on him by osmosis is clearly a Fundie Atheist. Hitchens, Harris, Myers & Dawkins are CLEARLY fundies. Quinten Smith, Michael Ruse, Thomas Nagel & a few others I forgot to mention are CLEARLY NOT fundies. They can formulate rational criticisms of Christian or Theistic belief. Dawkins & Co hate religion too much to learn anything meaningful about it or to make a convincing case against it.


    >I would say that the issue arises as a reaction to the false accusations theists and other magical-thinkers make against atheists.

    I reply: Well some Fundie Christians claim if you deny God you are automatically immoral or can’t be moral. They are no better than Hitchens or Dawkins & about half as smart which is not saying much. But any reasonable Christian of any tradition knows God wrote His Law in the Hearts of Men so even Atheists CAN be naturally moral. It is a separate argument as to “WHY SHOULD I be moral in a godless universe?”.
    Could Vs Should are two different issues & even Atheist Philosophers admit it is not an easy question for their side. But if you believe it is easy that is likely another sign of Fundamentalism which often comes up with pat answers for complex questions(ie. God created Dinosaur bones to test Our Faith…sure pal)

    >Hitler (and Stalin, among others, like Martin Luther, several Popes, John Smith and other religious leaders) is another example of what happens when societies get unhinged by delusional magical thinking.

    I reply: Accept Stalin didn’t believe in the Supernatural which you define as “delusional magical thinking”. Also there does seem to be a basis in him for what C.S. Lewis called a “Materialist Magician”. Someone who denies the existence of spirits but believes in strange invisible “forces” of nature he can manipulate. The Soviets did do “Telekinesis experiments” but they believed if they found anything they would be able to explain it scientifically & naturalistically in harmony with their Atheist Materialism. Magic is ironically, an early attempt at technology.

    >You use an inconsequential technicality (see above) to try to exclude Hitler et al. from your "magic trumps reality" club, but it really doesn't work. Hitler is just being thrown back at you, right where he belongs. Its not some conspiracy to disgrace religion, as you seem to want to think. To an atheist the only thing sillier than having a religion is persecuting somebody for having a different one.

    I reply: I thought I showed how Hitler is ambiguous enough to be put in any of the Categories depending on which definitions you where using, nothing more. You OTOH seem desperate to place him in your unstated “Magic=Religion” category to contrast with your “No Magic=Not Hitler” category. I wonder why that is?

    >Both Stalin and Hitler had histories of being abused by their authoritarian father as children. Why is that a less plausible explanation of their behavior and attitudes to you than their unwillingness to believe in an orthodox magician?

    I reply: I don’t believe they acted evil because either one or the other denied the existence of God. Thought is goes without saying if either positively believed “Love Your neighbor”, “Forgive those who despitefuly use you” “Love your enemies”etc. then they might have turned out better. But they freely choose the paths they walked.


    >... I only advocate using it against them for self-defense & illustraighting absurdity by being absured.Don't knock it. There's gold and power in absurdity.

    I reply; Knocking it? I thought it was clear I was praising it?

    >Ask any video evangelist. Pat Roberts bought his diamond mine selling absurdity to christians. And as Tertullian, one of your guys, said: "And the Son of God died; it is by all means to be believed because it is absurd."

    I reply: Yeh even the people who run the wikipedia disagree with your misquoting of Tertullian. He never advocated Fideism. QUOTE” The statement "Credo quia absurdum" ("I believe because it is absurd"), often attributed to Tertullian, is sometimes cited as an example of such a view in the Church Fathers, but this appears to be a misquotation from Tertullian's De Carne Christi (External Link: On the Flesh of Christ). What he actually says in DCC 5 is "... the Son of God died; it is by all means to be believed, because it is absurd."

    This, however, is not a statement of a fideist position; rather, it is rendered somewhat plausible by the context—that Tertullian was simply engaging in ironic overstatement. As a matter of fact, this work used an argument from Aristotle's rhetoric saying that if a man in whom you have trust tells you about a miraculous event he witnessed, you can allow yourself to consider that he may be saying the truth despite the fact that the event is very unlikely.”END QUOTE Go look up Fideism on the Wiki.

    As for Pat Robertson if you misquoted & Misunderstood Tertullian why should I trust your claims about him?

    >Other than the lack of the technical wherewithal to implement a final solution, how was this arch christian's solution to the "Jewish Problem" different from Hitler's?

    I reply: Your asking a devout Catholic to defend Luther? Weird….Still to be fair Luther even at his worst Luhter (or the Popes) didn’t advocate genocide against Jews. That is a difference. But Stalin founded the Общество безбожников aka (The Union of Belligerent Atheists or The League of the Militant Godless) which persecuted religious people all across the USSR & he said “"Struggle against religion is a struggle for socialism". He didn’t go after people because they didn’t dress like him or wear the same cloths. He wanted to wipe out religion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians_in_the_Soviet_Union#Soviet_tactics

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  8. Councils where called to settle doctrinal & pastoral issues. They are not about politics.That's naive. The church has always been political, as any human endeavor to exercise and coordinate power must be. Even today, the election of popes, cardinals and etc is not divorced from secular political concerns (for a "universal" church the Catholics have had a remarkably high percentage of Italian popes).

    In more general terms, the council of Trent was as political, both internally (church politics) and externally (secular politics), as the one in Nicea under Constantine. Whenever a church seeks to exercise secular power the activity is inevitably political in nature. At the very least, at Trento as at Nicea, there are mutually acceptable adaptations and understandings between secular and church authorities in order to reconcile the two. The outcome of the council of Trent is the reformulation of doctrine to implement the larger "peace treaty" with the rising secular powers, as the Nicene Creed was the church's concession to the Roman Empire.

    Luther's activities took place within a context of nascent German nationalism. You'll recall that Luther survived in large part through protection by German princes who, among other reasons, opposed Roman Catholic authority because of the significant flow of gold (tithes, estate profits and indulgences) to Rome; they saw as theirs by right. Yes, there were doctrinal issues, but they were shaped and driven to a large extent by secular ones. Basically, the church had to adapt to the waves of heresies because they could no longer execute heretics as they had after Constantine. Its doubtful that your "doctrinal and pastoral" issues would have been issues at all without the peasant revolts, riots against indulgences, and other uppity dissident behavior of state-protected dissidents.

    Even so, as different states adopted different flavors of one of the One True Faiths there was a long, bloody and confusing torrent of brutal European wars, many of which looked to all the world like conventional secular fights even though they were rationalized in whole or in part on religious grounds.

    At about the same time Henry VIII in England nationalized the churches. Partly for personal reasons, certainly for pecuniary reasons (annexing churches monastery estates, etc), and possibly for doctrinal excuses too. It could be fairly said that the zeitgeist of the era was the disenthrallment from church authority.

    The entire protestant movement, as was the formation of catholic church itself early on, is drenched in politics.

    Jesus told his Apostles & Peter...What you meant to say was "A modern translation of a text of uncertain provenance by an anonymous someone, who never saw or heard Jesus himself, claims that someone who did say he heard, or at least knew someone who claimed to have heard Jesus, said..." Let's be clear about the authority of the claim.

    Also how does failing to recognize different philosophies, disciplines and worldview having different definitions of a thing contribute to accuracy & reliability? That doesn’t make any sense.I didn't say I didn't recognize the differences, I said that the difference aren't important to me. They aren't important to me because they make no sense. Even if I wanted to believe there's nothing sensible there to believe in. All the doctrinal wrangling is like listening to kids debate how Santa Clause gets into houses without chimneys. Its specious and arbitrary speculations about non-issues. Does the wafer really change into the flesh of Jesus, or is it just symbolic. How can I care about that?

    If there really is "something" out there to be discovered then, or so it seems to me, over time earnest searchers should be able to converge on it, if it is approachable at all. That isn't happening. Every year the incomprehensible chaos of christian beliefs fragments more and more. This is the hallmark of a wild goose chase. And so I don't follow or care about the myriad distinctions. Moslty because I see no evidence that they denote anything real. No matter how consistently or finely the distinctions are drawn and redrawn and then drawn again over time, they aren't going anywhere. This is the age old "battle" between those who think precision is more important than accuracy and those who think the opposite. I'd rather be accurate than precise and you're saying precision is superior to accuracy. I prefer an accurate understanding of real beasts over precise depictions of mythical ones.

    Other-than-Mormon standards?No, I was referring to strictly subjective standards. Sorry I wasn't clearer.

    Rather objectively there are a bunch of historic & modern definitions of “Atheism” & common curtsy dictates that you spell out your version for the benefit of those who believe or disbelieve differently then you do & allow others to do the same.I thought I did: "Its an absence of belief in magical beings, not a positive belief in somebody else's unbelievable Truth-claims." As far as I'm concerned all magical things comprise a single equivalence class.

    Objectively, pleading a hyper-negative agnosticism in regards to the existence of the supernatural is STILL objectively making a positive claim.Fair enough, but that's trivially true of all declarative statements.

    Thus you are MAKING a positive assertion that belief in the supernatural is “unbelievable”.
    Sounds like a form of Metaphysical Naturalism to me.
    If you like that label, if it gives you some sense of comfort or power to so categorize me, then go with it. By definition all world views are ultimately founded on one metaphysics or another, so you're making (yet another) distinction that distinguishes nothing meaningful. That's your business.

    If someone held a gun to my head and insisted I choose a label of my own I guess I'd say I'm Bayesian.

    I suppose its conceivably possible that the sun might rise in the West, or North tomorrow morning. But the likelihood of that happing is so infinitesimally small that its indistinguishable from zero. In that sense my "faith" in naturalism is absolute: I round off infinitesimals to zero for all practical pruposes. Ed Jaynes puts his cutoff at 12db. I can go with that. But, if that's "Metaphysical Naturalism," then what sane human being isn't?

    Fine but you have no means to discuss your subjective views rationally or your reasons for them (if any) if you don’t yield to an agreed upon terminology.Who's fault is that? Buy a new dictionary and join us in the 21st century, I won't complain. What have you guys got against Bayes anyway? He was a clergyman, you know. Surely that still counts for something, even in these darkling days.

    Belief in a Supernatural Deity is not magic. Magic is the active manipulation of alleged mindless mystical forces threw ceremony & ritual. A Deist merely believes a Supernatural God started the Cosmic Watch & doesn’t get involved.It may not be magic, but its belief in magic. Ultimately its a claim for magic as an ostensibly real thing. I tend to favor the Cambridge family of dictionaries wherein magic is more generic: the use of special powers to make things happen which would usually be impossible, such as in stories for children. The exact character of the actor using the alleged special powers is immaterial to me.

    Hitler & Stalin...Too tangential & time flies. I'll skip that detour.

    TurtullianI never said he was a Fideism, nor would I want to. That's like arguing over whether he thinks more like Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny. Its a pointless distinction. I'm also aware of various translations of Tertullian's text. Underneath it all he's arguing that otherwise ridiculous truth claims should be trusted if they come from a trusted source. This is just an argument from authority, not evidence. Even people we know and trust still make mistakes and can't be trusted absolutely without reservation. In addition, Tertullian never personally knew anyone who lived in Jesus' day much less witnessed any of the alleged events. So, whether he intended it to be taken on its face or read as irony, the trope still crosses the 12db threshold and leads to an absurd conclusion, which he embraces.

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  9. Some books that Mariano may be interested in: The Popes Against the Jews: The Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitismby David I. Kertzer


    After Auschwitz: Religion and the Origins of the Death Camps. Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis, Ind., 1966

    Theologian Richard Rubenstein wrote that the Nazis "did not invent a new villain...They took over the 2,000-year-old Christian trdition of the Jew as villain...The roots of the death camps must be sought in the mythic structure of Christianity...Myths concerning the demonological role of the Jews have been operative in Christianity for centuries...Has God Rejected His People? Anti-Judaism in the Christian Church, Abingdon, Nashville, Tenn. 1982

    Theologian Clark Williamson of Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, said centuries of Christian hostility to Jews "prepared the way for the Holocaust" he said the Nazis "are inconcievable apart from this Christian tradition. Hitler's pogrom, for all its distinctiveness, is the zenith of a long Christian heritage of teaching and practice against Jews.

    Fratricide: The Theological Roots of Anti-SemitismThe Jew and the Cross by Dagobert Runes and The War Against the Jew Lucy Dawidowicz

    Everything Hitler did to the Jews, all the horrible, unspeakable misdeeds, had already been done to the smitten people before by the Christian churches....The isolation of Jews into ghetto camps, the wearing of the yellow spot, the burning of Jewish books, and finally the burning of the people-Hitler learned it all from the church. However, the church burned Jewish women and children alive, while Hitler granted them a quicker death, choking them first with gas.

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  10. >Some books that Mariano may be interested in: The Popes Against the Jews: The Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitismby David I. Kertzer


    I reply: That is the same book that was called "false and unpersuasive" by Jewish American HISTORIAN Rabbi David Dalin?

    might I suggest some books by Dalin:

    The Pius War : Responses to the Critics of Pius XII (2004) with Joseph Bottum

    The Myth of Hitler's Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis (2005)

    Icon of Evil Hitler's Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam (2008) with John F. Rothmann


    >After Auschwitz: Religion and the Origins of the Death Camps. Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis, Ind., 1966


    I reply: I would also recommend Three Popes and the Jews (Hardcover)
    by Israeli Diplomat Rabbi Pinchas Lapide.

    To quote a review"The Israeli consul, Pinchas E. Lapide, in his book, Three Popes and the Jews (New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1967) critically examines Pope Pius XII. According to his research, the Catholic Church under Pius XII was instrumental in saving 860,000 Jews from Nazi death camps (p. 214). Could Pius have saved more lives by speaking out more forcefully? According to Lapide, the concentration camp prisoners did not want Pius to speak out openly (p. 247). As one jurist from the Nuremberg Trials said on WNBC in New York (Feb. 28, 1964), "Any words of Pius XII, directed against a madman like Hitler, would have brought on an even worse catastrophe... [and] accelerated the massacre of Jews and priests." (Ibid.) Yet Pius was not totally silent either. Lapide notes a book by the Jewish historian, Jenoe Levai, entitled, The Church Did Not Keep Silent (p. 256). He admits that everyone, including himself, could have done more. If we condemn Pius, then justice would demand condemning everyone else. He concludes by quoting from the Talmud that "whosoever preserves one life, it is accounted to him by Scripture as if he had preserved a whole world." With this he claims that Pius XII deserves a memorial forest of 860,000 trees in the Judean hills (pp. 268-9). It should be noted that six million Jews and three million Catholics were killed in the Holocaust.END QUOTE



    Of course there is that famous "Atheist"(at least an "Atheist" according to Dawkins & Hitchens shifting standards) Albert Einstein who said December 23, 1940 issue of Time magazine on page 38

    QUOTE"Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks...

    Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.END QUOTE


    >Theologian Richard Rubenstein wrote that the Nazis "did not invent a new villain...They took over the 2,000-year-old Christian trdition of the Jew as villain...


    I reply: That is the same Richard Rubenstein who is a follower & defender of the "Rev" Sun Yong Moon right?

    Ok then.....(steps back quietly)


    Anyway the Reformed Christians up in Scandinavia also saved tens of thousands of Jews & there have been many Eastern Orthodox heros as well.

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  11. >That's naive. The church has always been political, as any human endeavor to exercise and coordinate power must be. Even today, the election of popes, cardinals and etc is not divorced from secular political concerns (for a "universal" church the Catholics have had a remarkably high percentage of Italian popes).

    I reply: That’s a statement being made by someone who has already admitted not to be a scholar in either religion or the Bible. I never said politics, were not involved but anyone who reads the councils can see they are primarily about doctrine or pastoral issues. It’s that simple your irrelevant tangents not withstanding.

    The Council of Trent acted as a counter to the doctrines of the Reformation. Anyone who reads the text of the council can see that is it’s main focus. The High percentage of Italian Popes is likely due to the fact Rome is FOUND IN Italy. A remarkably high percentage of Coptic Patriarchs are Egyptians(there are exceptions) & the majority of Syrian Patriarchs are Syrians etc……this is unremarkable.

    >In more general terms, the council of Trent was as political, both internally (church politics) and externally (secular politics), as the one in Nicea under Constantine.

    I reply: The above statement can only be made by someone who has read another person’s opinions of Trent & not the text of Trent itself. Anyone who has read the text of Trent can see it was mainly focused is on Doctrine.

    Here is the itinerary.

    By Session

    Bull of Indiction

    The First Session

    * Decree touching the opening of the Council
    * Indiction of the next session

    The Second Session

    * Decree touching the manner of living, and other matters to be observed, during the Council
    * Indiction of the next session

    The Third Session

    * Decree touching the symbol of faith
    * Indiction of the next session

    The Fourth Session

    * Decree concerning canonical Scriptures
    * Decree concerning the edition, and the use, of the sacred books
    * Indiction of the next session

    The Fifth Session

    * Decree concerning original sin
    * Decree on reformation
    * Indiction of the next session

    The Sixth Session

    * Decree on justification
    * On justification
    * Decree on reformation
    * Indiction of the next session

    The Seventh Session

    * Decree on the Sacraments
    * Decree on Reformation
    * Indiction of the next session
    * Bull with faculty to transfer the Council

    The Eighth Session

    * Decree concerning the translation of the Council

    The Ninth Session

    * Decree for the prorogation of the session

    The Tenth Session

    * Decree for the prorogation of the session
    * Bull for the resumption of the Council of Trent, under the Sovereign Pontiff, Julius III

    The Eleventh Session

    * Decree for resuming the Council
    * Indiction of the next session

    The Twelfth Session

    The Thirteenth Session

    * Decree concerning the most holy sacrament of the eucharist
    * On the most holy sacrament of the eucharist
    * Decree on reformation
    * Decree for postponing the definition of four articles touching the sacrament of the eucharist, and for giving a safe-conduct to Protestants
    * Safe-conduct granted to Protestants

    The Fourteenth Session

    * On the most holy sacraments of penance and extreme unction
    * On the most holy sacrament of penance
    * On the sacrament of extreme unction
    * Decree on reformation

    The Fifteenth Session

    * Decree for proroguing the session
    * Safe-conduct given to the Protestants

    The Sixteenth Session

    * Decree for the suspension of the Council
    * Bull for the celebration of the Council of Trent, under the Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IV

    The Seventeenth Session

    * Decree for celebrating the Council
    * Indiction of the next session

    The Eighteenth Session

    * Decree on the choice of books, and for inviting all men on the public faith to the Council
    * Indiction of the next session
    * Safe-conduct granted to the German nation
    * Extension thereof to other nations

    The Nineteenth Session

    * Decree for the prorogation of the session

    The Twentieth Session

    * Decree for the prorogation of the session

    The Twenty-First Session

    * [Decree on communion under both species, and the communion of infants]
    * On communion under both species, and on the communion of infants
    * Decree on reformation
    * Indiction of the next session

    The Twenty-Second Session

    * Doctrine on the sacrifice of the mass
    * On the sacrifice of the mass
    * Decree concerning the things to be observed, and to be avoided, in the celebration of the mass
    * Decree on reformation
    * Decree touching the petition for the concession of the chalice
    * Indiction of the next session

    The Twenty-Third Session

    * The true and catholic doctrine, touching the sacrament of order, decreed and published by the Holy Synod of Trent, in the seventh session, in condemnation of the errors of our time
    * On the sacrament of order
    * Decree on reformation
    * Indiction of the next session

    The Twenty-Fourth Session

    * Doctrine on the sacrament of matrimony
    * On the sacrament of matrimony
    * Decree on the reformation of marriage
    * Decree on reformation
    * Indiction of the next session

    The Twenty-Fifth Session

    * Decree concerning purgatory
    * On the invocation, veneration, and relics, or saints, and other sacred images
    * On regulars and nuns
    * Decree on reformation
    * Decree for continuing the session on the following day
    * Decree concerning indulgences
    * On choice of meats; on fasts, and festival days
    * On the index of books; on the catechism, breviary, and missal
    * On the place of ambassadors
    * On receiving and observing the decrees of the Council
    * On reciting, in session, the decrees of the Council under Paul III and Julius III
    * On the close of the Council, and on suing for confirmation from Our Most Holy Lord
    * Acclamations of the Fathers at the close of the Council
    * Confirmation of the Council
    * Bull of Our Most Holy Lord Pius IV, by the providence of God, Pope, touching the confirmation of the oecumenical (and) general Council of Trent


    I reply: Anyone can see by the itinerary the council’s main functions are settling doctrinal disputes & issuing pastoral policies for teaching those doctrines & general moral reform. The number of things that might be considered political can be counted on one hand.


    >Whenever a church seeks to exercise secular power the activity is inevitably political in nature. At the very least, at Trento as at Nicea, there are mutually acceptable adaptations and understandings between secular and church authorities in order to reconcile the two. The outcome of the council of Trent is the reformulation of doctrine to implement the larger "peace treaty" with the rising secular powers, as the Nicene Creed was the church's concession to the Roman Empire.

    I reply: What does this tangent have to do with your original weird contradictory claim that Theists have no principles that are susceptible to open and objective inspection? Ambiguous much? All this historical & political analysis of Ecumenical councils sans the doctrinal issues is interesting but I really don't care about it.

    >The entire protestant movement, as was the formation of catholic church itself early on, is drenched in politics.

    I reply: So?

    >Jesus told his Apostles & Peter...What you meant to say was "A modern translation of a text of uncertain provenance by an anonymous someone, who never saw or heard Jesus himself, claims that someone who did say he heard, or at least knew someone who claimed to have heard Jesus, said..." Let's be clear about the authority of the claim.

    I reply: But by your own admission you are not a Bible scholar so the opinion you offer above is not worth much & pretty much represents the best skeptical scholarly opinions of the Holy Writ found in the 19th century.

    >I didn't say I didn't recognize the differences, I said that the difference aren't important to me.

    I reply: So you will take the time to study the political implications of Ecumenical Councils while professing ignorance of the theology behind them or their importance? You are clearly a consistent kneejerk materialist even in your historical analysis. But that ultimately begs the question.

    >They aren't important to me because they make no sense. Even if I wanted to believe there's nothing sensible there to believe in. All the doctrinal wrangling is like listening to kids debate how Santa Clause gets into houses without chimneys. Its specious and arbitrary speculations about non-issues. Does the wafer really change into the flesh of Jesus, or is it just symbolic. How can I care about that?

    I reply: If you don’t believe in God and have no desire to ever change your mind then you shouldn’t care. But if you wish to criticize these beliefs it seems pretty self-defeating to maintain a willful ignorance & substitute base ridicule & incredulity for rational critique. Why should any knowledgeable Theist take you seriously?

    >If there really is "something" out there to be discovered then, or so it seems to me, over time earnest searchers should be able to converge on it, if it is approachable at all. That isn't happening. Every year the incomprehensible chaos of christian beliefs fragments more and more.

    I reply: Clearly you haven’t followed inter-religious dialog or the progress there in. Many prominent Lutheran Churches have made join resolutions with the Vatican on the issue of Justification. Both the Oriental Orthodox Churches & the Assyrian Church of the East have made join Christological statements to help heal the Monophysite & Nestorian schisms respectively. Your ignorant generalization does not move me.

    >This is the hallmark of a wild goose chase. And so I don't follow or care about the myriad distinctions.

    I reply: Of course you have already decided there is no God. I could care less about the arguments between strict Empiricists vs Logical Positivism vs Metaphysical Naturalism since I accept the existence of God & have concluded any Atheist Universe renders the use of reason meaningless. Plantinga’s arguments are very powerful in this area.

    >Moslty because I see no evidence that they denote anything real. No matter how consistently or finely the distinctions are drawn and redrawn and then drawn again over time, they aren't going anywhere. This is the age old "battle" between those who think precision is more important than accuracy and those who think the opposite.

    I reply: I find the idea that anyone would believe “precision” & “accuracy” are at war with each other in the first place to be inherently irrational. This is news to me.

    >I'd rather be accurate than precise and you're saying precision is superior to accuracy. I prefer an accurate understanding of real beasts over precise depictions of mythical ones.

    I reply: I’m Catholic. I don’t believe in either/or. I believe in Both/And.

    >Other-than-Mormon standards?No, I was referring to strictly subjective standards. Sorry I wasn't clearer.

    I reply: That is always going to be a problem for you if you insist there is a schism between “precision” & “accuracy”.

    >I thought I did: "Its an absence of belief in magical beings, not a positive belief in somebody else's unbelievable Truth-claims." As far as I'm concerned all magical things comprise a single equivalence class.

    I reply: Accept I don’t believe in “magical beings” either according to Classic Theistic definitions. I believe there is the Supernatural (that which is over nature) but “magic” no.

    >>Objectively, pleading a hyper-negative agnosticism in regards to the existence of the supernatural is STILL objectively making a positive claim.
    >Fair enough, but that's trivially true of all declarative statements.

    I reply: Then it’s not a meaningful logical objection to the existence of the supernatural since it’s self referential.

    >>Thus you are MAKING a positive assertion that belief in the supernatural is “unbelievable”.
    Sounds like a form of Metaphysical Naturalism to me.
    >If you like that label, if it gives you some sense of comfort or power to so categorize me, then go with it. By definition all world views are ultimately founded on one metaphysics or another, so you're making (yet another) distinction that distinguishes nothing meaningful. That's your business.

    I reply: You categorize Church Councils whose theology you know nothing solely in political terms. Why? Did you do so without employing categories? How is that possible? You are VERY inconsistent here.

    >If someone held a gun to my head and insisted I choose a label of my own I guess I'd say I'm Bayesian.

    I reply: Then direct your arguments to Swinburne & other lights within Christian evidentialism.

    >I suppose its conceivably possible that the sun might rise in the West, or North tomorrow morning. But the likelihood of that happing is so infinitesimally small that its indistinguishable from zero. In that sense my "faith" in naturalism is absolute: I round off infinitesimals to zero for all practical pruposes. Ed Jaynes puts his cutoff at 12db. I can go with that. But, if that's "Metaphysical Naturalism," then what sane human being isn't?

    I reply: Fascinating. But to quote the Wikipedia people "Metaphysical naturalism, or ontological naturalism, characterizes any worldview in which reality is such that there is nothing but the natural things, forces, and causes of the kind that the natural sciences study, i.e. the things, forces and causes which are required in order to understand our physical environment and which have mechanical properties amenable to mathematical modeling.....More specifically metaphysical naturalism rejects the objective existence of any supernatural thing, force or cause, such as are described in humanity’s various religions and mythological accounts"END QUOTE

    Very straight forward & clearly what you seem to believe.


    >>Fine but you have no means to discuss your subjective views rationally or your reasons for them (if any) if you don’t yield to an agreed upon terminology.Who's fault is that?
    >Buy a new dictionary and join us in the 21st century, I won't complain. What have you guys got against Bayes anyway? He was a clergyman, you know. Surely that still counts for something, even in these darkling days.

    I reply: I have nothing against Bayes & you have not articulated in any meaningful way how he would be a problem for Theists. Plus since when have the new dictionaries dumped classical definitions of philosophical or religious categories?

    >>Belief in a Supernatural Deity is not magic. Magic is the active manipulation of alleged mindless mystical forces threw ceremony & ritual. A Deist merely believes a Supernatural God started the Cosmic Watch & doesn’t get involved.

    >It may not be magic, but its belief in magic. Ultimately its a claim for magic as an ostensibly real thing. I tend to favor the Cambridge family of dictionaries wherein magic is more generic: the use of special powers to make things happen which would usually be impossible, such as in stories for children. The exact character of the actor using the alleged special powers is immaterial to me.

    I reply: You conflate “Magic” with the supernatural. Sorry but Aquinas didn’t give us Five Proofs for the Existence of Unicorns. Nor could he.

    >TurtullianI never said he was a Fideism, nor would I want to.

    I reply: They why bring it up?

    >That's like arguing over whether he thinks more like Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny. Its a pointless distinction.

    I reply: You are equating belief in Santa Clause with the belief in an Un-caused First Cause. That is a category mistake & it’s intellectually lazy. It is not pointless since Fundie Atheists like Dawkins or Hitchens define “Faith” as belief in something without proof or reason. That is not the classic Christian definition used by the great Christian philosophers or thinkers threw out history.

    If you don’t care to be accurate then you have nothing intelligent or rational to share with me or any Theist. Because you are NOT GIVING me anything intelligent or rational.


    >I'm also aware of various translations of Tertullian's text. Underneath it all he's arguing that otherwise ridiculous truth claims should be trusted if they come from a trusted source. This is just an argument from authority, not evidence.

    I reply: No that IS evidence. What it is not is Empirical Evidence. But so what?

    >Even people we know and trust still make mistakes and can't be trusted absolutely without reservation. In addition, Tertullian never personally knew anyone who lived in Jesus' day much less witnessed any of the alleged events.

    I reply: No but he learned from people who knew people who knew the Apostles who knew Jesus. Clement of Rome Knew Peter & Paul. Ignatius of Antioch knew John. Ireneaus knew Polycarp who knew John. So it is reasonable for Tertullian to trust these men as to what Jesus taught.

    >So, whether he intended it to be taken on its face or read as irony, the trope still crosses the 12db threshold and leads to an absurd conclusion, which he embraces.

    I reply: This would be because you have already concluded that all supernatural explanations are no different from “Magic” and therefore absurd. Which is begging the question.

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  12. BenYachov said, quoting me:

    Some books that Mariano may be interested in: The Popes Against the Jews: The Vatican's Role in the Rise of Modern Anti-Semitismby David I. KertzerI reply: That is the same book that was called "false and unpersuasive" by Jewish American HISTORIAN Rabbi David Dalin?

    might I suggest some books by Dalin:

    The Pius War : Responses to the Critics of Pius XII (2004) with Joseph Bottum

    The Myth of Hitler's Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis (2005)

    Icon of Evil Hitler's Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam (2008) with John F. Rothmann
    Not all of the reviews of that book have been negative...

    example.




    After Auschwitz: Religion and the Origins of the Death Camps. Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis, Ind., 1966I reply: I would also recommend Three Popes and the Jews (Hardcover)
    by Israeli Diplomat Rabbi Pinchas Lapide.

    To quote a review "The Israeli consul, Pinchas E. Lapide, in his book, Three Popes and the Jews (New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1967) critically examines Pope Pius XII. According to his research, the Catholic Church under Pius XII was instrumental in saving 860,000 Jews from Nazi death camps (p. 214). Could Pius have saved more lives by speaking out more forcefully? According to Lapide, the concentration camp prisoners did not want Pius to speak out openly (p. 247). As one jurist from the Nuremberg Trials said on WNBC in New York (Feb. 28, 1964), "Any words of Pius XII, directed against a madman like Hitler, would have brought on an even worse catastrophe... [and] accelerated the massacre of Jews and priests." (Ibid.) Yet Pius was not totally silent either. Lapide notes a book by the Jewish historian, Jenoe Levai, entitled, The Church Did Not Keep Silent (p. 256). He admits that everyone, including himself, could have done more. If we condemn Pius, then justice would demand condemning everyone else. He concludes by quoting from the Talmud that "whosoever preserves one life, it is accounted to him by Scripture as if he had preserved a whole world." With this he claims that Pius XII deserves a memorial forest of 860,000 trees in the Judean hills (pp. 268-9). It should be noted that six million Jews and three million Catholics were killed in the Holocaust.END QUOTE
    According to the Jewish Virtual Library:

    The Pope's reaction to the Holocaust was complex and inconsistent. At times, he tried to help the Jews and was successful. But these successes only highlight the amount of influence he might have had, if he not chosen to remain silent on so many other occasions. No one knows for sure the motives behind Pius XII's actions, or lack thereof, since the Vatican archives have only been fully opened to select researchers. Historians offer many reasons why Pope Pius XII was not a stronger public advocate for the Jews: A fear of Nazi reprisals, a feeling that public speech would have no effect and might harm the Jews, the idea that private intervention could accomplish more, the anxiety that acting against the German government could provoke a schism among German Catholics, the church's traditional role of being politically neutral and the fear of the growth of communism were the Nazis to be defeated.(34) Whatever his motivation, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the Pope, like so many others in positions of power and influence, could have done more to save the Jews.

    BenYachov:
    Of course there is that famous "Atheist"(at least an "Atheist" according to Dawkins & Hitchens shifting standards) Albert Einstein who said December 23, 1940 issue of Time magazine on page 38

    QUOTE"Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks...

    Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth.
    "The church"? More like only some of the churches.

    continuing with the above quoteI never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.END QUOTETheologian Richard Rubenstein wrote that the Nazis "did not invent a new villain...They took over the 2,000-year-old Christian trdition of the Jew as villain...I reply: That is the same Richard Rubenstein who is a follower & defender of the "Rev" Sun Yong Moon right?

    Ok then.....(steps back quietly)
    And the relevence is what, exactly? The Disco people have a moonie in their midst and they don't seem to mind...ie) Jonathan Wells. Unless you can show that for Rubenstein, like with Wells, whose "moonie-ism" was a motivating factor in what the guy wrote, you've got nothing but an ad-hominem attack.

    You still have to contend with people like Martin Luther ("On the Jews and Their Lies") and Dagobert Runes, a historian whose mother apparently died in the holocaust...

    Anyway the Reformed Christians up in Scandinavia also saved tens of thousands of Jews & there have been many Eastern Orthodox heros as well.And there have also been xians who have supported Hitler. Remember protestant hero Martin Luther, you know, the guy who wrote On the Jews and their Lies?

    How's about the Nuremberg testimony of Julius Streicher (who himself admitted that if Luther was there, he'd be in the dock with them, because they were following Luther's advice about what to do with the Jews?

    Got anything on Dagobert Runes, who wrote The War Against the Jew as well as On the Jew and the Cross?

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  13. bloody formatting...I'm not reposting anything. blah.

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  14. ... The High percentage of Italian Popes is likely due to the fact Rome is FOUND IN Italy. ...OK, call it geographical if you want, but the determinative force behind the church is geographical (or political, I'd say), and not religious in nature.

    ... The number of things that might be considered political can be counted on one hand. Political documents, especially treaties, are rarely about their ostensible content. One might wonder why it took 1500 years for the church to get around to correcting doctrinal flaws present since its inception. The fact is the catholics were losing market share to Luther who, protected by secular nationalistic forces, was immune to the church's usual methods of enforcing orthodoxy. The Papal armies were losing (Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, had captured and sacked Rome a few years before), the peasants were picking up pitchforks and coming after priests, so they rebranded their product to comport with changing political realities. So, yes, it is a religious document, but it is the work product of violent cultural and political machinations having little or nothing to do with religion as such.

    How many of those reforms would have been made, do you figure, if there weren't a gun at the Pope's head?

    ... All this historical & political analysis of Ecumenical councils sans the doctrinal issues is interesting but I really don't care about it. In a nutshell, the doctrinal issues are settled by sword and fire, not the other way around; the issues can't be settled dispassionately by discussing some objective aspect of reality accessible to all sides. Compare the Reformation/Counter Reformation with science. How many people did Newton have to bludgeon to death to sell his theory of gravity?

    Its a poor comment on your religion that the Prince of Peace is red in tooth and claw. If I were a catholic I wouldn't want to care about it either.

    ... So you will take the time to study the political implications of Ecumenical Councils while professing ignorance of the theology behind them or their importance?Yes, I will, because its the politics that determine doctrine. The theology is secondary and derived, not of prime importance, unless one chooses to live by it.

    Many prominent Lutheran Churches have made join resolutions with the Vatican on the issue of Justification. ...And where are the Mormons in all this, or the Southern Baptist Convention, or the Snake Dancers, or the ...? Diversity continues to grow. That two sects of diminishing relevance come to some agreements on a some issues misses the much larger social trends.

    That is always going to be a problem for you if you insist there is a schism between “precision” & “accuracy”.I never said anything about a schism. The two operate independently of each other and, in real life if not religion, choices need to be made about which to pursue at any one time. Different people tend to weigh them differently by nature. I think it was Coleridge who said men are born either Platonists or Aristotelean. Its like that. THat's not a schism.

    ... Very straight forward & clearly what you seem to believe.Except that it isn't. I never said there was "nothing but" natural things. Read closely.

    ... You are equating belief in Santa Clause with the belief in an Un-caused First Cause. ...Its an equivalence class: the class of things for which there is no evidence. Don't make Aquinas' mistake and confound the limits of human imagination or cognition with the limits of reality; the former does not limit the latter.

    No that IS evidence. What it is not is Empirical Evidence. But so what? So it is very tenuous and untrustworthy evidence.

    No but he learned from people who knew people who knew the Apostles who knew Jesus. Clement of Rome Knew Peter & Paul. Ignatius of Antioch knew John. Ireneaus knew Polycarp who knew John. So it is reasonable for Tertullian to trust these men as to what Jesus taught. To be accurate, Ignatius said he knew John. Ireneaus said he knew Polycarp who said he knew John & etc.

    Clement of Rome died decades before Tertullian was even born (110 CE vs 150 CE), what did he know of Clement; on what basis could he say Clement was a reliable authority? It isn't even certain that Peter ever went to Rome or, whatever Clement may have said on the subject, that the person he knew as Peter was THE Peter, or that the alleged Peter understood what Jesus said in the first place. Etc, etc, etc...

    The whole Bible is twice told tales. Commentaries on it are thrice told tales. To say that somebody you never saw vouched for somebody you never met is skating on mighty thin ice. Those were credulous days and the christian world was awash with forged documents. Its unreasonable to say that relying on such a flimsy chain of evidence is reasonable, especially for extraordinarily unusual claims. In other words, it is indeed absurd.

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