The second chapter considers man as an animal, which includes Darwin’s influence. Weikart does not demonize Darwin, but instead introduces the reader to several characters who used Darwin’s theory to justify their own agendas, including those that wanted to call people of other races “less evolved” and people with certain neurological and mental disabilities “atavistic.”
This leads into the third chapter which addresses how biological determinism contributes to dehumanization and our culture of death. Importantly, the characters in this chapter assume that man lacks free will and is really a product of his genes. In making this assumption, they again reduce man to chemistry. Out of this determinism come eugenic principles and justifications for infanticide and euthanasia. Taken to its logical extreme, biological determinism led to the fascist government of Nazi Germany.
Chapter 4 is the other side of the coin of biological determinism. Weikart points out that the only options in a materialist worldview in which man lacks free will is that man is either a product of his genes or of his environment. In this chapter we see the logical consequences of environmental determinism that led to the communist governments of Stalin and Pol Pot. More.
Contrary to edu-blather, there is very little difference between communism and fascism, in that neither believe in the dignity of the human person. Which of them rampages at any given time – or some other system with the same basic agenda – is a tossup.
See also: Nearly 50% Americans now think humans not special
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