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The Wisdom of Hector Avalos

John on May 23, 2007 at 12:18 am

Professor Avalos hasn’t returned since his visit to the blog last week. Today I came across this post at the Discovery Institute offering some further insight into the mind of the man who thinks we shouldn’t assume human life is more valuable than AIDS:

Avalos’s promotion to full professor comes just in time for the publication of his new book on the Bible later this month. According to the publisher’s description, Avalos argues in the book

that our world is best served by leaving the Bible as a relic of an ancient civilization instead of the “living” document most religionist scholars believe it should be. He urges his colleagues to concentrate on educating the broader society to recognize the irrelevance and even violent effects of the Bible in modern life.

Somehow I don’t suspect he’s really singling out Islam here. That would be risky.

The post offers some other brief excerpts from one of his books. It’s hard to get a handle on what he’s saying from these small snippets:

“The purpose here is to show that the Nazi policy of genocide was based on premises quite similar to those in the Hebrew Bible.” [p. 316]

“the Nazi Holocaust represents the synthesis of attitudes found in both the New Testament and the Hebrew scriptures.” [p. 318]

“[Scholars Katz and Wolpoff] fail to see the parallels between certain practices promulgated in the Hebrew Bible itself. Indeed, the supreme irony of the Holocaust is that the genocidal policies first systematically enunciated in the Hebrew scriptures were reversed by the Nazis. Nazi ideology simply had better technology to do what biblical authors had said they would do to their enemies.” [pp. 318-319]

“Hitler saw himself as trying to counteract Hebrew racism, which he saw as the main counterpart and enemy of the German race.” [p. 319]

“Nazi ideology is similar to creationist ideology, which believes that scientific findings support the biblical stories of Creation and the Flood.” [p. 318]

It sounds a bit like the wife beaters defense: “Look what you made me do!” There is some evidence that Hitler viewed the Bible as a story of race purity. However his interpretation was clearly filtered through a Darwinian lens. In his notes on the Bible he even capitalizes the word “Nature.”

I wonder if Avalos connects Hitler’s Darwinian view of history to his views on the struggle for blood purity? Perhaps, as a good scholar who follows the facts, he did. I’m curious (just not curious enough to buy his book).

The post concludes with this final bit of wisdom:

Since all religious beliefs are ultimately unverifiable, the greatest scarce resource of all is verifiability. And one way to remedy or minimize unverifiability in any decision-making process, especially that leading to violence, is to eliminate religion from human life altogether.”

Compare it to this one. Same basic viewpoint; similar conclusion:

Being weighed down by a superstitious past, men are afraid of things that can’t, or can’t yet, be explained—that is to say, of the unknown. If anyone has needs of a metaphysical nature, I can’t satisfy them with the Party’s programme. Time will go by until the moment when science can answer all the questions.

So it’s not opportune to hurl ourselves now into a struggle with the Churches. The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death.

Those are Adolph Hitler’s words.

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Category: Atheism |

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