Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hitting Defense

Atheists are almost constantly under attack, and not always because of their lack of belief. It starts simple enough, they only want to help. However, as the conversation goes on, they begin to notice that you are set in your ways, and that you are, indeed, an Atheist.

This is usually where the conversation begins to take an ugly turn. Without meaning to, both sides begin to accuse the other of various falsehoods. You might accuse their deity of being malicious or having completely illogical attributes, for example. Eventually, however, you may end up facing a rather unpleasant rebuttal.

"Wasn't Adolf Hitler an Atheist?"

This happens far more often than it should. The point of the opposition is to force you to rethink your position. If such an obviously "evil" person was an Atheist, do you really want to be part of this group? How does one respond to such an accusation? Without knowledge of the man, you are forced to find various ways that you are different from him, but you are still left with him being in the same group, which can be an unsettling feeling.

Have no fear, though, for Hitler was NOT an Atheist. This is a common misconception that has been spread around for a significantly long time. It started off as Hitler simply being Anti-Religious because he persecuted the Jewish people. As definitions and stories were passed along and misconstrued over time, the definition of Atheist merged with Anti-Religious and Adolf Hitler became an Atheist.

As pointed out in previous posts, Atheists are not "Anti-" anything, besides the positive claims of deities. So, just by that, Hitler cannot be an Atheist. It goes further than that, though. Hitler said in his book, Mein Kampf, "I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews. I am doing the Lord's work." And in 1938 he declared, "I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so." This places Adolf Hitler well within the realm of Catholicism, which is well outside of Atheism.

Not only was Hitler NOT an Atheist, he outright persecuted Atheists! This is rather strange behavior for one with no religious intent. In a speech he made in Berlin in 1933 he said, "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."

Although Hitler being an Atheist would not mean anything about Atheism, I hope this puts to rest the argument that Adolf Hitler was an Atheist, as it is simply not true. The same also goes for Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot. All of these historical figures are used against Atheism practically on a daily basis. While this blog does not condone attacks of any kind on anyone, it is important to know this information in order to defend yourself.

Always do your research before attempting to defend, otherwise you may end up attacking yourself.