October 23, 2011

Fun with Dick and Lane: See Dawkins Run!

Learning can be fun when the lesson is atheism and the text features quotes from Richard Dawkins. He is the foremost apologist for atheism, but has been dodging debate challenges from the foremost apologist for theism, William Lane Craig, for quite some time. It reminds me of the children's learning book "Fun with Dick and Jane" wherein I remember simple text, such as, "See Dick run! Run, Dick, run!"

Remarkably, in a public statement October 20, 2011, Dawkins states he and his peers have never heard of Craig: “He (Craig) parades himself as a philosopher, but none of the professors of philosophy whom I consulted had heard his name either.”[1] All things considered, that’s quite a statement by Dawkins, who is considered one of "The Four Horsemen of the Anit-Apocalype" who represent the New Atheism movement. In a 2007 YouTube video uploaded by richarddawkins.net, The Four Horsemen are seen in a round-table discussion wherein Sam Harris states, "Religion is held off the table of formal criticism" and Richard Dawkins nods his head approvingly. [2] Actually, it seems Dawkins is desperate to keep his atheism "off the table" and out of harms way. Craig has debated the other three horsemen; Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. And now, only Dawkins is left. There's even a Facebook page devoted to The Four Horsemen, so it's not as if they exist in a closet.[3]

Dawkins wrote of Hitchens, “Christopher Hitchens: my hero of 2010" and "A gentleman and a truly formidable debater, Christopher Hitchens is a giant of the mind and a model of courage.”[4] Dawkins’ friend, the “formidalble debator” and “hero,” was soundly thrashed in a debate with William Lane Craig in 2009. A leading atheist blog, Common Sense Atheism, stated “Frankly, Craig spanked Hitchens like a foolish child.”[5]

In April 2011, Craig debated Sam Harris. At the beginning of the debate Harris remarked, "I’m very happy to be debating Dr Craig, the one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists." Atheism defender Jon Loftus, who happens to be a  former student of Craig’s, witnessed the debate live and stated, “On a points basis Craig won.”[6] The fun began in earnest May 14, 2011, when a member of the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University (where Dawkins attended) was quoted as writing to fellow atheist Richard Dawkins concerning his refusal to debate Dr. William Lane Craig: "The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part."[7] Ouch, that smarts.

The Daily Telegraph article outlined Dawkins’ response, “I have no intention of assisting Craig in his relentless drive for self-promotion”[8] The article further highlighted, “Prof Dawkins maintains that Prof Craig is not a figure worthy of his attention and has reportedly said that such a contest would “look good” on his opponent’s CV but not on his own.”[9]
Dawkins flip-flops

So, check the logic here. Dawkins said he won’t debate Craig because it won’t help advance Dawkins' own CV and career, yet Dawkins accuses Craig of self-promotion. But it gets better...

In June 2011, Dawkins stated he would never want to go on a show like the O’Reilly Factor because Bill O’Reilly isn’t intellectual enough for Dawkins: "If there are debates between two intelligent people, they are conducted effectively. But if they're conducted between an intelligent and educated person on the one hand and Bill O'Reilly on the other, they're probably not. Perhaps have more intelligent people as interviewers rather than people like Bill O'Reilly for a start. That wouldn't be great for ratings I suppose, but perhaps we should become less influenced by ratings."[10]

Nevertheless, after Fox News ran a story on how atheists were dropping out of professional debates with Craig that had been scheduled in England,[11] can you guess who wanted to appear on Fox News with the dilettante armchair philosopher Bill O’Reilly? As you might have guessed, Richard Dawkins.[12]
The Sheldonian Theatre
By October 5, in keeping with his flip-flopping ways, Dawkins was on the O’Reilly Factor in a tense exchange with Bill, all the while trying to promote his new children’s book, "The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True".

When had become apparent Dawkins would rather launch a series of ad hominum attacks against Craig,  rather than debate based on logic and reason, Craig issued a press release through his organization Reasonable Faith regarding what will occur at the Sheldonian Theatre. The plan was clarified that an empty chair would be ready for Dawkins, who could show up for a debate at any time up until the last minute. If he doesn't show up, "Craig will lecture on the weakness of Dawkins’ arguments in his book, The God Delusion. A panel of Oxford scholars will respond to his talk, before members of the audience are invited to ask questions from the floor."

Craig says of his debates, “These are academic forums, where one concentrates on the arguments and counter arguments, the truth of the premises in those arguments and objections to them, and not on personality or ad hominem attacks. Atheist Richard Dawkins, who has been publicly accused of cowardice {1} for refusing to debate the arguments he presents in The God Delusion, recently described Craig as a “deeply unimpressive...ponderous buffoon,” who uses logic for “bamboozling his faith-head audience.” Yet he still has not responded to the actual content of the arguments presented by Craig."

Toynbee is President of the British Humanist Association which describes one of its core values as "engaging in debate rationally, intelligently and with attention to evidence."

Debates apart from Tonybee and Grayling have been confirmed in Manchester and Birmingham universities, where Craig will engage with Oxford academics, Prof. Peter Atkins (science) and Prof. Peter Millican (philosophy)."[13]

At least some atheists in England are willing to debate. Richard Dawkins may have somehow rationalized that it may look better on his  CV to promote a children's book rather than debate the foremost defender of theology, but this choice probably doesn't bode very well for the public's opinion about atheism. Buses in Oxford are plastered with signs calling Dawkins out on the carpet: "There's probably no Dawkins. So stop worrying and enjoy Oct 25th at the Sheldonian Theatre." Dawkins has the home-game advantage.

The gauntlet was originally thrown by Dawkins when he wrote "The God Delusion." The fact that he calls belief in God delusional and is unwilling to defend his argument in debate, as Atheism's main front-man, is quite disingenuous. Craig has clarified the cowardice and hypocrisy by taking the gauntlet back and throwing it down at Dawkins' front door in Oxford England.

Dawkins may wear his mantel proudly as the primo "Horseman of the Anti-Apocalypse," but perhaps another horseman should point out that he seems to be charging in the wrong direction. The Sheldonian calls. Is chivalry dead in England? Or is atheism dead? You be the judge.


As noted by Dr. Craig, “Being accused of being self-promoting by Richard Dawkins is, as Sam Harris remarks, sort of like being accused of bad taste by Lady Gaga.”[14] Comments by Dawkins are a great source of comic material for new Christian jokes.

Experts in their fields have commented on Dawkins' refusal to a debate them as well, for example, Michael Behe, a biologist like Dawkins, and Stephen Meyer, a philosopher/scholar, both of whom are published in peer-reviewed articles.  But the exchanges between Dawkins and Craig in the news are probably the most amusing. Even Dawkins' fellow atheist Oxford Don, Daniel Came won't let Dawkins off the hook. In an article published October 22, Came states "Richard Dawkins' refusal to debate is cynical and anti-intellectual." He states "Using William Lane Craig's remarks as an excuse not to engage in reasoned debate is a typical New Atheist polemic."[15] Ouch, Came is not sparing the rod. Dawkins' latest excuse is that the Bible says horrible things, therefore he won't debate Craig. This is supremely disingenuous because Dawkins has debated plenty of other Christians who have believed the Bible is true.

On October 25th, 7:30pm at the Sheldonian Theatre on Broad Street in Oxford England, there will be an empty chair set out for Mr. Richard Dawkins at the debate, God willing. If Richard isn't out promoting his children's book he may have time to stop by and debate. He's flip-flopped on his opinion regarding Bill O'Reilly's talk program, so maybe he'll flip-flop on his decision not to debate Craig as well. With moral relativists you just never quite know what to expect.

When you watch the video at this embedded link and see Craig dismantle the main arguments in Dawkins' book "The God Delusion", then you'll better understand the reason Dawkins is running from a debate.[16] By dodging debates, Dawkins is underscoring the weakness of atheism as a worldview. Mind if I cheer you on Dawkins? Go, Dawkins, go! See Dawkins go! 

As I read the Stand to Reason blog post today posted by Amy Hall, I was reminded we need to pray for Richard Dawkins and other atheists. The scriptures declare "The fool has said in his heart 'there is no God.'"[17] And while it is true atheism is quite foolish and at times humorous, its consequences are truly serious.

References

[1] Guardian, Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig
[2] Youtube, The Four Horsemen HD: Hour 1 of 2 - Discussions with Richard Dawkins, Ep 1, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DKhc1pcDFM)
[5] Common Sense Atheism,  The Craig-Hitchens Debate, Luke Muehlhauser on April 4, 2009 (http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=1230)
[6] Debunking Christianity, If You Were Scoring Points Craig Won, But Harris Clearly Had the Better Arguments, John W. Loftus, 4/08/2011(http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2011/04/craigharris-debate-if-you-were-scoring.html)
[7] Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God, The Daily Telegraph, May 14, 2011 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/8511931/Richard-Dawkins-accused-of-cowardice-for-refusing-to-debate-existence-of-God.html)
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid.
[10] YouTube, Richard Dawkins Prefers "Unintelligent" debates with Bill O'Reilly over Bill Craig (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzEUNUumT3w)
[11] Fox News: Christian Philosopher William Lane Craig Is Ready to Debate, but Finds Few Challengers (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/08/19/christian-pastor-atheists-debates/#ixzz1bZHCY3Z)
[12] YouTube, Richard Dawkins Prefers "Unintelligent" debates with Bill O'Reill
[13] Reasonable Faith, Press Release, British Humanists Take to the Bunkers Against Reasonable Faith's Dr. William Lane Craig, (Tonybee, Grayling, Peter Atkins, Peter Millican, Manchester, Birmingham, Oxford) (http://www.pr.com/press-release/348093)
[14] YouTube, Richard Dawkins Suffers from Projection while Evading William Lane Craig [mirror]
[15] Guardian, Richard Dawkins's refusal to debate is cynical and anti-intellectualist, 
[16] The Main Argument of the God Delusion Refuted
RICHARD DAWKINS THE GOD DELUSION RESPONSE BY WILLIAM LANE CRAIG
[17] Psalm 14.1b

37 comments:

  1. Rick, are you not tired of repeating the same arguments other and other again even if they were rebutted? Maybe you could just stop posting new articles for a few minutes and try to absorb what was told to you.

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  2. Of if you do intend to continue over and over, keep them short. You do have some trouble with keeping up with long posts

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  3. A: Rick, are you not tired of repeating the same arguments other and other again even if they were rebutted?

    R: I see you have a sense of humor. This article isn't an argument, it's simply highlighting the Dawkinsisms that make for a good laugh. :)

    If you believe the article is an argument, that's OK.

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  4. To me it seems you are trying to use alleged flip-flops and misquotation as an argument against atheism. But when someone confronts you about them, they are usually being ignored or being pressed on a completely unrelated topic.

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  5. A: To me it seems you are trying to use alleged flip-flops and misquotation as an argument against atheism.

    R: Flip-flops are entertaining and revealing. They show whether or not a person is sincerely interested in truth. That being said, however, they aren't proof of anything. I believe syllogisms and propositions are more effective as arguments in cases where they can be applied.

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  6. Flip-flops do show the degree of sincerity of your opponent. I do agree here. However, you never managed to prove any of them. You are just taking two quotes out of context and refuse to listen to any criticism.

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  7. And I did forget to mention that even if flip-flops do not prove anything, they can be used for ad hominem attacks. And you are constantly invoking those flip-flops, instead of clarifying the stance of your opponent. Which does make the impression that you have nothing else to offer.

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  8. Anonymous,

    I'm not sure how the following can be considered "a quote taken out of context" because it's an entire paragraph. :)

    Dawkins: "If there are debates between two intelligent people, they are conducted effectively. But if they're conducted between an intelligent and educated person on the one hand and Bill O'Reilly on the other, they're probably not. Perhaps have more intelligent people as interviewers rather than people like Bill O'Reilly for a start. That wouldn't be great for ratings I suppose, but perhaps we should become less influenced by ratings."

    R: This is a basic summary of what Dawkins is saying:

    Debates with Bill O'Reilly would be ineffective because O'Reilly isn't very intelligent. The mainstream media system is based on ratings but we shouldn't be influenced by ratings and support the system.

    Can you tell me what specific idea has been taken out of context?

    Instead of honoring his commitment to intelligent debate and not selling out to the system, Dawkins goes on to debate O'Relly, apparently so Dawkins can promote his new book.

    That is a flip-flop.

    If you can point out to me where he has been misconstrued, I would love to see it. Please, show me. :)

    I don't "refuse to listen to any criticism" at all. Please, share your ideas. Making blanket statements, however, such as "you never do this..." is a bit immature. If you want to appear credible, you should point out specific errors.

    A: "And you are constantly invoking those flip-flops..."

    R: I find them quite humorous, coming from a man who claims to be the spring of wisdom for atheism.

    I have an idea for you, Anonymous. Listen to all the audio and interviews of William Lane Craig and point out where his flip-flops.

    Or read through all of my articles and point out where I flip flop.

    You are quite welcome to. :)

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  9. Are you not tired of constantly looking for new quotes which can be considered flip-flops? Personally I am starting to get fed up. Each time I present sensible arguments, you ignore them and without any apologies move on to a next "flip-flop". Not to mention the ad hominem attacks. So before we start a debate, answer my question honestly: do you intend to seriously discuss the issue at hand or do you just plan to wallow in demagogic illusions?

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  10. If you need specific examples, where you ignored criticism against the use of flip-flops:

    1) Arguments against Havok s "flip-flop" in your article s discussion "Proof moral relativism is false"

    2) Dawkin s "flip-flop" in your article "A moral argument as proof of God s existence"

    3) Dawkin s "flip-flop" about a Darwinian society being a fascist state and nazism, discussed a long time before in some of your article and again refereed to in the discussion of the article "Proof moral relativism is false"

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  11. Anonymous,

    A: Are you not tired of constantly looking for new quotes which can be considered flip-flops?

    R: I don't actually have to look very hard for them. I just read the news about high-profile atheist philosophers and it's more obvious than not. It may have something to do with the illogical nature of atheism as a belief.

    Did you ever notice any find flip-flops in William Lane Craig's writings debates?

    A: do you intend to seriously discuss the issue at hand or do you just plan to wallow in demagogic illusions?

    R: I'm not sure what issue you are referring to.

    A: If you need specific examples, where you ignored criticism against the use of flip-flops:

    R: If you look back, I didn't ignore criticisms, I explained why each case is definitely a flip -flop. Instead of acknowledging what I have written, you pretend that I did not write anything.

    This brief exchange is a case in point. I just gave you a paragraph of Dawkins' speech and I asked you,

    "Can you tell me what specific idea has been taken out of context?"

    Did you answer my question? No!

    In the previous article I also asked you the same question, twice, and you still haven't answered it!

    "Which of the two positions did Dawkins not make, in your opinion:

    2005: "A Darwinian State would be a Fascist state."

    2008: Stating its "a major outrage" to suggest a Darwinian State would be a Fascist state."

    (Please try and focus here. If he did make these statements - he flip-flopped)

    (http://templestream.blogspot.com/2011/10/proof-moral-relativism-is-false.html)

    You didn't answer my question, but changed the subject. (October 23, 2011 2:01)

    If you address my questions, instead of changing the subject, it may help you.

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  12. H:Did you ever notice any find flip-flops in William Lane Craig's writings debates?

    I am sorry, Rick. But I do not intend to derail from the discussion this time. For now I am only going to discuss the "flip-flops" from the past.

    R: If you look back, I didn't ignore criticisms, I explained why each case is definitely a flip -flop. Instead of acknowledging what I have written, you pretend that I did not write anything.

    Yes, you did explain why each case is a flip-flop according to you. However, you ignored my and Havok s objections to your explanation. So let us start with the Dawkins and his Darwinian state "flip-flop"

    H:2008: Stating its "a major outrage" to suggest a Darwinian State would be a Fascist state."

    This is a MISQUOTATION. "People who have seen the movie (Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed) say it also suggests that there is a link between the theory of evolution and ideas like NAZISM, something Dr. Dawkins called 'a major outrage.'"

    How am I changing the subject? I am speaking about the difference between Fascism and Nazism, which seem to be identical to you, but not to me and Dawkins.

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  13. Anonymous,

    You wrote,

    "This is a MISQUOTATION. "People who have seen the movie (Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed) say it also suggests that there is a link between the theory of evolution and ideas like NAZISM, something Dr. Dawkins called 'a major outrage.'"

    That is not my quotation :) That is the New York Times! Look at the bottom of the 7th paragraph in this NY Times article, at the link from my article on Relativism:

    [4] NY Times, No Admission for Evolutionary Biologist at Creationist Film

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/21/science/21expelledw.html?ref=science

    I you disagree with the NY times, that's very interesting because most relatiists and atheists believe it is one of the most reliable news sources in the world. :)

    Rick

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  14. Rick... You have distorted the original information in the NY Times. Are you truly not seeing the difference between your claim and the info presented in the journal? Where did you found the word "FASCIST STATE" in the article?

    Your claim - "2008: Stating its "a major outrage" to suggest a Darwinian State would be a FASCIST state."

    NY Times article claim - Dawkins was "outraged" of a possible link between NAZISM and the theory of evolution.

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  15. To make it short, please provide the source of your claim that Dawkins was outraged that a Darwinian State would be a Fascist state, since the NY Times article was talking about a different system of government (Nazism)

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  16. Anonymous,

    A: "...please provide the source of your claim that Dawkins was outraged that a Darwinian State would be a Fascist state."

    R: Apparently, you have a problem associating Nazi Germany with Fascism.

    1. Dawkins stated a Darwinian State would naturally be a Fascist state.

    2. Yet Dawkins was outraged that Darwinism was associated with Nazi Fascism.

    If Nazi Germany is not an accepted example of Fascim, then there would be a chance you have a point. However, Nazi Germany is typically associated with Fascim. It seems you are grasping at straws.

    I added the following line to the article to make that connection (Most people associate Fasicm with Nazi Germany)

    "According to The New York Times, "People who have seen the movie (Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed) say it also suggests that there is a link between the theory of evolution and ideas like Nazism, something Dr. Dawkins called 'a major outrage.'"[4] Why does Dawkins declare it is "a major outrage" to correlate Darwinism and Fascist Nazi Germany, when he himself stated a Darwinian State would be a Fascist state? Most people associate Fasicm with Nazi Germany."

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  17. If you believe there are "good" examples of Fascism in history, please name a few___________________________________________________.

    If you can't supply good answers to those questions, then your point is a moot one because Dawkins could not have been refering to any positive alternative Fascist state. Most people agree Fascism in general is undesireable. You seem to be suggesting that there is desireable Fascism. What might that be?

    Such as it is, Nazi Germany and Fascism are so closely associated, authors frequently use the terms interchangeably:

    "All propaganda devices culminate in this one. Not to get on the German *fascist* band wagon is the gravest heresy, tantamount to treason. This largely accounts for reports of nearly 100 percent "Yes" votes on all *Nazi* plebiscites." (emphasis mine) http://www.maebrussell.com/Articles%20and%20Notes/German%20Propaganda.html

    "Most people tend to equate fascism with Hitler and Nazi Germany, and consequently equate fascism with evil, racist, barbaric, capable of executing the Holocaust, and bent on World domination."
    http://jimmysinsights.com/communism/what-is-fascism/

    If you don't believe Nazi Germany is a prime example of Fascism, maybe you should read the rest of these quotes:

    "The best example of Fascism was Nazi Germany."
    http://www.importanceofphilosophy.com/Bloody_Fascism.html

    "... The most important new fascist regime was Nazi Germany"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

    "It is true that the foremost representatives of fascism have been removed from power, but the foundations of their ideology (Darwinism, the love of violence and racism) still survive. For that reason, the death of Hitler or Mussolini did not mean the death of fascism."

    Fascism: The Bloody Ideology of Darwinism
    http://www.harunyahya.com/fascism8.php

    "Nazi Germany was as their chief enemy the mightiest and best-known fascist state."
    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Fascism/Fascism_Wikipedia.html

    "The government of Nazi Germany was a fascist, totalitarian state."
    http://remember.org/guide/Facts.root.nazi.html

    However fascists see ‘normal’ political life as ‘cold, dry and lifeless’ and believe that (in the words of Henry Bergson) living creatures have a life force that must be expressed. This emphasis on emotion can be seen to have occurred in fascist regimes, for example in Nazi Germany Hitler was famous for his hugely passionate speeches that appealed strongly to the emotions of the people.

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Revision:%22Fascism_is_nothing_more_than_an_extreme_form_of_Nationalism%22_รข€“_discuss

    Walter Laqueur wrote Nazi Germany was the epitome of state power. (Fascism: Past, Present, Future, Page 57)
    http://books.google.com/books/about/Fascism.html?id=fWggQTqioXcC

    Of course, looking back at history, most people see Nazi Germany – a then- fascist country – and then define fascism in those terms.
    http://www.uwmpost.com/2008/02/18/op-ed-the-road-to-fascism/

    "Ideologically fascism and Nazism reject the most important aspects of Marxist theory." ...http://www.nazism.net/about/relation_to_other_concepts/

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  18. R: Yet Dawkins was outraged that Darwinism was associated with Nazi Fascism.

    At last we are getting somewhere. But did we really have to make that huge detour just to come back to my initial rebuttal?

    R:Such as it is, Nazi Germany and Fascism are so closely associated, authors frequently use the terms interchangeably

    As I told you before, amateurs tend not to understand the difference between Nazism and Fascism. Look for a good text-book on political science. Putting them at the same footing would be like putting at the same footing Islam and Christianity.

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  19. If you need a practical example - try to compare Mussolini s Italy and Hitler s Germany.

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  20. P.S. And Dawkins nor me do not consider Fascism desirable even if it does provide some advantages. But it is still extremely different from Nazism.

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  21. A: "But it (Fascism) is still extremely different from Nazism."

    R: I admit I could have been more detailed in outlining the relationship between Fascism and Nazism, but I believe that what you are proposing is invalid, that there is no connection between Fascism and Nazism.

    A: "If you need a practical example - try to compare Mussolini s Italy and Hitler s Germany."

    R: OK, let's compare these leaders and countries. According to a book published November 2009, "Secret Mussolini," both leaders were in favor of a Jewsih genocide and motivated by it. According to the published book, "Benito Mussolini was a fierce anti-Semite, who proudly said that his hatred for Jews preceded Adolf Hitler's and who vowed to "destroy them all," according to previously unpublished diaries by the Fascist dictator's longtime mistress."

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-11-29/news/17180223_1_fascist-dictator-mussolini-s-fascist-fascism

    This news was from the end of 2009, so you may not have been aware of it. If Mussolini hated Jews and wanted to "destroy them all" then the main difference between Hitler and Mussolini is that Hitler had the technology and resources to actually build the gas chambers and Mussolini didn't.

    1) Nazism is defined as a form of Fascism emphasizing racism: "It is a unique variety of fascism that incorporates biological racism and antisemitism."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazism

    2) History records that Mussolini was outwardly a Fascist and personally "a fierce anti-Semite."

    Conclusion: Therefore, Mussolini was personally a Nazi Fascist.

    Now, consider life in these two countries...

    "Life in Mussolini's Italy was little different from other dictatorships which existed between 1918 and 1939...Though they were probably less feared than Hitler’s SS, the Blackshirts did maintain an iron rule in Italy. One favoured way of making people conform was to tie a ‘troublemaker’ to a tree, force a pint or two of castor oil down the victim’s throat and force him to eat a live toad/frog etc. This punishment was enough to ensure people kept their thoughts to themselves."

    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/life_in_fascist_italy.htm

    So the root attitudes of the leaders were basically the same and the cultural/political effect was very similar. The main difference was that there was actually less killing in Italy. But this could have been due to that fact they had less resources.

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  22. R: OK, let's compare these leaders and countries. According to a book published November 2009, "Secret Mussolini," both leaders were in favor of a Jewsih genocide and motivated by it.

    Let us limit ourselves to facts without the influence of fiction and propaganda. Italy had no ghettos, no concentration camps and the Jews had the same rights as other citizens (just like in Spain, another Fascist country at the time).

    The oppression of Jews and sexual minorities began after Italy was turned into a satellite state by Hitler and Mussolini was forced to become a Nazi.

    R:"It is a unique variety of fascism that incorporates biological racism and antisemitism."

    The key word would be UNIQUE. Just the same way as Islam and Christianity are UNIQUE varieties of the Abrahamic religion. The Italian regime did not incorporate biological racism and antisemitism, therefore it was not Nazism.

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  23. R:But this could have been due to that fact they had less resources.

    You would be surprised to learn how little resources one needs to accomplish genocide. Gas Chambers and other "utilities" are incredibly cheap. Even so, the Japanese conducted mass murder operations without those gadgets.

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  24. And please, do pay attention to the fact that the black shirts would force a dissident to swallow a frog while the gestapo would send the dissident to a death camp. I hope you do see the difference.

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  25. A: Italy had no ghettos, no concentration camps and the Jews had the same rights as other citizens (just like in Spain, another Fascist country at the time).

    R: History says otherwise:

    "Over 3,000 were disposed in crematoria in a Fascist concentration camp in Italy...It is incredibly unusual that few have ever heard of this mysterious death camp where thousands were killed before being incinerated in ovens. The post-war Italians have done an excellent job in deflecting blame for these killings on a regime of only partial German occupation, and have done very little to commemorate, subsidize, or acknowledge the events.... Ironically, the first director of the death camp and a main administrator of the Warsaw ghetto, Odilo Lotario, was an ethnic Slovene himself.

    With the Holocaust now fully in operation and the more radical Germans now under indirect control of half of Italy, the previous Italian Antisemitic laws were bolstered dramatically. The majority of Italy's northern Jews lived in the port city of Trieste to the far northeast. Immediately, the Italian Salo Republic under Mussolini, and with great German and Croatian pressure, began full-scale deportation of the country's ethnic, social, and political "undesirables." Trieste was officially part of the German dominion, but ostensibly in joint administration with the Italians. Most of these were shipped for compulsory labor and imprisonment to the General Government in German-occupied Poland in concentration camps like Auschwitz and Birkenau. Others, especially Slovenes and Communists, were sent to Croatia, where the Fascist regime of Ante Pavelic inflicted some of the war's most brutal genocides. Within the Salo Republic, the Italians, with German pressure and minority volunteers, built Italy's first and only death camp, Risiera di San Sabba. The Italian Social Republic fell with the Third Reich in 1945."

    http://euroheritage.net/mussolinideathcamp.shtml

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  26. A: The Italian regime did not incorporate biological racism and antisemitism, therefore it was not Nazism.

    R: Did you catch the quote by James Mayfield in my previous comment:

    "With the Holocaust now fully in operation and the more radical Germans now under indirect control of half of Italy, the previous Italian Antisemitic laws were bolstered dramatically."

    Do you see it? "The previous Italian anti-semetic laws were bolstered dramatically."

    http://euroheritage.net/mussolinideathcamp.shtml

    A: The key word would be UNIQUE. Just the same way as Islam and Christianity are UNIQUE varieties of the Abrahamic religion.

    R: There is no such thing as "The Abrahamic religion."

    A more appropriate metaphor would be "Methodism is a unique variety of Christianity."

    A: And please, do pay attention to the fact that the black shirts would force a dissident to swallow a frog while the gestapo would send the dissident to a death camp.

    R: In partially occupied Italy, logic says many Italians were doing the dirty work.

    ReplyDelete
  27. R:Do you see it? "The previous Italian anti-semetic laws were bolstered dramatically."

    The antisemetic laws were pushed because Hitler pressed for them during the war. Italy started to become a satellite state before the official occupation. Compare the situation before Rome entered the war.

    If Italy does not suit your taste, then let us take Spain, with the longest Fascist regime in power and where the German influence was small.

    R: There is no such thing as "The Abrahamic religion."

    The term exists and is widely used. Google it if you do not trust me.

    R: In partially occupied Italy, logic says many Italians were doing the dirty work.

    This does not make your point in any way. Partially occupied Italy fails as an example, since the regime was officially turned into a Nazi one and collaborationism is a widespread phenomena is this case.

    ReplyDelete
  28. P.S. I hope you understand, that by "partially occupied" Italy, scholars mean the Northern part of the country, controlled by Germany. The other part was Southern Italy controlled by the allies. It means that Italy at the time was fully occupied and had no sovereignty.

    ReplyDelete
  29. A: The antisemetic laws were pushed because Hitler pressed for them during the war.

    R: It doesn't seem that way. The diaries document Mussolini was an adamant anti-semite, as I've pointed out (October 25, 2011 5:41 AM)

    Historians show that Mussolini began deporting Italian Jews to death camps even before the 1939 political alliance with Germany:

    "Following Hitler's lead, the Italian fascist government passes antisemitic laws discriminating against Jews in all sectors of public and private life and preparing the way for the deportation of thousands of Italian Jews to German death camps during the Second World War. Almost 7,000 Italian Jews will be deported. Of these, 5,910 will be killed."

    http://www.moreorless.au.com/killers/mussolini.html

    According to Mussolini's own writings in 'The Doctrine of Fascism' he writes that the actions of a fascist state should ultimately be based on the decision of one man, the totalitarian leader:

    "Fascism is ... opposed to that form of democracy which equates a nation to the majority, lowering it to the level of the largest number; but it is the purest form of democracy if the nation be considered as it should be from the point of view of quality rather than quantity, as an idea, ... expressing itself in a people as the conscience and will of the few, if not, indeed, of one ...

    If Mussolini believed in anti-semitism and Hitler believed in anti-semitism, no matter who was considered "the one" in authority, they were both in agreement on anti-semitism. Nowhere does History imply Hitler forced anti-semitism on Mussolini. History implies the opposite.

    ReplyDelete
  30. A: If Italy does not suit your taste, then let us take Spain

    R: Italy, your example, suits my taste fine, and proves my point, that Nazism is a subset of Fascism and Mussolini's goals were similar to Hitler's.

    Nazism is defined as a form of Fascism emphasizing racism: "It is a unique variety of fascism that incorporates biological racism and antisemitism."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazism

    It seems Mussolini's Fascism was, in fact, Nazi Fascism, by his own will. The fact that he was a Nazi at heart and in his actions and yet simply called a Fascist underscores my point.

    A: P.S. I hope you understand, that by "partially occupied" Italy, scholars mean the Northern part of the country, controlled by Germany. The other part was Southern Italy controlled by the allies. It means that Italy at the time was fully occupied and had no sovereignty.

    R; You seem to have the false impression that the Italians were nothing but victims and there was no willingness to be joined with the Nazi ideology.

    The joining of Germany and Italy was in accordance with Mussolini's will. Mussolini remained loyal to Hitler until hanged:

    A political and military alliance between Germany and Italy occurred May 22, 1939, signed by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini on May 22, 1939. It formalized the 1936 Rome-Berlin Axis agreement, linking the two countries. It was called the PAct of Steel.

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/564710/Pact-of-Steel

    Germany sent troops provide assistance to Italy during their campaign in Italy, Greece, and the Balkans. When the Allies began to win in Africa, the Italian people began to grow tired of the war. In July 1943, during the fighting in Sicily, the Italians over-threw Mussolini's rule and voted him out of office. Hitler saw this as treachery and began to take over the Italian Army. Many men were forced to serve the Germans or be sent to concentration camps. Hitler needed to keep the Allies tied down in fighting and out of Germany. There were still Fascists in the Italian Government and the Italian Army that willingly fought alongside of the Germans and under the authority of Mussolini. It wasn't until after 8 Sept 1943, the Germans became an official occupation force in Italy.

    A: The term ("The Abrahamic religion") exists and is widely used. Google it if you do not trust me.

    R: Yes, Google it and you will usually see Abrahamic Religions, with an "s' The only thing Islam and Christianity have in common is the theistic concept of a personal God and some aspects of the Old Testament.

    You seem to like this metaphor, but your example of Mussolini's Italy as a unique and different form of Fascism from Hitler's didn't go over very well. :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. R: It doesn't seem that way. The diaries document Mussolini was an adamant anti-semite, as I've pointed out (October 25, 2011 5:41 AM)

    The diaries are your only source as far as I know (and it is not a very reliable one). Mussolini himself declared that the Italian Jews "should remain undisturbed". He even had Jews as members of his party. And prior to 1938 no laws were promoted against the Jews even if he was in power for almost two decades by then.

    Conclusion - Mussolini was not an antisemite

    R:Historians show that Mussolini began deporting Italian Jews to death camps even before the 1939 political alliance with Germany:

    First of all, he did not start to deport anyone. He only passed a law which limited the number of professions for Jews and which stripped them from Italian citizenship. And that law had a huge number of loopholes. Thanks to that 80% of the Italian Jews survived until the end of the war.

    Yes, I did a mistake and a law was adopted in 1938 to strengthen ties with Berlin. But it just proves that the German influence was that high.

    R:Nowhere does History imply Hitler forced anti-semitism on Mussolini.

    Mussolini called the laws “a showy but cheap token payment” to his Axis partners. Does that sort of evidence suits you?

    ReplyDelete
  32. R: Italy, your example, suits my taste fine, and proves my point.

    I am just a little tired with trying to prove you the obvious. Here is the most common view on the topic:

    "While most were characterized
    by intense nationalism, rabid anti-Communism, and militarist cults-of-personality,
    antisemitism was hardly common to all. In the view of Mussolini and many of his
    henchmen, the Jewish Question of German fascism was, at best, a waste of time — if not
    wholly unworthy of civilized people like the Italians."

    http://weber.ucsd.edu/~ejhollan/Haaretz%20-%20Ital%20fascism%20-%20English.PDF

    R:Nazism is defined as a form of Fascism emphasizing racism: "It is a unique variety of fascism that incorporates biological racism and antisemitism.

    Again, the key word would be UNIQUE. Can you use logic here? If it is a unique form then there should be a general form.

    R; You seem to have the false impression that the Italians were nothing but victims.

    No, I do not think they were victims. Mussolini and company were just greedy conquerers who chose the wrong camp.

    R: Yes, Google it and you will usually see Abrahamic Religions, with an "s'.

    Please explain me why it is impossible to use the term in single form. And even if you disagree with the analogy, can you not find one of your own? On second thought, scrap all of that. It is mostly irrelevant to the discussion.

    ReplyDelete
  33. R:But your example of Mussolini's Italy as a unique and different form of Fascism from Hitler's didn't go over very well. :)

    Mussolini s Italy is not a unique and different form of Fascism. It is the original, general one.

    ReplyDelete
  34. A: The diaries are your only source as far as I know (and it is not a very reliable one).

    The diary is very specific about dates and places. It's highly unlikely it is made up:

    W"hile on a boating trip on August 4, 1938, Mussolini talked about the German dictator's new anti-Semitic laws with his mistress, saying "I've been racist since 1921," according to AFP. "I don't know how they can think that I'm imitating Hitler, he wasn't born yet..."

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/mussolini-i-ll-build-an-island-and-put-all-the-jews-there-1.4059


    A: Mussolini himself declared that the Italian Jews "should remain undisturbed".

    R: Please show the link, I'd like to read about it...

    A: And prior to 1938 no laws were promoted against the Jews even if he was in power for almost two decades by then.

    R: For some reason, the diaries show Mussolini said he became a racist in 1921. It's not clear why. But that doesn't mean a prime minister would immediately act out on beliefs. A leader interested in such a thing wouldn't try to make drastic changes or there might be a revolt. but racism against Jews isn't the only kind of racism. The Italian Fascist general Rudolfo Graziani, "the butcher of Libya", employed scorched earth tactics and concentration camps back in 1926, 4 years after Mussolini became prime minister.

    A: First of all, he did not start to deport anyone. He only passed a law which limited the number of professions for Jews and which stripped them from Italian citizenship.

    R: Yes, but as noted, there were already concentration camps in Libya.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/berlusconi-provokes-outcry-with-defence-of-mussolini-579629.html

    No respect of human laws: Grasiani agreed to go to Libya if and only if Mosolini let him do the job without any consideration or respect for rules and laws in Italy or in the World and Mosolini agreed immediately. He planned his murderous attack on the Libyans, all Libyans according to Mosoliny's Motto "If you are not with me, you are against me!" which means the only way to control the country is by killing almost half of its population and the Italians did cause the death of half of Libya's men, women, elderly and childern, directly through public hangings and shootings and indirectly (hunger, illness and horror) for the sake of one thing: showing the world that they have the power to invade and capture colonies just like the other powers in the world.

    http://www.freewebs.com/islamic-site/warrior/omar.html


    So here it looks like Fascist Italy performed genocide on Libyans just to make a point. Any who survived lived in death camps that were called concentration camps.

    ReplyDelete
  35. The laws you mention were passed in 1938:

    1938: Widespread persecution of Italian Jews begins after Mussolini regime issues racial laws.

    1940: Mussolini joins war in alliance with Hitler and orders the Fascist army to ransack Jewish ghettoes.

    1943: German troops occupy northern and central Italy. Almost 7,000 Jews are deported, 5,910 of whom are killed.

    After 1943: "Final solution" to exterminate the Jews of Europe is applied in Italy.

    1945: Mussolini is executed with other Fascist leaders. Jews are reinstated as first-class citizens.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/berlusconi-provokes-outcry-with-defence-of-mussolini-579629.html

    A: Conclusion - Mussolini was not an antisemite

    R: Believe what you want to.

    A: Mussolini called the laws “a showy but cheap token payment” to his Axis partners. Does that sort of evidence suits you?

    R: No, "Cheap token payment" means it was easy to do - no problem.

    A: Yes, Google it and you will usually see Abrahamic Religions, with an "s'.

    Please explain me why it is impossible to use the term in single form.

    R: Because Abraham was a person not a religion. He is called the "Father of faith" simply because he believed God and followed God. That's the only thing these three theist religions have in common.

    A: Mussolini's Italy is not a unique and different form of Fascism. It is the original, general one.

    R: So Fascism usually includes genocide and atrocious concentration death camps as in Libya, and the anti-Semitic racism described in the diaries.

    ReplyDelete
  36. R:The diary is very specific about dates and places. It's highly unlikely it is made up

    It is not about them being made up. It is about them being written by a bitter lover.

    R: Please show the link, I'd like to read about it...

    Please, pay more attention to the links I provide. It is tiring to copy-paste them.

    http://weber.ucsd.edu/~ejhollan/Haaretz%20-%20Ital%20fascism%20-%20English.PDF

    R: For some reason, the diaries show Mussolini said he became a racist in 1921. It's not clear why. But that doesn't mean a prime minister would immediately act out on beliefs... The Italian Fascist general Rudolfo Graziani, "the butcher of Libya", employed scorched earth tactics and concentration camps back in 1926, 4 years after Mussolini became prime minister.

    1) Again, the diaries are your only source, which contradicts other numerous ones and logic itself.

    2) 16 years for a dictator with ABSOLUTE power is enough to at least do something. However, he did not even move his finger in that direction.

    3) About Graciani - you are deriving from the topic again. Scorched earth tactics and concentration camps were a common tactic for the military at that time. Britain, America and Poland used them.

    R: No, "Cheap token payment" means it was easy to do - no problem.

    So, Rick... How does it feel to be flip-flopping? Was it so hard to do that Mussolini could not even move a finger for 16 years or was it so easy, but he was not interested?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Let us gather all the arguments to determine whose position is the solid one...

    1) Despite being a dictator for 16 years with ABSOLUTE power. Mussolini did nothing to promote antisemitisme and never used it in his rhetoric.

    2) 80% of Italian Jews survived until the end of the war.

    3) The Racist Laws of 1938 were almost never applied.

    4) Many Jews from Europe fled to Italy. And even if Mussolini was aware of it, he did nothing.

    5) Mussolini had Jews as members of his party

    6) The majority of Fascist intellectuals never used antisemite rhetoric.

    7) Your only argument to counter all that is a bitter lover s account

    ReplyDelete

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