Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thread of the Week - 12/9

Hell and the Holocaust

Tucked away in a thread about Bill Maher's "Religulous" is an exchange between two of our own: Lapp (Kaunis Laatja) and Samnell. The topic: Are Christians worse than Nazis?

Sounds crazy to even consider, I know. Sam's almost entirely on his own on this one - but the debate is worth it because the logical wrangling between these two brains has a level intellectual power behind it missing from most hyperbolic slobbery you'll usually encounter on the Internet. There's a little huffing and puffing, but for the most part, each others' arguments are actually being considered.

Sam's case is, essentially, that the idea that some deserve eternal torture is worse than the idea that people deserve finite torture confined by the nature of life and death. Lapp's case... is probably what most of you are thinking already. But Sam has a talent for stacking up extreme if not inconceivable arguments with levels of logic, and we're not here for a popularity contest. So as far as I'm concerned, it's recommended reading.


Samnell said...

One cavil:

My position is not that Christians are infinitely worse than Nazis exactly. It is that the Christian ideology of eternal torture is infinitely more immoral to believe in than the Nazi's ideology of finite torture. In examining the reality on the ground, we must accept that most German Christians were fairly willing to cooperate with the Nazis and many were party members in good standing.

We should not pretend that the tiny Christian opposition groups like White Rose exculpate the majority of German Christians who, Protestant and Catholic alike, were no more likely to oppose Hitler than any other group and much less likely than many. That's exactly what Christian apologists generally want us to believe, but if not for transparent lies about reality what would apologists have left to say?

Sinistral said...

Fair point, though I guess I see "infinitely more immoral" as one way of being "infititely worse."

Samnell said...

I was drawing a distinction between the Christian ideology and Christians in general. There are, of course, plenty of people who are better for being worse Christians. I'll happily grant that being infinitely more immoral is pretty much the same as being infinitely worse.

On reflection, I think Kaunis and I got so far because we had a very firm agreement on the ground rules of the discussion. Namely, reason above all. When he disagreed with me, he used reason to argue against my thesis. I used the same to defend it. This is not how arguments often go.