Name Calling: Nazi, Communist, Atheist

During my 30 years as a public person, here, I’ve been called many names.  I don’t mind it.  It’s part of the deal.

Last week, I was called a new one here, a “closet gay-devil worshipper”.  I don’t know what that is, but I do have a little issue with the writer.  I don’t like being considered secretive, as in “closet”.  So, if anyone calls me this again, I’d appreciate being called an “open”, “out” or “admitted” GDW.   

While calling politicans like me nasty names is a fun form of recreation, it is not the same with groups of people.  It’s not considered acceptable any more to call women or black people stupid.  Derogatory labels for people of races and gender are mostly not acceptable anymore.

But, atheists are still called Communists and Nazis.  This is done even though atheists have nothing to do with those two politican movements. And, Communists and Nazis had no intellectual investment in atheism.

That is to say, there is no writing by either political group that spells out the origin of the universe, meaning of death or the afterlife.  These kinds of ideas are what make up a belief system. 

The Communists did not like religion, but said little else.  Atheists did not like Hitler and Hilter embraced religion.

In these ways, the Nazis and Communists differed greatly from atheists.  The name calling like “atheist Nazis” or “atheist Communists” is misleading, immature and inaccurate. 

It reflects a shallow understanding of these terms.

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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12 Responses to Name Calling: Nazi, Communist, Atheist

  1. Tyler says:

    Jon,

    You can’t separate the motivation from the movement..as much as you want to try. The people you like and follow in discipleship like Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens amongst many…blame all the worlds ills on “Religious People” citing wars, famine, disease and many references and examples in their books. They do what you claim is “misleading” and “immature” yet they do it all the time and this coming from an I believe an “Oxford Don”, and “Stanford Grad” and another “Oxford Grad”.

    Yet when somebody says lets see what happens when someone takes a “Godless or perhaps God-Hating” world-view and “Applies-it-in-motion & theory” like “Communism”…and look at the results. That is “Out-of-bounds”.

    You also like to throw “Religion” and make it equivalent of “All Religions”. So apparently the historical analysis of Hitler’s Germany as having Quasi-Pagan sympathies is equivalent to let’s say “Christianity”. However you misrepresent “Religion”. I’m with you and your materialist leanings…there is an “Objective Truth” out there. This means some religions, cultures, ideas, etc are “Wrong” and others are “Right” or “More-Right”. So as a Catholic, you would be correct in coming to the assumption that I think all the other world’s religions are “Wrong” in their fundamental assumptions and that Catholicism is correct. However, you will also note that even Catholicism officially recognizes the inherent truths in all religions..its just Catholics believe the “Fullness of the Truth”..not my term..lies in Catholic Christianity. At the same time, going around and rubbing that concept in people’s face is also not part of Christianity either. You know..Good Samaritan and stuff.

  2. entech says:

    Poor Jon so many labels. By implication you seem to be simultaneously a stalinist, hitlerist, utilitarianist and probably a closet gay devil worshipper. Maybe even a secret employee of that well known liberal media magnate Rupert Murdoch.

    That was me and it was intended to be a sarcastic comment on some of the labels being pinned on you. in fact support. Please note the “by implication”

    I apologise, totally and completely

    David

  3. entech says:

    Well you be as cheerful as you like. As for the second part perhaps you could get that job with Murdoch.

    David.

    • Tyler says:

      Wait isn’t “Labeling” and “Characterization” and important standard in the “Materialist Doctrine”. One must identify the pattern, replicate it and name in order to deconstruct it. Gay Devil Worshipping aside…

      It would seem that Jon at least shows the classic signs of being possibly at least a
      1. Scientific Materialist/Naturalist
      2. Moral Relativist
      3. With a hint of “Utilitarianism”

      Course I could be wrong about Jon’s motivations…but as Harvard Evolutionary Biologist Richard Lewontin admitted openly about a segment of the “Science” community, quote:
      “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment………a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism……….. is absolute…………. for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” End Quote Could we call Lewontin a “Materialist” safely?

  4. I can call you a name an elderly Norwegian gentleman used on a grandson years ago:

    “You big Svede, you!”

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Buffalogal 1:01 At least you didn’t pull that one Elaine always pulls on me, “Ten Towsan Svedes chased threw da veeds, by only one Norvegian”. She 100% German, but always sides with the Norwegians.

  5. Of course, Karl Marx did say that “communism begins from the outset with atheism” so I don’t think it’s entirely inaccurate to associate the two ideologies.

    In my own experience associating with atheists, atheism does appear to lead one to a more communist or collectivist outlook. Make of that what you will.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Leo 10:36 Thanks for the comment. All perspectives help us understand things better. I’d only respond by saying that no matter how much ol’ Karl hated religion, his ultimate view the the coming violent political apolcalypse would not have been different had he loved religion. At least, I don’t see how it could have been different because he saw it as unstoppable. Of course, he was wrong about it. He tried some political organizing himself and was a complete failure. But the flaw he saw in capitalism–that unrelenting greed has the ability to be a destructive force–lives on. We saw it in the meltdown of the financial sector. At least that’s my view. Too little regulation can harm us, too much is damaging as well.

      • That’s a refreshingly well-reasoned and agreeable response. Though I am a conservative and a Christian, I cannot honestly disagree with anything you just said, Jon.
        I think we’d all get along much better if we simply avoided any sort of name-calling or thoughtless insults. Things like “magic sky-daddy” and “closet gay-devil worshipper” don’t help the argument and certainly don’t help us learn.

        • entech says:

          I agree about name calling and do think expressions like “magic sky-daddy” etc.: and made up things like “magic spaghetti monster” are not conclusive to a rational conversation. They lead to any discussion descending to personal abuse.
          The devil worshipping thing started as a joky comment on pinning assumed labels and after misinterpretting Jon’s response a little bit of commenting settled the non existant problem. It may have been in bad taste but was never intended to be serious.
          David

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