In this episode of the Veil of Ignorance, Teague and I discuss Marxism with Cale Holmes and Kevin Salvatore. I believe this topic honestly requires more episodes, since it’s impossible to cover everything in one episode. Nonetheless, we tried and it was most definitely a lot of fun.
I’d like to defend a popular criticism of Atheism from this point on. It is the claim that Secularists atrocities made by Stalin and Hitler should be taken as serious representatives of Secularism. Absurd. Let’s take a look at Hitler first.
In a speech in 1922, he stated:
“My feeling 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 against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before 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. And when I look on my people I see them work and work and toil and labor, and at the end of the week they have only for their wages wretchedness and misery. 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 today this poor people are plundered and exploited.”
Hitler dealt with Pagan myths and possibly the Thule Society, which if many of you know fits the definition of a cult based around a supernatural belief perfectly. Hitler also never repudiated his connection with the Church and prayers were said for him on his birthday every year until his death on the orders of the Vatican. He’s anything but secular.
Now let’s move onto Stalin. In Russia, for hundreds of years millions of people have been told that the head of the State holds supernatural power. The Czar is not just the head of the government or the King, he’s heaven and earth. This has been inculcated in generations of Russians for centuries. If you were Stalin, a seminarian (Theology student) from Georgia, would you not exploit this ready made reservoir of credulity and servility as large as that? You shouldn’t be in the totalitarian business if you just let that slip out of your hands. Stalin has had inquisitions on heresy and miracles or supernatural superstitions like Lysenko’s biology. There were heresy hunts and demands to worship Stalin as the almighty leader who’s responsible for all good things in Russia. Instead of using his often quoted rejection of God as a basis for power, he exploited the superstitious and his own ego to commit atrocities. I would not necessarily call that a Secularist crime. Secularism did not contribute to his murders. Our great leader also did not like Secular texts very much. He “denied categorically to prescribe atheistic literature to his personal library, fastidiously calling it “”antireligious waste-paper (junk)””. (“Secret life of Stalin : By materials of his books and archive : According to Stalinism” by Ilizarov.B.S. 2004)
In light of such evidence, I might find those who believe Secularism to be insufficient as a conduit of Morality and the Truth. To you I give you these links below:
Shorter version of Shelly Kagan’s account: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ebnShlP3jM
My attempt for a naturalized, secular morality: https://ave1125.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/letter-to-a-moral-relativist/
Peter Singer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPtYA0u5m70