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What do most libertarians think of religion?

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Spideynw replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 2:45 PM

Esuric:
Blaming religion for mass genocide is like blaming weapons;

This.

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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scineram replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 3:05 PM

sirmonty:

razerfish:

And states that have a strong religious presence have massacred far more than any heavy-handed secular state.

 

No, they really haven't.  You seem to be forgetting the millions and millions of people that have perished at the hands of socialist regimes (who were "heavy-handed secular states").

Not per capita.

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Eric replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 3:14 PM

Im an atheist, dont care at all for religion, but to each his own.

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Spideynw:

Esuric:
Blaming religion for mass genocide is like blaming weapons;

This.

Ehh, imo this kind of side-steps the possibility of religions being possible vehicles for memetic patterns of coercion.  I definitely remember on more than one occasion individuals of a religion claiming authority to kill others for being heretics. 

On the other hand, you also had a good amount of people who disagreed with said killing, but also followed the religion.  There is also alternative versions of said religions, like buddhist & christian anarchism, that go against previous uses of coercion via religion.

I would actually revise the statement to "Blaming religion for mass genocide is like blaming weapons; people who kill people might happen to use weapons, but so do people who use them out of self-defense as well.  In either case, it would be a bit absurd to throw the baby out with the bathwater."

"Look at me, I'm quoting another user to show how wrong I think they are, out of arrogance of my own position. Wait, this is my own quote, oh shi-" ~ Nitroadict

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sirmonty replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 3:42 PM

scineram:

sirmonty:

razerfish:

And states that have a strong religious presence have massacred far more than any heavy-handed secular state.

 

No, they really haven't.  You seem to be forgetting the millions and millions of people that have perished at the hands of socialist regimes (who were "heavy-handed secular states").

Not per capita.

I'd say within the 100 year span or so it has existed, it is well on its course of easily overtaking any murders in the name of religion, if it hasn't in fact already.

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razerfish replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 3:53 PM

Talk about being dishonest. You wrote  "Heavy  handed secular states have massacred more people than any organized religious presence ever has fwiw"

Fine. Butterflies have killed more people than any 'organized religious presence' ever as well.  Was that you whole point?  Because when I said 'religious state' to make a more meaningful comparison, someone objected and called it goal post moving.  So what is a meaningful comparison? States with a 'organized religious presence' vs. heavy-handed secular states in a murder-a-thon? I really don't think that's fair because most states have an 'organized religious presence' and they've been around a lot longer than purely secular states. I also don't agree with labeling some of these states secular because I think some are 'religious' in character. I never even intended to go this route. My contention or thought was that religion wasn't compatible with libertarianism because, imo, it leads to Authoritarian, heavy-handed statism.

But it went this way, and Hitler popped up, as he usually does within three responses to any argument.  Religious fundamentalists, when criticizing atheists, use Hitler, Stalin, and Mao as the inevitable consequence of atheism. That's how I know Hitler was a Catholic, at least that he pronounced himself one and never disputed it. The point to me is irrelevant other than to counter that he was some type of secularist. I think he wanted to portray himself as a Messiah figure.  Those quotes you used to someone show he wasn't religious or Catholic?  Okay, here are some that contradict those.

We demand liberty for all religious denominations in the State, so far as they are not a danger to it and do not militate against the morality and moral sense of the German race. The Party, as such, stands for positive Christianity, but does not bind itself in the matter of creed to any particular confession. It combats the Jewish-materialist spirit within and without us, and is convinced that our nation can achieve permanent health from within only on the principle: the common interest before self-interest.

 My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.... When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom to-day this poor people is plundered and exploited.

-Adolf Hitler, in his speech in Munich on 12 April 1922

Just as the Jew could once incite the mob of Jerusalem against Christ, so today he must succeed in inciting folk who have been duped into madness to attack those who, God's truth! seek to deal with this people in utter honesty and sincerity.

-Adolf Hitler, in Munich, 28 July 1922

Except the Lord built the house they labour in vain.... The truth of that text was proved if one looks at the house of which the foundations were laid in 1918 and which since then has been in building.... The world will not help, the people must help itself. Its own strength is the source of life. That strength the Almighty has given us to use; that in it and through it we may wage the battle of our life.... The others in the past years have not had the blessing of the Almighty-- of Him Who in the last resort, whatever man may do, holds in His hands the final decision. Lord God, let us never hesitate or play the coward, let us never forget the duty which we have taken upon us.... We are all proud that through God's powerful aid we have become once more true Germans.

-Adolf Hitler, in a speech in March 1933

The Catholic Church considered the Jews pestilent for fifteen hundred years, put them in ghettos, etc, because it recognized the Jews for what they were".... I recognize the representatives of this race as pestilent for the state and for the church and perhaps I am thereby doing Christianity a great service by pushing them out of schools and public functions.

-Adolf Hitler, 26 April 1933, [cited from Richard Steigmann-Gall's The Holy Reich]

We want honestly to earn the resurrection of our people through our industry, our perseverance, our will. We ask not of the Almighty 'Lord, make us free'!-- we want to be active, to work, to agree together as brothers, to strive in rivalry with one another to bring about the hour when we can come before Him and when we may ask of Him: 'Lord, Thou seest that we have transformed ourselves, the German people is not longer the people of dishonour, of shame, of war within itself, of faintheartedness and little faith: no, Lord, the German people has become strong again in spirit, strong in will, strong in endurance, strong to bear all sacrifices.' 'Lord, we will not let Thee go: bless now our fight for our freedom; the fight we wage for our German people and Fatherland.'

-Adolf Hitler, giving prayer in a speech on May Day 1933

The fact that the Vatican is concluding a treaty with the new Germany means the acknowledgement of the National Socialist state by the Catholic Church. This treaty shows the whole world clearly and unequivocally that the assertion that National Socialism [Nazism] is hostile to religion is a lie.

-Adolf Hitler, 22 July 1933, writing to the Nazi Party (quoted from John Cornwell's "Hitler's Pope"

We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.

-Adolf Hitler, in a speech in Berlin on 24 Oct. 1933

What's the point?  Was he a Catholic, a Christian, or religious at all?  Was he an atheist looking to curry favor with the religious inside his country?  Was he a whacko with a Mesiah complex?  That’s what I think he was, and I don’t believe he was secularist at all. If he’s a God, how can the state be secular? So if you remove him from your secular column, do the 'states with organized religious presences" win in the death-a-thon?  And how are you handling the tally?  Only those killed by bullets and bombs count? What about, say, by spreading disease. We wiped out a lot of American Indians with disease.  I imagine the Spanish did to when they ‘discovered’ South America. The Brits probably did their fair share in their conquests as well.  What's the body count on that? And are we going for purely a nominal count, or do we take population size into question? There's a lot more people on the earth now, so wouldn’t a few million kills a few centuries ago count for more than they would today?  This is pointless and I never intended it to come down to a debate of who has killed more people, religion or non-religion.  I wanted to discuss whether religion was compatible with Libertarianism, but here we are. 

 

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razerfish replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 3:59 PM

Who is saying he was an honorable man? Where have I hinted at that? I'm contending he wasn't a secularist.  Take your own advice about intellectual honesty.

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Juan replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 4:03 PM
razerfish, there are more subtle ways to show that libertarianism and revealed religion are not philosophically compatible, for instance :

The Age of Reason

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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Esuric replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 4:06 PM

razerfish:
Who is saying he was an honorable man? Where have I hinted at that? I'm contending he wasn't a secularist.  Take your own advice about intellectual honesty.

Even if you exclude Hitler the numbers don't add up. Not that Hitler was actually Catholic, that of course is absolutely absurd. I understand you're trying to prove something, maybe you wish to change the world; but the worst atrocities ever committed by man occurred in Red Russia and Red-China, under the anti-religious Marxists. Check out Chinese concentration camps and their human organ black market. Either way, there is not logical contradiction between religion and libertarianism; nowhere in the bible does it say that there should be mega-states with huge armies and the power to tax (I'm not too sure about the Qur'an and Old testament, but I doubt it).

"If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion."

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sirmonty replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 4:07 PM

You were moving the goal post because you shifted the target of your criticism from "strong religious presence" to "religious states."  

And did you not understand that Hitler appealed to a Christian majority for a reason?  It is far more telling to examine his personal writings and correspondences with others than relying on public speeches to derive his personal beliefs.  

Pro-tip: politicians lie all the time to gain public support.

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razerfish replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 4:07 PM

"Your attempt to link Hitler to Catholicism is quite amusing though, and shows your true intentions."

This is a howler since the religious always try to link Atheism with Hitler.  Ben Stein was the latest to give it a whirl. As if the lack of a belief in a deity will cause you to be a murderous dictator. That's how I know Hitler was a Catholic -- because the religious love to point him out as the posterboy for Atheists.

 

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sirmonty replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 4:09 PM

razerfish:
 That's how I know Hitler was a Catholic -- because the religious love to point him out as the posterboy for Atheists.

Non sequitur

 

Anyway, this whole finger pointing at religion is pretty absurd.  Hitler was also a vegetarian.  I guess we can start blaming that for his crimes.  Eat a salad, try to murder an entire race.

He also didn't smoke.  That probably just sent him over the edge.  Pink lungs = death to Jews.

Didn't drink either.  Talk about an abusive non-alcoholic.

 

 

 

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razerfish:

Who is saying he was an honorable man? Where have I hinted at that? I'm contending he wasn't a secularist.  Take your own advice about intellectual honesty.

What about those other quotes of his I linked to a post within this thread?  it is about the honor of hitler... it is about you taking his word, meanwhile other quotes of his show he was against religion... Hitler lied - absolutely.  So using Hitler as a source is pretty odd don't you think?

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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sirmonty:
No, they really haven't.  You seem to be forgetting the millions and millions of people that have perished at the hands of socialist regimes (who were "heavy-handed secular states").  Nazi Germany, the USSR, Red China, etc are all non-religious states.
Wrong. They were quite religious ("Gott Mitt Uns" on SS belt buckles isn't religious?), especially considering Marxist ideology as a non-supernaturalist Apocalypse of John. Communism is the religion of state-worship--even moreso than constitiutional/democratic republics.

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Knight_of_BAAWA:
Wrong. They were quite religious ("Gott Mitt Uns" on SS belt buckles isn't religious?), especially considering Marxist ideology as a non-supernaturalist Apocalypse of John. Communism is the religion of state-worship--even moreso than constitiutional/democratic republics.

This is very much correct. The state is the collective consciousness of society and therefore things like death are irrelevant. What is, is the State. When you cry the state cries, when you are joyous, the state is joyous. It is akin to Hegel's premise of the self-realization of man's divinity. According to Hegel we are God trying to realize our powers and self-image through experience. Since Marx does not believe in the individual, he believes in the collective blob then it follows that the collective blob who achieve class consciousness are in fact the realization of Man's Godlike image.

'Men do not change, they unmask themselves' - Germaine de Stael

 

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razerfish replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 6:01 PM

You can find very religous people who will pick and choose biblical passages that mean something to them and discard the ones that contradict the ones they like. You can find MANY religious people that really don't know what's in the bible and would be horrified to actually read it. 

Is it possible Hitler considered himself a Catholic? You're the obvious expert as to his inner thoughts and beliefs. What were his beliefs on God, and what is your source of information since direct quotes from this guy are out of bounds?  Why is it so hard to accept that the guy was a Catholic?  Are the Catholics so pure of heart and without sin that a monster like Hitler couldn't possibly be a true Catholic?  Oh, boy. 

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Does this thread have redeeming features or is it bound for the graveyard?

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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razerfish replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 6:14 PM

It is bound for the graveyard as are all things.

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Ansury replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 6:15 PM

Spideynw:

I would guess that most libertarians think people should be able to practice whatever religion they want to, as long as they do not infringe on our rights.

BTW, the majority of atheists I have met are socialist.

Same here. Or, at the very least "big governmentists".

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lol. not all things are bound for the thread graveyard 

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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Spideynw replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 7:23 PM

nirgrahamUK:

Does this thread have redeeming features or is it bound for the graveyard?

Graveyard.

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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Fluery replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 7:27 PM

Just from what I've seen, I think there are a higher percentage of atheist libertarians than the average in the US.

I don't like to think of myself as an atheist even though I don't believe in gods, I don't care for labels like that. I do find religion to be rather silly though.

 

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I. Ryan replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 8:10 PM

Fluery:

Just from what I've seen, I think there are a higher percentage of atheist libertarians than the average in the US.

I don't like to think of myself as an atheist even though I don't believe in gods, I don't care for labels like that. I do find religion to be rather silly though.

So . . . you are not a theist?

If I wrote it more than a few weeks ago, I probably hate it by now.

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Fluery replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 8:15 PM

No.

I just mean I like to avoid calling myself an atheist because of all the connotations attached to it and that invites dialogue about a subject I couldn't care less about (religion).

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Knight_of_BAAWA:

. They were quite religious ("Gott Mitt Uns" on SS belt buckles isn't religious?), especially considering Marxist ideology as a non-supernaturalist Apocalypse of John. Communism is the religion of state-worship--even moreso than constitiutional/democratic republics.

Wrong. The Heer (regular Army) had Gott Mitt Uns.  The SS had ' Meine Ehre heisst Treue' written on their belt buckles.

Just a minor nitpick.

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Believing in one falsehood because you were told to is a slippery slope to believing another falsehood because you were told to.

 

Religion and politics are the same thing.

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sirmonty replied on Wed, Aug 12 2009 10:33 PM

Knight_of_BAAWA:

sirmonty:
No, they really haven't.  You seem to be forgetting the millions and millions of people that have perished at the hands of socialist regimes (who were "heavy-handed secular states").  Nazi Germany, the USSR, Red China, etc are all non-religious states.
Wrong. They were quite religious ("Gott Mitt Uns" on SS belt buckles isn't religious?), especially considering Marxist ideology as a non-supernaturalist Apocalypse of John. Communism is the religion of state-worship--even moreso than constitiutional/democratic republics.

 

In this case there is absolutely no point in comparing and contrasting the state with religion if we are just going consider statism a religion.  While I agree that statism is similar to religion in the fact that people seem to just dogmatically follow it, I was under the impression that what was meant by religion in this context was really referring to theism. 

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There is nothing statist about religion, organized religion is statist.  Religion is a personal belief system, and outside the narrow western and christian context, one can find religions like Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism which are very decentralized and more about personal philosophy and spirituality and less about institutional direction.

 

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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Most libertarians think that topics such as this one make very poor discussion.

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"

Bob Dylan

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Natalie replied on Thu, Aug 20 2009 12:22 PM

On the one hand, religions have been used to justify various acts of violence by governments, groups and individuals. On the other hand, at its core most religions are about individuals so despite the efforts of authorities to subvert them the net effect, I think, was more pro-freedom. This about all the major issues:

private property vs. public ownership

personal responsibility vs. collective "guilt"

the right to self-defense against aggression vs. ask the "society" (i.e. police) to help you and otherwise guilty until proven innocent

self-reliance & hard work vs. entitlement & laziness

charity vs. income redistribution

non-violence vs. docility (as in don't protest when you're led to the gas chambers)

families as private self-governing units vs. state control over your private life

laws of spiritual guidance vs. "enemy of the people" treatment

decentralization vs. total control

an so on

No wonder socialists hate religion and try to eliminate it.

If I hear not allowed much oftener; said Sam, I'm going to get angry.

J.R.R.Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

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