Darwinism

Why do people so often only repent of Darwinism when they die?

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I am really going to miss Richard John Neuhaus, who slipped away January 8 (1936-2008), quite unexpectedly, and is NOT an example of the problem I am commenting on here. 

I got my February First Things earlier this week, knowing it was the last installment I would ever read of his “The Public Square,” and especially of my favourite portion, “While We’re At It,” of which I am transcribing a bit for you below, a bit that is relevant to the intelligent design debate.

I first became aware of Neuhaus when he was a Lutheran pastor (he subsequently became a Catholic priest), because he was one of the first people ever to write against the “population bomb” hoax, in 1971 – when that very hoax was hot stuff in what we today call the legacy media.

Essentially, as Pamela Winnick has also pointed out, there was no population bomb. The rise of national government – which meant, among other things, the prohibition of local warfare, together with the worldwide spread of modern agriculture and medical techniques – simply meant that more people than ever before in history happen to be alive at the same time. This is an inevitable consequence of reducing child and young adult mortality. But inevitably then, birth rates begin to taper off. As Neuhaus recognized, there was unmistakable evidence that birth rates were already tapering off, even while editorialists were freaking out about the supposed “bomb.”

Anyway, without more ado, here are some of Neuhaus’s comments on Ernst Haeckel, Darwin’s devoted German disciple:

Give a boy a hammer and he discovers the whole world needs hammering. Give an intellectual enthusiast a really big idea and he discovers it explains just about everything. Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) was such an enthusiast and, along with many others, his really big idea was Darwinism. He had no problem with being accused of worshiping Darwin and was an influential popularizer of his thought. A new biography of Haeckel, The Tragic Sense of Life, by Robert Richards, notes his prodigious productivity, including what he considered a central pillar of Darwin’s theory – the idea that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. This means that in the first two months of development a human embryo can scarcely be distinguished the tailed embryo of a dog or other mammals. In other words, the embryo of a contemporary species goes through the same morphological changes in its development as its ancestors went through in their evolutionary descent. I have met people who still hold to Haeckel’s theory and contend that an abortion only interrupts an evolutionary process, and we do not know what the embryo would have turned out to be at the end of its evolutionary development. Haeckel published a book with an illustration, juxtaposing three embryos (dog, chicken, and turtle) and pointing out, as evidence in support of Darwin’s theory, that the three images were indistinguishable. A sharp-eye reviewer noted that they were indeed indistinguishable. The same woodcut had been printed three times. Haeckel’s reputation never recovered. T.H. Huxley, “Darwin’s Bulldog,” wrote him a letter of consolation”: “May your shadow never be less, and may all your enemies, unbelieving dogs who resist the Prophet of Evolution, be defiled by the sitting of jackasses upon their grandmother’s graves!”

Okay, so anyone who doubts Huxley, and presumably, current Darwin perpetrators, should have their grandmother’s grave defaced? Okay. At least they are making it clear. If this is a fight they want, they will get it.

Sadly, at one point, what Fr. Neuhaus writes is not strictly true. Haeckel’s reputation totally recovered! He’s part of the Darwin religion now. His beliefs about human embryos pioneered abortion legislation worldwide. (After a while, people began to acknowledge, of course, that abortion kills a human being, but – they now say- society is better off without the humans who merely punish their relatives by existing. That was after the abortion mob had confused the public by claiming that the human embryos were not human – as if anything could be more impossible in real science.)

And while we are here, why do so many people recant Darwinism just before they die?

In this world, today, isn’t there some point at which guys with balls just push their way forward to say, “We know this is major crap and we will sign here to say so, and will fight for it?

Well, all power to those guys, and I will do anything I can to help them.

Hey, guys, do it.

Do it for your kids. Don’t your kids deserve a world in which we can know what is real and what isn’t? Should your kids be listening to this or to something worthwhile? Think for a kid who wants to make it in science?

For what it is worth, Richard Weikart had intended to call his magisterial book on the contribution of Darwinism to Nazism “From Haeckel to Hitler” but the publisher insisted on titling it, From Darwin to Hitler. The book is sobering, and much recommended, however titled.

33 Replies to “Why do people so often only repent of Darwinism when they die?

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Okay, so anyone who doubts Huxley, and presumably, current Darwin perpetrators, should have their grandmother’s grave defaced? Okay. At least they are making it clear. If this is a fight they want, they will get it.

    I think we can agree that Huxley did not mean that literally, that he was only guilty of a little uncalled for hyperbole.

    For what it is worth, Richard Weikart had intended to call his magisterial book on the contribution of Darwinism to Nazism “From Haeckel to Hitler” but the publisher insisted on titling it, From Darwin to Hitler. The book is sobering, and much recommended, however titled.

    If Darwin or Haeckel had written the following about Jews, I think we can imagine what use Weikart would have made of it in his book:

    “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. …”

    “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 safe-conduct 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. … Such money should now be used in … the following [way]… Whenever a Jew is sincerely converted, he should be handed [a certain amount]…”

    “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… 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.”

    “If we wish to wash our hands of the Jews’ blasphemy and not share in their guilt, we have to part company with them. They must be driven from our country” and “we must drive them out like mad dogs.”

    Of course, as we all know, it was not written by a Darwin or Haeckel but by the founding father of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther. Do those words, far more poisonous than anything written by Darwin or Haeckel, damn beyond redemption the Lutheran church or Protestantism? I think most people today would say they don’t.

    We could, however, ask Richard Weikart why he did not write a book entitled From Luther To Hitler

  2. 2
    Collin says:

    Seversky,

    But the Lutheran church did not perpetuate Luther’s teachings against Jews into modern times. But Darwinism is a piece of the puzzle when it comes to abortion. Darwin’s attitude toward the Irish, Sanger’s attitude toward Blacks and the whole Eugenics movement have been supported by Social Darwinism which continues to preach its dehumanizing gospel.

  3. 3
    tribune7 says:

    Do those words, far more poisonous than anything written by Darwin or Haeckel, damn beyond redemption the Lutheran church or Protestantism?

    OTOH, there were 4 centuries between Luther and the Holocaust. Hitler was born just seven years (and 1 day) after Darwin’s death while Haeckel & Hitler’s lives overlapped.

    Anyway ponder this quote:

    Christianity — and that is its greatest merit — has somewhat mitigated that brutal German love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered, the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame. …
    The old stone gods will then rise from long ruins and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes, and Thor will leap to life with his giant hammer and smash the Gothic cathedrals. …
    … Do not smile at my advice — the advice of a dreamer who warns you against Kantians, Fichteans, and philosophers of nature. Do not smile at the visionary who anticipates the same revolution in the realm of the visible as has taken place in the spiritual. Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder. German thunder … comes rolling somewhat slowly, but … its crash … will be unlike anything before in the history of the world. …
    At that uproar the eagles of the air will drop dead, and lions in farthest Africa will draw in their tails and slink away. … A play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll.
    — Heinrich Heine (1832)

  4. 4
    WeaselSpotting says:

    I put the question (regarding repenting of Darwinism) to an evolutionist friend just now. He replied that it probably has something to do with senility, loss of brain function, childhood programming, fear of death, etc. Rather predictable.

    In my own experience, dying folks can be quite lucid, and perhaps a bit of God-consciousness can emerge through the intellectual haze in this state.

    I’d be curious about your own answer to this question, Ms. Leary.

  5. 5

    Important leaders of the Nationalist Socialist party would have liked to meet this situation [Nazi ideological conflict with Christian churches] by a complete extirpation of Christianity and the substitution of a purely racial religion tailored to fit the needs of National Socialist policy. This radically anti-Christian position is most significantly presented in Alfred Rosenberg’s Myth of the Twentieth Century (one of the great best-sellers of National Socialist Germany and generally regarded, after Hitler’s Mein Kampf, as the most authoritative statement of National Socialist ideology), and in his To the Obscurantists of our Time (An die Dunkelmanner unserer Zeit). Since Rosenberg was editor in chief of the chief party newspaper, the Voelkischer Beobachter, the Reich Leader of Ideological Training and the possessor of other prominent position under the National Socialist regime, his ideas were not without official significance. Thus in a declaration of 5 November 1934, Baldur von Schirach, German Youth Leader declared in Berlin; “Rosenberg’s way is the way of German youth”. So far as this sector of the National Socialist party is concerned, the destruction of Christianity was explicitly recognized as a purpose of the National Socialist movement.

    “The Nazi Master Plan: The Persecution of the Christian Churches”, Office of Strategic Services; July 6, 1945; pg 6.

    Sorry Seversky, your attempt to smear Christianity by linking the anti-Semitism of Luther with the Nazis has failed miserably.

    Luther defied Christian teachings and history (Jesus Christ was a Jew!) in order to hate Jews, and so did Hitler. Luther fortunately did not have a bevy of international scientists paving the way for him, nor did he think Judaism was congenital/genetic and called for extermination. If only Luther would have had Darwin, Galton, Spencer, Haeckel, and Huxley backing him up…

  6. 6
    Seversky says:

    Collin @ 2

    But the Lutheran church did not perpetuate Luther’s teachings against Jews into modern times. But Darwinism is a piece of the puzzle when it comes to abortion. Darwin’s attitude toward the Irish, Sanger’s attitude toward Blacks and the whole Eugenics movement have been supported by Social Darwinism which continues to preach its dehumanizing gospel.

    As I wrote before, I am opposed to abortion but I do not see it being justified today on the grounds of improving the fitness of the species. It’s more usually defended on the grounds that it is a woman’s right to do whatever she chooses with her own body.

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    tribune7 @ 3

    OTOH, there were 4 centuries between Luther and the Holocaust. Hitler was born just seven years (and 1 day) after Darwin’s death while Haeckel & Hitler’s lives overlapped.

    And in the four centuries between Luther and Hitler and in the four centuries before Luther there is a long and well-documented history of atrocities committed against Jews in Europe. The anti-Semitic impulse has been rooted in European – although not just European – culture for centuries. It did not originate with Luther, he was just one expression of it at that time. Hitler and the Holocaust were one of the most recent – and certainly the most terrible – expression of that same attitude. It existed long before Darwin proposed his theory and while that theory may have influenced Nazi thinking it is surely stretching things to argue that the theory of evolution was a necessary or even significant cause of the Holocaust. Even if it were, it would still say nothing about whether or not the theory itself is an accurate description and explanation of how life has changed over time.

  8. 8
    Seversky says:

    angryoldfatman @ 5

    “The Nazi Master Plan: The Persecution of the Christian Churches”, Office of Strategic Services; July 6, 1945; pg 6.

    Sorry Seversky, your attempt to smear Christianity by linking the anti-Semitism of Luther with the Nazis has failed miserably.

    If I were trying to discredit Christianity by citing Luther’s anti-Semitism then it would be a smear, just as arguing that the alleged use of Darwin’s work by the Nazis discredits the theory of evolution is a smear tactic.

    The passage you quote, however, makes the point, to me, that totalitarian regimes like the Nazis in Germany or the Communists in China and Russia tried to destroy the churches because they were an alternative base of political power that threatened their own absolute control of the state. They couldn’t tolerate competition.

    As for quotes, in 1935 Die Bucherei, the official Nazi journal for lending libraries, published a set of guidelines for the “purification” of library content which included the removal of the following:

    6. Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel).

    Is it likely that the Nazis would want to purge writing that was supposed to be so fundamental to their beliefs and policies?

  9. 9
    tribune7 says:

    The anti-Semitic impulse has been rooted in European – although not just European – culture for centuries.

    True, although not so much so that many more Jews ended up living there rather than in Egypt or Turkey or Persia .

    While that theory may have influenced Nazi thinking it is surely stretching things to argue that the theory of evolution was a necessary or even significant cause of the Holocaust

    That’s an argument from incredulity 🙂

    Even if it were, it would still say nothing about whether or not the theory itself is an accurate description and explanation of how life has changed over time.

    I’d say it’s wise to judge the vine by the fruit it bears.

  10. 10

    Seversky wrote:

    If I were trying to discredit Christianity by citing Luther’s anti-Semitism then it would be a smear, just as arguing that the alleged use of Darwin’s work by the Nazis discredits the theory of evolution is a smear tactic.

    I’ll take that as a confession, considering that:

    The anti-Semitic impulse has been rooted in European – although not just European – culture for centuries. It did not originate with Luther, he was just one expression of it at that time.

    and that you chose to extensively quote Luther instead of anyone more contemporary to Hitler and/or anyone sharing your atheism.

    Linking Darwinism with the Holocaust (particularly as Weikart does) could rightfully be called a smear tactic – if it were unfounded and untrue. Popular understanding of evolution at the time, even up to the level of reviews in the journal Science in the 1920s, supports the link.

    It’s not a smear if it’s the truth.

    Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel).

    Is it likely that the Nazis would want to purge writing that was supposed to be so fundamental to their beliefs and policies?

    “Primitive Darwinism” and “Monism” were not fundamental to Nazi belief and policies. They preferred the version of Darwinism championed by the likes of Madison Grant and a syncretic pagan religion based on same-said Darwinism.

  11. 11
    JT says:

    Shouldn’t an article entitled, “Why do people so often only repent of Darwinism when they die?” actually provide examples of people who repented of Darwinism when they died? Then maybe we’d have quotes from some of them and an answer to the question.

  12. 12
    SCheesman says:

    JT:

    Shouldn’t an article entitled, “Why do people so often only repent of Darwinism when they die?” actually provide examples of people who repented of Darwinism when they died?

    I was just about to post the same question when I got to the end of the comments. The first thing I do when reading a blog post is look for the content directly reflecting the title. Still looking. Did I miss it? Denyse?

  13. 13
    Winston Macchi says:

    While that theory may have influenced Nazi thinking it is surely stretching things to argue that the theory of evolution was a necessary or even significant cause of the Holocaust

    That’s an argument from incredulity

    No, it’s an argument based on history.

  14. 14
    Winston Macchi says:

    If only Luther would have had Darwin, Galton, Spencer, Haeckel, and Huxley backing him up…

    Lucky for him he had Isabel, Phillip (heck, just about all the Spanish), Pfefferkorn, Zwingli, Calvin, Bullinger, Carafa, and countless others

  15. 15
    tribune7 says:

    Lucky for him he had Isabel, Phillip (heck, just about all the Spanish), Pfefferkorn, Zwingli, Calvin, Bullinger, Carafa, and countless others

    And if his goal was to wipe out the Jews of Europe it still wasn’t enough.

    Now if he had Darwin, Galton, Spencer, Haeckel and Huxley . . .

  16. 16
    Winston Macchi says:

    Now if he had Darwin, Galton, Spencer, Haeckel and Huxley . . .

    he would have called for them to be drown, burnt, or hung.

  17. 17
    tribune7 says:

    he would have called for them to be drown, burnt, or hung.

    And it still would not have been enough to wipe out the Jews of Europe, right?

  18. 18
    Winston Macchi says:

    And it still would not have been enough to wipe out the Jews of Europe, right?

    Luckily nothing so far has been.

  19. 19
    tribune7 says:

    Luckily nothing so far has been.

    I think luck has had a lot to do with it.

    The Darwin/Galton/Haeckel/Huxley disciples only managed to wipe out 85 percent.

  20. 20
    B L Harville says:

    “And while we are here, why do so many people recant Darwinism just before they die?”

    I didn’t know this was a big phenomenon. Can you give some examples?

  21. 21
    Winston Macchi says:

    It may be that I spoke too soon and more than luck was required. After all, when this is but the latest in a long, long series of connected events that can be traced way back in European thought, a people has to get good at surviving. Not to say that Jews were the only ones or that this type isn’t equally present outside outside Europe.

  22. 22
    Winston Macchi says:

    Clearly that didn’t work.

    Try
    freetruth.50webs.org/A5.htm
    http://www.historicgermany.com/2888.html
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_and_the_Jews#Influence_on_modern_antisemitism
    http://www.humanitas-internati.....r-jews.htm
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocides_in_history

  23. 23
    tribune7 says:

    Winston Macchi

    The only reason you believe that Hitler’s racial views weren’t, ultimately, guided by Darwin was because you don’t want to believe it.

    The evidence shows that they were.

  24. 24
    Winston Macchi says:

    tribune7,

    The only reason that you believe that Hitler’s views weren’t ultimately based in centuries of European Christian and secular antisemitic thought and action (a view that is well documented and accounted for) is your belief that … well, I’m not sure exactly. Perhaps in your headlong rush to judge everything Darwin as wrong and evil, you lost any sense of balance and truth.

    And I’ve read the book, it was alright, not great, but alright.

  25. 25
    tribune7 says:

    The only reason that you believe that Hitler’s views weren’t ultimately based in centuries of European Christian and secular antisemitic thought and action . .

    Is because Hitler’s deeds only occurred after a notable decline in the influence of orthodox Christianity greased by Darwin’s theory.

    For a contemporaneous view as to the protection offered by the cultural guidance of Christianity, see the quote by Heinrich Heine in Post 3.

  26. 26
    Winston Macchi says:

    Try reading something outside your comfort level. You may learn something.
    http://www.cambridge.org/uk/ca.....0521603528

  27. 27
    tribune7 says:

    Try reading something outside your comfort level. You may learn something.

    Oh, I’m familiar with a lot of those claims although your source doesn’t seem to get what the Nazi-version of “positive Christianity” was designed to do and who made use of it and for what purpose

    And here’s something with which you might not be familiar

    Hitler and the Nazis were very much anti-Christians.

    I’ll grant that there are clergy who will go along with whatever their government cooks up which is one of the dangers of a state church. Look at what a lapdog the Church of England is as opposed to the Anglicans from Africa whose churches are usually not supported by the state.

  28. 28
    tribune7 says:

    There have always been atheists and lip-service Christians.

    Darwin gave atheists an opportunity to attack Biblical authority (if this part is false how can you trust this part) and gave the lip-service Christians an excuse to stop giving lip service.

    Darwin also declared man to be an animal, and it’s OK to kill animals. And without Biblical authority who says “Thou Shalt Not Murder”?

    Darwin also led to the logic that survival and “improvement” were great virtues. Granted, this was not necessarily a well thought-out concept considering mongrels are usually better at survival than purebreds, but very influential people accepted that society’s goal should be “To Create A Race Of Thoroughbreds”

    And I don’t hate Darwin although the conclusions many have made based on his work I think are false and have led to very bad things.

    Also, I think it very puzzling that he should be idolized, given his own year for instance, whereas much greater scientists Faraday, Maxwell, Pasteur, Mendel are ignored.

    Ironically, I think the attacks on ID are based on a fear that it provides a means to attack Darwinian authority with regard to ethics (if this part is false, how can you trust this part?)

  29. 29
    Winston Macchi says:

    Oh, I’m familiar with a lot of those claims although your source doesn’t seem to get what the Nazi-version of “positive Christianity” was designed to do

    Obviously some (most) in the Nazi party were very much against Christianity or at least the church, I’m not disputing that (nor is my source). Just as obviously there were many who were not (Erich Koch, Julius Streicher, etc). But that really isn’t the point. The point is, where was the irrational hatred of the Jews coming from. Why the Jews? Whether they expressed it in Christian terms or not, it is quite clear that it was but the latest in a long line of antisemitic action in Europe, primarily (but not totally) under the influence of the church throughout many centuries. This type of activity was not new in Europe, it was part of the culture (eg over 100,000 killed in Spain in the 14th century).

    Darwin gave atheists an opportunity to attack Biblical authority (if this part is false how can you trust this part) and gave the lip-service Christians an excuse to stop giving lip service

    Darwin wasn’t required for this, perhaps just another piece of a complex puzzle for many. I often get the feeling theists want to tell atheists what they are suppose to think and why they should think it. I suppose it makes it easier to dismiss arguments without offering any answers.

    Darwin also declared man to be an animal, and it’s OK to kill animals. And without Biblical authority who says “Thou Shalt Not Murder”?

    Or it could equally lead to not killing animals (or neither is a necessary conclusion). Besides, the Bible got “Thou Shalt Not Murder” from people, people did not get it from the Bible. Most people had no access to the Bible and still did not kill. The Bible describes social interaction, not the other way around.

    Darwin also led to the logic that survival and “improvement” were great virtues.

    Pretty sure that survival was always cherished as a virtue. And improvement, being subjective as it is, can be used in all sorts of ways. Furthermore, the idea of improvement wasn’t new, as anyone who has read Plato knows.

    And I don’t hate Darwin although the conclusions many have made based on his work I think are false and have led to very bad things.

    Me too. I think a lot of it is bunk. And I don’t dispute that it was an influence on some terrible things. The amount of influence is what I dispute. I certainly don’t think it was necessary or sufficient; I think it was minor.

    Also, I think it very puzzling that he should be idolized, given his own year for instance, whereas much greater scientists Faraday, Maxwell, Pasteur, Mendel are ignored.

    Agreed. (not about the ‘greater’ part)

    Ironically, I think the attacks on ID are based on a fear that it provides a means to attack Darwinian authority with regard to ethics (if this part is false, how can you trust this part?)

    I disagree. First, I don’t think Darwinism has any ethical authority. I think it is one of many pieces of knowledge which can be used to create an ethic. The size of its influence would depend on the question. Second, I think the ‘attacks’ are based on the quality of the data.

  30. 30
    tribune7 says:

    Winston, a very well-reasoned post.

    A few points — it wasn’t most Nazis being against Christianity. The party as an institution was against Christianity. The policy was to tolerate it until it could act against it.

    There were few prominent Nazis who were Christians. Perhaps the highest ranking was Wilhelm Canaris, and, well, it was speculated that he was a British spy and he certainly tried to kill Hitler a couple of times.

    Julius Streicher (I don’t know about Koch) was anti-Christian. Granted his cartoons often showed Jews as enemies of Christians but he attacked the church too.

    He is quoted as saying: The teaching of Christianity has stood in the way of a radical solution of the Jewish problem in Europe…

    The point is, where was the irrational hatred of the Jews coming from.

    The irrational hatred was due to them being a successful minority and irrational hatred is something successful minorities face no matter who or where they are.

    Also, much of the organized action against them, it should be noted, was not irrational but rather cold blooded. Edward Longshanks, for instance, expelled them to steal their money.

    I’ll also disagree that the church was behind most of the pogroms and other acts of oppression, which were usually conceived by secular authorities, irrational mobs or clerics ignoring directives from Rome.

    The expulsion of the Jews from Spain was by order of the king and queen. The Spanish Inquisition — which was a church office — did not involve Jews. (The goal was to search for heretics, who by definition had to be baptized Christians, and, yes, many of those accused were Jewish or Moslem converts).

    I often get the feeling theists want to tell atheists what they are suppose to think and why they should think it.

    Winston, how important is being an atheist to your self-image?

    With regard to the necessity of Darwin, Heine referred to Fichte & Kant so there was a movement in that direction. Darwin, I think, was the spark, though.

    Most people had no access to the Bible and still did not kill.

    That, may not be true. I remember reading an article about the frequency of slaughter in antiquity and in primitive societies (i.e. The End Of The Spear Indians, Borneo headhunters) and it was rather remarkable. I wish I could find it.

    Second, I think the ‘attacks’ are based on the quality of the data.

    That’s how it should be.

  31. 31
    Winston Macchi says:

    Julius Streicher (I don’t know about Koch) was anti-Christian.

    But he also said at his trial that he was fulfilling the will of Martin Luther. Then again, these people would say anything and everything to get themselves off and he was one of the most unscrupulous (quite a feat among that bunch).

    The Spanish Inquisition — which was a church office — did not involve Jews.

    It started as a way of getting at the Jews and Muslims whom were forcibly converted, that being those who were not already killed or deported. In the end, there were no Jews left in Spain and the country was ‘purified’, with both the secular authorizes and the church to blame. I’m certainly not of the view that any and all acts of aggression against the Jewish population was church directed only.

    Winston, how important is being an atheist to your self-image?

    Not at all. Perhaps when I was younger it was, but I’ve gotten over that.

  32. 32
    tribune7 says:

    Winston, how important is being an atheist to your self-image? . . . .Not at all. Perhaps when I was younger it was, but I’ve gotten over that.

    OK, your concern about me wanting — or me wanting to have common culture — tell you what you are suppose to think, and why, has a nugget of truth to it.

    Actually, I suppose it is is literally true.

    I think you should be told to think for yourself. I think you should be told to approach claims with skepticism. I think you should think truth exists and can be found. I think you should think there is a point to our existence and there is a reason for struggle.

    What I have emphasize too is that I strongly believe you have the right to disagree, you have the right not to believe in God and theology is not something one should fight about.

    Values, yes, but not theology.

  33. 33
    Platonist says:

    This is sort of an odd question. But for Christians like Dembski, O’Leary and others..

    Do you think we will be able to recognize loved ones in the afterlife? Will I be able to meet, say for istance, my great grandfather?

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