[Paleopsych] Re: paleopsych Digest, Vol 9, Issue 20

Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D. ljohnson at solution-consulting.com
Thu Feb 24 05:40:24 UTC 2005

Yes, it is clear that Nazism tried to undermine legitimate religions and 
was positively hostile toward religious figures. Recall the famous quote 
by Niemoeller, and observe that it was often religiously committed 
people who opposed Nazism (Niemoeller was far too rough on himself; he 
was an early opponent of Nazism, as were many other pastors.)

The cult was, IMHO, a maneuver to reduce religiousity, to replace 
Christianity with something that could be induced to support 
irreligiousity. Have you read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom? She 
points out that there was a terrible erosion of religious devotion in 
Germany in the late 1920s. Her brother, studying in Germany, wrote 
extensively to her about it. The dialog she reports between herself and 
the Nazi lieutenent is breathtaking. One cannot be truely educated about 
the 20th Century without digesting that book.

BTW, the story behind the family that hid the piano player (that movie) 
was that they were committed Catholics who saved him from the Nazis at 
the risk of their own lives. The movie hid that vital bit of data. Thank 
you, anti-religious fanatics of Hollywood.

Finally, a young Mormon lad named Huebner was beheaded by the gestapo 
for publishing anti-nazi tracts (he secretly used the church duplicating 
machine - remember those old things you hand cranked with a special 
carbon-like master?). Religiousity played an oppositional role in Nazi 
Germany, and the loss of religiousity caused people to lose their 
bearings. Corrie Ten Boom and her sister clearly did not lose theirs; 
Huebner did not lose his, and Martin Niemoeller certainly did not lose his.

Steve Hovland wrote:

>Lynn, are you familiar with the cult aspects
>of Naziism?  
>Steve Hovland
>-----Original Message-----
>From:	Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D. [SMTP:ljohnson at solution-consulting.com]
>Sent:	Wednesday, February 23, 2005 7:51 AM
>To:	Alice Andrews; The new improved paleopsych list
>Subject:	Re: [Paleopsych] Re: paleopsych Digest, Vol 9, Issue 20
>Marty Seligman (learned helplessness theorist, Learned Optimism, 
>Authentic Happiness, former APA president) - an atheist - mentions that 
>as a key to true happiness. He reviews literature that religious people 
>are generally happier and more fulfilled, more resilient. Czentmyhali 
>(spelling!) at U Chicago finds that kids involved in something greater 
>than themselves are much more likely to experience "flow" and periods of 
>greater happiness. Religion is clearly an adaptive force. BTW, I don't 
>want to hear arguments that religion is behind most wars. That is a 
>pretty tired argument that was thoroughly debunked by the 20th Century.
>Alice Andrews wrote:
>>Hi Gerry,
>>Thanks for the note...
>>There was an interesting article somewhere--maybe Frank sent it 
>>in?--about teenagers and the possiblity that what they were missing 
>>was 'religion' or 'spirituality' or a 'sense of purpose and meaning 
>>beyond them.' Do you remember reading that on paleo some time ago? I 
>>can't find it...But it seems apropos to your missive. (If anyone knows 
>>it and can send out again, I'd appreciate!)
>>Thanks and cheers,
>>Hi Alice,
>>Thanks for the rec re: Nesse's  "Evolution and the Capacity for 
>>Commitment".  Although I still haven't read it I'm familiar with its 
>>contents.  The issue of 'commitment' especially for young people is 
>>something that definitely needs addressing and maybe requiring our 
>>youth to make a firm political commitment to a particular party will 
>>carry over to their demonstrating less risky behavior with drugs, sex, 
>>employment, family or whatever.  Yet isn't our youth already 
>>politically brainwashed into political awareness or have they flicked 
>>away that duty as well?  I no longer hang out with our country's young 
>>but when I did I found that very few had their head screwed on 
>>correctly and many were adrift;  from what I hear now they still 
>>continue on their aimless flow.  When I wrote my original answer my 
>>thoughts were on "my generation", not the others.  Thanks for your post.
>>I'll add the book to my list.
>>----- Original Message -----
>>From: Alice Andrews <mailto:andrewsa at newpaltz.edu>
>>To: The new improved paleopsych list <mailto:paleopsych at paleopsych.org>
>>Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 8:30 PM
>>Subject: Re: [Paleopsych] Re: paleopsych Digest, Vol 9, Issue 20
>>Hi Gerry,
>>Randy Nesse edited a book called "Evolution and the Capacity for 
>>Commitment"; do you know it? It's wonderful... if you don't. (His 
>>'Commitment in the Clinic' chapter is superb, btw.) Anyway, I think 
>>the book addresses your question. The word 'commitment' itself 
>>addresses the question. We have evolved mechanisms for detecting 
>>commitment and for detecting possible defection in others. People who 
>>tow the party line, etc. are considered committed. We seek out such 
>>people because it is proximately and ultimately adaptive to do so. 
>>Befriending, supporting, trusting, etc. the uncommitted would have 
>>been-- and still is, a risk (or threat). Such risks could have been 
>>very costly over our evolutionary history and can be still today. Of 
>>course, sometimes such risks (siding with someone who seems to be 
>>sitting on the fence, uncommitted, a rebel) can be to one's advantage. 
>>But 'ancient-brain' doesn't know this--and probably 'statistics-brain' 
>>doesn't know this either!
>>Anyway, enough late-night babbling! It's a good book and might answer 
>>your question...
>>All best!
>>    ----- Original Message -----
>>    From: G. Reinhart-Waller <mailto:waluk at earthlink.net>
>>    To: The new improved paleopsych list
>>    <mailto:paleopsych at paleopsych.org>
>>    Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 9:55 PM
>>    Subject: Re: [Paleopsych] Re: paleopsych Digest, Vol 9, Issue 20
>>    >> Someone beyond the liberal/conservative
>>    dichotomy may be rejected by both sides as a nuisance,
>>    a threat to shared assumptions that define a group
>>    against another.
>>    This is absolutely amazing!  Why would any audience
>>    reject someone who cannot plop into either the liberal
>>    or conservative camp?  Please explain the threat you
>>    feel is apparent.  This I need to hear!
>>    Gerry
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