For Cronolink


A too-long discussion at Vox Populi, after an odd post by Vox Day. I couldn’t post my last response. I’m leaving it here for a poster named Cronolink, if Cronolink cares to continue the discussion (in comments, of course).

[See updated material:  “Vox Day:  Trapped in a quote mine cave-in”]

10 Responses to For Cronolink

  1. […] obvious, easily verifiable historical facts is really quite striking. Consider Ed Darrell’s absurdly ignorant statement here: Then please show us where Lenin ever said anything about Darwin. It’s more likely Lenin was […]

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  2. […] may want to look at earlier exchanges, or at the post and many comments at Vox’s place. You may also want to check my earlier response to another poster’s collection of mined quotes. Vox said: The defensiveness of atheists about the most obvious, easily verifiable historical facts […]

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  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Zartan said:

    Conclusion: Marxism does not see religion as neutral but as an artifact to be exploited as a tool of the state and eliminated.

    And that conflicts with Stalin’s Russia not being officially atheist exactly how?

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  4. Zartan says:

    Ed states: “Stalin says the Soviet Union was NOT an officially atheist state, but a state which honored freedom of religion, and doesn’t see the problem.”

    I disagree with that whole statement:

    Silent Churches: Persecution of Religions in the Soviet Dominated Areas by Peter J. Babris
    Author(s) of Review: Richard S. Haugh
    Russian Review, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Jul., 1979)

    Note this written in 1979 well after the CCCP became “more tolerant”

    Also see:
    Marxism.com
    Only the overthrow of the Stalinist Bureaucracy and the restoration of direct proletarian rule in the Soviet Union can, in alliance with the World Revolution, destroy the new privileges which religion is gaining and pave the way for the destruction of religion itself.

    http://www.marxist.com/religion-…ion110506- 7.htm

    Conclusion: Marxism does not see religion as neutral but as an artifact to be exploited as a tool of the state and eliminated.

    quod erat demonstrandum

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  5. Ed Darrell says:

    “Darwin’s book is very important and serves me as a basis in natural science for the class struggle in history.”
    – Karl Marx

    Of course Marx was talking economics, not totalitarianism. If you’re arguing that Marx thought evolution supported his economic theories, you’re not on much better ground — but were the claim accurate completely, it provides no support whatever that the murderous policies of Lenin, Stalin and company were based on Darwin. They were also not based on Marx.

    Ignorance of history tends to produce foundering research. The original claim was that the murders of Stalin are based on Darwin. This quote from Marx does not support that claim in any way.

    “Nature is the test of dialectics, and it must be said for modern natural science that it has furnished extremely rich and daily increasing materials for this test, and has thus proved that in the last analysis nature’s process is dialectical and not metaphysical, that it does not move in an eternally uniform and constantly repeated circle, but passes through a real history. Here prime mention should be made of Darwin, who dealt a severe blow to the metaphysical conception of nature by proving that the organic world of today, plants and animals, and consequently man too, is all a product of a process of development that has been in progress for millions of years.”
    – Friedrich Engels, Socialism Utopian and Scientific p. 23 (quoted in full by Stalin in Dialectical and Historical Materialism as well as in the official Bolshevik History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union published in 1939.)

    See the previous remarks; it all applies here.

    Engels is making no argument for violence or murder here.

    It’s interesting that the claim was that the violent, totalitarian works of the Soviet communists were based in Darwin. For evidence, there is nothing found so far that makes such a link. Instead, what you have are mere mentions of Darwin in other pursuits.

    It is clear that those who argue for a Darwinian foundation to Soviet communism and its problems, especially terror, have never before been challenged to find the evidence. These mentions of Darwin do not make the case.

    And sure enough, if we really read Engels, we find that he says capitalism is the Darwinian model, not socialism:

    Finally, modern industry and the opening of the world-market made the struggle universal, and at the same time gave it an unheard-of virulence. Advantages in natural or artificial conditions of production now decide the existence or non-existence of individual capitalists, as well as of whole industries and countries. He that falls is remorselessly cast aside. It is the Darwinian struggle of the individual for existence transferred from Nature to society with intensified violence. The conditions of existence natural to the animal appear as the final term of human development. The contradiction between socialized production and capitalistic appropriation now presents itself as an antagonism between the organization of production in the individual workshop and the anarchy of production in society generally.

    That is what we should expect, since natural selection involves competition, and communism eschews competition, particularly between individuals, in any Darwinian way. You’ve got the stuff exactly backwards, Mr. Cranston.

    “Darwin put an end to the belief that the animal and vegetable species bear no relation to one another, except by chance, and that they were created by God, and hence immutable.”
    – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

    Balderdash. Darwin himself didn’t believe that. Asa Gray didn’t believe it. Theodosius Dobzhansky didn’t believe it — Lenin may have hoped for it to be so, but it was not. There is nothing in Darwin’s writings that denies deity, unless one insists deity is separate from nature.

    It’s an interesting claim that Lenin states. It’s not the foundation of communism, not the foundation of Lenin’s atheism (if he was atheist), and it has nothing to do with the politics of Lenin.

    The silliness of the claim that Darwin’s work undergirds communism can be summed up in one word: Competition. Natural selection picks the winners of free-enterprise style, individual competition for resources. Communism — as every economics student knows — does away with competition. Communism labels competition a sin, an evil, and tries to eliminate it.

    What Marx saw in Darwin’s writing was an argument that even nature progresses. Marx’s argument was that his brand of socialism was the next progression humans should go through. That’s not a foundational argument, but rather a claim that Marxism might be valid IF it were, indeed, the next step. Validation is not the same as foundation.

    Competition is the antithesis of communism. The competition that makes evolution work is the very opposite of Soviet communism, in almost every facet.

    Think about this, people! What tenets of communism parallel anything in evolution?

    (Here is the point where we discover the critics of evolution really do not understand evolution at all; at each of the four- or five-step process that Mayr describes, communism would make a different choice, or have humans make a different choice. Critics of evolution most often don’t know what the steps are, however, and so do not understand how they oppose each other.)

    “Darwin’s discovery is the highest triumph of the dialectic in the whole field of organic matter.”
    – Leon Trotsky

    Once again, you’re flailing around to find any reference to Darwin or evolution, no matter that it has no bearing on the claim that communism is based in evolution. Had Trotsky really believed that statement, he would not have found communism necessary, or beneficial.

    Not to mention that Trotsky was promoting dialectic in politics, not organic matter.

    This quote is grossly out of context, and provides no support whatever for your claim.

    “The Party cannot be neutral towards religion, and it conducts anti-religious propaganda against all religious prejudices because it stands for science, whereas religious prejudices run counter to science, because all religion is the antithesis of science. Cases such as occur in America, where Darwinists were prosecuted recently, cannot occur here because the Party pursues a policy of defending science in every way.”
    – Josef Stalin, J.V. Stalin Complete Works Volume 10, p. 138

    That’s humorous, considering Stalin was at that time planning prosecutions of Darwinists.

    (Are you arguing that Stalin was telling the truth here? Why here, and nowhere else? )

    Look: Here’s the quote in its greater context — with Stalin arguing that the Soviet Union protects religious rights (funny you didn’t mention that), from a 1927 interview with a delegation of visiting Americans:

    A delegate : Very often I read that members are expelled from the Party for believing in God.

    Stalin : I can only repeat what I have already said about the conditions of membership of our Party. We have no other conditions.

    Does that mean that the Party is neutral towards religion? No, it does not. We conduct, and will continue to conduct, propaganda against religious prejudices. The laws of our country recognise the right of every citizen to profess any religion. That is a matter for the conscience of each individual. That is precisely why we separated the church from the state. [emphasis added] But in separating the church from the state and proclaiming freedom of conscience we at the same time preserved the right of every citizen to combat religion, all religion, by argument, by propaganda and agitation. The Party cannot be neutral towards religion, and it conducts anti-religious propaganda against all religious prejudices because it stands for science, whereas religious prejudices run counter to science, because all religion is the antithesis of science. Cases such as occur in America, where Darwinists were prosecuted recently,[40] cannot occur here because the Party pursues a policy of defending science in every way.

    The Party cannot be neutral towards religious prejudices, and it will continue to conduct propaganda against those prejudices, because that is one of the best means of undermining the influence of the reactionary clergy, who support the exploiting classes and who preach submission to those classes.

    The Party cannot be neutral towards the disseminators of religious prejudices, towards the reactionary clergy, who poison the minds of the labouring masses.

    Have we repressed the reactionary clergy? Yes, we have. The only unfortunate thing is that they have not yet been completely eliminated. Anti-religious propaganda is the means by which the elimination of the reactionary clergy will be completely carried through. Cases occur sometimes when certain members of the Party hinder the full development of anti-religious propaganda. If such members are expelled it is a very good thing, because there is no room for such “Communists” in the ranks of our Party.

    That statement comes from an interview Stalin gave to some touring Americans in 1927. If you had paid much attention, you’d also have noted the next question, in which Stalin was asked to spell out the characteristics of communist societies. In each detail, he offers something contrary to Darwinian theory — which, I suspect, you are also unfamiliar with:

    TWELFTH QUESTION. Can you briefly give us the characteristics of the future society that communism is trying to create?

    ANSWER : The general characteristics of communist society are given in the works of Marx, Engels and Lenin.

    Briefly, the anatomy of communist society may be described as follows: It is a society in which: a) there will be no private ownership of the instruments and means of production, but social, collective ownership; b) there will be no classes or state power, but there will be working people in industry and agriculture who manage economic affairs as a free association of working people; c) the national economy, organised according to plan, will be based on the highest level of technique, both in industry and agriculture; d) there will be no antithesis between town and country, between industry and agriculture; e) products will be distributed according to the principle of the old French Communists: “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”; f) science and art will enjoy conditions sufficiently favourable for them to attain full flowering; g) the individual, freed from concern about his daily bread and from the necessity of adapting himself to the “powers that be,” will become really free.

    And so on and so forth.

    Clearly, we are still a long way from such a society.

    Contrast that with evolution: It is an observation that in nature: a) private ownership of the instruments and means of production is the rule, even among social species like humans; collective ownership occurs successfully only through contract, with parties consenting to the arrangement in order to gain even greater private benefit; b) nature is either anarchic — such as individual tigers or grizzly bears conducting their own business — or where classes often are the rule, such as in hiving insect and mammal colonies; classes are the norm in most herding and priding animals, with the better competing individuals commanding more resources than those who do not compete as well (regardless what the competition is, brute strength, ability to gather food, ability to construct a pretty bower, or ability to gain the affections of the alpha bitch, for several examples); c) the national economy, is organised according to no plan, but instead on the ability of each individual to produce what he or she will, and according to how those individuals can trade or leverage that production — the “national” output is simply the total of unplanned individual outputs; d) there are enormous differences between town and country — geographic differences mean the difference between a struggle merely to survive, and the ability to proliferate and spread into new habitats; e) products are distributed on the basis of who can capture the most with the resources she or he has, with little or not thought to equalizing distribution beyond the immediate locale — exactly the opposite of the old French communists: To each according to his ability to get, regardless the needs of others; f) science and art both do better in competitive enterprise, so far as we have seen historically; g) the individual is never really freed from concern about his daily bread, but must adapt himself to society in order to gain leisure time over and above bare subsistence.

    On each and every point evolution is contrary to communism.

    How can you fail to notice that communism is opposite of evolution in each and every detail?

    Stalin himself gave the answer: “The general characteristics of communist society are given in the works of Marx, Engels and Lenin.” No mention of Darwin, is there?

    “Chinese socialism is founded upon Darwin and the theory of evolution.”
    – Mao

    I think that’s a crank quote. It doesn’t sound like Mao. It doesn’t sound relevant to anything Mao said I challenge you to provide an accurate citation to Mao — I’ll wager you can’t do it (and if you do, we’ll look at the full context). Google it, and you’ll see it comes from bizarre sites that cite no writing of Mao (“Islam Denounces Terrorism?” Are you sure you want to quote that site?)Mao also said “let a thousand flowers bloom.”

    Mao mentioned Darwin a couple of times, but at no point claimed that Darwin, a consummate capitalist, was the foundation of Chinese communism. For example, Mao mentioned Darwin in “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People,” but not to claim Darwin as a source of any part of Chinese communism:
    http://www.etext.org/Politics/MIM/wim/onhandling.html

    Throughout history, new and correct things have often failed at the outset to win recognition from the majority of people and have had to develop by twists and turns in struggle. Often correct and good things have first been regarded not as fragrant flowers but as poisonous weeds. Copernicus’ theory of the solar system and Darwin’s theory of evolution were once dismissed as erroneous and had to win through over bitter opposition. Chinese history offers many similar examples. In a socialist society, conditions for the growth of the new are radically different from and far superior to those in the old society. Nevertheless, it still often happens that new, rising forces are held back and rational proposals constricted. Moreover, the growth of new things may be hindered in the absence of deliberate suppression simply through lack of discernment. It is therefore necessary to be careful about questions of right and wrong in the arts and sciences, to encourage free discussion and avoid hasty conclusions. We believe that such an attitude can help to ensure a relatively smooth development of the arts and sciences.

    The record doesn’t support a claim that Chinese communism was based on Darwin’s work in any way, for the reasons stated above (communism is the antithesis of evolution through natural and sexual selection), and there simply isn’t evidence anywhere else.

    Here’s a link to actual writings and sayings of Mao. Knock yourself out trying to find anywhere that Mao says Darwin is an inspiration or foundation or small part of communist theory. That would be contrary to communism.
    http://www.etext.org/Politics/MIM/classics/mao/index.html

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  6. Sue D. Nym says:

    (ED was I mean)

    “Darwin’s book is very important and serves me as a basis in natural science for the class struggle in history.”
    – Karl Marx

    “Nature is the test of dialectics, and it must be said for modern natural science that it has furnished extremely rich and daily increasing materials for this test, and has thus proved that in the last analysis nature’s process is dialectical and not metaphysical, that it does not move in an eternally uniform and constantly repeated circle, but passes through a real history. Here prime mention should be made of Darwin, who dealt a severe blow to the metaphysical conception of nature by proving that the organic world of today, plants and animals, and consequently man too, is all a product of a process of development that has been in progress for millions of years.”
    – Friedrich Engels, Socialism Utopian and Scientific p. 23 (quoted in full by Stalin in Dialectical and Historical Materialism as well as in the official Bolshevik History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union published in 1939.)

    “Darwin put an end to the belief that the animal and vegetable species bear no relation to one another, except by chance, and that they were created by God, and hence immutable.”
    – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

    “Darwin’s discovery is the highest triumph of the dialectic in the whole field of organic matter.”
    – Leon Trotsky

    “The Party cannot be neutral towards religion, and it conducts anti-religious propaganda against all religious prejudices because it stands for science, whereas religious prejudices run counter to science, because all religion is the antithesis of science. Cases such as occur in America, where Darwinists were prosecuted recently, cannot occur here because the Party pursues a policy of defending science in every way.”
    – Josef Stalin, J.V. Stalin Complete Works Volume 10, p. 138

    “Chinese socialism is founded upon Darwin and the theory of evolution.”
    – Mao

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2007/08/scrub-scrub-lady-macatheist.html

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  7. Sue D. Nym says:

    PWNED!

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  8. jimmyb says:

    Nice way to get your ass handed to you, Ed.

    I can’t wait for round two, or are you going to quit?

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  9. Lamont Cranston says:

    Darwin and Marxists:

    “Darwin’s book is very important and serves me as a basis in natural science for the class struggle in history.”
    – Karl Marx

    “[Darwin] dealt the metaphysical conception of nature the heaviest blow by his proof that the organic world of today — plants, animals, and consequently man too — is the product of a process of evolution going on through millions of years.
    – Friedrich Engels

    “Darwin put an end to the belief that the animal and vegetable species bear no relation to one another, except by chance, and that they were created by God, and hence immutable.”
    – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

    “Darwin’s discovery is the highest triumph of the dialectic in the whole field of organic matter.”
    – Leon Trotsky

    “In short, the Anarchists accuse the Marxists of adhering to Cuvier’s view and at the same time reproach them for adhering to Darwin’s and not to Cuvier’s view…. Which is right: No. 8 or No. 6?… As you see, in the opinion of Marx and Engels, revolution is engendered not by Cuvier’s “unknown causes,” but by very definite and vital social causes called “the development of the productive forces.”
    – Josef Stalin

    “Chinese socialism is founded upon Darwin and the theory of evolution.”
    – Mao

    SS Belt Buckles:

    “The fascist overeager nuts made the same errors. The belt buckles of the SS said “God with us,” not “No God.” You keep trying to ignore the facts.”

    They most certainly did not. They said “Mein Ehre Heisst Treu”. “Gott mit uns” was not a Nazi slogan, but the slogan of the Wehrmacht, which dated back to 1871. It’s worth noting that the Nazis did not elect to continue the German military tradition of declaring “God with us”, but preferred to select a new one instead.

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  10. Ed Darrell says:

    Darwin always pointed out that survival was usually determined by an individual’s ability to collect food for itself and its offspring.”

    I don’t recall Darwin saying something like this, but if he did so he was more of a simplistic moron than I had thought before.
    On the other hand, he could also have meant the inclusion of carnivores and cannibals.

    Read Darwin sometime. Pay particular attention to his descriptions, in Origin of Species of what he called the “struggle for survival.” Pay particular attention to the examples he uses — the bills of woodpeckers, the hunting adaptations of cheetahs, the evasion adaptations of the cheetahs’ prey.

    There is no reason to assume Darwin to be the simplistic moron you wish him to be, if one reads Darwin. I gather you have never read any of his works. You may want to pick up the modern version with added citations, Steven Jones’ Darwin’s Ghost. In any case, you would do well to study what Darwin wrote, and what the theory of evolution actually is, and not from creationist sources that are congenitally incapable of telling a true fact.

    “In any case, it is wrong to suggest the policies of either Hitler or Stalin reflect evolution.
    […]
    That’s quite contrary to the back-stabbing, elbow-others-out-of-the-way methods of Hitler and Stalin.”

    Nazism openly proclaimed its dependence on Darwin. (Evolutionist Sir Arthur Keith wrote: ‘The German Führer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution.’ Evolution and Ethics, Putnam, New York, p. 230, 1947.)

    If Nazi-ism “openly proclaimed it,” why must you rely on someone other than a Nazi to make the point? (And, may I say, I think you’ve cited it incorrectly and incompletely? Are you parroting the quote, or do you have the source? I’ve never been able to find a copy, even in a several good libraries.) I don’t think Keith was arguing that Hitler consciously based any of his crimes on Darwin — you miss the point of the anthropological study. Hitler was ignorant of evolution theory. He never wrote about it. And while one can find the German equivalent of the world “evolution” in Hitler’s writings, it is never in regard to evolution theory or biology.

    Your claim is balderdash.

    It was right and moral for the strongest race to survive; to have pity for the weak was to defy nature’s laws.

    No, to have pity for the weak is called altruism. As Darwin noted in chapter 5 of Descent of Man, altruism is not only a great civilizing force, it is also essential to the survival of humans as a social species. Darwin’s theories were the opposite of what you claim them to be — which you would know, had you read Darwin.

    As a pragmatic matter, we now know that many species practice such altruism to protect the “weak.” Frequently this means protecting the aged, and frequently that means protecting the wisdom of the species, the stuff that gets you through the hard times; the elderly know where the food sources are in droughts that occur only a couple of times in a lifetime.

    Murder is not a part of evolution theory. It’s contrary to it, in almost all cases.

    It is doubtful whether this brutal ideology would have so captivated the nation that gave us Bach and Luther if not for the ‘scientific’ underpinning of evolution.

    All sorts of stupidity can grab hold of a nominally sane nation. Look at the U.S.’s past fixations with George Bush.

    But the simple fact is that there is no evidence to support a claim that evolution was a foundation for Nazi Germany. Darwin’s writings deny it, Nazi writings don’t claim it. Your claim is a fiction.

    And in any case, Germany also gave us Wagner. It is not doubtful that Wagner’s anti-semitic ideas might have been held by others in Germany. Evolution is not so powerful an idea that it has made you ever learn it; it is not so powerful an idea that it could turn an entire civilization to use it incorrectly, contrary to its key premises.

    Balderdash.

    Students of history might note there were a lot of other causes of World War II, including the festering issues of World War I, a bad peace treaty, and economic calamity across the world between 1920 and 1937. To look at the real causes of the conflict and the terror, and conclude Darwin was responsible, is an amazing act of mental acrobatics that would destroy one’s mental backbone.

    Which is how we tell those who have tried it.

    Communism also took evolution to its logical conclusion. If everything just evolved from ‘natural law,’ then man’s opinion, not God’s Word, determines what is right and wrong.

    Clearly you’ve never studied philosophy, and again I note that your claims are exactly contrary to the morality which Darwin suggested could be explained by human evolution. You’re parroting Darby fundamentalism. No serious philosopher urges that natural law is amoral or immoral — think of Ben Franklin, for example, and his urging that natural law was better than revealed (from the pulpit) law because it was more humane and more fair, as well as being proven in the crucible of actual social interaction. I think you’re playing fast and loose with philosophical points you don’t well understand (and I’m no philosopher, believe me).

    Darwin, nor any other evolution thinker of any note, never claimed that evolution frees us to do immoral acts. That’s quite the opposite of the rise of morality for humans Darwin described. I urge you to read his work.

    If the working class can take power by armed struggle, then this is ‘right,’ regardless of how many must die to bring in the socialist paradise. Communism’s death toll far outranks the Nazis’—probably more than 90 million worldwide. (Black Book of Communism, The Courier-Mail Weekend, Brisbane, p. 8, 13 December 1997.)

    Communism is not evolution theory, is not based on evolution theory — but may be described as what the disciples did in the weeks and months immediately after Jesus’ crucifixion. You should be more careful, and more circumspect, in your citations.

    Some have suggested that the bloodthirsty deeds of Stalin were an ‘aberration’ from the revolution’s ideals. However, it was Lenin, the ‘father’ of the Russian revolution, who ‘perfected the science of mass killings,’ and total, merciless brutality as the ultimate method of political control.(Men who taught the world to hate, The Sunday Mail, Brisbane, p. 67, 6 July 1997.) Evolution was the chief tool used to brainwash communism’s masses into ‘scientific atheism.’

    Then please show us where Lenin ever said anything about Darwin. It’s more likely Lenin was simply following the example of the Spanish Inquisition, having learned from Christian history the value of slaughtering one’s political opponents (see “St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre,” or note how Calvin dealt with his friend Servetus). “Scientific atheism” may have been what they called it. It has no relation to evolution theory, little relation to science of any sort, and not much relation to atheism, either.

    As Dawkins stated it, thanks to Darwin “it was possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist”.

    Never mind that Dawkins was talking about 1860. I’ll wager you’ve not read Dawkins, either.

    Please note that Dawkins did not say “Darwin made it impossible to be an intellectually fulfilled Christian.”

    You’re confusing folderol you’ve heard from an ill-informed pulpit with the facts.

    If everything just evolved, then everything is at the whim of the most powerful, and there is no Maker to whom to be answerable. Hence Stalin’s belief that killing millions of people was no worse than mowing your lawn (grass is our cousin in evolutionary doctrine).

    You might believe that. There’s no science basis for such a statement, and no scientist has ever made that claim from science.

    Moreover, it’s contrary to what most atheists follow. They’re not called “Ethical Societies” because they seek to destroy ethics.

    It occurs to me that you don’t know much about atheism, either, nor do you ever pause to give thanks that an atheist saved our nation from British rule in the War of 1812. I imagine such action confuses you beyond thought. At least, that’s what it appears.

    “As Darwin noted, such animosity towards others of one’s own species is usually a sign of mental illness”

    …but not in this case because this weren’t wackos but cold-calculating, intellectual people, cunning enough to manipulate the masses. A psychopath can kill a few people but the true evil people are very astute.

    Then blame the psychopathology.

    You know, the early experiments in communism (see the Oneida community in New York, for example) often came out of Christian traditions. “Community” is a solid, noble goal. Communism may not be the best way to do it; but that gets us back to another point. It’s not the communism that worries you — it’s the totalitarianism that Soviet communism became. I note you don’t rail against the anti-communist, capitalist, free-enterprise private-property respecting basis of fascism — why not? If we’re really going for the intellectual roots of these evil systems to blame them, shouldn’t we blame the real roots? In the case of the fascists, it was too much love for law and order, wasn’t it?

    Ah, but that wouldn’t fit your simplistic (and wrong) view that Darwin was to blame.

    I digress, but only a little.

    The fascist overeager nuts made the same errors. The belt buckles of the SS said “God with us,” not “No God.”

    You keep trying to ignore the facts.

    “and in most species such individuals are ostracized.”

    Species? You mean all the animal kingdom as well.

    That’s right. Rogues are ostracized. Other than animals kept in captivity and forced into pathologies by overcrowding, murder is a taboo in almost all species. Murder requires much more than instinct — one needs to overcome the instinct to preserve one’s family, tribe or species, in order to murder. That’s generally difficult.

    I’m sure he meant it more as a joke, but it was the physicist Steven Weinberg who observed: “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” Too close to the truth, there. In the recent mass murders of their own families here in Texas, all but one of the mothers cited God’s command. Pathologies strike everywhere, and we need to watch out for the pathologies. We don’t indict all mothers when one goes bonkers and murders her babies. We regard that as such a horror because it runs contrary to our most basic instincts. Mass murders way, way too often have religious roots.

    “By the way, since we have a pretty good history of the origins of Genesis 1, with the priests during the Babylonian captivity writing a verse to remind Israelites of their faith in contrast the Babylonian creation story (which is recounted in slightly changed fashion in Genesis 1), we can say with some assurance that it was not written as a narrative to be taken literally.”

    I’m interested. What’s the bibliography for this?

    Try Who Wrote the Bible by Richard Elliott Friedman for a quick tour. A lot of this history can be found in the front of Bibles published by major groups — the New Revised Standard Version, the American Standard Version, etc. The Oxford Companion to the Bible is another source with a lot of different authors and different views.

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