Thursday, April 30, 2009

Eugenics: Nobody Was Innocent

Quoited from Pevensie15: "Eugenics was done by ignorant atheists, who should have read the Bible!"

Ignorant assertion for the win!

I already replied to him on his blog, but as usual he completely ignores my points, probably because the kid has nothing even resembling a cogent answer.

Now, Aj there has raised what is really an obnoxious lie common to the fundamentalist Christian position. Eugenics was certainly an outgrowth from the ideas of evolutionary theory, but that does not make it inherently atheistic. Studies of various hominids yielded information regarding things like general skull measurements and other empirical qualities that led people to start applying those measurements as benchmarks regarding what races were more evolved than others. This was done worldwide, from bible believing American Christians, the British, The Chinese, Japanese, etc. Its association with the Nazi agenda simply hastened its departure from acceptable science.

Were there Atheists involved? Hell yes. Was it racist? Damned straight. Denying that would be revisionist claptrap like claiming Hitler wasn't a Christian (forgive my Godwin* breach). Now, I've pretty much come to expect this from current fundamentalists since they generally only know what they're taught which is usually a very white-washed version of history painting Christianity as some kind of heroic underdog despite being the establishment for about 1500 years in the west.

The second part of what AJ says really bothers me and shows palpable ignorance of the Tanakh. The bible supports outright genocide of non-believing neighbor nations and encourages erradication and/or enslavement. You know what, AJ, you're right. Reading the Bible would have stopped them from starting Eugenics. It would have encouraged outright slaughter rape and enslavement instead. Good point!

Of course, we all know that those Christians involved in Eugenics weren't true Scotsmen... err Christians. Right?

*Thanks ExPatMatt and Beamstalk


  1. I thought the Hitler thing was a Godwin, not a Poe? I get so confused with all the internetish languages...

    Yeah, I thought AJ was going to be a thinker - I had high hopes. But I think he's been exposed to too much Comfort and it has rotted his brain.

    What's it been recently?

    First Cause
    List of 'Creationist' Scientists
    Atheism = amorality
    Evolution is a lie

    We should start playing fundie bingo.....actually.....that's not a bad idea!

  2. Matt is right that would be a Godwin not Poe. Also that was already implicitly implied in the initial post, so it is not a Godwin. You didn't bring it up for no reason, it actually concerned the topic.

    Hitler wasn't much of a Christian, but he used Christianity and Christians. I would say that Hitler was more of a pantheist than anything.

    Yes Christianity the underdog comes into the founding of the US also. These poor persecuted people, being persecuted for their religion. They were being persecuted by, well, Christians.

  3. Oops...You're right, it is Godwin. I'll edit that...

    I stand by my statement ont he SMRT forum. He went downhill fast. It was very disappointing to me.

    As far as Fundie Bingo... i think the rapture ready boards would bew great for that.

  4. @Beam: The religious convictions of Hitler are difficult to pin down, but he was (officially) a Catholic. What he preached as an ideal was something in the realm of pantheism or some weird adoption of nordic. That said, he references God a heck of alot. Whether thats in the deistic sense or not, its certain he was a religious person in some respect

  5. Oh yes I agree, it is hard to pin down exactly what he believed. I am officially a member of my parent's church still. I say the pantheism from what he preached like you said. God doesn't really mean any religion but just that he is a theist of some sort. Again I agree he was a religious person of some kind.

    He definitely used what was available and Christianity was available. He used Christianity and Christians for his own ends, big shocker there.

    I am just saying that it is silly calling him an atheist or a christian.

  6. Matt,

    In my defense, Ray Comfort doesn't argue from big bang cosmology. Nevertheless, I still like Ray Comfort.

    "Evangelical Engagements With Eugenics, 1900-1940"

    Funny that Christians were busy getting evolutions out of the classroom via the ""Scopes Trial" but had no problem with preaching Eugenic to support racism