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Hitler and the Nazi Darwinian worldview

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I’m surprised this book wasn’t mentioned at UD earlier.

Hitler and the Nazi Darwinian worldview

This book takes a fresh look at Germany’s most influential Nazi leaders, examining their backgrounds, education and convictions. It provides compelling evidence that the rising influence of Darwinism, eugenics and race theory in early-twentieth century society set the foundation for the Nazi pursuit of engineering a German “master race”-and exterminating European Jews, Gypsies, Blacks, most Slavs and the Christian religion in the ensuing madness of the Holocaust of World War II. The effect of social Darwinism, eugenics and anti-Semitism, and their relative acceptance in the scientific and medical communities of Germany and many other countries worldwide, opened the door to mass murder, medical experimentation and military conquest. This title examines the roots of Nazi ideology and unmasks the Darwinian “survival of the fittest” theory behind it.

A 5-star reviewer at amazon provided some exceprts:

1. Quoting from the book, “Hitler was confident that the world would some day thank him for eliminating this rotten parasitic race, even if Germany lost the war” (p. 32, see also 95).

2. As an adult, Hitler said, “I am a heathen to the core” (57).

3. “Expunging the Judeo-Christian-Muslim doctrine of human divine origins from mainline German theology and its schools, and replacing it with Darwinism, openly contributed to the acceptance of social Darwinism that culminated in the Holocaust” (76).

4. “What Hitler attempted to do must be ranked alongside the most heinous crimes of history, and Darwin as the father of one of the most destructive philosophies in history” (101).

5. “Himmler had no qualms about killing millions of people, especially those he deemed inferior races such as Jews, to achieve his Darwinian eugenic goal of producing a `superior’ race” (188).

6. Goebbles wrote in his diary (1939), “The Fuehrer is deeply religious, but deeply anti-Christian. He regards Christianity as a symptom of decay. Rightly so” (199).

7. “Hermann Goring was the second most powerful German Nazi, and one of the leaders in persecuting the churches” (217).

8. “…the Nazi goal was to replace the Bible with Mein Kampf” (240).

9. A Table on page 250 shows the nonsensical view that the “Black African” has a blood mixture that is “Predominantly ape” and the also absurd notion that the “Jewish (fiendish skull)” has blood mixture “Close to pure ape.”

I’ve not read the book, so commenters who have are especially welcome to comment. Those who haven’t read the book may comment what they know about the relationship of Darwin to the Nazis. I’ve heard conflicting viewpoints about this relationship, and I have no strong opinion.

It’s plausible to me that Hitler was conflicted about his religious beliefs. There seems to be evidence he practiced Catholicism sporadically but also eventually hated Christianity. There are probably comparable stories for other Nazis leaders.

[posted by scordova, assisting News desk for 1 week]

22 Replies to “Hitler and the Nazi Darwinian worldview

  1. 1
    KRock says:

    I’m a huge fan of the book “Hiler’s Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress” by Richard Weikart, so I’ll have to get my hands on this book.

  2. 2
    keiths says:

    Sal:

    I’m surprised this book wasn’t mentioned at UD earlier.

    I am, too. It’s right up UD’s alley. 🙄

  3. 3
    Jimpithecus says:

    Eugenics was a transmogrification of social Darwinism, which had little to do with the kind of natural selection that Darwin envisioned and was roundly condemned by the vast majority of the scientific world. Darwin bore no responsibility for the way his theory was misused. There is a considerable difference between evolutionary theory and evolutionism. C.S. Lewis saw this as well.

  4. 4
    julianbre says:

    Darwin loved eugenics. If fact, he wished he had thought of it. As far as Hitlers ideology, most likely he was a pagan than a strict atheist.

  5. 5
    OldArmy94 says:

    Darwin may not have borne personal responsibility for Hitler’s actions, but you sure as heck can connect the inevitable conclusions that come with the embrace of that worldview. After all, why should the social theorists not utilize Darwinism in their attempts to frame the world, all of it, within the strictly materialist paradigm? Doesn’t the reductionist approach of Darwinists tell us that everything is explainable by an interaction of matter? The Darwinist, instead, takes the cowardly way out by pretending that Hitler’s eagerness to embrace Darwinism is some type of aberration or bastardization. Indeed, the consistent Darwinian will glad go where the evidence leads even if there is some cognitive dissonance. Just as Darwin was able to make Dawkins an intellectually fulfilled atheist, Darwin was also able to make Hitler an intellectually fulfilled mass murderer.

  6. 6
    Robert Byers says:

    This comes up a lot. i notice evolutionists really are greatly disturbed by the connections of Nazism and evolutionism.
    Yet they are wrong.
    All that can be said is that evolutionism in the educated classes allowed the presumptions for seeing races as superior to each other and so on and the idea that selection can maintain and improve a race.
    Indeed even today evolutionists, many, teach the genetic superiority of people and races over each other. Its a logical conclusion if one is measuring brain size. They do this with apes and other animals all the time.
    They always conclude about the intelligence of some fossil primate by measuring the head size.
    I notice in science fiction brain size is always related to intelligence.
    Its a very well accepted presumption.
    Nazi’s thought so too.
    Thats why they were not seen as radical in those days.

    I don’t think there was a true attempt to make the German race better by killing others. Why kill them as opposed to evicting them?
    Naw thats not the reason.
    It was simply one tribe destroying another tribe for usual reasons.
    Hitler saw the jews as a invading tribe trying to dominate and destroy german and european civilization. He believed they could do it.
    He murdered them because of his hatred for the invasion and envy of their seeming superior abilities.
    From my understanding hitler didn’t hate the jews because they were inferior and a threat but because he actually believed they were superior and a threat.
    It was Cain killing Abel from this stance.

    Darwin is not responsible in any way for murdering nor evolutionary biology.
    Just it allowed presumptions that would of been impossible before evolutionisms acceptance.

  7. 7
    bpragmatic says:

    I do not believe that hitler was right. But can someone say why he was wrong, relative to this discussion?

  8. 8
  9. 9
    JGuy says:

    “Who was Adolph Hitler?”

    The public system makes it easy for people to forget:

    http://www.180movie.com/

  10. 10

    Let’s say, for the sake of argument only, that the book is correct in its thesis, and that Darwin’s theory regarding the cause biological diversity was influential on Nazi thought.

    Let’s also say, again, for the sake of argument only, that Darwin himself thought genocide was an appropriate moral inference from his theory.

    And finally, let’s also say, for the sake of argument only, that his theory was correct.

    Would the fact that his theory was correct justify in any way the genocidal ideology known as Nazism?

    I suggest that the answer is: not one whit.

  11. 11

    Would the fact that his theory was correct justify in any way the genocidal ideology known as Nazism?

    I suggest that the answer is: not one whit.

    Unless you can refer to some objective/absolute arbiter of what can be morally jutsified, then via Darwinistic materialism, Darwinism justified the genocidal ideology known as Nazism to the degree that Nazis felt justified by the theory to do what they did, and the only “right ” anyone has to condemn it or stop it is their own subjective morality and willingness to use force in service of it.

    See how subjective morality works?

  12. 12
    Joe says:

    Would the fact that his theory was correct justify in any way the genocidal ideology known as Nazism?

    No justification required- it is what it is and nothing more.

  13. 13

    William, let me repeat my question, as you seem not to have understood it:

    If it turned out that Darwin’s theory about the cause of biological diversity were true, would that justify Nazi genocide?

  14. 14
    scordova says:

    I feel slightly uncomfortable with the Darwin/Genocide argument even if true. Why? The Old Testament is full of God’s people committing genocide. If you want to make the case Hitler and Darwin were evil, you can expect that if you’re a Jew or Christian, the question of Old Testament genocide will be thrown in your face. I’ve provided my solution to the OT genocide issue here:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ament-god/

    But even if what I said is correct, it’s a hard pill to swallow for many.

    There is some evidence creationists were also involved in the Eugenics movement as well.

    My view, take care using the Darwin Hitler connection (or lack thereof).

    Jerry Bergman wrote an essay that’s available on line:

    http://www.trueorigin.org/holocaust.asp

    He weakly establishes a link between Darwinism and Hitler in my private opinions, but the case is too weak because of the lack of primary sources, only inferences and interpretations. I can’t in good conscience argue the point so vigorously as other points I argue.

    One could make a better case by saying, Hitler Stalin Mao etc. is what happens when you adopt a world view consistent with a mindless world.

    I think a credible case can be made of Hitler and the Nazi’s eventually repudiation of Christianity.

  15. 15
    Alan Fox says:

    I feel slightly uncomfortable with the Darwin/Genocide argument even if true.

    So you should! I doubt ID’s slide into oblivion can be halted but the liberal displays of Godwin’s Law in OPs and comments here doesn’t help ID’s image.

    And, Sal, I understand you have more respect for Allen MacNeill than me (even though he can’t spell his name right) so check his blog for the “even if true” bit.

    HT Rich Hughes for link.

  16. 16
    Alan Fox says:

    PS @ Sal

    I see you posted in the comments in the thread I linked to.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    Mr. Fox, so do you actually hold that Darwinian ethics had nothing whatsoever to do with the NAZI holocaust?

    Hitler’s Ethic and the Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress in Nazi Policy – podcast
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m73ILHJeC2A

    Hitler & Darwin: Richard Weikart Responds to Recent Claims Against his Books (1 of 2)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzE9zfpH3YU

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    This following article are is clear as to pointing the extremely different ‘degrees of evil’ we are dealing with between atheistic and Christian cultures:

    If You Thought Religion was a Bad Idea…Check Out Atheism – Kirk Durston – June, 2012
    Excerpt: To summarize why purely atheistic societies are so dangerous, they not only killed for the cause of advancing a purely atheistic society, but their moral guardrail has no grounds. Thus, extraordinary democide can result, because a portable, hand carried moral guardrail is no guardrail at all.
    http://powertochange.com/wp-co.....s-2012.pdf

    The unmitigated horror visited upon man, by state sponsored atheism, would be hard to exaggerate,,, Here’s what happens when Atheists/evolutionists/non-Christians take control of Government:

    “169,202,000 Murdered: Summary and Conclusions [20th Century Democide]
    I BACKGROUND
    2. The New Concept of Democide [Definition of Democide]
    3. Over 133,147,000 Murdered: Pre-Twentieth Century Democide
    II 128,168,000 VICTIMS: THE DEKA-MEGAMURDERERS
    4. 61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State
    5. 35,236,000 Murdered: The Communist Chinese Ant Hill
    6. 20,946,000 Murdered: The Nazi Genocide State
    7. 10,214,000 Murdered: The Depraved Nationalist Regime
    III 19,178,000 VICTIMS: THE LESSER MEGA-MURDERERS
    8. 5,964,000 Murdered: Japan’s Savage Military
    9. 2,035,000 Murdered: The Khmer Rouge Hell State
    10. 1,883,000 Murdered: Turkey’s Genocidal Purges
    11. 1,670,000 Murdered: The Vietnamese War State
    12. 1,585,000 Murdered: Poland’s Ethnic Cleansing
    13. 1,503,000 Murdered: The Pakistani Cutthroat State
    14. 1,072,000 Murdered: Tito’s Slaughterhouse
    IV 4,145,000 VICTIMS: SUSPECTED MEGAMURDERERS
    15. 1,663,000 Murdered? Orwellian North Korea
    16. 1,417,000 Murdered? Barbarous Mexico
    17. 1,066,000 Murdered? Feudal Russia”

    This is, in reality, probably just a drop in the bucket. Who knows how many undocumented murders there were. It also doesn’t count all the millions of abortions from around the world.
    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM

    Chairman MAO: Genocide Master
    “…Many scholars and commentators have referenced my total of 174,000,000 for the democide (genocide and mass murder) of the last century. I’m now trying to get word out that I’ve had to make a major revision in my total due to two books. I’m now convinced that that Stalin exceeded Hitler in monstrous evil, and Mao beat out Stalin….”
    http://wadias.in/site/arzan/bl.....de-master/

    And I’m certainly not claiming that Christianity is not guilty of atrocities also, Men are evil period and are in desperate need of redemption even within Christianity’s influence, but to ignore the disproportionate rate at which evil is propagated, upon one’s own people, within atheism, is to live in a world of delusion.

  19. 19
    Barb says:

    Vox Day (writing in The Irrational Atheist) dissected the argument that religion causes war. He consulted the Encyclopedia of Wars, which listed 123 separate conflicts as being religious in nature. This represents 6.98% of all the wars reported in the encyclopedia.

    Contrast that point with the millions executed under the regimes BA77 posted, which are all irreligious or atheistic regimes.

    History clearly shows that religion is not the primary cause of human conflict. Religion is also not the dominant label by which humans distinguish themselves.

  20. 20
    KRock says:

    @Elizabeth

    “If it turned out that Darwin’s theory about the cause of biological diversity were true, would that justify Nazi genocide?”

    I’d like to ask you on what grounds do you think the Nazi genocide wasn’t justified? According to your naturalistic worldview, all Hitler did was act on his own self-preferences, in a morally subjective landscape, thus, the idea of good and evil are worn out.

  21. 21
    Alan Fox says:

    >blockquote>Mr. Fox, so do you actually hold that Darwinian ethics had nothing whatsoever to do with the NAZI holocaust?

    Yup!

    Caveat: Darwinian ethics – no idea what Darwinian ethics are, so my answer relies on the fact that something that is imaginary cannot have a real effect. Perhaps you are thinking of eugenics and Francis Galton, a movement that was for a time influential in the US.

    If so, I think there is an argument to be made that eugenics may have provided a cloak of justification for the killing of the mentally ill. Extermination of Jews didn’t seem to need any justification; just secrecy.

  22. 22
    Alan Fox says:

    Oops HTML error First sentence is Phil.

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