Religion - is one better than another?

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Message 1457910 - Posted: 27 Dec 2013, 11:09:39 UTC - in response to Message 1457862.  
Last modified: 27 Dec 2013, 11:10:32 UTC

Im not saying the US is pure as the driven snow. No country is. But to read a blank ass statement that Reagan and Bush were just as bad as Hitler is wrong.

I never said that. I said there were some very strong similarities. Of course they are not as bad as Hitler. Only a few other dictators get that dubious honor.
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Message 1457965 - Posted: 27 Dec 2013, 16:56:17 UTC - in response to Message 1457903.  
Last modified: 27 Dec 2013, 17:50:17 UTC

Pretty much all forms of economics start with the idea that human beings are rational utility maximizers meaning that they try to get as much utility for their money. In easier terms it means that according to economists, all humans first make a cost benefit analysis before they make a decision.


While I'm sure that's true, I don't agree that humans would put others lives before their own cost/benefit analysis.

Some Eskimos leave their elderly behind once they become to old and sick to hunt because they are a drain on their resources and by keeping them around they would endanger the lives of everyone. Sometimes one has to sacrifice a few people so the rest of the group might survive. Therefor, you argument that this flies in the face of the survival of our species is just pure nonsense. Again, sometimes you have to cut off a leg to prevent cancer from spreading to the rest of your body and killing it.


No, the scenarios you keep changing and creating to further your point are the nonsense. First we're talking about Hitler, Nazism and Pure Rationalism, and now we're talking about Eskimos leaving their elderly behind to leave more resources for everyone else.

Our ability to empathize, adapt and be aware simply means that we must be careful when it comes to making such a decision and ideally it should be a last resort option. But to claim that the option is irrational? No, life just doesn't work like that.


Says you and the people that think like you.

Congratulations, you have just employed Utilitarian logic to reach a decision. Still think its irrational? Still think you made an irrational decision here?


Yes, I think it is irrational to go into any situation thinking you must choose between one group of lives over another instead of finding a win-win outcome.

And whether you like the scenario or not is irrelevant. Life deals you a set of cards and those card's don't always leave you with enough time and space to maneuver to a more acceptable outcome.


No, that's what people like you that think up these very improbable scenarios like to make other people think so as to justify your decisions without having to feel guilty about the outcome.

What do you do? You find a way to build a better economy where 1 in 7 don't need to rely on food stamps.

Good, 45 million Americans just starved to death because of your decision making. Because sadly, it turned out one couldn't change America's situation in less than several years and by the time the economy had improved to such a point it turned out most of the people you worked for had already died from starvation.


Riiiight. As dictator of the scenario, you're entitled to suggest that a fictitious scenario results in millions of deaths because you says so. Well, I'm going to return the dictation of the scenario and state that I just put 45 million people to work, increased our GDP, saved the middle class and returned America to a more prosperous nation.

Sorry, you don't get to dictate the scenarios and the outcomes to me. These are all hypothetical situations and as such, you can't state what the outcome would be any more than I can.

Again, the seemingly idealistic optimal outcome is not always possible as a realistic option. In fact, I'd say that in about 99% of the cases its not possible to reach the idealistic option within the time frame you are working.


99%? Another made-up statistic to further your point and at the same time show your bias for your line of thinking?

I reject the idea that any logic that chooses the minority over the majority is irrational.

Oh, so it would have been perfectly rational then to have the train crash so you could save your family?


It would be irrational to chose family because of an emotional bias, but it would not be irrational to attempt to try to save everyone involved, despite your attempts to make the scenario as dire as possible so as to invoke a specific response to prove a point.

Sure, they can result in irrational behavior, but that doesn't imply that all empathy and compassion is inherently irrational as you've been stating.

The times when empathy and compassion become rational are the times when they are little more than means to a greater end and one is then only emphatic and compassionate for as long as it suits you. Its what a number of Atheists always accuse Christians off, that they are only emphatic and compassionate because they expect to be rewarded for it and that because of that they are not really emphatic or compassionate.


Really? Not any Atheists that I know of. I assert that Christians are compassionate and empathetic because they choose to be good people, despite their beliefs that their God tells them to be so.

There's a first for everything, and I'm glad to be your first. I also think you're mischaracterizing Utilitarian logic to suit your own argument. Not all Utilitarian logic would exclude the human factor from all cost/benefit analyses. Only people that lack empathy or are megalomaniacal to begin with would remove such a weight from their decision making.

Not everyone has the luxury to include the human factor in their decision making. Some choices are simply to big to concern yourself with the human factor.


Riiight. This is war damnit! Can't make an omlet without breaking some eggs, right? People gotta die and it is the only rational choice.

And I don't think you believe cost benefit analysis to be irrational given how you employ them yourself, you only believe them to be irrational when they result in outcomes that don't mix well with your moral and ethical convictions.


I believe you like creating unlikely scenarios, asking what people would do, then make them emotive enough to give you a reaction you seek. Then when someone actually gives you honest answers, you accuse them of allowing their moral or ethical convictions to get in the way.

I mean to tell you that the wrong weights are used in such a cost/benefit analysis, and therefore provide irrational outcomes. I assert that this has nothing to do with my own morality, but what is best for the species, and that not all Utilitarian logic removes the human factor from the equation when making a decision.

But who are you to say that some people use the wrong weights? How do you know they use the wrong weights and how do you know its not you who in fact uses the wrong weights?


Who are you to tell me that I'm using the wrong weights? Who are you to dictate to me how a scenario unfolds?

And really, if the best for the species is what you want, its in fact all the more likely that you end up with decisions that may end up casting out groups of people.


Says you and people that think like you. Still see no reason to agree with you.

Well, you are a real hero in that case, because history has shown that most people are all to willing to let it happen when they are not feeling responsible for what happens. Which tends to be the case in any good bureaucracy. A natural result from the division of labor, no one is responsible for the outcome anymore, only for their particular part.


Yes... a single drop of water does not believe it is at fault for the flood. I still don't see how or why this would cause people to massacre people in death camps without challenge. That was, after all, the start of this particular scenario. That the people who should have challenged the Nazis were only looking at their books and themselves and not caring about the killing of millions of innocent lives. That somehow this scenario would or could easily be repeated because that is all people look at? Sorry, still can't find a reason to agree here.

What was the cost of those lives that were exterminated? What was the emotional cost of the families and loved ones that had to deal with the trauma and the ordeal as it was happening? Any option that prefers genocide over any other choice has not put the correct weights in during the cost/benefit analysis, and as such is irrational.

Well, according to the Nazis letting them stay would have resulted in the utter ruin of Germany, being trampled by the communists or the weak democratic pansies who would use Germans as slaves. Obviously nonsense, but if you are convinced of that being the truth, then one can see that they were convinced that the cost of killing was lower than the cost of not killing. Hence, utilitarian logic was applied, a cost benefit analysis was made, and this was the terrible result.


Sure. They allowed those in control to dictate to them that this was the only solution, and very few openly challenged the dominate party. Yes, they convinced themselves that this was their truth.

Again, this doesn't explain away why you state that they were rational in their decision making, but then state that Nazism abhors the rational.


At this point, I'm wearing down fast and losing interest in the discussion. Where does this conversation end? Does it end by being the last person to respond? Does it end in any agreeable fashion?
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Message 1457971 - Posted: 27 Dec 2013, 17:05:42 UTC - in response to Message 1457907.  

Many U.S. Presidents run on a platform to save people from a rather nasty situation. FDR did. John F. Kennedy did as well. To suggest that Reagan's platform was similar to Hitler's platform is yet another obvious bias against anyone associated with the GOP.

So did Hitler, he was always pretty clear about the fact that he wanted to 'save' Germany from things like racial impurity, the treaty of versailles and communism. Reagan wanted to save America from the poor welfare moochers, the Government and communism. In other words, both Hitler and Reagan wanted to save America from problems they just made up themselves in order to scare people into voting for them.


Ummm.... no. America was in the middle of a massive recession and Reagan ran on a platform that promised to fix the economy. I wasn't a manufactured problem just to win an election.

Call me cynical


Ok. You're cynical.

but I don't buy for a moment that Americans are somehow not susceptible to the same tricks as the Germans.


I don't buy that the Americans are susceptible to the same tricks as the Germans.

Where exactly where the massive protests when the whole 'enhanced interrogation' came out? Where were the justice loving mobs protesting against Guantanamo and the use of CIA blacksites?


Most of us prefer working with the system. There was a rather large protest, but it was in voice only, not in the form of a physical march to Washington or standing outside cafes.

Where were the massive anti war protests as we saw during the Vietnam war?


That level of protest was not very helpful to further and end to the cause. Hence why we see a different approach to protest than in the past.

Why didn't Washington and New York burn in riots when the Patriot Act got signed? Where were the angry people when the whole NSA spying scandal broke out in 2006? No, I have absolutely no reason to believe that the American people 'would not stand for it' when a president like Bush had given himself dictator like powers and opened up death camps for 'terrorists'.


Because people were scared and actually thought Bush would do the right thing. While he did many questionable things, one thing he did not do was send people to death camps. Nor did he sign a doctrine stating that all Muslims in the US were responsible for their terroristic brethren and should be isolated from everyone else. Nor was it openly acceptable persecute them except from an extreme minority yet vocal group that was convinced that those laws were for the better security of our society.
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Message 1457976 - Posted: 27 Dec 2013, 17:16:54 UTC - in response to Message 1457909.  

My comparison with Hitler was purely meant to illustrate the fact that Hitler too was voted into office, and that both Hitler and Reagan and Bush have done things that are awfully similar. For example, as I mentioned, both Reagan and Hitler had a platform based on saving their respective countries from non existing threats.


And as I previously stated there was a threat of a depression as America was suffering from an economic recession during the time when Reagan was running for office. There was a real threat. It just turns out that Reagan's policies actually made the recession turn worse faster and the depression much deeper than it would have been otherwise.

Bush slightly less, though he did over exaggerate the threat of terrorism after 9/11. And while in power, both Hitler and Bush pretty much wiped their buttocks with such things like laws and constitutions, for much of the same purpose.


And so has many other politicians. Why single out Bush and Reagan specifically is my point. Obama seems to be wiping his metaphorical "buttocks" with American privacy by defending the NSA. He has also wiped his buttocks all over the Constitution when he asserted that the American government can force people to buy health insurance, then even SCOTUS backed him up by changing the phrasing and stating that our American government has the power to fine/tax us for not complying with forced ownership of health insurance.

There are only two reasons why I think that Bush and Reagan are not seen in such a negative light is that first, both men did manage not to kill 6 million people in concentration camps and second they both didn't lose a war in such a spectacular fashion.


No, instead Bush simply declared 'victory' in a war without end. Bush and Reagan aren't exactly seen in a 'positive' light by many outside their own political parties, but there is most certainly a problem when you single them out and attempt to point out commonalities between them and Hitler's regime, directly suggesting that they could have turned to become the next Nazi-ish party.
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Message 1457977 - Posted: 27 Dec 2013, 17:17:53 UTC - in response to Message 1457910.  

Im not saying the US is pure as the driven snow. No country is. But to read a blank ass statement that Reagan and Bush were just as bad as Hitler is wrong.

I never said that. I said there were some very strong similarities. Of course they are not as bad as Hitler. Only a few other dictators get that dubious honor.


Correct, you never outright said that... you just left the implication open while drawing a direct line suggesting the same.
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Message 1458031 - Posted: 27 Dec 2013, 22:02:24 UTC
Last modified: 27 Dec 2013, 22:58:46 UTC

The ConVo Ends when The Super Brainiacs STOP Their Battle of Da Brains.

ALL READERS OF THIS THREAD NOW KNOW these Two Super Brainiacs are VERY VERY VERY ARTICULATE and INTELLIGENT.

We Got 'It'

Don't Agree to Disagree. STOP. Dats All. STOP.

Personally, I Say The Winner is Da Poster From Da Netherlands. Dat POster is Way mO Empathetic, Sympathetic, Thoughful, Caring, and PLAIN 'OLE RIGHT ON.

' '

May we All have a METAMORPHOSIS. REASON. GOoD JUDGEMENT and LOVE and ORDER!!!!!
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Message 1458038 - Posted: 27 Dec 2013, 22:54:32 UTC
Last modified: 27 Dec 2013, 23:09:08 UTC

Wow, since my last post on this thread on the 23rd, it seems that rather than spend Xmas with loved ones/family, some just could not stay off the net.

So, let's ban Xmas and all religions as it seems as Xmas is no longer a time for families and goodwill!
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Message 1458042 - Posted: 27 Dec 2013, 23:09:43 UTC - in response to Message 1458040.  

Personally, I Say The Winner is Da Poster From Da Netherlands.

It was a competition?


Seems to be that way with some posters. The loser was Xmas!
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Message 1458047 - Posted: 27 Dec 2013, 23:35:32 UTC - in response to Message 1458038.  
Last modified: 27 Dec 2013, 23:37:42 UTC

Wow, since my last post on this thread on the 23rd, it seems that rather than spend Xmas with loved ones/family, some just could not stay off the net.

So, let's ban Xmas and all religions as it seems as Xmas is no longer a time for families and goodwill!

So what do you suggest, back to Pagan festivals?

Here's some suggestions.

Midwinter (Yule), a festival where they ate lots of meat because they hadn't enough vegitation to keep livestock alive through winter. Christmas

Vernal equinox (Ostara), start of spring, the time of re-birth. Ostara's symbols were hare's and eggs. Easter

First day of summer (Beltane or Florlia)
celebrated with flowers and maypoles. Mayday

Midsummer (Litha), time of calm, crops are in the ground, animals eating in the fields, time to take a holiday. Summer holidays

Lammas, first pagan harvest festival, celebrated with bread made from the first harvested grain. Harvest festival

Autumnal equinox, time of the main harvest festivals.

Unfortunately these don't seem to change much.
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Message 1458048 - Posted: 27 Dec 2013, 23:44:56 UTC - in response to Message 1458047.  

Wow, since my last post on this thread on the 23rd, it seems that rather than spend Xmas with loved ones/family, some just could not stay off the net.

So, let's ban Xmas and all religions as it seems as Xmas is no longer a time for families and goodwill!

So what do you suggest, back to Pagan festivals?

But isn't that what Christian festivities are based on.
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Message 1458050 - Posted: 27 Dec 2013, 23:48:31 UTC - in response to Message 1458031.  
Last modified: 27 Dec 2013, 23:57:50 UTC

Personally, I Say The Winner is Da Poster From Da Netherlands. Dat POster is Way mO Empathetic, Sympathetic, Thoughful, Caring, and PLAIN 'OLE RIGHT ON.


How would you know if Michiel is more empathetic, sympathetic, thoughtful or caring if you don't really know either of us? During my entire discussion with Michiel, I've argued in favor of empathy and he's taken the Devil's Advocate route of arguing about the rationale of Nazism. So what do you base your opinion on that he's more empathetic, sympathetic, thoughtful and caring (not that he isn't any of those, as I'm sure he is)?

And like Chris S. said; I wasn't aware it was a competition, so how can you have a winner and a loser of a discussion about views?
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Message 1458051 - Posted: 27 Dec 2013, 23:49:55 UTC - in response to Message 1458038.  

Wow, since my last post on this thread on the 23rd, it seems that rather than spend Xmas with loved ones/family, some just could not stay off the net.


Since I was the one who finally responded on the 25th, I can only assume you're referring to me. Since I don't celebrate Christmas, I fail to see what was wrong with finally taking some time out to respond.
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Message 1458053 - Posted: 27 Dec 2013, 23:56:25 UTC - in response to Message 1458051.  

Oz, was you the only poster since my one on the 23rd? Don't be so touchy.
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Message 1458055 - Posted: 27 Dec 2013, 23:58:26 UTC - in response to Message 1458053.  
Last modified: 27 Dec 2013, 23:59:35 UTC

OK, my apologies if I overreacted.
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Message 1458075 - Posted: 28 Dec 2013, 1:47:58 UTC - in response to Message 1457862.  

In the end being off topic is up to ES of course. And if any of my posts get hidden no harm done.

As long as people stay interesting then being off topic is fine. I am sure we'll get back on topic at some point.

Im not saying the US is pure as the driven snow. No country is. But to read a blank ass statement that Reagan and Bush were just as bad as Hitler is wrong.

And modern societys are far from the only ones who commit genocide. Go back to antiquity and you see all sorts of people wiping out a so called enemy people.
The Mongol hordes seem to have been the best at. And lets not forget our pal Stalin. He did a few cleansings himself.

And Mark, I too dont think any religion is better than another. But it sure does stir the pot when people discuss it.

I think just how bad Bush and Reagan were would depend on who and where you are. they caused a lot of deaths of innocent people with their foreign policy. However, the chilling cold blooded murder of people by the Nazi's really was in a whole different league.
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Message 1458154 - Posted: 28 Dec 2013, 9:56:13 UTC - in response to Message 1458146.  

What happened in Germany during WWII is well documented and most people know the basic facts about it. But by general unspoken agreement at Seti we have always acknowledged the issue but left it there. The subject of religions can cause enough problems on its own, so I really would caution against delving into the Nazis. Like the old mediaeval maps said "here be dragons".

And I can respect that. But I do draw the line when its inferred that some of my countrys politicians are labeled the same as Nazis.
By one posters standards Your very own forner PM Blair would be labled as such. And so could others in your government. AS most other countrys politicians could be so labled.

As for mass killers I find it a real stretch to lump Bush and Reagan with the likes of Any Roman empereror, Or with Attila, Ghengis Khan, Vlad the Impaller, Hitler and Stalin. For the modern day, Lets add Sadam Hussien, That North Korean idiot who loves starving his own people, And the jerks who are running the show in Somalia and the Sudan.
Im sorry I resent the implacation of what was posted.
[/quote]

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Message 1458159 - Posted: 28 Dec 2013, 10:10:37 UTC

Please be aware that this thread is straying onto dangerously thin ice.
The move from discussing the virtues, or otherwise, of various religions to discussing mass murderers and their followers is potentially an inflammatory subject.
So, please think before you post, thank you.
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Message 1458188 - Posted: 28 Dec 2013, 13:07:44 UTC - in response to Message 1457965.  
Last modified: 28 Dec 2013, 13:09:03 UTC

No, the scenarios you keep changing and creating to further your point are the nonsense. First we're talking about Hitler, Nazism and Pure Rationalism, and now we're talking about Eskimos leaving their elderly behind to leave more resources for everyone else.

You made a claim, I provided ample examples that shows your claim is nonsense. Sometimes sacrificing one group of people so a larger group of people might live is required or the only acceptable outcome. It does not fly in the face of rationality.


Yes, I think it is irrational to go into any situation thinking you must choose between one group of lives over another instead of finding a win-win outcome.

Again, sometimes you simply do not have the time, space or resources to achieve a win win situation. That is life.



Riiiight. As dictator of the scenario, you're entitled to suggest that a fictitious scenario results in millions of deaths because you says so. Well, I'm going to return the dictation of the scenario and state that I just put 45 million people to work, increased our GDP, saved the middle class and returned America to a more prosperous nation.

Sorry, you don't get to dictate the scenarios and the outcomes to me. These are all hypothetical situations and as such, you can't state what the outcome would be any more than I can.

Be realistic. 'Fixing the economy' is a long term project, it takes at least several years under the most optimal circumstances and people on food stamps do not have years without food stamps. Working towards idealistic outcomes is great and we should totally go for that, but one has to remain realistic in what can be achieved in the short, medium and long term and how that affects people. Therefor, when it comes to these kind of policy decisions that affect peoples lives in a very direct way (cut them off from food stamps and they will starve) the answer 'I will fix the economy' is a non answer.



99%? Another made-up statistic to further your point and at the same time show your bias for your line of thinking?

You really do not understand how politics works do you? Do you honestly believe that people can make decisions that will automatically lead to your win win outcomes? First, people do not possess perfect information, so decisions are generally imperfect because they are based on a whole lot of assumptions and speculation, and only a few facts. Second, people have preferences. Ask a communist what the win win outcome is and ask a bible belt conservative what the win win outcome is and you get two very different answers. If you work in a democracy it means those preferences clash and that means you have to compromise, meaning any decision you want to make to reach the ideal win win outcome is diluted and prevents you from reaching it completely. Third, decisions are not made in a vacuum. Do you think that for example 'fixing the economy' is something that you can just decide and then it will happen? The economy is hugely dependent on a whole range of factors that are beyond your control, even if you were crowned supreme ruler of Earth.

I might be biased, but I am very much aware of how difficult it is for the people in charge to reach your idealistic win win outcomes. And most of the time, we have to settle for a less than optimal outcome.


It would be irrational to chose family because of an emotional bias, but it would not be irrational to attempt to try to save everyone involved, despite your attempts to make the scenario as dire as possible so as to invoke a specific response to prove a point.

No, its not irrational to try and save everyone, but like I said, most of the time it is simply impossible to reach the perfect win win outcome.


Really? Not any Atheists that I know of. I assert that Christians are compassionate and empathetic because they choose to be good people, despite their beliefs that their God tells them to be so.

We clearly hung out in different places then.


Riiight. This is war damnit! Can't make an omlet without breaking some eggs, right? People gotta die and it is the only rational choice.

You might not have chosen to be in the war, but someone else might have made that choice for you, such as a dictator in your neighboring country. And once you are in a war, then what choice do you have? Surrender? Or use your army to try and defend your country and your people from being conquered and possibly murdered by the aggressor. But using your army inevitably means that some of your soldiers will die. However, if you stand a good chance of at least holding the enemy at bay or possibly even defeat them, isn't it worth sacrificing a few soldiers, so your civilians might survive?

Of course, you could go for the diplomatic route and hope that your enemy stops the attack. But do you honestly think that France and Britain had that option when Hitler invaded France? Do you honestly believe Poland had that option when the Nazi armies invaded? And what about the US? Despite what some people claim, the US was never in any real danger from either the Japanese or the Germans, so the US involvement in the war was not for self defense. They could probably have made a deal with the Germans and the Japanese that would have avoided bloodshed. In that case, Germany might have won the war or otherwise the Soviet Union would have won. Still, the US got involved, it sacrificed tens of thousands of its soldiers, and in the process they probably saved millions of non Americans from Nazi or Soviet aggression. Do you really think that WW2 could have been solved in such a way that did not require the sacrifice of people?



I believe you like creating unlikely scenarios, asking what people would do, then make them emotive enough to give you a reaction you seek. Then when someone actually gives you honest answers, you accuse them of allowing their moral or ethical convictions to get in the way.

Only when someone claims to be rational in all things and denies that his moral and ethical convictions sometimes clash with his rationality.



Who are you to tell me that I'm using the wrong weights? Who are you to dictate to me how a scenario unfolds?

I'm not saying that you do. And I dictate the scenario because I came up with the scenario. You don't think thats fair? Well, life isn't fair. Do you think you can stop a speeding train when you are standing near the switch without a way to get on the train to hit the breaks or without tools to stop the train without crashing into a bus or a ravine? And do you think that life always provides you with the means if you were ever in such a scenario? Or any other given scenario?

The very simple fact is that most of the time, when having to make a decision, you lack the means to reach the most optimal decision. You will have to work with the things you have and those are generally limited.


Says you and people that think like you. Still see no reason to agree with you.

Says thousands of years of human history. Says common sense. Says reason and rationality.

Yes... a single drop of water does not believe it is at fault for the flood. I still don't see how or why this would cause people to massacre people in death camps without challenge. That was, after all, the start of this particular scenario. That the people who should have challenged the Nazis were only looking at their books and themselves and not caring about the killing of millions of innocent lives. That somehow this scenario would or could easily be repeated because that is all people look at? Sorry, still can't find a reason to agree here.

Two things that cause this. The first is what I mentioned before and what the Milgram experiment so clearly proved. People are really bad at questioning or ignoring orders. The majority of people will follow orders, even if those orders are to hurt or kill people. And what is a bureaucracy? A very hierarchical structure that also tends to weed out the people who would dare question orders and disobey them. Those people tend to get fired because they make up for worthless bureaucrats.

The second thing is that people under the division of labor do not feel responsible for the outcome of a process, because they are specifically made responsible for only one step in the process. Workers who worked on the manufacturing lines in the Ford factories did not feel responsible for the car, because each one of them was only responsible for placing a specific screw or part. As long as they did their job correctly they couldn't care less if the car as a whole was a piece of crap because that's someone else his job. The same is true for bureaucracies. All the work they do is very much divided over a lot of people, and where each person is only responsible for one very specific part in a whole line parts that eventually add up and result in something being done, in this case the holocaust. So no one steps up and questions the outcome because no one feels responsible for the outcome. In other words, they all think 'its not my job to question the outcome, let someone else do it'. And the few people who might question the outcome are then also discouraged by the knowledge that questioning the outcome might cost them their jobs or worse, gets them killed.

This is also where the way people got killed comes in and why no guard in Auschwitz ever really felt bad enough about what they were doing to stop it. The killing process was also cut into a lot of small steps and with each guard being only responsible for one of those steps. You had one group of guards who had to put people into the gas chambers, another group that locked the door, another group (who also never saw the people who went into the cambers) flip a switch and that was it. Each guard could tell themselves at night that all they did was put someone in a room or lock a door or flip a switch. After all, they were not responsible for killing all those people, other people were.

This process was specifically designed because the earlier methods involved Nazi death squads just roaming the country, rounding up Jews and then mass executing them through shooting. This proved to be a very stressful method and resulted in to many people actually starting to question the nature of their work.

On a side note, this kind of method is also applied to firing squads, where at random one of the shooters is given a blank. This eases the psychological stress on the members of the firing squad, because they can all tell themselves that they were the ones who fired the blank and as a result are not responsible for killing the person.

This is just how human nature works. Once you can make someone believe, or can make them tell themselves, that they are not responsible for the outcome of a process in which they take part, they will happily keep doing it, even if it means people die. After all, you don't feel responsible for all the people the United States has killed do you?


Again, this doesn't explain away why you state that they were rational in their decision making, but then state that Nazism abhors the rational.

Nazis also developed some of the most advanced weapons for their time, and that clearly required some measure of intellect. I suppose its just that they were pragmatic enough to accept that some rationality was useful and leave it alone as long as it produced benefits. Besides, Nazism happened in Germany, one of the most orderly and organized countries in Europe. A few years of Nazism would not be enough to erase that.

At this point, I'm wearing down fast and losing interest in the discussion. Where does this conversation end? Does it end by being the last person to respond? Does it end in any agreeable fashion?

That is up to you.

EDIT: I will leave it at this, at least in this topic. It has indeed gone a bit to much off topic. If someone is interested in discussing this further I'll be happy to respond in another topic.
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Message 1458261 - Posted: 28 Dec 2013, 18:12:52 UTC - in response to Message 1458188.  

...
Two things that cause this. The first is what I mentioned before and what the Milgram experiment so clearly proved. People are really bad at questioning or ignoring orders. The majority of people will follow orders, even if those orders are to hurt or kill people. And what is a bureaucracy? A very hierarchical structure that also tends to weed out the people who would dare question orders and disobey them. Those people tend to get fired because they make up for worthless bureaucrats.

The second thing is that people under the division of labor do not feel responsible for the outcome of a process, because they are specifically made responsible for only one step in the process. Workers who worked on the manufacturing lines in the Ford factories did not feel responsible for the car, because each one of them was only responsible for placing a specific screw or part. As long as they did their job correctly they couldn't care less if the car as a whole was a piece of crap because that's someone else his job. The same is true for bureaucracies. All the work they do is very much divided over a lot of people, and where each person is only responsible for one very specific part in a whole line parts that eventually add up and result in something being done, in this case the holocaust. So no one steps up and questions the outcome because no one feels responsible for the outcome. In other words, they all think 'its not my job to question the outcome, let someone else do it'. And the few people who might question the outcome are then also discouraged by the knowledge that questioning the outcome might cost them their jobs or worse, gets them killed.

This is also where the way people got killed comes in and why no guard in Auschwitz ever really felt bad enough about what they were doing to stop it. The killing process was also cut into a lot of small steps and with each guard being only responsible for one of those steps. You had one group of guards who had to put people into the gas chambers, another group that locked the door, another group (who also never saw the people who went into the cambers) flip a switch and that was it. Each guard could tell themselves at night that all they did was put someone in a room or lock a door or flip a switch. After all, they were not responsible for killing all those people, other people were.

This process was specifically designed because the earlier methods involved Nazi death squads just roaming the country, rounding up Jews and then mass executing them through shooting. This proved to be a very stressful method and resulted in to many people actually starting to question the nature of their work.

On a side note, this kind of method is also applied to firing squads, where at random one of the shooters is given a blank. This eases the psychological stress on the members of the firing squad, because they can all tell themselves that they were the ones who fired the blank and as a result are not responsible for killing the person.

This is just how human nature works. Once you can make someone believe, or can make them tell themselves, that they are not responsible for the outcome of a process in which they take part, they will happily keep doing it, even if it means people die. After all, you don't feel responsible for all the people the United States has killed do you? ...

and here we have it in a nutshell.

People aren't naturally murderers or killers. They don't need religion to tell them not to kill.

However, they do need religion to tell them to kill. Just like the blank bullet in the firing squad, religion helps people absolve them self from responsibility. From the Muslim extremists who believe that Allah will reward him to heaven, to the IRA bombers who used to go to confession for absolution BEFORE they killed people.

One religion isn't better than another. They are all bad.
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Message boards : Politics : Religion - is one better than another?


 
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