Editor’s note: I post frequently on the ethical implications of materialism. There is a reason for that. I have dealt personally with the deadly consequences of the materialist worldview taken to its logical end . Below is a post that first appeared on these pages on November 9, 2007:
In a recent post Denyse O’Leary linked to a news story coverning Pekka Eric Auvinen, the Finnish student who killed eight in a shooting spree at his school. Apparently Auvinen was an ardent Darwinist who considered himself to be an instrument of natural selection. He wrote: “I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgaces of human race and failures of natural selection.”
One of O’Leary’s interlocutors more or less accused her of cherry picking her data to push her personal religious agenda. Apparently this person believes this case is an aberation, and it is unfair to suggest a connection between Darwin’s theory and a school shooter’s self understanding as an instrument of natural selection. Not so.
As the attorney for the families of six of the students killed at Columbine, I read through every single page of Eric Harris’ jounals; I listened to all of the audio tapes and watched the videotapes, including the infamous “basement tapes.” There cannot be the slightest doubt that Harris was a worshiper of Darwin and saw himself as acting on Darwinian principles. For example, he wrote: “YOU KNOW WHAT I LOVE??? Natural SELECTION! It’s the best thing that ever happened to the Earth. Getting rid of all the stupid and weak organisms . . . but it’s all natural! YES!”
Elsewhere he wrote: “NATURAL SELECTION. Kill the retards.” I could multiply examples, but you get the picture.
It was no coincidence that on the day of the shootings Harris wore a shirt with two words written on it: “Natural Selection.”
I am not suggesting that Auvinen’s and Harris’ actions are the inevitable consequences of believing in Darwinism. It is, however, clear that at least some of Darwin’s followers understand “survival of the fittest” and the attendant amorality at the bottom of Darwinism as a license to kill those whom they consider “inferior.” Nothing could be more obvious.