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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hitler, Morality and Evolution

Suppose we accept the premise of young earth creationists that evolutionists must accept the fact that Hitler (and his behavior) are both the product of evolutionary biology. [Note: There are some fallacies about evolution in the remainder of the post, but these result (partly) from accepting the creationist view of evolution].
In effect, the argument is that immorality (however defined) is the product of evolution. The soft version of this argument is that evolution leads to a philosophy of hate, murder and immorality. Let me deal with the hard version of evolution that has also been argued by creationists in a variety of writings. If it is true that evolution must be responsible for all evil, then the logical axiom follows that morality (however defined) is also the product of evolution. That also means that atheism, agnosticism and theism are also the products of evolution. The young earth creationist position seems to imply that evolution is solely responsible for immorality, evil and atheism whereas the more logical conclusion is that if evolution is responsible for one, then evolution must be responsible for all. The hard version is thus logically flawed.
The soft-version of the argument is basically social Darwinism. If you insist on taking this tack, then you are also left with the question as to what philosophy is most akin to evolutionary biology? The young earth creationists want you to think that killing, abortion, rape and genocide are the logical endpoints of evolution. How logical is this conclusion? Young earth creationists would have you believe that evolution is ONLY about survival of the fittest and only the strong survive. The absurdity of this argument can be exposed by noting that there would be no success in life because most young are neither fit nor strong. Some organisms overcome this hurdle by producing millions of offspring with the statistical advantage that a few will make it to adulthood. Others, such as humans and chimps will nurture and care for the young in an effort to assure that the offspring reach reproductive age. Someone claimed that evolution would therefore justify rape. The absurdness of this claim is revealed by the fact that rape, while perhaps adding to the initial gene pool, does not result in favorable conditions for nurturing and assuring the ultimate reproductive success of the offspring. However, such a view of evolution (promulgation of the species) could logically lead to the view that both abortion and murder are anti-evolution. Thus, if one WANTS to argue that evolution must account for morality, then it can be logically and cogently argued that evolution must result in an absolute morality that leads to the preservation of the species. It is certainly an oft-used and successful tact to argue for emotional appeal, but the reality is that the goal of evolution is to make sure that a species survives. Logically, this means that a species will adapt, using whatever mechanism is available to survive. While this may include killing an intruding species, it will also include caring, nurturing and any other morality that results in promulgation of the species.

Cheers

Joe Meert

7 Comments:

At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its absurd to argue over the evolution Mythology. It is a belief ONLY because some scientists believed it and wooed others into believing it.

If you really want to settle it for yourself find an honest Seventh Day Adventists, one that knows the prophecies of Daniel VERY well. If you have the logic abilities of a 10 year old child you will be convinced that an Omnipotent Being inspired a Unique multi-phase prophecy to a man called Daniel about 550 BC, that has precisely been fulfilled in each succeeding DISTINCT step (date by date) of the prophecy, and it has recently begun the fulfillment of it's last stage.

 
At 4:36 PM, Blogger Joe Meert said...

or maybe not!

Cheers

Joe Meert

 
At 10:22 PM, Anonymous jhud said...

Joe,
I don't think anyone actually makes these arguments vis a vis Hitler and evolution.

The usual argument is that Hitlers actions were informed by the science of eugenics, a product of evolutionary thinking.

 
At 9:13 AM, Blogger Joe Meert said...

Yes, I realize that when cornered on this subject, people pretend that they can link his actions only to evolution. The turth is that Martin Luther's Reformation movement also heavily influenced Hitler including the notion of Krystal Nacht.

Cheers

Joe Meert

 
At 2:27 AM, Anonymous jhud said...

Well Luther definitely demonstrated
that German culture seemed inclined to hate Jews, but it was the German Society for Racial Hygiene that made it scientifically acceptable.

 
At 3:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A curious thing about rape, Joe: Which animal ever rapes a mate and which animal will then refuse to nurture any offspring that result?

Also, Luther wrote a rant against Jews where he railed against their theology as being lies, which Hitler cynically used as he would use anything to put Jews in a bad light. When asked whether he believed "false prophets" should be killed, Luther specifically said no, that banishment was as far as he would accept. Hitler naturally conveniently ignored that, just as he ignored a Jew's theology -- as Jews who were Christian for several generations were sent to death camps regardless. There was no German nationalism, nor talk of racial purity, nor glorification and revival of pagan lore, to Luther but those were the hallmarks of Hitler's regime and what clearly influenced him, along with things like eugenics which cannot be extricated from Darwinism, or more obviously "survival of the fittest" which was another precept of the Nazis. Hitler was nominally Roman Catholic (which would make him predisposed to not regard the Reformation and Luther in particular,) but an occultist by faith, ecclectic in his beliefs being thoroughly modern in embracing both pre-Christian and post-Christian notions. We can only wish he had truly been heavily influenced by Luther's Reformation movement.

I trust you have a much better grasp of earth science than you do of history. Do an internet search on "Lutheran persecution of Jews" and see what you find. Or try "Protestant" or "Reformation" instead of "Lutheran". Research the names Raoul Wallenberg and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. They were actually Lutherans, one a pastor. They we might rightly say were heavily influenced by Luther's Reformation movement.

 
At 12:08 AM, Anonymous paleodeadfish said...

All might be informed by reading "Ute Deichmann 1996. Biologists Under Hitler. Harvard University Press.

 

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