X-Message-Number: 20087
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 12:00:09 -0700 (PDT)
From: Dani Kollin <>
Subject: Mr. Dee's Challenge Round 4

Mr Dee's aguments, while well stated, unfortunately
concluded with a derision. Apparently, and
"historically speaking"  he stated, I have no idea
what I'm talking about. Let's just see about that
shall we?

I have taken the liberty of putting Mr. Dee's and my
quotes atop the statements.

Mr. Dee:
Ireland. Afghanistan. Palestine
.. Must I go on? You will most likely counter with
Stalin. But Stalin did not get his justification for
genocide from secularism. Those engaging in religious
violence in Ireland, Afghanistan and Palestine DO get
their justification from their belief system.

Mr. Kollin:
Palestine:  Arafat and Fatah are a secular part of the
PLO, to think that their acts of terrorism are not as
horrible as the ones committed by Hamas is
interesting, but wrong. Yes I know you secular types
hate those moral judgements, deal with it. 

Afghanistan: If I remember correctly the country,
though not perfect, did not become the living hell
that we all know and fear until the, ready, here it
comes, SOVIET invasion of 1979.  So the ideologically
non-religious Soviets started this mess.  An
interesting reverse of the situation would be the
religiously motivated United States invading Cambodia
in the 1970 s. This led to the Khmer Rouge, a secular,
Marxist whacked out group to murder 1/3 of their
population to create a perfect communist state.

Ireland: Gotta agree with you, religion has screwed
that place up for years.  But let s be honest. If the
English had stayed Catholic the Irish probably would
have gone Protestant because these people hate each
other for reasons that religion exacerbates but is not
the sole cause of.

Stalin: What on earth are you talking about? Stalin
did not get his justification from secularism? (your
quote) Just because you do not like a fact does not
mean you can simply dismiss it.  This is the man who
said,   A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths
is a statistic.   Stalin justified all that he did
from his understanding of the doctrine of communism
and the material dialectic.  I did not say,  believe ,
who the hell knows what a mass murderer believes? But
he justified his doctrine using a non-religious
viewpoint, pseudo-scientific belief system.  He and
his followers believed in the triumph of the dialectic
as a scientific certainty.  It was a secular belief
and it was used to excuse the murder of seven million
Ukrainians in the winter of 1937 alone.  It happened,
secularly and historically speaking that is. 

Mr. Dee:
It is fairer to say that many of the world's most
vital precepts were arrived at while religion was
dominant. This is no big surprise, since religion has
dominated human culture throughout recorded history.
The question is, do those precepts require religion in
order to make them valid? No. Religion has simply
taken credit for ideas such as "it's a bad idea to
kill", "it's a bad idea to lie", and so on when those
ideas are equally obvious to anyone coming from a
rational, rather than religion, perspective.

Mr. Kollin:
Not religion, monotheistic religion.  Humans as we
know them have been around for 40-50 thousand years. 
Recorded history only covers the last five thousand
and monotheism as a guiding principle for the last
1800-2000 years.  If they are obvious coming from a
rational perspective why did the Greeks and the Romans
have such a difficult time making them work?  Marcus
Aurelius and the Stoics did have a rational belief
system very similar to the precepts of a modern
monotheism.  But only a tiny fraction of the
population would follow such a system.  I am not sure
if you need religion to make such precepts valid.  But
we have yet to develop a better system to make sure
they are followed for more then a generation or two. 

Mr. Dee:
There's that irrelevant Stalin reference. And Hitler
was not a secularist. By all accounts, Hitler used
Christian rhetoric to motivate the German people into
war and atrocity, while personally holding some weird
sort of Nordic religious views. 

Mr. Kollin:
I have already said what I am going to say on Stalin. 
You may be right on Hitler.  In researching his belief
system it would appear that for the media he often
times played the part of dutiful Christian.  That
stated, most of his justification was
pseudo-scientific and not religious. He expressed a
desire to eliminate the morality that Judaism and
Christianity had created.  Here s one of his quotes:
Night of 11th-12th July, 1941: 
National Socialism and religion cannot exist
together.... The heaviest blow that ever struck
humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is
Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions
of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of
religion was introduced into the world by
Christianity.... Let it not be said that Christianity
brought man the life of the soul, for that evolution
was in the natural order of things. 

Mr. Dee s quote from Mr. Kollin:
 The great religions of the world have done a great
deal of good. Babies were left to die of exposure if
not physically perfect until the Church decided that
all persons have souls and are INDIVIDUALLY valuable.
Something that was unheard of before the rise of the
monotheistic religions. 

Mr. Dee:
 I'd love to see documentation to support this
audacious claim. It occurs to me that if this were
true, then that practice would still be common
everywhere that monotheism wasn't dominant. Is it? I
don't think so... 

Sometimes Mr. Dee you make it too easy.  I accept your
challenge.  A modern nation that is not run on the
precepts of monotheism, but is run on the precepts of
a secular ideology.  A modern nation where babies were
killed, because they were not convenient.  In fact Mr.
Dee that would be our world s largest nation.    
China passed a rule saying you can only have one
child.  The Chinese peasants, making a rational,
economical choice given their circumstances started
killing all the babies who happened to be born female.
 Why shouldn t they?  Nothing morally wrong, no
judgment beyond this world to deal with.  Not an
aberration Mr. Dee, millions upon millions of hard
working peasants did this over many years.
And it s not something I made up. Just look at a paper
the United Nations released in 1997, written by the
World Health Organization. The WHO s Regional
Committee for the Western Pacific said more than 50
million women were estimated to be  missing  in China
because of the institutionalized killing and neglect
of girls due to Beijing s population control program
that limits parents to one child. 

Mr. Dee s quote from Mr. Kollin:
Wherever a secular movement becomes dominant, you get
Mr. Dee: The people of Britain may be surprised to
learn that they are living in hell. In Britain,
something like 75% of the population consider
themselves ambivalent toward religion at best. The
Archbishop of Canterbury recently stated that religion
had lost to agnosticism there. Has that turned Britain
into a hell? Hardly. 

Mr. Kollin:
But Britain is not a secular culture.  Its government
and society are steeped in monotheistic values.  If
the British got rid of the Church of England, the
Queen, banned the expression of certain or most
monotheistic beliefs like the Communists and to a
certain degree the Nazis, we could us it as an

Now for your last point Mr. Dee you used the arguments
of Mr. Madison, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Franklin and Mr.
Paine to show that the founding fathers were against
religion and its use in determining the values of a
state or society.  Now this can be responded to in two
ways. The one I find most interesting are that you
picked some very telling choices.

Mr. Jefferson of course owned slaves including his own
children that he sired with the 16-year-old half
sister of his dead wife. At best he didn t rape her. 
By all means claim him as a spokesman for the secular

Mr. Adams was president of the United States and got
the Alien and Sedition acts passed long before the
McCarthy Era President Adams was deporting and jailing
people not for what they did, but what they said.
Actually now that I think about it, he does sound like
a modern secularist. 

Mr. Paine was a brilliant writer.  When the French
Revolution broke out he was an advocate.  He supported
the French Revolution when it broke the power of the
Catholic Church. He supported it when they killed the
royal family, and he continued to excuse it when the
guillotines started to murder French women and men in
the tens of thousands. After all, some of them must
have deserved it, and the goals of the revolution make
it excusable and, wait a minute, Mr. Paine is sounding
like a modern secularist also.

Historically speaking you picked some interesting
choices. But let s also refute your use of quotes with
some of my own, or some of the founding fathers and
mothers own.  

President George Washington, September 17th, 1796:
"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without
God and the Bible"

Benjamin Franklin Address at the Constitutional
Convention Thursday June 28, 1787:
"I have lived, a long time, and the longer I live, the
more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God
Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot
fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable
that an empire can rise without His aid?
We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings,
that "except the Lord build the House, they labor in
vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also
believe that without his concurring aid we shall
succeed in this political building no better than the
Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial
local interests; our projects will be confounded, and
we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down
to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may
hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of
establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it
to chance, war and conquest. 

 Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men,
but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and

Oct. 11, 1798 (Address to the military):
"We have no government armed with power capable of
contending with human passions unbridled by morality
and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry
would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as
a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made
only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly
inadequate to the government of any other."

June 21, 1776
"Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for
liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which
can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can
securely stand. 

"A patriot without religion in my estimation is as
great a paradox as an honest Man without the fear of
God. Is it possible that he whom no moral obligations
bind, can have any real Good Will towards Men? Can he
be a patriot who, by an openly vicious conduct, is
undermining the very bonds of Society? The Scriptures
tell us "righteousness exalteth a Nation."

March 23, 1775
 It is when people forget God that tyrants forge their

THOMAS JEFFERSON (seemed he had more to say on the

"The only foundation for useful education in a
republic is to be laid in religion."

Jefferson declared that religion is: "Deemed in other
countries incompatible with good government 
and yet proved by our experience to be its best

"Religion [is] the basis and Foundation of

"We have staked the whole future of American
civilization, not upon the power of government, far
from it. We have staked the future of all of our
political institutions upon the capacity of each and
all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves,
to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments
of God."

Mr. Dee I will repeat what I said before.  A
monotheistic world is no guarantee of a world I want
to live in. But you have said nothing, found anything,
or for that matter proved anything to make me think a
world based solely on secular ideals would be better.
Au contraire there is much to make me think it would
be worse historically speaking that is.  

Eytan Kollin

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