Religious thinking must have a solution for any problem, especially one that puts the religious thinking itself in risk. Hence, when many millions of Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, including some million innocent children – there must have been a good religious reason for this.
Thus the great minds of religious thinking came up with a good reason: These children were reincarnations of previous sinners.
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In a way, this is a case of Holocaust denial. It clears Hitler and the Nazis: After all they just helped implementing a divine task. Yet it demonstrates how you strengthen a fragile house of card… by adding more crooked cards: Murdering in torture a million innocent kids doesn’t fit the religious thinking? So let’s invent some “reincarnation” patent and declare that those poor kids were “souls of ex-sinners”, thus actually “punished”.
As for the very idea of “reincarnation” – scientifically speaking this is of course utter nonsense. What we call “a soul” is the feeling of existence produced by brain activity. No brain activity – no feeling and no “soul”. Furthermore, the Jewish tradition itself has a respectable line of known rabbis opposing this idea.
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But just for the sake of the discussion, let’s assume for a moment that “reincarnation” is real, and those children were indeed “punished”.
What is a “punishment”? It’s an activity designed to achieve one of the following goals: (1) Deter the person being punished from committing the same things again; (2) Deter others from committing the things done by that person; (3) Cause pleasure to the punishing side.
Given the title of “reincarnation”, goal number 1 is irrelevant. Mainly because those million poor kids knew nothing about the deeds of their “previous incarnation”. Also because their punishment included their killing, which never gave them a chance not to commit the same things again anyway.
So let’s think for a while about goal number 2: Is this your religion? Fulfilling all those orders and commandments because… you are afraid of being punished?? If you say “yes”, then damn you and damn your religion. I wish no part in such a religion, which gives you no real choice. If you say “no”, it leaves us with goal number 3 – a god who seeks pleasure in torturing little children, while they don’t even know why their mother is burnt in front of them.
It is important to emphasize: The god of the religion is supposedly “almighty”. The analogy of a little kid who doesn’t understand the need for punishment – does not apply here. Unlike a human father educating his child, the god of the religion can (if only he wants) achieve the educational goal, without the child suffering and/or not understanding why.