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Was Hitler the first pantheist mass murderer?

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Ask a scholar. From David Klinghoffer at Evolution News & Views, introducing a podcast with German history scholar Richard Weikart, author of Hitler’s Religion

In an ID the Future conversation with Todd Butterfield, Professor Weikart reveals the complexity of his topic — Hitler’s true religious views, which are so often subjected to, yes, simplistic caricature. Sometimes you’ll see Hitler portrayed as a Christian, other times as an occultist. Neither is true. You could call him a pantheist. More.

Podcast here:

On this episode of ID The Future, Tod Butterfield talks with CSC Senior Fellow Dr. Richard Weikart about his recently published book Hitler’s Religion: The Twisted Beliefs that Drove the Third Reich. In particular, Weikart explores Hitler’s pantheism and his antipathy toward Christianity.

Most of the really big mass murderers in the twentieth century were naturalist atheists, so the Third Reich is an exception worth studying. But no question, it was Darwinist.

See also: Weikart on how Darwinism helped fascist agendas

15 Replies to “Was Hitler the first pantheist mass murderer?

  1. 1
    Charlie says:

    Weikart’s is an excellent book.
    A thought on pantheism versus atheism, though:
    “One of the strongest and most commonly raised objections to pantheism is that it is simply inappropriate to call the universe ‘God’. Thus Schopenhauer complains that “Pantheism is only a euphemism for atheism,” for “to call the world God is not to explain it; it is only to enrich our language with a superfluous synonym for the word world” (Schopenhauer 1851, I:114, II:99). It has been described as nothing more than ‘materialism grown sentimental,’ (Illingworth 1898, 69) while more recently Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion complains that “Pantheism is sexed-up Atheism” (Dawkins 2007, 40). ” https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pantheism/

  2. 2
    rvb8 says:

    Hitler’s religion?

    “Gott mit uns.”

    The keen Protestant and Catholic camp guards, soldiers, SS members, Hitler Youth members.

    The way the Catholic church, up to and including his last birthday in April 1945, wished the Fuhrer long life.

    The way Protestant ministers aided in the identification of Jewish families.

    The way, ‘Origins’ was specifically banned by the Reich for suggesting blacks and whites have a common ancestor.

    Please pull the other one, it’s got bells on!

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    rvb8 logic:

    Hitler wasn’t so bad. And look, other people were bad too.

  4. 4

    A/mats love to call Hitler a Christian and then bash Christians because he was (supposedly) one of them. It is utter nonsense, of course, just like most a/mat ideas.

    Still no penny drop, rvb8. Not even close. Smile.

  5. 5
    asauber says:

    So why were all the atheists silent about Hitler in 1945?

    Why didn’t noble atheists try and stop Hitler when they had the chance?

    Oh the complicity!

    Andrew

  6. 6
    tribune7 says:

    rvb8

    Here is a link to Mein Kampf. http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200601.txt

    Do “find on page” for evolution (leave a space in front of the e) and you will find things like this:

    Such a dispensation of Nature is quite logical. Every crossing between
    two breeds which are not quite equal results in a product which holds an
    intermediate place between the levels of the two parents. This means
    that the offspring will indeed be superior to the parent which stands in
    the biologically lower order of being, but not so high as the higher
    parent. For this reason it must eventually succumb in any struggle
    against the higher species. Such mating contradicts the will of Nature
    towards the selective improvements of life in general. The favourable
    preliminary to this improvement is not to mate individuals of higher and
    lower orders of being but rather to allow the complete triumph of the
    higher order. The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker,
    which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the
    born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so
    it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if
    such a law did not direct the process of evolution then the higher
    development of organic life would not be conceivable at all.

    AND THIS

    If Nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the
    stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle
    with an inferior one; because in such a case all her efforts, throughout
    hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher
    stage of being, may thus be rendered futile.

    AND THIS

    Unconsciously his instinct will submit to the knowledge that the
    preservation of the species, even at the cost of the individual life, is
    a primal necessity and he will protest against the fantasies of pacifist
    ranters, who in reality are nothing better than cowardly egoists, even
    though camouflaged, who contradict the laws of human development. For it
    is a necessity of human evolution that the individual should be imbued
    with the spirit of sacrifice in favour of the common weal, and that he
    should not be influenced by the morbid notions of those knaves who
    pretend to know better than Nature and who have the impudencc to
    criticize her decrees.

    AND THIS

    Certain tricks
    and skilful tactics which can be observed in use among the animals
    strike the eye of the observer as established facts which may be seen
    everywhere; and man is no longer in a position to discover or explain
    their primary cause and so he contents himself with calling such
    phenomena ‘instinctive.’

    In our case this term has no meaning. Because everyone who believes in
    the higher evolution of living organisms must admit that every
    manifestation of the vital urge and struggle to live must have had a
    definite beginning in time and that one subject alone must have
    manifested it for the first time. It was then repeated again and again;
    and the practice of it spread over a widening area, until finally it
    passed into the subconscience of every member of the species, where it manifested itself as ‘instinct.’

    This is more easily understood and more easy to believe in the case of
    man. His first skilled tactics in the struggle with the rest of the
    animals undoubtedly originated in his management of creatures which
    possessed special capabilities.

    AND THIS

    Organization is a thing that derives its existence from
    organic life, organic evolution.

    AND THIS

    And just as
    only an imbecile could look on the physical geography of the globe as
    fixed and unchangeable–for in reality it represents a definite stage in
    a given evolutionary epoch which is due to the formidable forces of
    Nature and may be altered to-morrow by more powerful forces of
    destruction and change–so, too, in the lives of the nations the
    confines which are necessary for their sustenance are subject to change.

    YEAH, der furher was a Darwinist and followed his theory to a logical conclusion (as did American/British/Swedish etc. eugenicists.)

    Hitler was an anti-Christian. He closed Christian schools, removed crucifixs, replaced Christmas carols. The OSS documents his goal for the destruction of Christianity very well: http://lawcollections.library....../nur:00773

  7. 7
    rvb8 says:

    asauber @5,

    there was atheist opposition to Hitler, from before 1932, right up to his death; it was called the German Communist party.

    Not my own cup of tea, but certainly more effective than the meagre Christian non-resistance. (Yes I know about the tedious and ineffectual- though brave- ‘White Rose’)

    tribune7,

    Hitler was no Christian, or at least he forgot or ignored his Catholic roots. What’s your point with these quotes?

    Mainline Protestant churches, and the Catholic church were happy followers of the man who would destroy their main fear; Bolshevism.

    The fact that many Russian Bolshevists were Jewish, made the Christian’s and Hitler’s day.

    You don’t know this?!

  8. 8
    tribune7 says:

    rvb8,

    It’s not that Hitler was “no Christian”. It’s that he was an anti-Christian.

    The quotes, however, show that Hitler was, most definitely, a strong believer in the Theory of Evolution and that this theory directed his worldview.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    RVB8, you tried to cite a traditional Prussian slogan that appeared on army belt buckles long before Hitler was born much less achieved power. That should give you several clues as to the magnitude of your error. KF

  10. 10
    asauber says:

    there was atheist opposition to Hitler, from before 1932, right up to his death; it was called the German Communist party

    rvb8,

    Well, communists oppose everyone but themselves, so I don’t think this means anything.

    But it is interesting that atheism/communism are automatically associated with each other.

    Andrew

  11. 11
    Bob O'H says:

    tribune7 @ 6 –

    YEAH, der furher was a Darwinist and followed his theory to a logical conclusion

    Weird. Search for ‘Darwin’ in Mein Kampf, and you get … nothing. And Darwin’s book was (as rvb8 points out) banned by the Nazis. So if Hitler was a Darwinist, he did a good job hiding it.

  12. 12
    ET says:

    Hitler’s “master race” seems to favor natural selection

  13. 13
  14. 14
    Charlie says:

    “Where, then, did this myth of the Nazis banning Darwin arise? As with many myths, there is a small element of truth, but it was wrenched from its context and blown out of proportion.”

    https://evolutionnews.org/2016/11/was_darwinism_b/

  15. 15
    tribune7 says:

    So Bob, you don’t think evolutionist and Darwinist were synonymous circa 1925?

    Where do you think Hitler got his evolutionary philosophy from?

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