History Community ~ All Empires Homepage


This is the Archive on WORLD Historia, the old original forum.

 You cannot post here - you can only read.

 

Here is the link to the new forum:

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Forum LockedConfronting Militant Atheism

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <12345 8>
Author
Cezar View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 09-Nov-2005
Location: Romania
Status: Offline
Points: 1211
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2008 at 08:30
Chilbudios, the report in question is not a collection of lies, I never said that. The wrong part is that it only focuses on the bad things. One can select only the proper documents and elaborate a report that would present the Third Reich as being a good society.
And crimes were not commited in the name of atheism. You make a huge mistake if you think communism as equal to atheism. Actually the communist doctrine, ideology, propaganda, etc. was about giving power to the people. It was the top democratic concept. Religion was defined as an instrument to control the people by a few. Religion was then anticommunist. Communism needs no God, since humans, as individuals and as especially as society, are the center of the ideology. Therefore atheism goes hand in hand with communism. There are no extremist atheists, that's an invention. Priests, intellectuals (atheists among them) were killed by the communists not because their religion but because their oposition to the regime. And communists were also zapping eachother in the struggle for power. That kind of regime also promoted perverse individuals in some positions. These guys were useful for those in power because they could be used against opponents. So they allowed them to torture some people just to make them happy. That's horrible but it's not because atheism.
The goal of the socialist state was to reach the communist society. So indeed, the propaganda was using atheism as a key tool to set people off from religion. Yet, show me a piece of the propaganda where it is stated that churches should be razed or religious people should be killed. The religion was openly discouraged and certainly there were lots of sects that were declared illegal. And I do know of churches that have been razed to build blocks. Were people lived. And with decent costs. But unlike the myths you stick the churches were destroyed only if there was no possibility of avoiding that destruction. In my home town there were two churches and when the "systematisation" started, none of them was razed. A cemetary was moved and that's all. With no poltergeist results, the job was well done.
You want sources to confirm that the Church was functional during the communist regime in Romania? Since I lived and live here I don't need them, but do you think that for 42 years the Romanian Orthodox Church was asleep or what? Do you read only what you like about that time? Haven't you heard of the scandals related to the cooperations of the religious leaders with the Security? The Church was faring quite well during the communists, believe me. Only those who opposed the regime were stumped. Or as a result of conflicts. If two priests were to compete for a higher position the one with better connections in the Party would have won. Would you called him a millitant atheist?
Back to Top
Chilbudios View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar

Joined: 11-May-2006
Status: Offline
Points: 1899
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2008 at 09:33
Originally posted by SearchAndDestroy SearchAndDestroy wrote:

You can make a society SECULAR, and a doctrine can call for ending organized religion. But you can't make everyone athiest because thats in their mind. You can't force me into a believer like I can't force someone into becoming an athiest.
That's your opinion but there were regimes, organizations, etc. which attempted to force all people to hold the same belief(s). However, if you call for ending organized religion but you don't care that people are actually religious that will be a discriminatory and harmful action (there will still be people believing, only that they will not be allowed to express themselves).
 
Quote I think part of the problem between your arguement and mine is that our definition differs slightly. I view athiest meaning a definition of a person who don't have a belief in something supernatural, and nothing more then that. And I'd describe a political doctrine like Communism as pushing a secular idea or being secularly motivated. Why? Because I see no kinship with other athiest and don't think their should be a reason to group us. All of us have different ideas unless following a common doctrine, which Atheism doesn't have.
Actually I have used throughoutly the term "militant atheism" (in Communism it was called "scientific atheism"). All atheists have in common that belief you have just mentioned. A part of them believe that this belief is undoubtely right and all rational human beings must have it. And here the problems start.


Edited by Chilbudios - 15-Jan-2008 at 10:05
Back to Top
Chilbudios View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar

Joined: 11-May-2006
Status: Offline
Points: 1899
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2008 at 09:59
Quote Chilbudios, the report in question is not a collection of lies, I never said that. The wrong part is that it only focuses on the bad things. One can select only the proper documents and elaborate a report that would present the Third Reich as being a good society.
Cezar, what was good? That people were literate but indoctrinated? That the economy moved from agrarian to industrial but was falling apart (eating more than it produced)? And killing and torturing millions of people (it was accused of genocide) is an action which hardly can receive any justification.
 
Quote And crimes were not commited in the name of atheism.
There were episodes which were only about atheism and religious belief. You can say they were part of a larger plan of the Communist authorities but nothing can change there were crimes and abuses commited for the single reason their victims were not atheists.
 
Quote You make a huge mistake if you think communism as equal to atheism.
I've said at least twice, once to you, once to SearchAndDestroy that atheism is one of the values of Communism.
 
Quote Religion was defined as an instrument to control the people by a few.
No. What people get controlled by a hermit?
 
Quote There are no extremist atheists, that's an invention.
Sure, there was no Holocaust, no genocide in Rwanda, Elvis lives, etc.
 
Quote Priests, intellectuals (atheists among them) were killed by the communists not because their religion but because their oposition to the regime. And communists were also zapping eachother in the struggle for power.
Sure, the Communists killed many people, including Communists, including atheists. But what you fail to realize is that among their deeds the Communists launched campains against the religious, against the non-atheists, where the victims fell simply for their belief. I repeat, I provided scholarly sources to back this up. Without alternative sources, you'll be simply in denial.
 
Quote And I do know of churches that have been razed to build blocks. Were people lived. And with decent costs.
How many people lived in People's House (largest administrative building in Europe, second largest administrative building in the world) for which 2 neighbourhoods where demolished, with some ~20 churches/synagogues and some tens of thousands of homes? Spare me of the naivities of the Communist nostalgy! 
 
Quote Since I lived and live here I don't need them
And what's your competency in describing the Church as functional? I also lived that period, my grand-father was even a priest, but I am not bringing testimonies from my experience, I resume myself to scholarship.
 
Quote Haven't you heard of the scandals related to the cooperations of the religious leaders with the Security? 
You obviously haven't read neither the report, nor the link I provided, where the infiltration of the Church was one of the main objectives of their anti-religious campaign. What's more interesting that this proves the Church was not functional. It's so easy to have opinions, but it's so hard to have an argument.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by Chilbudios - 15-Jan-2008 at 10:01
Back to Top
Cezar View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 09-Nov-2005
Location: Romania
Status: Offline
Points: 1211
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2008 at 12:53
Originally posted by Chilbudios Chilbudios wrote:

Quote Chilbudios, the report in question is not a collection of lies, I never said that. The wrong part is that it only focuses on the bad things. One can select only the proper documents and elaborate a report that would present the Third Reich as being a good society.
Cezar, what was good? That people were literate but indoctrinated? That the economy moved from agrarian to industrial but was falling apart (eating more than it produced)? And killing and torturing millions of people (it was accused of genocide) is an action which hardly can receive any justification.
Indoctrination was by far not effective. It worked though and generated the political oligarchy. Education of the people is something bad?!? Free acces to education up to the highest levels? Sure, the party was entangled with every aspect of the life so any work must have been "wraped up" so that the authorities don't get sensitive. Like if other societies work otherwise.
Handling the economy was not a strong point of the communists, I agree with you. But what does that has to do with atheism, I don't know.
And I don't remind to have said that genocide is justified. Do you?
Quote
Quote And crimes were not commited in the name of atheism.
There were episodes which were only about atheism and religious belief. You can say they were part of a larger plan of the Communist authorities but nothing can change there were crimes and abuses commited for the single reason their victims were not atheists.
Here we go again. You do have an obsession. Those victims were not non-atheists they were anti communists, enemy of the state, etc. There is no single case in which the religion all by itself is the reason for a persecution. Only associated with so called "anti-communist" activities. So indeed, a person who declares that he believes and thus he cannot accept communism would certainly be slammed. And those who just say openly that they believe will be persecuted, too. If one "behaves" on the other hand, he has no trouble from the authorities. I went to church many times as a child, in my grandparents village. I never went in my hometown. My parents, both christians, were also teachers. They were not supposed to be seen in a church. So they went to church, but not at home.
Quote  
Quote You make a huge mistake if you think communism as equal to atheism.
I've said at least twice, once to you, once to SearchAndDestroy that atheism is one of the values of Communism.
But you keep on mistaking one for another.[/quote]
 
Quote Religion was defined as an instrument to control the people by a few.
No. What people get controlled by a hermit?[/quote] Don't ask silly questions. You know what religion is in communist ideology, don't you? And, many concur on this oppinion. Religion is indeed a mass handling tool.
Quote  
Quote There are no extremist atheists, that's an invention.
Sure, there was no Holocaust, no genocide in Rwanda, Elvis lives, etc.
Bring a documented example of atheist extremism. The Holocaust has more to do with religion than with atheism. As for Rwanda and Elvis, maybe you know something I don't
Quote  
Quote Priests, intellectuals (atheists among them) were killed by the communists not because their religion but because their oposition to the regime. And communists were also zapping eachother in the struggle for power.
Sure, the Communists killed many people, including Communists, including atheists. But what you fail to realize is that among their deeds the Communists launched campains against the religious, against the non-atheists, where the victims fell simply for their belief. I repeat, I provided scholarly sources to back this up. Without alternative sources, you'll be simply in denial.
Then I'm living in denial. Your "scholarly sources" are contested. The report you called in is, I repeat, a worthy document. But it's not complete. It is focused only on retrieving data regarding "the dark side". It has its value, its a good thing but it's not a representation of what life was in Romania by then. And, unfortunately, it is designed to be used for propaganda, so inherently, I look upon only trying to avoid extremes. And, BTW, what campaign was launched against non-atheists?
Quote  
Quote And I do know of churches that have been razed to build blocks. Were people lived. And with decent costs.
How many people lived in People's House (largest administrative building in Europe, second largest administrative building in the world) for which 2 neighbourhoods where demolished, with some ~20 churches/synagogues and some tens of thousands of homes? Spare me of the naivities of the Communist nostalgy! 
Spare yourself of it. I'm not nostalgic, I hated those times. But a fact is a fact. There were more houses, decent ones ane affordable, built for people in those times. I'm living the hardship of nowadays when buying a two room minuscule apartment is 60000 euro. Your example is an exception. And indeed it's a megalomaniac dream(nightmare) but the fact is that building places to live was something those nasty communists/atheists were doing.
Quote  
Quote Since I lived and live here I don't need them
And what's your competency in describing the Church as functional? I also lived that period, my grand-father was even a priest, but I am not bringing testimonies from my experience, I resume myself to scholarship.
 
Quote Haven't you heard of the scandals related to the cooperations of the religious leaders with the Security? 
You obviously haven't read neither the report, nor the link I provided, where the infiltration of the Church was one of the main objectives of their anti-religious campaign. What's more interesting that this proves the Church was not functional. It's so easy to have opinions, but it's so hard to have an argument.
Actually it proves that the communists were right: The Church is a good mass handling tool. It worked fine and it still does its job. Especially when it comes to convince someone that personal testimony is worthless since sholarship says otherwise. Why do you fear atheists/atheism, Chilbudios? Maybe because they also provide scholarship.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
[/QUOTE]
Back to Top
SearchAndDestroy View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 15-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 2733
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SearchAndDestroy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2008 at 14:03
Quote That's your opinion but there were regimes, organizations, etc. which attempted to force all people to hold the same belief(s).
But I'm sure they were unseccessful. People want to believe in something usually if they had a belief before. Usually it's a common goal which all religions and organizations have. In the case of Communism, it'd be Christianity being replaced with the ideas and philosophies of Communisim. Not atheism because it's a definition of whether a person believes in a god or not, if anything they'd probably become agnostic.
Quote However, if you call for ending organized religion but you don't care that people are actually religious that will be a discriminatory and harmful action (there will still be people believing, only that they will not be allowed to express themselves).
I agree 100%. Thats pretty much what I said, or atleast tried to sayLOL. I'll try to word my sentences.
Quote Actually I have used throughoutly the term "militant atheism" (in Communism it was called "scientific atheism").
Despite what the Communist call it, I still disagree with it. I believe a person of Faith is a believer and a person without Faith in a god is a Atheist. Nothing more and nothing less. When a doctrine is added to these two catagories you can get a Christian for believers and if you want to stretch it then you can call Communism's Secular Politics and views atheistic in nature.
 
What I'm saying is is athiest are always bunched up in one catagory for political movements when most athiest don't even share a common view but do have a common definition which means one thing. To speak of Communism which puts forth the idea of a classless system and a front to Capitalism more then an attack on religion, and to say that represents athiest seems wrong to me. It's a political system that champions the idea of working for the working force and common good of the people, and getting rid of the that any is superior then anyone else. When you read up on communism at glance, you wouldn't think it had secular views. It's when you study that you find this out, and even then you learn that it could never get rid of Religion, even in public life. The Russian Orthadox Church always remained from what I understand in Communist Russia.
"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government." E.Abbey
Back to Top
Chilbudios View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar

Joined: 11-May-2006
Status: Offline
Points: 1899
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2008 at 14:15
Originally posted by Cezar Cezar wrote:

Indoctrination was by far not effective. It worked though and generated the political oligarchy. Education of the people is something bad?!? Free acces to education up to the highest levels? Sure, the party was entangled with every aspect of the life so any work must have been "wraped up" so that the authorities don't get sensitive. Like if other societies work otherwise.
Handling the economy was not a strong point of the communists, I agree with you. But what does that has to do with atheism, I don't know.
And I don't remind to have said that genocide is justified. Do you?
I was merely showing that whatever "goods" Communist regimes produced (you were complaining that report only focused on its "bad" deeds) it were only steps to greater "bads" and if we enlarge the perspective we notice that other contemporary regimes brought that "goods" anyway (e.g. literacy and free education), therefore there's absolutely nothing to value the Communist regimes for.
 
Quote Here we go again. You do have an obsession. Those victims were not non-atheists they were anti communists, enemy of the state, etc. There is no single case in which the religion all by itself is the reason for a persecution.
You're fantasizing. My "obsession" is fueled by scholarly sources which claim religion by itself was sometimes a source for persecution.  The sources I've brought clearly illustrate campaigns whose solely purpose was to fight against religion (not against the bourgeoise and other types of "enemies of the state").
 
Quote But you keep on mistaking one for another.
  Only a low level of understanding can make one conclude such a thing. Maybe you should spend more time understanding my points instead of rushing in denying them.
 
Quote Don't ask silly questions. You know what religion is in communist ideology, don't you? And, many concur on this oppinion. Religion is indeed a mass handling tool.
Many scholars of religion (as a Romanian you should have read Eliade) disagree with that. Religion can be a mass handling tool, but it's not by definition - there's a variety of religions and religious manifestations out there.
 
Quote Bring a documented example of atheist extremism. 
I've already brought several, some you ignored, some you dismissed it as "the wrong part is that it focuses on the bad things".
 
Quote Then I'm living in denial. Your "scholarly sources" are contested. The report you called in is, I repeat, a worthy document. But it's not complete. It is focused only on retrieving data regarding "the dark side". It has its value, its a good thing but it's not a representation of what life was in Romania by then. And, unfortunately, it is designed to be used for propaganda, so inherently, I look upon only trying to avoid extremes. And, BTW, what campaign was launched against non-atheists?
You speak of contested sources yet you have not other contestation but yours. You claim you avoid extremes yet you live in one. I've already mentioned campaigns, should I repeat it only because you stubbornly refused to read what I was writing?
 
Quote Spare yourself of it. I'm not nostalgic, I hated those times. But a fact is a fact. There were more houses, decent ones ane affordable, built for people in those times. I'm living the hardship of nowadays when buying a two room minuscule apartment is 60000 euro. Your example is an exception. And indeed it's a megalomaniac dream(nightmare) but the fact is that building places to live was something those nasty communists/atheists were doing.
I believe such a paragraph could be written by one who:
a) didn't live that epoch
b) was too little to rememember anything
c) has serious mental problems.
I honestly hope you're in case b). Especially in the late '70s and the '80s, those apartments were usually in some grayish neighbourhoods of blocks (no vegetation), with basements infested of rats, little space (which earned them the nickname of "matchboxes"), with no heat and warm water (especially in winter times), with electricity often lacking (living in an apartament in candlelight or with gas lamps is not a pleasure, believe me), and I'm not talking about the apartments from blocks dedicated to single persons, which usually consisted of one sordid room and some time the toilet was in the main hall of the building, one for each floor. Considering we had to pay for that instead of being paid for living in such conditions, there was nothing decent in that. Living in those conditions doesn't worth a single eurocent!
 
Quote Actually it proves that the communists were right: The Church is a good mass handling tool. It worked fine and it still does its job. Especially when it comes to convince someone that personal testimony is worthless since sholarship says otherwise. Why do you fear atheists/atheism, Chilbudios? Maybe because they also provide scholarship.
 I declared on some other thread that I'm no believer. Yet, for you atheism = grudge against religion (thus you're close to the category of militant atheism I was talking about), for me atheism is a philosophical stance which doesn't stop me to be balanced in opinions or even sympathetic towards religion (if and when it's worth).
Church might be a mass handling tool (though sometime a beneficial one, see the average village life, for instance), religion is not. And it did not the job, for instance, through confessions back then you could have a file which could have brought you at least troubles, if not torture, prison or assassination.
Your personal testimony is worthless mainly because you have no perspective. Your little hometown with two churches (which possibly you experienced it as a small kid) is hardly a ground for serious discussion. If you do not have proper scholarly materials I do not think you even know how the Church works as an institution or what was the relation between the Church and the Communist regime. So what's left to talk about?
 


Edited by Chilbudios - 15-Jan-2008 at 14:32
Back to Top
Chilbudios View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar

Joined: 11-May-2006
Status: Offline
Points: 1899
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2008 at 14:32
Originally posted by SearchAndDestroy SearchAndDestroy wrote:

But I'm sure they were unseccessful. People want to believe in something usually if they had a belief before. Usually it's a common goal which all religions and organizations have. In the case of Communism, it'd be Christianity being replaced with the ideas and philosophies of Communisim. Not atheism because it's a definition of whether a person believes in a god or not, if anything they'd probably become agnostic.
You're right, they were largely unsuccesful. That's the reason for why the Churches were infiltrated by agents, that's the reason for why in many parts of the Eastern Europe, after the fall of the Communist regimes, the religious extremism has risen. Communism didn't fight solely against Christianity but against all religions and philosophies it regarded incompatible. The atheist foundation of the Communist ideologies was estabilished by Marx himself and for many of his followers, the struggle to bring all the people to this atheistic mindset was characteristic. On the other hand, the pragmatical reason is that once you strip a person of his values you can easily teach him whatever doctrine you want.
 
Quote Despite what the Communist call it, I still disagree with it. I believe a person of Faith is a believer and a person without Faith in a god is a Atheist. Nothing more and nothing less. When a doctrine is added to these two catagories you can get a Christian for believers and if you want to stretch it then you can call Communism's Secular Politics and views atheistic in nature.
Terms like 'atheism' or 'military atheism' are still relatively widespread in describing this aggresive flavour of atheism. You can browse Google Books and note there were plenty of serious materials written on religion and atheism in the Communist USSR and its satelites. And not only in this context, for instance, Richard Dawkins, in his books characterizes himself as atheist and at the same time writes materials and expressed his wish in converting people to his belief. In one interview he even said he'd like the atheists to estabilish a political view of their own for the better of the world (or something like that, if I'll find that interview I'll give you the exact quote).
 
 


Edited by Chilbudios - 15-Jan-2008 at 14:35
Back to Top
SearchAndDestroy View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 15-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 2733
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SearchAndDestroy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jan-2008 at 14:51
Quote On the other hand, the pragmatical reason is that once you strip a person of his values you can easily teach him whatever doctrine you want.
Makes sense, brainwashing perople in the idea of your doctrine right? Changing one strong belief for another.
Quote And not only in this context, for instance, Richard Dawkins, in his books characterizes himself as atheist and at the same time writes materials and expressed his wish in converting people to his belief. In one interview he even said he'd like the atheists to estabilish a political view of their own for the better of the world (or something like that, if I'll find that interview I'll give you the exact quote).
I never liked that guy. He seems to be creating a doctrine then if he wants to start a group with a common view. And that group may fall under the catagory of athiest, but it won't represent us by large.
What I'm saying is that when I discuss Christianity, I don't talk of all believers, because they have different doctrines. Shamanism and Christianity are very different in most cases and the most they have incommon is that they share the view point of a supernatural being that oversees them. And in this case, one may have more supernatural beings. So you can't discuss them both.
 
Though I will admit I'm on a personal crusade to prove that athiest can't be catagorized in one group when it comes to point of views. I don't feel any kinship with other athiests. Their view points are there's and mine are mine. I honestly wish a new definition can be created to describe someone that doesn't believe in a supernatural being, because athiest have such a bad name now. As an example, in the US Athiests are looked on as the most dangerous of people. They are the smallest minority I believe and I'm sure most people have never met one and if they had, they probably never knew or would know.
"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government." E.Abbey
Back to Top
Cezar View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 09-Nov-2005
Location: Romania
Status: Offline
Points: 1211
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jan-2008 at 08:28
Chilbudios, maybe the value of the communist regimes was that they showed they are not functional. The fact remains that there were some social issues in Romania that were better handled in that regime. That doesn't make communism better it just makes the post communist regime bad.
Certainly, in some cases religion was the pretext of persecutions. But it wasn't a total war. Therefore the communist were not militant atheists. Off course, since one of their goals was to achieve "scientific atheism", they were constantly negating the religion. But they were communists not just atheists. If you wish, militant atheism is a piece of militant communism.
Eliade doesn't negate the fact that religion can be a tool. The fact that scholars view may differ is not the point I was making. I stated that communists defined religion as such so they were acting acordingly. Therefore their acts should be regarded as communist extremism not atheist extremism.
Chilbudios some is not all. There were indeed some dubious blocks, matcboxes as you called them but some not all. And maybe before stating something about my age you should have checked my profile, my birthday is public.
I like to consider myself an agnostic. My "grudge against religion" comes from the fact that religious institutions or structures, like the Romanian Orthodox Church depict themselves as innocent victims of persecutions from someone. As a state institution ROC should at least be decent enough and keep quiet about it. The victims or persecutions, members of the clergy should be praised not the whole structure.
The fact is that ROC was used by the party to maintain control over the people. It's not nice indeed, according to the declared role of the church, but it's a fact you to seem to be aware of. So the church can be used as mass handling tool. And in that stance it works.
I respect everyone in what they choose to believe or not. But I don't think that being passive when witnessing religion based attacks against freedom of mind is the proper attitude. I've read Richard Dawkins, his book was published at the end of 2007 here. It's interesting how the Romanian title sounds: "Himera credintei in Dumnezeu". You seem to not have forgotten Romanian so I guess you realize that it's quite different from the original. Anyway, I agree with him about some aspects and one is that passivity from the agnostics or atheists is not proper. Not active propaganda against religion, don't mistake me. I just won't stand quiet when confronted with militant religion.
 
*Almost forgot - for those who don't know Romanian - the retranslation of RD's book title: "The God's Faith Chimaera". Maybe Chilbudios would make  a better translation.
 
Back to Top
Chilbudios View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar

Joined: 11-May-2006
Status: Offline
Points: 1899
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jan-2008 at 16:52
Cezar, your age makes you no service, on the contrary. Your denial has little excuses outside your own array of problems which ultimately is rooted in you (like I've suggested in my previous reply to you).
You were saying (and insisting, though with less self-confidence: "There were indeed some dubious blocks [...] but some not all") about a decent life in Communist apartments and the "good" brought by Communists giving people places to live in. Let me give you few scholarly excerpts about such cases.
 
On systematization:

In 1988, Ceauşescu declared the programme of urban systematization will succesfully end in 1990. If by then the demolitions were performed rather in the Old Kingdom cities, generally with no urban infrastructure, in the phase from the late 1980 massive destructions started even in relatively well-conserved historical cities like  Sighişoara or Sibiu.
In the same speech, the president of Romania decreed the generalized and accelerated application of rural systematization, discussed since 1967 and legalized in 1974.
[...]
The final phase of this programme, presented in 1988, was designed in three stages running until 2000 (1990-1995-2000). The programme prescribed the radical change of the entire rural habitat, where still 48.1% of the population lived. In this last phase, Ceauşescu mentioned the destruction of 7-8,000 villages from the ~13,000 existent ones. The inhabitants of the destroyed villages should have been moved to the existent ones which in turn would have been rebuilt with blocks and collective buildings, thus the inhabited land area would have been minimal. Among these "new villages", 558 were designated to be transformed into "agro-industrial" centers. Several such centers and systematized villages were raised around Bucharest, in the Agrarian Sector Ilfov, where the operation started in 1985 and in Giurgiu district. In these areas, several settlements were razed from the map: Buda, Dimieni, Vlădiceasca, Ordoreanu, Coteni, Podul Ilfovului. Even according to the official press presenting them for a success, most new built apartments had no modern facitilies: no running water, no sewerage, the common toilets were in the yard, there was a single kitchen per floor. Actually the peasants forced to live in these buildings were constrained to much inferior living conditions compared to what they had before. Worse was that losing the houses and the economic independence they still had (land in use, stables, vegetable gardens, etc.), they lost their own identity: their ancestral environment and their traditional community.
(Vladimir Tismăneanu et al., Final Report, 2006, pp. 613-614, my translation)
 
On the living conditions in the apartments (especially in the '80s):
 
In 16 February 1987, a numerous group of students from Iaşi manifested against the lack of heat, electricity and potable water from student hostels. Tereza Culianu-Petrescu remembers that the protestermanifested: "We need light to study and water to wash ourselves!". (Vladimir Tismăneanu et al., Final Report, 2006, p. 371, n. 33, my translation)
 
the Party leadership and mainly Nicolae Ceauşescu decreed with serious consequences in the daily life of Romanian citizens: an artificial, state-organized poverty, the drastic reduction of the gas consumption and forcing the population to live in unbearable conditions, sometimes under 10 degrees Celsius. To paraphrase the title of an essay of the dissident writer Dorin Tudoran, Romania in those years was dominated by hunger, cold and fear. (Vladimir Tismăneanu et al., Final Report, 2006, p. 424, my translation)
 
but not only this report you don't like says it, let's check what others have to say about this:
 
new cuts in electricity and gas consumption norms were anounced in November 1987. In January 1988, when Ceauşescu turned seventy, Romania was dominated by malaise, anguish and deep frustration. (Vladimir Tismăneanu, Stalinism for All Seasons: A political history of Romanian Communism, 2003, p. 227)
 
A moment of epiphany during my fieldwork in the disastrous mid-1980s when Romania was about the last socialist country anyone would want to be in, led me to wonder at the root of the fascination. with the endnote That winter was an unusually cold one [...] heat was cut back in all apartment buildings, electricity was likewise curtailed [...] these policies made life in Romania fairly nasty. (Katherine Verdery, What was Socialism and what comes next?, 1996, p. 8)
 
Ceauşescu [...] destroyed individual privacy, keeping people busy with work and desperate hunts for food, clothing, and all the other basic necessities. Later he deprived Romanians of heat, electricity, and water. Orwell's narratives seem naive compared to what Romania endured. (Lidia Vianu, Censorship in Romania, 1998, p. VIII)
 
Toward the end of his regime, despite evident problems, including the shortage of raw materials, Ceauşescu stubbornly persisted with his centralized, heavy-industrial model. Romania's external debt was eliminated, with a concomitant increase in popular misery. During Ceauşescu last years food was rationed and cities regularly went without electricity and gas. (Bernard A. Cook, Europe Since 1945: An Encyclopedia, 2001, p. 657)
 
and what was left behind the Communist "standards of decent living":
 
While the West has been modernized rapidly and profoundly in the course of the last half-century, Communism has left  behind an unexpectedly large number of areas which have scarcely been touched by modernity, despite its intense industrialization programme (or perhaps precisely because of this programme, which resulted in an artificial industrial sector unable to bring the rest of the society along with it). [...] Outside the capital and a few large cities, hot water is a rarity in blocks of flats. (Lucian Boia, Romania: Borderland of Europe, 2001, p. 181)
 
I think someone should warn all these scholars that they should re-edit their works with a major correction: all Romania but Cezar's small home town was in misery.
 
Now on your other aberrant claims:
 
There were no social issues in Romania handled better by that regime for the simple reason that regime was quasi-indiferent to the plight of the people (it only attempted to avoid revolts, nothing more). The Romanian post-Communist regime is infinitely better. You were complaining about high prices for houses - how comes is so hard to find a house then in a large Romanian city today, especially in Bucharest? Do you know the basic principle of request and offer? That's why prices are high, Cezar, because people still buy. If you are poor, go to some isolated country side, with ~1-2,000 euro you can still get an adobe and some 1-2 hectares around it - a garden, a small orchard, a yard, stables, etc.
 
Communists were militant atheists, period. Your sophisms only betray dogmatism. I've already provided sources (the book of mrs. Knox, the Final Report) stating it as clearly as possible (e.g. about USSR: The regime dedicated a large amount of energy to eradicating religion: an estimated 6 million people were involved in the atheist propaganda in the early 1970s. - a regime investing a large effort in atheist propaganda how can be called???). I'm not sure to what point serves that they were also communists beside atheists, since we talk about atheist propaganda and persecution against religion. And yes, it was total war, it was the international pressure and the control they needed over masses - a radical, massive and visible measure would have created turmoil, which stopped them. Richard Felix Staar said it best in his Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe, 4th ed., 1982, p. 217: As in other communist-ruled lands, the churches in Romania are allowed to exist as a temporary evil.)
 
Of course Eliade does not negate the fact that religion can be a tool, but he says the religion is not a tool, is not defined to be a tool. Anything can be used as a tool, including atheism (as proven in this thread).
 
That Church was dysfunctional is so obvious that your comments only indicate that your grudge against religion is rather irrational hate than an argumented stance. Let me try it again: by confession to a priest you could get secret police file. As a priest by teaching in your parish about some evanghelical values you could get imprisoned. Let's go back to Starr, as he dedicates a small chapter to this issue (pp. 217-219): The communist regime assumed control of all the churches in 1945 and 1948. This was achieved by arrogating to the government all authority over finances, property, and high-level administration; placing in key positions clergy who were subservient to the ruling party and severing ties with church organizations in foreign countries. [...] During 1962 the Holy See announced that of the fourteen Catholic archbishops and bishops in Romania, all but one were under arrest. Three years later it was reported that four of the five Catholic bishops remaining in the country had died in prison.
Legislation since 4 August 1948 had required that all denominations provide the regime's Department of Religious Affairs with inventories of their assets and revenues and athat all clergy take an oath of allegiance to the government, pledging to obey and help enforce laws and to defend the state against all enemies. Besides controlling the purse strings and the appointment of personnel in all churches, the Department of Religious Affairs designated the extent and type of catechism that may be taught under church sponsorship. [...] Apart from such direct techiques, the regime also applies indirect methods to reduce the influence of the churches. Attendance at religious services is not forbidden by law, but mass organizations such as the Union of Communist Youth and the Pioneers schedule activities on Sundays and religious holidays (Easter and Christmas are regular working days in Romania) to make church attendance difficult. [...] Although the constitution, in Article 30, guarantees freedom of
religion, in practice it is systematically repressed. [...] Religious groups frequently protest against the regime's stringent control over their activities, but do not have the influence of the Catholic church in Poland or the cohesion of the Czechoslovak priests and, therefore, yield to the regime tactics. In October 1980, five Protestants were arrested for smuggling Romanian- and Russian-language bibles into the country. There were reports that two of them had died, one by suicide and the other after a beating by security police. Again, I ask you, what is functional in all these?
 


Edited by Chilbudios - 16-Jan-2008 at 17:02
Back to Top
Cezar View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 09-Nov-2005
Location: Romania
Status: Offline
Points: 1211
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2008 at 07:36

Right, Chilbudios, what will you call me now, a retarded? Let's drop the subject of the "good parts" of the Communist regime, you simply are far to educated for me to be able to really make you understand what I'm pointing at. Nice translation from the Tismaneanu report. BTW, I've heard what you said at "Europa Libera" in 1987: "Slobozia este singurul oras din sud estul Europei unde se mai traieste bine" -"Slobozia is the only town in SE Europe where living is good". Never mind, the post communist regimes are indeed infinitely better, only I seem to have forgot that. Though I did stated that I hated the former regime, didn't I? I was delirious off course, in fact I'm red to the bone. I never realized that in fact the communists were militant atheists. I'm glad you showed me that being an atheist leads to being a communist. It's so simple and I never grasped that thing. To think that atheism was only an accessory for communist to yield power, how stupid of me. Off course you're right. They were atheists disguised as communists and all the crimes they did were in the name of the atheist ideology.

And the poor Church. Oh, how silly of me. I never realized that the Church during communism was another institution. It had nothing to do with the pure institution that is now and was before 1947. It was communist, even atheist. It wasn't militant atheist. And it didn't worked, off course.
Back to Top
Brian J Checco View Drop Down
General
General
Avatar
Eli Manning

Joined: 30-Jan-2007
Status: Offline
Points: 926
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian J Checco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2008 at 07:58
Originally posted by SearchAndDestroy SearchAndDestroy wrote:

Quote If there were horrible actions whose purpose was to transform forcefully the society into an atheistic one, because they viewed the religious beliefs as "retrograde", "obscurantist", etc., I think they were done in the name of the atheism, in order for atheism to be the only allowed stance.
You can make a society SECULAR, and a doctrine can call for ending organized religion. But you can't make everyone athiest because thats in their mind. You can't force me into a believer like I can't force someone into becoming an athiest.
 
I think part of the problem between your arguement and mine is that our definition differs slightly. I view athiest meaning a definition of a person who don't have a belief in something supernatural, and nothing more then that. And I'd describe a political doctrine like Communism as pushing a secular idea or being secularly motivated. Why? Because I see no kinship with other athiest and don't think their should be a reason to group us. All of us have different ideas unless following a common doctrine, which Atheism doesn't have.
 
We always discuss Muslims and Christians in different threads. So I don't understand how we can talk about Atheist in one thread. Because outside of us not believing in a god, we nothing else in common.


True. Atheists are not a quantifiable demographic. There are no shared value systems, no political parties in place, few organizations, no centralized ideological hierarchy...
Back to Top
Akolouthos View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 24-Feb-2006
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 2096
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2008 at 13:46
Originally posted by Search and Destroy Search and Destroy wrote:

We always discuss Muslims and Christians in different threads. So I don't understand how we can talk about Atheist in one thread. Because outside of us not believing in a god, we nothing else in common.
 
Originally posted by Brian J Checco Brian J Checco wrote:

True. Atheists are not a quantifiable demographic. There are no shared value systems, no political parties in place, few organizations, no centralized ideological hierarchy...
 
I agree with both of you, in a certain sense. One cannot speak of atheists in the same way as one speaks of members of an "organized religion", for precisely the reasons Brian cited (although there have been some efforts recently to establish a central ideology). Still, I think it is fair to discuss "atheists" in a thread by virtue of the fact that the general term allows us to speak to the views of those who hold the ideology. I think the difference is one of degree (the "how" of the assertion), not of kind (the "what" of the assertion). We could certainly break the general group down further, by specific philosophical leanings, just as we could separate Christians into Orthodox, Protestant, and Catholic categories. That is not to say that there are not fundamental differences, only that we can speak of things in either general or specific terms.
 
-Akolouthos
 
 


Edited by Akolouthos - 17-Jan-2008 at 13:47
Back to Top
Chilbudios View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar

Joined: 11-May-2006
Status: Offline
Points: 1899
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2008 at 14:42

These last opinions are partly true, but no entirely.

Though philosophically atheism is composed from one single belief, in practice most atheists (if not all) share several common beliefs. For instance, you cannot be atheist and claim the Bible is literally true (thus, automatically, atheism means the Bible is literally false). Beyond that there are operative ways to divide this amorphous crowd of atheists. For instance, some believe all people should share their belief (as the only reasonable belief to have), some don't. Thus, we can have a common body of beliefs shared by those which were labeled here as "militant atheists", a body of beliefs which amounts to a doctrine and which can be dangerous (as I have tried to point out). Not even all Christians (not even all those from one Christian branch) do not share the same beliefs, yet we can find such a body of beliefs and group them together.
 
 
Back to Top
Cezar View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 09-Nov-2005
Location: Romania
Status: Offline
Points: 1211
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2008 at 14:51

It seems that the conclusion should be that there are militant atheists but ther is no militant atheism.

Back to Top
Chilbudios View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar

Joined: 11-May-2006
Status: Offline
Points: 1899
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2008 at 15:08
I'm not saying you're a retard, I'm saying that from what you have exposed here you have some issues with your past in the Communist regime for some reason (e.g. material frustration nowadays) you idealize it in an irrational way. The other options are that you do not have a good memory of the period or even that for some reason you have been dishonest in this discussion. So making out of your own person a witness, you fail to provide a reliable testimony, moreover that I kept bringing serious sources to prove the contrary. Your stance is like holding the Earth is flat or the milk is black. Is against all evidences (and I or anyone reading this is supposed to take your word for it).
 
Quote I've heard what you said at "Europa Libera" in 1987
I've said nothing public before 1989, so it couldn't be me. But whoever he/she was, it doesn't prove any point, as you cannot prove your testimony is reliable (see the paragraph above). The incompatibility between that quote and "Romania in those years was dominated by hunger, cold and fear" and "Romania was about the last socialist country anyone would want to be in" is so obvious and the latter testimonies are supporting each other that is a huge burden of proof for those asserting the contrary.
 
I haven't noticed your hate of the ex-regime so far in this discussion, only a slippery discourse - "it was bad, but not that bad". You agreed there were atrocities but you weren't outraged by them (those subhuman living conditions were labeled as "dubious"), you looked to find a "good" side of them (living with decent costs) - maybe I'm trusting too much what you have said so far, please redefine your position if so.
 
I also haven't said that being an atheist leads one to be a communist, only that in Communism regimes there was a strong militant atheist movement (organizations, campaigns, propaganda, etc.). Eventually we can add that being a communist-by-the-book (after the writings of Marx and Lenin) requires atheism as one of the beliefs. However there are lots of atheists which are not communists, are a lot of atheists which are not even struggling to impose their beliefs. But I was not talking about them.
 
On Church I think I proved quite clearly what was the situation. Your misunderstandings do not count as arguments.
 
Quote

It seems that the conclusion should be that there are militant atheists but ther is no militant atheism.

Your conclusion, perhaps. It's so outstretched I don't even wonder what was the reasoning behind it.



Edited by Chilbudios - 17-Jan-2008 at 15:15
Back to Top
Akolouthos View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 24-Feb-2006
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 2096
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2008 at 15:18
Originally posted by Cezar Cezar wrote:

It seems that the conclusion should be that there are militant atheists but ther is no militant atheism.

 
I don't really see how that follows...
 
By virtue of the fact that there are militant atheists, we may say that there is "militant atheism"; the fact that people hold to a belief is evidence of its existence, though we could qualify it further, of course.
 
-Akolouthos
Back to Top
Reginmund View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar

Joined: 08-May-2005
Location: Norway
Status: Offline
Points: 1941
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2008 at 15:20
Whether religion or atheism causes the most violence is irrelevant; what's relevant is the fact that it is empirically impossible to verify the existence of God and similar beings without first discarding the use of proper deductive method, the very basis of all knowledge.
 
Militant atheism is all for the better. Ideally it will convince people that it is possible to live a fulfilling life without building it on ideas that, even if commendable, are almost certainly false.
Hwæt! wē Gār-Dena in geār-dagum,
þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
Back to Top
Chilbudios View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar

Joined: 11-May-2006
Status: Offline
Points: 1899
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2008 at 15:25
Reginmund, your second paragraph is actually one of my points. The Communists thought that they will convince people that is possible to live a life without gods and just living in a world of "science" and "equality" (the intentions of the 19th century philosophers were probably noble, but you know what they say about hell). They failed miserably. I wonder why anyone should accept other such experiments.
Back to Top
Akolouthos View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 24-Feb-2006
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 2096
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jan-2008 at 15:28
Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

Whether religion or atheism causes the most violence is irrelevant; what's relevant is the fact that it is empirically impossible to verify the existence of God and similar beings without first discarding the use of proper deductive method, the very basis of all knowledge.
 
Oh come now, Reginmund. LOL
 
If the "proper deductive method" (in which specific manner, I wonder?) is "the very basis for all knowledge", then what of conclusions derived from inductive reasoning? Once again the question arises, albeit in a different context: generals or particulars?
 
-Akolouthos


Edited by Akolouthos - 17-Jan-2008 at 15:29
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <12345 8>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.10
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.188 seconds.