Darwinism, Nazism, and ethics: The last of Third Reich historian’s three posts
|January 7, 2012||Posted by News under Ethics, Evolutionary psychology, News|
Recently, Third Reich historian Richard Weikart wrote a series of three posts on evolutionary ethics vs. traditional ethics, and here is the third:
In “How evolutionary ethics influenced Hitler and why it matters,” Weikart writes,
Hitler, like many other contemporary biologists and psychiatrists, argued that moral traits were biologically determined. He believed that the Aryans had the most advanced morality, as they were allegedly more loyal, honest, diligent, etc. On the other hand, he deemed Jews biologically immoral, since he blamed them for being lazy, mendacious, sexually lascivious, greedy, etc. Thus, by ridding the world of the Jews and replacing them with Aryans, Hitler in his own perverted view thought he was improving the world by banishing immorality and increasing morality.
Why does this matter? As many of my critics have pointed out, most Darwinists are not Nazis. So why should we care if the Nazis used Darwinism for their own perverted purposes?
While it is unlikely that anything quite like Nazism will ever spring from Darwinian premises again, there are many other ways that Darwinism is being used to devalue human life today (as I showed in my previous piece). Abortion is rampant, and eugenics and euthanasia are once again becoming fashionable in academic circles. While Darwinism is by no means the sole cause of this devaluing of human life, many prominent scholars, such as Peter Singer and Richard Dawkins, admit that it plays a significant role.
Indeed, one need only conswider the Canadian Royal Society’s argument for euthanasia:
Once the argument about having been made by and in the image of God is taken away, it seems impossible to point to some trait possessed by all humans, and only by humans, that grounds the attribution of dignity to them.
Actually, the Nazi trappings are just frills. The legal right to administer the killing dose is what matters.
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