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Invitations to Hitler Connections

One of the worst things about one side making connections to Hitler is it invites return fire of the same kind. This should be filed under the category “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”.

How many of you knew that beloved evangelical Christian minister Jerry Falwell shared Adolf Hitler’s views about the importance of maintaining the purity of the white race?

I’m not saying “modern” evangelicals feel this way, any more than “modern” Darwinist are that way, but… as long as we’re dredging up the past of one side it’s only fair to dredge up the other’s too.

Addendum: No one seems to have picked up on the point that Falwell, as an evangelical Christian biblical literalist, did not believe in “Darwinism” yet he still shared his racial thinking with Hitler. Further proof that you don’t need Darwin to be a racist.

From The Nation “Agent of Intolerance”

Decades before the forces that now make up the Christian right declared their culture war, Falwell was a rabid segregationist who railed against the civil rights movement from the pulpit of the abandoned backwater bottling plant he converted into Thomas Road Baptist Church. This opening episode of Falwell’s life, studiously overlooked by his friends, naïvely unacknowledged by many of his chroniclers, and puzzlingly and glaringly omitted in the obituaries of the Washington Post and New York Times, is essential to understanding his historical significance in galvanizing the Christian right. Indeed, it was race–not abortion or the attendant suite of so-called “values” issues–that propelled Falwell and his evangelical allies into political activism.

As with his positions on abortion and homosexuality, the basso profondo preacher’s own words on race stand as vivid documents of his legacy. Falwell launched on the warpath against civil rights four years after the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision to desegregate public schools with a sermon titled “Segregation or Integration: Which?”

“If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God’s word and had desired to do the Lord’s will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made,” Falwell boomed from above his congregation in Lynchburg. “The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.”

Falwell’s jeremiad continued: “The true Negro does not want integration…. He realizes his potential is far better among his own race.” Falwell went on to announce that integration “will destroy our race eventually. In one northern city,” he warned, “a pastor friend of mine tells me that a couple of opposite race live next door to his church as man and wife.”

As pressure from the civil rights movement built during the early 1960s, and President Lyndon Johnson introduced sweeping civil rights legislation, Falwell grew increasingly conspiratorial. He enlisted with J. Edgar Hoover to distribute FBI manufactured propaganda against the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and publicly denounced the 1964 Civil Rights Act as “civil wrongs.”

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93 Responses to Invitations to Hitler Connections

  1. Sometime ago I made the point that the Nazi/Darwin connection should be used with care lest the Old Testament issues of genocide and the “chosen race” be brought up.

    See:
    High School Biology Teacher Fired, Comment 20.

    That said, let’s see where Stein’s movie goes. At least empirically speaking, from public relations standpoint it seems effective. But I would still exercise caution mingling ID with the Nazi/Darwin connection and Creationism.

    In Stein’s defense, he used Provine’s “no morality” speech as a lead in to describing a society governed by no morality except the morality of selection. That society was the Nazis. Whether Darwin’s writings were explicitly at the heart of Nazisism, or whether it was arrived at independently, at least aspects of Nazisism paralleled parts of Darwin’s ideas. Strictly speaking there were Nazi’s that embraced Eugenics but were rather vague about common descent (Himmler hated the idea the Germans descended from apes)….

    Darwin himself had a deformed daughter. I suppose he could not bring himself to advocate Eugenics lest he sacrifice his own. One can also speculate that Darwin wished Eugenics were practiced, and thus he would not have supposedly been in the predicament of having a deforemed child….who knows…..

    Rather than the Darwin/Hitler connection, I prefer pointing out that Thornhill and Palmer argue that “Rape is as natural as a giraffe’s neck” due to natural selection. Or David Buss who says the propensity for murder is due to natural selection. It highlights Provine’s thesis that without God there is no morality. Whether Provine, Buss, Thorhill, or Palmer accurately reprsent Darwin is another story. As Berlinski said, the whole thing is one incoherent mess. It’s pointless to try to argue what Darwin really meant since, imho, he held many contradictory views simultaneously….

  2. Dave, I don’t get the connection at all.

    I’m Catholic. I don’t have any interest in making Jerry Falwell out to be a hero; but this article is a hatchet job written on the occasion of Falwell’s death. It’s written with a poisoned pen. And, in places, it contradicts itself.

    It’s clear that Falwell had racist views. It’s not clear how much those views changed as society changed and as he aged—and it’s abundantly clear that if those views changed for the better the author had no intention at all of informing us of them.

    But what in the world does this have to do with Darwinism and Hitler? When I saw “Expelled” and heard the quotes from the Fuhrer, I finally understood the Holocaust—it was Darwinist/eugenecist thinking, plain and simple. And this was right from the ‘horse’s mouth’.

    So how does that legitimate link between Hitler and Darwinism have anything to do with ID being linked in any way with Jerry Falwell? Is ID the result of a sermon that Falwell gave? Of course not. So who cares what Falwell believed and what he preached? Is he considered one of the evil men of the 20th century? I think not.

    If you are posting this for the sake of ‘balance’, I’m at a loss as to why. I really think you should consider deleting it.

  3. There is no dredging on one side or the other. Darwins theory was not just about some experimental biology in the present, it makes claims about the unobservable past and the source of all ‘humanity’. As a product of time and physics there is no good or evil period. In this worldview there is no problem with hitler and there’s no problem with Falwell …

  4. It is true that many southern ‘evangelicals’ shared views that demanded racial separation (Bob Jones Sr., etc.) but all recanted of them later in life.

    It is important to realize that the source of such thinking — that there is a clear line of demarcation between the races — is due to evolutionary thinking.
    Huxley and Darwin both believed that the races (Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid, and Australoid) were separate species who (miraculously) could inter-breed. Strangely, all but the Caucasoid had direct ancestry to apes, orangs, or other lower life forms.

    Many churches of the time (as they do today) acquiesced to the social science of their day – much to their detriment. Biblically, there is NO demarcation between the races. All are direct descendants of Adam (or Noah), and all are of one blood.

  5. Graceout,

    Good point.

  6. scordova,
    Can you provide quotations/citations for the Provine, Buss, Thorhill, or Palmer references in #2, above?
    Thnx,
    -sb

  7. Hi Graceout,
    Darwin was unconvinced, at least as of DoM, about the polyphyletic origin of man. He leaned toward a common ancestor and a single species – IIR.
    He did, however, stress the different states of advancement with all races being lower and closer to apes than Caucasians. He differentiated savages from civilised and modern man and identified the differences as being heritable and natural.

  8. This so-called parallel analysis is brought up all the time by the other side, and it simply doesn’t make any sense. Falwell, whose bigotry mirrored the bigotry of the American culture as a whole, finally changed his views because he did NOT believe in the Darwinist formula.

    As an intellectually honest man, he, like many of his contemporaries was forced to come face to face with the principles of his religion and the Constitution of the United States, both of which insist on the “inherent dignity” of the human person.” It is this same principle that is responsible for all advances in human rights, and it is its absence(Atheism/Darwinism /Islam) that is responsible for most violations of human rights.

    We still have a residual of racism in the United States, but, for the most part, it is no longer institutionalized nor is it acceptable in mainstream thought. That is why a black man has good chance of becoming our next president, even though his views are quite radical. Indeed, if he doesn’t win, it will probably be his anti-mainstream views and not his race that does him in.

  9. Dave, I think you are missing the point.

    No one in the right mind can point finger at Darwin or at any of his modern proponents, and call them Nazis just because they believe or are convinced that Darwinism is true.

    However, I think it is legitimate to test the idea, any idea, by taking it to its logical conclusion(s), or to its extreme.

    You only need to ask question like “What is the central tenet of Darwinism and what are the social (and other) implications?”

    Now you can ask the same question regarding Christianity and see what the difference is.

  10. 10

    Sal Cordova: Darwin himself had a deformed daughter. I suppose he could not bring himself to advocate Eugenics lest he sacrifice his own. One can also speculate that Darwin wished Eugenics were practiced, and thus he would not have supposedly been in the predicament of having a deforemed child….who knows…..

    Which daughter would that be? Anne Elizabeth, Mary Eleanor, Henrietta Emma, or Elizabeth? What deformity did she suffer from?

    Your speculation about eugenics is just a rather nasty vicious slander about a man who by all accounts dearly loved his children and was heartbroken when his daughter Anne died from tuberculosis.

    Your mean spirited speculations reflect very poorly on you. I could speculate about your character, but you have made its defects clear.

  11. 11

    Graceout says:

    It is important to realize that the source of such thinking — that there is a clear line of demarcation between the races — is due to evolutionary thinking.

    Not to detract from your post, but the “Curse of Ham” goes back many centuries prior to Darwin even being born, so I am not sure you are correct.

  12. Indeed, Darwin didn’t have any “deformed” children. He had ten children with his first cousin, Emma (neé Wedgwood, of the pottery clan): William, Anne, Mary, Henrietta, George, Elizabeth, Leonard, Francis, Horace, and Charles. Of these, three died in childhood: Anne (died age 10), Mary (died 23 days), and Charles (died age 2). None had any physical deformity (beyond the classic “Darwin ‘pug’ nose”) that was mentioned in biographical or historical records. Darwin worried that his youngest son, Charles, might be “slow”, but the child died so young that it would be difficult to say if he had a genuine defect.

    Darwin himself was plagued by ill health for all of his adult life, and worried that his marriage to his first cousin would have “unfortunate” effects. He speculated that the death of Anne (and perhaps Mary and Charles as well) might have been a consequence of some “inherited defect”.

    However, he never considered anything like eugenics (nor euthenasia), and indeed was by all accounts an unusually loving and doting father. Indeed, the death of his daughter, Anne (and not his study of evolution) was the chief cause of his abandonment of Christianity, as is abundantly supported in the book Annie’s Box: Charles Darwin, His Daughter, and Human Evolution, by Randal Keynes (not to mention his own autobiography).

    I find it very distressing that anyone would stoop to ad hominem arguments of this type, especially in support of the assertion that Darwin and other evolutionary biologists essentially have no morals. This isn’t “intellectual debate”, and it certainly isn’t science; it’s ill-spirited and vile character assassination that demeans only the people making such absurd and unsupported claims.

  13. “What is the central tenet of Darwinism and what are the social (and other) implications?”

    A simplified version of the central tenet of Darwin’s theory of evolution is that all organisms are descended from a common ancestor through the interaction of inherited variation and natural selection. It is a statement of how the world is, not a prescription for how the world ought to be.

    Now you can ask the same question regarding Christianity and see what the difference is.

    Well the central tenet of Christianity is that God exists, and if you don’t please him in some way (there is a disagreement on exactly how to do that), you will be horribly punished for eternity. And this God works in mysterious ways, and sometimes He talks to people and nobody else can hear him.

    Given the prevalence of mentally ill and unscrupulous human beings, that sounds like a prescription for trouble.

  14. 14

    scordova’s myth about Darwin’s “deformed” daughter is of a piece with creationist literature that attacks him for “inbreeding” by marrying his first cousin. Isn’t scordova supposed to be a graduate student somewhere? Don’t graduate students practice standards of decency?

  15. Allan_MacNeill at 12

    “I find it very distressing that anyone would stoop to ad hominem arguments of this type, especially in support of the assertion that Darwin and other evolutionary biologists essentially have no morals. This isn’t “intellectual debate”, and it certainly isn’t science; it’s ill-spirited and vile character assassination that demeans only the people making such absurd and unsupported claims.”

    Thanks for the information.

    scordova said

    “Darwin himself had a deformed daughter. I suppose he could not bring himself to advocate Eugenics lest he sacrifice his own. One can also speculate that Darwin wished Eugenics were practiced, and thus he would not have supposedly been in the predicament of having a deforemed child….who knows…..”

    By your information, scordova was misinformed. In his comment he is speculating on areas that are commonly associated with Darwinism. How is that ad hominem?

    You assert:

    “However, he never considered anything like eugenics (nor euthenasia), “

    Are you thus holding that eugenics and euthenasia are wrong?

    Perhaps you can explain to us Darwin’s prediction:

    “[a]t some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.”

    [Darwin, Descent (1871), vol. I, p. 201.]

    Similarly, what did Darwin mean when he wrote:

    “With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”

    [Darwin, The Descent of Man (1871 edition), vol. I, p. 168)] Howe is this any different from Brutus honoring Caesar with faint praise?

    Did the Nazi’s misinterpret Darwin in building on these foundations?

    What do you say about the numerous Darwinists/evolutionists today who advocate eugenics and euthenasia?

    Such arguments appear to be what both Nazi’s and Communists built many of their policies on. The critical issue is that oligarchies or tyrants imposing their totalitarian views have caused the deaths of some 125 million people in the 20th century – compared to some 39 million in all wars.

    Both Nazi’s and Communists considered themselves “moral”.

    Ideas have consequences – regardless of the whether their authors considered themselves “moral”.

  16. a piece with creationist literature that attacks him for “inbreeding” by marrying his first cousin. Isn’t scordova supposed to be a graduate student somewhere? Don’t graduate students practice standards of decency

    I’m no less decent than wiki (which we all know is controlled by creationists, NOT) which highlights the fact Darwin made kids with his cousin, and his kids illnesses he felt was the result of his inbreeding.

    The Darwins had ten children: two died in infancy, and Annie’s death at the age of ten had a devastating effect on her parents. …Whenever they fell ill he feared that they might have inherited weaknesses from inbreeding due to the close family ties he shared with his wife and cousin, Emma Wedgwood.

    As far as her being deformed, she was actually sickly and died at the early age of 10. I was mistaken. She was sickly not birth defected, but Darwin regarded such illnesses related to his inbreeding activities.

    In Eugenic theory, inbreeding is practiced in order to bring out killer recessive traits, and presumably offspring with such traits would be prevented from reproducing. I suppose Darwin could only bring himself to execute only the first part of the Eugenic program, namely the inbreeding step.

    Genetics and Eugenics: A Textbook for Biology Students

    Inbreeding, also, by its tendency to secure homozygous combinations, tends to bring to the surface latent or hidden recessive characters…..Existing legislation against the marriage of near-of-kin is, therefore, on the whole, biologically justified. On the other hand, continual crossing only tends to hide inherent defects, not to exterminate them; and inbreeding only tends to bring them to the surface, not create them. We may not, therefore, lightly ascribe to inbreeding or intermarriage the creation of bad racial traits, but only their manifestation. Further, any racial stock which maintains a high standard of excellence under inbreeding is certainly one of great vigor, and free form inherent defects.

    The animal breeder is therefore amply justified in doing what human society at present is probably not warranted in doing, — viz., practicing close inbreeding in building up families of superior excellence and then keeping these pure

  17. Dave : It seems you’ve gone on an illogical tangent here, imo.

    Did Falwell derive his racism from new testament Christianity? No. Does he try to justify his racism with Xian principles? Yes. Does it work? No.

    Did Hitler justify his racism with polyphyletic Darwinism? Yes. Does it work? Yes! Did Hitler devaluate human life based on Darwinian ‘science’? Yes. Does it work logically? Yes again!

    Did Darwin? No.

    Happily there are contradictions between the actions and real-life beliefs of materialists and the logical implications of their materialist dogma.

    Ideas have consequences. That’s the whole gist of the Darwinism/Hitler discussions. Not what dirty laundry can we dig up on all sides. You will find plenty!
    But the root here is not the dirty laundry itself but how the laundry got dirty!

    Imo, you may as well have cited the crusades or Martin Luther’s antisemitism in this thread.

    Can Luther’s antisemitism be justified based on the Xian scriptures? No. Did he try to justify it with those scriptures? Yes! But it clearly cannot work! The whole of it was written by Jews! Clearly no logical justification can be made. It is rather amazing that Luther could be antisemitic at all in that light while claiming to believe the NT scriptures.

    Not so with the whole Darwinism to Hitler link.

    No one in ID equates Hitler to Darwin. This basic mistake is committed over and over again by Darwinists.
    So bringing up a racist link between Falwell and Hitler is strawmanish
    The links are in the underlying philosophies. Anyone can be a racist – “why?” is the question here.

    The question in this whole Darwin to Hitler thing is not mere similarities of thought. It is about real, logical connections through the underlying world views.

    You will find nothing in the Christian scriptures that can be logically linked to racism or slaughtering your neighbor because of his race or color.

    Nothing, anywhere in the entire bible, for example, can be logically interpreted to encourage racism based on skin color. (Darwin clearly considered blacks, ‘savages’ and women to be inferior species.)

    But on the contrary what we read in the NT scripture is

    And he has made of one blood all the nations of men living on all the face of the earth

    Has Falwell preached the creation of a eugenics program to kill off the non white races? Has he suggested death camps for blacks? Violence?
    Has he even come close to backing up his own racism with references to the underlying principles of Christianity by it’s scriptures?

    No to all the above.

    In the case of Darwinism (not Darwin himself) and Hitler, the links are both historically factual and logical – especially under the old polyphyletic evolution paradigm – which, btw, is no longer accepted by at least 90% of neo-Darwinists.

    No such link can be made between New Test. Christianity & Falwell. The N.T. is anything but racist both in it’s principles and it’s implications as the above quote shows.

  18. “It is rather amazing that Luther could be antisemitic at all in that light while claiming to believe the NT scriptures.”

    Actually it stemmed from (Well this is my guess anyway) the way the Jew’s rejected the Gospel when Luther presented it to them.

    Luther thought it was reasonable they would reject the papist perversion of the Gospel but not in its pure form. However they did, and this embittered Luther against them.

    It was unfortunate that he wrote “On the Jews and their Lies”, but given the sort of fiery bull headed man Luther was, the reaction is not that surprising. In many ways it mirrors how he reacted to the Popes denunciation of him.

  19. Allan McNeill,

    Your claim that Darwin did not subscribe to eugenics is completely false. As we all know, Darwin’s own son became President of the British Eugenics Society and claimed that Darwin believed that eugenics was the most important application of his theory of evolution. Darwin’s own cousin, Francis Galton, is considered the founder of Eugenics. Darwin cites approvingly to Galton’s work in the Descent of Man in passages that are indistinguishable from eugenic thought. Galton in turn claimed Darwin’s Origin of Species as his inspiration.

    Darwin and the Darwin family fingerprints are all over the birth of the eugenics movement.

  20. Falwell’s university supported the anti-racist book One Blood: One Blood: The Biblical Answer to Racism, and has hosted black evangelical speaker Dr Charles Ware.

    Note that the MMM (Mendacious Mainstream Media) give a free pass to the Democrats, the party of slavery, the KKK, Kim Crow Laws, and which still has an ex-Kleagle as a senator (Robert C. Byrd).

    Racism is simply contrary to the Bible. But churchian racists, just like churchian evolutionists, can read their doctrine into a book that clearly contradicts it.

    Churchian racism is mainly an American phenomenon, as a way of reconciling two contradictory teachings in its foundings: all men are created equal, and slavery is allowed. So slavery can be allowed only if schemes are invented that class slaves as less than human. This culminated in the Dred Scot SCOTUS case.

    Thomas Sowell points out in Economic Facts and Fallacies that there was far less racism in Brazil, even though it had slavery. This is because they never had a constitutional guarantee that all people were created equal, so they had no need to invent ways of pretending that they were unequal.

  21. Did Hitler justify his racism with polyphyletic Darwinism? Yes. Does it work? Yes! Did Hitler devaluate human life based on Darwinian ’science’? Yes. Does it work logically? Yes again!

    Indeed. Quotes from Hitler’s Table Talk, a compendium of “the official, authentic record of Hitler’s [private, mealtime] conversations”:

    [W]e shall learn to become familiar with the laws by which life is governed, and acquaintance with the laws of nature will guide us on the path of progress. As for the why of these laws, we shall never know anything about it. A thing is so, and our understanding cannot conceive of other schemes.

    Man has discovered in nature the wonderful notion of that almighty being whose law he worships.

    Fundamentally in everyone there is the feeling of this almighty being, which we call God (that is to say, the dominion of natural laws throughout the whole universe).
    .
    .
    .
    If anyone asks us where we obtain the right to [conquer], we reply that, for a nation, her awareness of what she represents carries this right with it. It’s success that justifies everything…

    We…confine ourselves to asking man to fashion his life worthily. For this, it is sufficient for him to conform to the laws of nature. Let’s seek inspiration in these principles, and in the long run we’ll triumph over religion…

    Men dispossess one another, and one perceives that, at the end of it all, it is always the stronger who triumphs. Is that not the most reasonable order of things?

    If it were otherwise, nothing good would ever have existed. If we did not respect the laws of nature, imposing our will by the right of the stronger, a day would come when wild animals would once again devour us — then the insects would eat the animals, and finally nothing would exist on earth but the microbes.
    .
    .
    .
    [I]s it we who created nature, established its laws? Things are as they are and we can do nothing to change them. Providence ["(or the unknown, or Nature, or whatever name one chooses)," as Hitler writes elsewhere] has endowed living creatures with a limitless fecundity; but she has not put in their reach, without the need for effort on their part, all the food they need. All that is very right and proper, for it is the struggle for existence that produces the selection of the fittest.
    .
    .
    .
    According to the laws of nature, the soil belongs to him who conquers it… Overpopulation compels a people to look out for itself. There is no risk of our remaining fixed at our present level. Necessity will force us to be always at the head of progress.

    All life is paid for with blood.

    If a man doesn’t like this notion of life, I advise him to renounce life altogether — for it proves he is not suited for the struggle…
    .
    .
    .
    As in everything, nature is the best instructor, even as regards selection. One couldn’t imagine a better activity on nature’s part than that which consists in deciding the supremacy of one creature over another by means of a constant struggle.

  22. I find it very distressing that anyone would stoop to ad hominem arguments of this type, especially in support of the assertion that Darwin and other evolutionary biologists essentially have no morals.

    I did not mean to imply Darwin had no morals. I expected he would not sacrifice his own children despite the fact he suspected he either passed on or induced defects which made his kids prone to illness.

    Darwin might have been influential in making Eugenics fashionable, but he himself had many things preventing him from partaking:

    1. he himself was sickly yet he reproduced

    2. he loved his children

    We see that in the Eugenecists of today like Peter Singer. They are hard pressed to follow the standards they set for everyone else. Singer said elderly invalids ought to be euthanized and people should not earn more than $30,000 a year. Singer is hard pressed to follow his own advice.

    Enlightenment Comes by Mike Gene

  23. scordova,
    Can you provide quotations/citations for the Provine, Buss, Thorhill, or Palmer references in #2, above?
    Thnx,
    -sb

    A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion by Thornhill and Palmer.

    Regarding David Buss see Science Made Easy by Mike Gene

    Murderers’ genes won the evolutionary battle over those of their victims

    The movie expelled has scence of Will Provine commenting on morality.

    Off topic, but related:

    see Singer’s advocacy of human-animal sex in Heavy Petting by Peter Singer.

    Just for grins, see: Compassionate Cannibalism by Beth Conklin.

  24. P.S.
    Borne, why the modifier polyphyletic?

  25. 25

    Heavy Petting by Peter Singer.
    Compassionate Cannibalism by Beth Conklin.

    Haha, where do you find this stuff Salvador?

    Anyway. It’s not that distressing to the average American, the notion that Darwinists or Neo Darwinists have no morals. The reason you are getting such irrational responses on behalf of their community regarding ‘morality’ is because they know deep down they don’t posses Judeo-Christian morals.

    As Ben Stein puts it, the Darwinist/Secular Establishment would love to get Americans to stop believing in God. That would allow them to have a free hand when it comes to abortions, euthanasia, genetic engineering, all that stuff.

    It should come as no suprise that Dawkins, if you really scrutinize what he says, ends up sounding like a Wellsian Socialist.

  26. Jason Rennie, you wrote:

    Luther thought it was reasonable they would reject the papist perversion of the Gospel but not in its pure form. However they did [not], and this embittered Luther against them.

    This is correct. Luther’s most celebrated biographer, Roland Bainton (a Quaker), writes:

    Luther was sanguine that his own reform, by eliminating the abuses of the papacy, would accomplish the conversion of the Jews. But the converts were few, and unstable. When he endeavored to proselytize some rabbis, they undertook in return to make a Jew of him. The rumor that a Jew had been suborned by the papists to murder him was not received with complete incredulity. In Luther’s latter days, when he was often sorely frayed…he came out with a vulgar blast in which he recommended that all Jews be deported to Palestine. Failing that, they should be forbidden to practice usury, should be compelled to earn their living on the land, their synagogues should be burned, and their books including the Bible should be taken away from them.
    One might wish that Luther had died before ever this tract was written. Yet one must be clear as to what he was recommending and why. His position was entirely religious, and in no respect racial. (Here I Stand, p. 297)

    Luther’s position could more accurately be described as “anti-Judaism” than as “anti-Semitism.” Anti-Judaism, it goes without saying, is disrespectful of the integrity of Judaism, and contains the seeds of disrespect for the Jewish people. But Luther’s goal would have been the baptism of every Jew, not their incineration. The biological rationale undergirding “racial cleansing” was nowhere in his world view.
    The position he took toward the end of his life, and the tract he wrote, left a permanent stain on his reputation. And contemporary Lutherans have acknowledged and deplored Luther’s words and their role in shaping modern anti-Semitism.

    The Lutheran communion of faith is linked by name and heritage to the memory of Martin Luther, teacher and reformer… Luther proclaimed a gospel for people as we really are, bidding us to trust a grace sufficient to reach our deepest shames and address the most tragic truths.
    In the spirit of that truth-telling, we who bear his name and heritage must with pain acknowledge also Luther’s anti-Judaic diatribes and the violent recommendations of his later writings against the Jews. As did many of Luther’s own companions in the sixteenth century, we reject this violent invective, and yet more do we express our deep and abiding sorrow over its tragic effects on subsequent generations. In concert with the Lutheran World Federation, we particularly deplore the appropriation of Luther’s words by modern anti-Semites for the teaching of hatred toward Judaism or toward the Jewish people in our day.
    Grieving the complicity of our own tradition within this history of hatred, moreover, we express our urgent desire to live out our faith in Jesus Christ with love and respect for the Jewish people. We recognize in anti-Semitism a contradiction and an affront to the Gospel, a violation of our hope and calling, and we pledge this church to oppose the deadly working of such bigotry, both within our own circles and in the society around us. Finally, we pray for the continued blessing of the Blessed One upon the increasing cooperation and understanding between Lutheran Christians and the Jewish community.

    http://www.elca.org/ecumenical.....ation.html

    The world would be a better place, I believe, if those who lay claim to Darwin’s heritage could acknowledge the horrible uses to which his ideas have been put.

  27. The reason you are getting such irrational responses on behalf of their community regarding ‘morality’ is because they know deep down they don’t posses Judeo-Christian morals.

    Actually, “they” may possess Judeo-Christian morals while rejecting theism. But they have no obligation to do so (if atheists). If they practice Judeo-Christian morality, it is merely their personal preference or convenience, not a binding obligation. So, if it suits their purposes, they may exchange that moral system for another whenever it suits them, without fear of violating their worldview.

  28. 28

    scordova, you’re hilarious. In your first comment you say:

    Darwin himself had a deformed daughter. I suppose he could not bring himself to advocate Eugenics lest he sacrifice his own. One can also speculate that Darwin wished Eugenics were practiced, and thus he would not have supposedly been in the predicament of having a deforemed child….who knows…..

    In other words, the only thing stopping him from carrying out some evil plan was his “deformed” daughter — who was, as has been pointed out, not deformed (she probably died from TB).

    You defend this by citing Wikipedia. As a graduate student, you should have higher standards: many colleges do not allow Wikipedia as a source. In any event, my understanding from several biographies is that Darwin mainly blamed his own sickly constitution for his daughter’s sickliness. His interest in inbreeding arose much later in his life, and he considered that as well, but it wasn’t his main thought.
    But wait: it gets better. So far you’ve suggested that the only thing stopping Darwin from carrying out some eugenics program was his love for his daughter. Of course, you “did not mean to imply Darwin had no morals.” No, no. But you say:

    In Eugenic theory, inbreeding is practiced in order to bring out killer recessive traits, and presumably offspring with such traits would be prevented from reproducing. I suppose Darwin could only bring himself to execute only the first part of the Eugenic program, namely the inbreeding step.

    In other words, you’re saying that Darwin courted, proposed to, and married his wife (in 1939, 19 years before the publication of the Origin) and had children with her as the first step in a Eugenics program. What kind of sick person are you?

  29. DLH asked (in #15):

    “Are you thus holding that eugenics and euthenasia are wrong?”

    Absolutely, unless they are completely voluntary (which would be imnpossible in the case of eugenics that involved the abortion of an unborn child). IN other words, all forms of negative eugenics are morally wrong. “Positive” eugenics (such as that involved in genetic counseling) can be morally neutral (or even morally right), but only if they do not involve the abrogation of individual rights.

  30. Darwin’s prediction about the eventual extinction of the “primitive races” was exactly that: a prediction (which, BTW, was mostly correct). It was not a prescription, nor was it in any way advocating that this should.

    You have asked this question repeatedly, and been given this same answer repeatedly, yet resolutely (and therefore apparently deliberately) continue to misunderstand the basic difference between empirical description and ethical prescription.

    Why do you do this?

  31. j : “why the modifier polyphyletic?”
    It’s the only term I can find that describes older Darwinism – being that human races evolved from many ancestors and branches – thus some are more evolutionarily advanced than others.

    Monophyletic better describes neo-Darwinism (depending on who you read! some still adhere to poly and still make the superior/inferior race conclusions) and describes the more present view that all humans descend from one original branch rather than many – and thus all races are equally evolved.

  32. Re jehu (#19):

    And as I have pointed out repeatedly, at the time that Darwin favored eugenics it had virtually none of the negative connotations that it has now. The form of eugenics that Darwin favored was “positive” eugenics; that is, encouraging people with desirable traits to have as many children as possible.

    That eugenics would eventually be used in a much more negative way (and especially as a rationale for mass murder) was the furthest thing from Darwin’s (or his contemporary’s minds).

    Knowing what we know now about the evil uses to which eugenics has been put (by people who used it to justify a program of totalitarian genocide which was motivated by political and social factors, not science), would any right-thinking person favor anything like “negative” eugenics?

    The answer is, of course, no. However, the continued inability of many of the posters in this thread to distinguish between positive and negative eugenics, and the tendency to demonize Darwin and his contemporaries for events that occurred half a century after their deaths, indicates to me that their motives are NOT to elucidate the historical connections between Darwinian evolutionary theory, eugenics, and Nazi race policies. Rather, the motivation behind such continued (and therefore apparently deliberate) misunderstanding is, as far as I can tell, motivated by a desire to undermine the credibility of evolutionary biologists today. This despite the fact that virtually no evolutionary biologist that I am aware of advocates anything like “negative” eugenics.

  33. DLH asked (in #15):

    “Did the Nazi’s misinterpret Darwin in building on these foundations?”

    Yes. To be specific, the Nazis used Darwin’s ideas (which were descriptive, NOT prescriptive) to justify a system of totalitarian repression, mass theft, and genocide, which they pursued for economic, political, and social reasons.

    Again, you seem determined to deliberately misunderstand the difference between description and prescription. Why?

  34. Sal wrote (in #16):

    “As far as her being deformed, she [Anne] was actually sickly and died at the early age of 10. I was mistaken. She was sickly not birth defected, but Darwin regarded such illnesses related to his inbreeding activities.”

    And he was wrong: Anne had tuberculosis, complicated by a severe gastrointestinal infection. Neither of these was or is the result of inbreeding. Hence, Darwin’s concerns were based on faulty information, and therefore had no basis in fact.

  35. sal wrote (in #16):

    “In Eugenic theory, inbreeding is practiced in order to bring out killer recessive traits, and presumably offspring with such traits would be prevented from reproducing.”

    Change “killer” to “lethal and deleterious” and you’ve got it about right. This is precisely what genetic counselors do today. to be specific, it is the underlying rationalization for the Shidduch, which is a Jewish matchmaking service that specifically screens prospective mates for the presence of the alleles for Tay Sachs syndrome and other recessive lethal alleles. In this program, people voluntarily agree to be matched with mates who do not share these lethal alleles, thereby eliminating the possibility of having a child with the recessive lethal condition.

    Are such programs morally responsible? Of course they are; they are a form of positive eugenics.

    Interestingly, such programs also guarantee that the frequency of the recessive lethal alleles will slowly increase in frequency in the human gene pool, as they are not eliminated via the formation of lethal homozygotes. Hence, a program of deliberate positive eugenics has the effect of increasing the genetic load in the human gene pool.

    Ergo, the moral justification for genetic counseling that decreases individual suffering carries with it the overall increase in the underlying genetic cause for the condition being ameliorated. This is precisely as it should be; a moral calculus that weighs individual rights and responsibilities against a slight social negative (i.e. the increase in frequency of the lethal alleles), and in so doing increases both individual justice and social utility.

    BTW, precisely the same thing happens when people are prevented from dying from diabetes (or being nearsighted, like me).

  36. Allen MacNeill,
    You keep forgetting that, while noting the difference between prescriptive and descriptive, we can also note that Darwin wasn’t only making a prediction. He also drew a qualitative conclusion.
    The genocide he predicted would increase man’s average evolutionary level.

  37. Addendum: No one seems to have picked up on the point that Falwell, as an evangelical Christian biblical literalist, did not believe in “Darwinism” yet he still shared his racial thinking with Hitler. Further proof that you don’t need Darwin to be a racist.

    Of course you don’t. You just need Darwin to justify the mass genocide part.

  38. 38
    Horace_Worblehat

    Is there any reason why my previous posts, made over 24 hours ago have yet to show up?
    {DLH possibly accidently thrown out with the spam water. Save posts off line & try again.}

  39. Allen_MacNeill:

    I generally like your posts and appreciate your input into this forum—both in its content and its tone.

    I wonder though if you’d be willing to follow up on what you said in post #29, namely that “…all forms of negative eugenics are morally wrong.”

    Why?

    I’m particularly interested in your views in light of the following:

    As evolutionists, we see that no [ethical] justification of the traditional kind is possible. Morality, or more strictly our belief in morality, is merely an adaptation put in place to further our reproductive ends. Hence the basis of ethics does not lie in God’s will…. In an important sense, ethics as we understand it is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to cooperate. It is without external grounding. (Wilson and Ruse, “The Evolution of Ethics,” 1991)

    If W&R are correct, the ethic that supports the argument you made earlier has no basis in reality at all. Sorry–but I see no other way to interpret their statement.

    If they’re not correct, what other basis is there in the evolutionary framework to make the kind of absolute argument you made above–namely that all forms of xyz are morally wrong?

  40. Horace, nobody’s posts are going through it seems. (Mine haven’t shown up the past couple of days…)

  41. 41

    What what I said must have really got to the point. Look how many comments Alan MacNeil entered.

  42. Allen_MacNeill at 29

    DLH asked (in #15):
    “Are you thus holding that eugenics and euthenasia are wrong?”

    Absolutely, unless they are completely voluntary (which would be imnpossible in the case of eugenics that involved the abortion of an unborn child).

    Thank you for that strong affirmation.

    Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton (1822-1911) coined “eugenics” and advocated it.

    Galton defined his new word this way: “Eugenics is the study of agencies under social control that may improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations, whether physically or mentally.”

    Darwin’s theories provided his inspiration.

    In strength, agility, and other physical qualities, Darwin’s law of natural selection acts with unimpassioned, merciless severity. The weakly die in the battle for life; the stronger and more capable individuals are alone permitted to survive, and to bequeath their constitutional vigour to future generations.

    I submit that you are basing this on the Judeo-Christian world view, not on Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” (“law of the jungle”).

  43. Allen_MacNeill at 30
    You noted:

    Darwin’s prediction about the eventual extinction of the “primitive races” was exactly that: a prediction (which, BTW, was mostly correct). It was not a prescription, nor was it in any way advocating that this should.

    You claim I

    . . . continue to misunderstand the basic difference between empirical description and ethical prescription.

    Your post exhibits what I am exploring:
    From a descriptive basis
    Darwin clearly understood the implications of his theory could involve some “races” of humans destroying other “races”.

    Darwin then took the predictive step of expecting this to happen in the future.

    Darwin himself did not explicitly take the prescriptive step, though he hinted at it in his example of comparing smart breeding of animals with how we treat the weak out of “nobility”.

    Galton and the eugenics societies easily took the next step that eugenics should be prescriptive. . From that common early 20th century advocacy of eugenics based on Darwin’s work, Hitler and the Nazi’s built their program in the 1920s to make this prescriptive.

    In Expelled Stein exposes this connection with the gas chambers for the “less fit” at Hademyer. Then a simple next step to consider Jews as an inferior race and the final solution as Stein shows at Dachau.

    Richard Weikart documents these steps in “From Darwin to Hitler”.
    There are similar connections to Communism. Stalin explicitly cites Darwin’s writings are turning him from the priesthood to atheism, and he recommended Darwin to his friends for that reason.

    This raises the challenge that the world view we choose for society has profound impacts and consequences.

    The greater challenge is not the ideas themselves, but their being imposed by totalitarian groups. This totalitarian imposition of evolution by the Darwinian oligarchy is the key issue Stein is raising in Expelled. .

  44. pannenbergomega wrote (in #25):

    “It’s not that distressing to the average American, the notion that Darwinists or Neo Darwinists have no morals. The reason you are getting such irrational responses on behalf of their community regarding ‘morality’ is because they know deep down they don’t posses Judeo-Christian morals.”

    This is precisely the kind of ugly character assassination that makes intellectual discussions at sites like this virtually impossible. What if I had written

    “It’s not that distressing to the average German, the notion that Jews or Christians have no morals. The reason you are getting such irrational responses on behalf of their community regarding ‘morality’ is because they know deep down they don’t posses our morals.”

    Almost every commentator on this thread would be outraged, and for good reason. This is pure ad hominem garbage, and illustrates more than anything I could possibly say of the complete moral bankruptcy of your position.

    Shame on you, and shame on every person who nodded their head in agreement on reading such unmitigated crap.

  45. DLH wrote (in #42):

    “I submit that you are basing this on the Judeo-Christian world view, not on Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” (”law of the jungle”).”

    Not exactly. I am basing it on an ethical world view that parallels the Judeo-Christian world view in many ways, but does not ground its ultimate justification in the idea that “it’s right because God says so.”

    In particular, I submit that not only the Judeo-Christian world view, but also most other systems of ethics (most of which I have studied pretty intensively for many years, hence my qualifications to teach a course on the subject at Cornell) are based upon a concept known as “universal reciprocity.” This idea, perhaps most clearly and forcefully asserted by Emmanuel Kant, states:

    “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”

    Kant’s ethics have been further elucidated by ethical philosophers, most notably John Rawls, in his magnum opus A Theory of Justice. Neither Kant’s ethics nor Rawls make any direct reference to Judeo-Christian morals at all. Indeed, they reference no existing moral or ethic system for justification. Rather, they justify their moral prescriptions on the basis of pure logical reasoning, much as did Socrates, Aristotle, and Siddhartha Gautama.

    But, I suppose since none of these people justified their ethics by saying that “it’s right because God says so”, then they’re all as disgustingly amoral as all evolutionary biologists, right?

  46. steveB (in #39) asked about the E. O. Wilson’s statements vis-a-vis ethics. I completely disagree with Wilson’s ideas, and have said so on many occasions. Indeed, I am leading a seminar on precisely this subject this summer at Cornell: “Evolution and Ethics: Is Morality Natural?” See:

    http://evolutionlist.blogspot......ality.html

    My answer to that question is most definitely NO. Morality isn’t “natural”, if by “natural” one means something that does not require both rational judgment and contradicts what “natural” processes (such as natural selection) produce as a result of their action.

    T. H. Huxley’s essay, “Evolution and Ethics”, is one of the required readings for the seminar. Let me quote what is perhaps the central assertion that Huxley makes in this essay:

    “…the practice of that which is ethically best–what we call goodness or virtue–involves a course of conduct which, in all respects, is opposed to that which leads to success in the cosmic struggle for existence. In place of ruthless self-assertion it demands self-restraint; in place of thrusting aside, or treading down, all competitors, it requires that the individual shall not merely respect, but shall help his fellows; its influence is directed, not so much to the survival of the fittest, as to the fitting of as many as possible to survive. It repudiates the gladiatorial theory of existence. It demands that each man who enters into the enjoyment of the advantages of a polity shall be mindful of his debt to those who have laboriously constructed it; and shall take heed that no act of his weakens the fabric in which he has been permitted to live. Laws and moral precepts are directed to the end of curbing the cosmic process and reminding the individual of his duty to the community, to the protection and influence of which he owes, if not existence itself, at least the life of something better than a brutal savage…..Let us understand, once for all, that the ethical progress of society depends, not on imitating the cosmic process, still less in running away from it, but in combating it. [emphasis added]

    The entire essay is available here:

    http://aleph0.clarku.edu/huxley/CE9/E-E.html

    But, of course, Huxley was “Darwin’s bulldog” and an evolutionary biologist, so he (like all of us deluded atheist scientists) is just another amoral hedonist, right?

  47. Allan McNeil,

    You said,

    And as I have pointed out repeatedly, at the time that Darwin favored eugenics it had virtually none of the negative connotations that it has now. The form of eugenics that Darwin favored was “positive” eugenics; that is, encouraging people with desirable traits to have as many children as possible.

    I thought you had said that Darwin never supported eugenics. I must have misunderstood you. However, I don’t buy the idea that Darwin only supported “positive eugenics.” His cousin Francis Galton certainly supported negative eugenics. Darwin himself in the Descent of Man bemoans the fact that social welfare and small pox vaccines that preserve the “weak members of society” and are therefore “highly injurious to the race of man.” That is negative eugenics in all its glory.

    But why should we be surprised? Eugenics is the logical conclusion of a Darwinist world view. That doesn’t mean all Darwinists are Nazis, it means there is no logical or moral reason for them not to be Nazis unless they soften their Darwinist world view with a layer of religion or philosophy that does not logically extend from Darwinism itself.

  48. Allen MacNeill:

    This is precisely the kind of ugly character assassination that makes intellectual discussions at sites like this virtually impossible.

    Well, as an observer only, it seems to have been a pretty good discussion so far, so please don’t stop now; at least half, perhaps more seems to me fairly civil back-and-forth in general, despite the quite volatile subject. I for one appreciate your input!

  49. Allen_MacNeill (45): “But, I suppose since none of these people justified their ethics by saying that “it’s right because God says so”, then they’re all as disgustingly amoral as all evolutionary biologists, right?”

    (46): “But, of course, Huxley was “Darwin’s bulldog” and an evolutionary biologist, so he (like all of us deluded atheist scientists) is just another amoral hedonist, right?”

    Allen, I and others here have labored to be quite clear about distinguishing the question of whether materialism supports an objective basis for morality from any accusation that materialists are personally and collectively “disgustingly amoral”.

    You come quite close there to painting with a wide brush in your implied accusations. I hope that was unintentional and in the heat of the moment after responding to one person’s comment. I trust that in the interest of reasoned inquiry, you are not intending to tar all posters with those jabs, correct?

    Do you understand the distinction we are making? If you are serious about universal reciprocity then you should desire to represent the distinction with the very same accuracy that you would want for positions of your own, true?

    Are you then willing to represent the distinction accurately?

  50. Alan_MacNeill at 45
    You appeal to

    “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”

    Kant

    I submit that Hitler understood Darwin’s evolution to actually be natural law. Consequently, he believed he was fulfilling natural law in destroying the Jews and other weaker members of society.

    From Hitler’s position, your objection is contrary to natural law and thus he would be justified in over riding it. – Thus, I expect Hitler would believe he was fulfilling Kant’s definition by implementing the eugenics program to eliminate the “weaker” members of society, and then the “Final solution.”

    Contrast Jesus “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Hitler could not have turned that around as he could have Kant’s formulation.

    Yet you cite Huxley as taking the opposite view.

    Laws and moral precepts are directed to the end of curbing the cosmic process and reminding the individual of his duty to the community, . . . that the ethical progress of society depends, not on imitating the cosmic process, still less in running away from it, but in combating it.

    In his article Huxley states:

    Natural knowledge tends more and more to the conclusion that “all the choir of heaven and furniture of the earth” are the transitory forms of parcels of cosmic substance wending along the road of evolution, . . . until it attains its highest level in man. … not in man, in man, the whole or half savage; but only in man, the member of an organized polity. . . .to the full development of his noblest powers.

    Huxley directly opposes the consequences of evolution. He appeals to moral law that is outside of this “cosmic process”. He rejects “heaven” yet appeals to “nobility.”

    I see no basis in the materialistic Darwinian world for “nobility” any different from Hitler’s “final solution” to fulfil “natural law”. Similarly in Huxley’s view, he appeals to “nobility” yet provides no basis for that moral law having rejected both evolution and heaven.

    Both view their position as “moral” or incontrovertable natural law.

    You claim:

    “The world would be a better place, I believe, if those who lay claim to Darwin’s heritage could acknowledge the horrible uses to which his ideas have been put.”

    And

    Shame on you, and shame on every person who nodded their head in agreement on reading such unmitigated crap.

    What basis is there for making such judgments? Not on evolution for that is what Hitler considered “natural law”. Kant’s formulation of reciprocity appears to match Hitler’s “final solutin”.

    Huxley appeals to a morality of communal progress. But what basis is there for that moral code? Communists who built society on evolution are those who killed some 100 million in the twentieth century, seeking to encourage Huxley’s noble communal society.

    To seriously explore such worldviews, I recommend including in your course the works of Francis Schaefer. He was one of the foremost Christian philosophers of the 20th century, living in Switzerland. He would probe to the logical consequences of each world view. See
    How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, 288 pages, Crossway Books (September 1983), ISBN-10: 0891072926

    The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer: A Christian Worldview : A Christian View of the Church
    Crossway Books; 2nd edition (April 1985) ISBN-10: 0891073353

    (As I recall, “*Escape From Reason” is pertinent to this discussion)

    Nancy Pearcey follows on from Schaefer in “Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity ” (now in paperback, 2008) ISBN-10: 1433502208

    Without thoroughly examining the foundations and consequences of each worldview, how do we evaluate “morality”, eugenics, euthanasia, abortion or “the final solution?”

  51. Regarding Allen_MacNeill’s “universal reciprocity”, if there exists a moral standard that applies objectively to all humans equally and without bias, then it would indeed follow that a principle such as “universal reciprocity” would allow one to be able to personally consider one’s actions and discern inconsistency and contradictions (provided they desire to do so) — even without referring to a sacred text.

    The problem is with the if. Nothing in materialism in general or in evolution specifies that any such requirement exists. Within that framework, why would it? In an excellent post here, you correctly observed that

    “If by “Darwinism” you mean the scientific theory of descent with modification and the origin of adaptations by means of natural selection, it has absolutely no moral implications at all.”

    You also very correctly show that this is true of any list of factual statements, including any from science in general.

    Notice that this does not prevent any individual, whether materialist or not, from choosing to adopt a policy of universal reciprocity. The problem is that there is simply nothing in that worldview that indicates universal reciprocity is “correct for all humans” or “true for all humans” or that it “ought” to be done by all in general. It is one strategy and it is (in that view) optional. Other strategies include oppression of the masses for the benefit of one’s self and one’s descendants.

    So, although I do not wish to dissuade you from universal reciprocity, neither does it rescue materialism from lacking any objective basis for morality. It cannot answer the central question:

    “What moral obligation does there exist on me to aim for equal treatment of all, especially if I and my descendants are benefiting at the expense of some others? Why assume universal equality, especially if the very nature of the struggle for life itself is based on exploiting the effects of inequalities?”

    In the United States, we are particularly blind to how historically aberrant the idea of equality has been. We breath the value in from our culture and assume it, without asking much about its logical foundation within our own culture upon inalienable rights granted by a Creator, not by human conventions that can be either made or removed.

  52. Borne,

    Thanks for the explanation, but what I was getting at is, what did Hitler write or say that makes use of the modifier, polyphyletic, necessary?
    __________

    Allen_MacNeill, quoting T.H. Huxley: “Let us understand, once for all, that the ethical progress of society depends, not on imitating the cosmic process, still less in running away from it, but in combating it.

    OK. But why should one care about the the ethical progress of society? (I ask, rhetorically.)

  53. —-Allen: “But, I suppose since none of these people justified their ethics by saying that “it’s right because God says so”, then they’re all as disgustingly amoral as all evolutionary biologists, right?”

    That would not be the problem.
    It is indeed possible to build a kind of personal morality on Kant’s ethic, but it is unlikely that the average individual would be motivated to follow it. Very few of us care as much about the common good as we do our own skins. In a perfect world, everyone would follow the golden rule, but the world we live in is quite different.

    The real problem is at the social level. How does one build a well-ordered society around such a smiley faced doctrine as this? What would be the standards for civil law or jurisprudential wisdom? How do we achieve consensus on these laws if everyone has his own version of morality. If we throw out the Ten Commandments and the “natural moral law,” all you have left is everyone’s subjective notion of a golden rule. We would have nothing to unify us or to rally around. It would be a social, political madhouse ending in the very thing we are tying to avoid—pure democracy, which is a euphemism for the tyranny of the majority.

    Further, there is always the conflict between the golden rule and survival. We must have laws that protect those who would not follow that noble ethic, and so the problem persists: On what standard do we base those laws. Obviously, it must be, or at least it ought to be, the “natural moral law,” which is written both in nature (objectively) and in the human heart (subjectively). When things get tough, the golden rule can degenerate into the law of the jungle very quickly.

    Most important, there is the problem of freedom itself. What is to protect the individual from intrusions from the state? Only the Judeo/Christian ethic teaches that we are made in the image and likeness of God and therefore have “inherent dignity.” Thus, God creates the natural moral law and grants natural rights in conjunction with that same law. If the state grants rights, then the state can take them away. Unless God is the final moral authority, the individual has no recourse when the state begins to encroach on individual rights. That is what the Declaration of Independence is all about. Darwinism/materialism denies God’s moral authority and the “inherent dignity” of the human person. For that reason, Darwinism is the enemy of freedom.

  54. j asked (in #52):

    “…why should one care about the the ethical progress of society?”

    Because, as Kant and Rawls (among many others) pointed out, if one acts in such a way as to undermine the ethical progress of the society of which one is a member, one is undermining the foundation of one’s own existence. This is precisely the point of Kant’s categorical imperative: the only stable system of ethics is one that is universally reciprocal. One cannot say that lying or breaking promises is wrong and damages the social contract, and then go ahead and lie or break promises for personal gain.

    And yes, the Nazis perverted Kant’s categorical imperative just as they did Darwinian evolutionary theory and Christian theology. Does this mean that Kant’s ethical theories or Darwin’s evolutionary theories or the tenets of the Christian religion necessarily led to Naziism?

    Of course not. But if that is the case, then why are we having this discussion at all? If it’s just to get all of the players to admit that their own pet theories have been perverted by unscrupulous scoundrels for reasons unrelated to the basic principles of their pet theory, then I’ll kick it off by clearly and loudly acknowledging that evolutionary theory has been perverted by unscrupulous scoundrels for reasons unrelated to the basic principles of evolutionary biology. Is anybody else ready to step up and do the same?

  55. Re stephenB in #53:

    If I read you correctly, then, you are arguing that only if one believes in God and His laws will one act morally. To me, this reduces to Rousseau’s contention that “if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.” In other words, God is a necessary fiction whose existence must be affirmed because otherwise people will inevitably descend into savagery.

    Do you really believe that people cannot act morally without believing in the Judeo-Christian God? If so, doesn’t the fact that at least some non-Jews and non-Christians nevertheless act ethically in their daily lives fatally undermine the positions that you have taken in this post?

    Or, to harken back at least as far as Socrates, is something right because God says so, or is God constrained to say so because it is right? If you agree with the former, then we’re very lucky that God no longer demands that we commit genocide in His name. And if you agree with the latter, then why believe in God at all, except as a convenient (but logically unnecessary) fiction?

  56. Eugenics is the logical conclusion of a Darwinist world view.

    In the same way that killing is a logical conclusion of a religious world view. I mean, if everyone has life everlasting and when the die they go to heaven where everything is all wonderful and beautiful forever, then logically you do someone a favor when you kill them as you’re delivering them to paradise.

    People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

  57. 57

    “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”

    Revolutionary thinking, I am sure.

    And how is this fundamentally different than the thinking that any tyrant of power in the history of Earth has embodied for himself. The Man is in charge.

    As they hold their daughters down and castrate them, I am certain they feel in charge of something they think should become universal law.

    I got a better one…

    “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    -and-

    “The evidence of natural right, like that of our right to life, liberty, the use of our faculties, the pursuit of happiness, is not left to the feeble and sophistical investigations of reason, but is impressed on the sense of every man. We do not claim these under the charters of kings or legislators, but under the King of Kings.” –Thomas Jefferson

    We as a people can envision ourselves lucky that persons such as those that fondle their minds like Allan were not in charge of founding this country.

  58. In the same way that killing is a logical conclusion of a religious world view. I mean, if everyone has life everlasting and when the die they go to heaven where everything is all wonderful and beautiful forever, then logically you do someone a favor when you kill them as you’re delivering them to paradise.

    If you are willing to go to hell yourself then it can be logical to kill people in a religious world view. By religious I’m sure you mean Judeo-Christian though, since this isn’t logical for all religions. On the down side you prevent these people from doing God’s work on earth, thus preventing more people from attaining everlasting life. Also assuming that heavenly reward is proportional to work done on earth, you also prevent people from storing treasures in heaven.

    Eugenics is one possible logical conclusion of the Darwinist worldview if you want to improve the human species in my opinion. Genetic engineering can be another option given this same goal.

  59. “If I read you correctly, then, you are arguing that only if one believes in God and His laws will one act morally.”

    You are not reading him correctly.

    I could try restating his point for you, but my treatment would probably be less clear than his.

  60. From Dave’s opening post:

    “One of the worst things about one side making connections to Hitler is it invites return fire of the same kind. This should be filed under the category “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”.”

    The link that was made btween Darwin and Hitler was that Darwin’s theory was ‘necessary but not sufficient’ for Hiter’s policies. Are you claiming that Christianity is ‘necessary but not sufficient’ for racism?

  61. WingLess

    If you are willing to go to hell yourself then it can be logical to kill people in a religious world view.

    Not at all. It just has to be killing done in God’s name. Look at all the wars and all the people who fought in them. What about all the soldiers who killed in order to defeat Hitler? Surely you’re not saying they all believed they were going to hell for it, are you?

  62. StephenA

    The link that was made btween Darwin and Hitler was that Darwin’s theory was ‘necessary but not sufficient’ for Hiter’s policies. Are you claiming that Christianity is ‘necessary but not sufficient’ for racism?

    No. I’m saying that Darwinism as a necessary condition is utter bullshit an unreasonable conclusion and that in making that unreasonable conclusion you simply invite others to use the same tortured logic to make similarly unreasoned connections in response. Unreasoned connections like linking Christianity to torture, war, rape, pillage, plunder, racism, Nazis, etcetera. It’s not like it’s hard to do. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  63. “…why should one care about the the ethical progress of society?”

    Allen_MacNeill: “Because, as Kant and Rawls (among many others) pointed out, if one acts in such a way as to undermine the ethical progress of the society of which one is a member, one is undermining the foundation of one’s own existence. This is precisely the point of Kant’s categorical imperative: the only stable system of ethics is one that is universally reciprocal.

    But why should I care if I’m undermining the foundation of our existence? Why should I care if the system is unstable? Live for the here and now, I say. (Rhetorically.)

  64. DaveScot

    In the same way that killing is a logical conclusion of a religious world view. I mean, if everyone has life everlasting and when the die they go to heaven where everything is all wonderful and beautiful forever, then logically you do someone a favor when you kill them as you’re delivering them to paradise.

    That defeats your original argument that the people you kill have everlasting life, and thus you should kill them. If the people you kill have everlasting life then it cannot be possible to kill them in God’s name. If you kill them in God’s name then it’s not going to grant you everlasting life, unless you’re talking about Islam perhaps.

  65. jehu

    If Darwin was a necessary condition for eugenics then what inspired the anti-miscegenation laws that were on the books in the colonies and later the United Statesw 200 years before Darwin’s birth?

    No one has answered this question and I’ve asked it about 10 times now.

    Clearly, Darwin is not a necessary condition for eugenics. All it takes to get eugenics rolling is good old fashioned bigotry and hatred for one group of people different from another group of people. This kind of behavior has plagued the human race, and lots of other species of animal, since the dawn of time.

  66. Opps I quoted the wrong post. The correct quote is:

    Not at all. It just has to be killing done in God’s name. Look at all the wars and all the people who fought in them. What about all the soldiers who killed in order to defeat Hitler? Surely you’re not saying they all believed they were going to hell for it, are you?

    Anyway getting back to the everyone has eternal life statement it isn’t true for Christianity as far as I know. So my argument applies:

    That defeats your original argument that the people you kill have everlasting life, and thus you should kill them. If the people you kill have everlasting life then it cannot be possible to kill them in God’s name. If you kill them in God’s name then it’s not going to grant you everlasting life, unless you’re talking about Islam perhaps.

  67. 67

    Or what about Genghis Khan killing millions of Chinese peasants merely out of contempt, or the Assyrians skinning alive every male inhabitant of a conquered city. Good going, Darwin.

  68. Wingless

    Perhaps you and others should read this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_War_theory

    This is about all the ways that killing is justified within Christianity.

    You’d think the basic “thou shalt not kill” and Jesus “love thy neighbor” and “turn the other cheek” would have made the Christian position on war and killing quite clear but I’m afraid actions speak louder than words and by that measure Christianity is no religion of peace.

  69. Junkyard

    What about God killing almost the entire human race in The Great Flood? Talk about genocidal… if true it’s the worst campaign of genocide in the history of the world.

  70. Davescot

    Perhaps you and others should read this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_War_theory

    This is about all the ways that killing is justified within Christianity.

    You’d think the basic “thou shalt not kill” and Jesus “love thy neighbor” and “turn the other cheek” would have made the Christian position on war and killing quite clear but I’m afraid actions speak louder than words and by that measure Christianity is no religion of peace.

    Firstly you did not actually reply to me. And what’s with “the others” as if I had some agenda against you or something. I’m giving what I believe to be a reasonable perspective on what I percieve as your over the top assertions that it is logical to kill people in a religious wordlview. I’ll assume that you mean Christian worldview because the term religious is too broad and judging from your arguments, you are refering to the Christian worldview.

    Firstly, you assert that it is logical to kill people as they have eternal life and thus will go to heaven. I admit that it would be logical if you are willing to go to hell for it.

    Secondly you assert, completely ignoring your previous argument that people you kill go to heaven, (I assume) that to kill does not mean you need to go to hell, as long as you do it in God’s name. However this argument is poor in the light of your previous argument becuase it is not possible to kill a person with eternal life in God’s name in the Christian worldview.

    Now without admiting the flaws in your previous argument you bring up some wikipedia article like all 10th grade Evolutionists (not intended as ad hominem) like to do when they want to show that Evolution is “proven” and tell me that killing can be justified in the name of Christianity. But so what? It’s not going to grant you eternal life. Moreover according to your referenced wikipedia article, Secular humanists may accept just war theory based on universal ethics without reference to Christian morality, so how is this necessarily a consequence of a religious (Christian) worldview?

    And since you seem to have a “me verses them” metality. (which in my opinion is paranoia in this case) I never did agree with the statement “Eugenics is the logical conclusion of a Darwinist world view.” And in fact I would say it requires another goal, that of human genetic progress to be logically sound. Moreover I said that such a goal can be achieved using genetic engineering as well.

  71. If I may give my thoughts about this issue, such as they are.

    No doubt exists that several times throughout history, one group of people have held sway over others and have attempted to exterminate them (with or without Natural Selection).

    However,the people of the Third Reich were scientifically astute. They knew that simple extermination was morally repugnant, but they could use science. However, it was scientifically advantageous using Natural Selection to increase the racial purity of their people. The pre-war German literature is filled with much consideration of racial purity. Culturally dead, but scientifically astute, the regime instituted the national will of survival of the fittest.

  72. I think the Darwin/Hitler relationship will be a moot point when all is said and done, thus I don’t empahsize the topic, but neither do I encourage complete silence on the matter.

    Berlinski pointed out Himmler probably rejected common descent from apes of the German races. Maybe Hitler too…The Nazis did not necessarily have the most self-consistent body of ideas….

    The Nazis might not easily be pegged as traditional Darwinists…..the argument for a Darwin/Hitler link even if true is muddled in confusion…I prefer clearer arguments.

    If one puts genocide on the table one must be ready to explain the practice of extermination of Caananites by the Jews in the Old Testament, not to mention God exterminating countless millions himself in favor of “the chosen race”. And what about God cursing Ham’s descendants? I believe in the Old Testament, but why venture needlessly into difficult territory?

    I’m not saying one can’t discuss these issues, but it seems to lead to irresolution and distraction at best….

    I do think Provine’s appearance in the film was powerful. He linked the non-Design world view to a worldview that lacked ultimate meaning for life and morality. Stein used Provine’s statement to lead into the description of a society governed by a comparable world view in Nazi Germany. Whether the Nazis actually used Darwin’s writings is less important than the fact that at least on the big screen, Stein showed the Nazi’s echoing Provine’s “no morality, no meaning” non-Design world view…..

    Whether Darwin’s writing was responsible or not for Nazi Germany is secondary to the problem posed by the devaluation of human life which is the tendency of non-Design world views. Witness the Eric Piankas and Peter Singers of the world….

  73. Wingless

    I admit that it would be logical if you are willing to go to hell for it.

    I think Hitler was a Catholic. I believe in many Christian denominations a deathbed conversion or confession is all you need to get into heaven.

    So your thesis about being willing to go to hell holds no water. Choose the right religion and you have a get-out-of-jail-free card to use anytime you need it.

    And isn’t that just a peachy good thing for people to believe – i.e. the get out of jail free card? Talk about counter-productive messages to give out. Do what you want, it’s all good, God will forgive you no matter what.

    People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  74. I think Hitler was a Catholic. I believe in many Christian denominations a deathbed conversion or confession is all you need to get into heaven.

    So your thesis about being willing to go to hell holds no water. Choose the right religion and you have a get-out-of-jail-free card to use anytime you need it.

    And isn’t that just a peachy good thing for people to believe – i.e. the get out of jail free card? Talk about counter-productive messages to give out. Do what you want, it’s all good, God will forgive you no matter what.

    Perhaps you should do some research into the statement “Hitler was a Catholic.” If you mean born into a Catholic background I’ll give you that, but besides that I can’t honestly give you alot more ground on that issue.

    That’s an interesting assertion you mmake, that my argument holds no water. Ask any Christian if a confession is a license to be immoral. Shoot someone today, say sorry tomorrow, rinse and repeat. What an easygoing religion indeed, I wonder why any Christian should feel the need to chance his/her lifestyle if this were the case, if confessing with empty words is enough for a God. No Church would deny the possibility of a deathbed confession, I’ll give you that too, but whether or not these were genuine is another issue.

  75. j : “Thanks for the explanation, but what I was getting at is, what did Hitler write or say that makes use of the modifier, polyphyletic, necessary?”

    I don’t know if he did. I’d have to read his stuff more carefully.

    My point is merely to distinguish between what Darwin preached and what neo-Darwinists preach. I noticed the poly/mono difference several years ago when debating Darwinism’s influences and lendings to racism. I noticed that while some Darwinists still believe humans evolved from many branches of apes, most believed that only one branch led to humans. (And that is supposedly backed up by DNA evidence now.) Meaning that, in their view at least, one could not derive a racist (inferior/superior) view from neo-Darwinism in which all humans came from a single “equal” branch.

    I hope that clarifies it better.

    I’m not a biologist and, in fact, thought I had invented the words poly/mono phyletic until I actually found them used in some Darwinist writings with the same meaning.

  76. So some self-proclaimed Christians have been racists and genocidial imperialists—and so have some self-proclaimed followers of the gospel of the survival of the fittest.

    That’s the calculus? Whoopee! The first one’s old news; the academy’s been peddling that jive ever since BU got Zinned. (And some people, it seems, just can’t stop Zinning.)

    But conceding the link between Darwin and Hitler? Now, that’s news.

    St Charles descends from Olympus; “human progress” loses some of its glow; that smirk on the face of your sociology professor takes on a different connotation.

  77. Interesting how Darwin as a Nazi necessity continues to rankle. Are we saying that historians should not ask what ideas and cultural currents led to the Holocaust? Are we supposed to assume that it was a storm that just blew up out of nowhere for no reason? Are we to believe its roots are so complex that we cannot study them?

    Is it OK to trace the roots of anti-Semitism to Christian bigotry but taboo to see a connection between Darwin and eugenics?

    Just imagine what the world would be like if Christians had never introspected on the fanatical excesses of their faith, and then compare the mass of so-called “moderates” of that other Abrahamic faith who cannot bring themselves to introspect on their immoderate present. Materialists too refuse to contemplate the negative consequences of their philosophy.

    The human heart is capable of unlimited evil, an evil which can be exacerbated or mitigated by ideology. The ideology that you need to fear is the one that cannot introspect on where its excesses might lead or have already led. I have read Richard Weikart’s excellent From Darwin to Hitler—the response should not be, “Well, what about the Bible?” Judeo-Christians have long wrestled with the divine command to drive out or exterminate the Canaanite—it is never an excuse for any subsequent genocide or mistreatment. Confronted with the argument that the misfortune to befall our fellow man was God ordained, an American President would once quote the Bible, “The Almighty has his own purposes. ‘Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!’”

    What we don’t need is the pretence that all that is at stake is “science”. Science is at issue because materialism has been redefined as “science”—the real war is the culture war. Ben Stein is absolutely right to open this discussion. That he puts his finger on a sore spot is all the better, for who wants to be further lulled into complacency as Civilization itself teeters on the brink of collapse?

  78. DaveScott at 69
    Is the flood “genocide” the “Worst”?
    Or “most effective”?
    Or “best” – morality based?

  79. WinglesS

    I checked up on the Hitler is a Catholic claim. According to Hitler himself in public speech he’s a Catholic.

    You can make a decent case that Hitler coveted the way churches could rally people around a dogma and get them to support things they normally wouldn’t support. In that fashion religion provided a governing framework (faith/worship based).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.....statements

    At one point he described his religious status: “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.”[14] Hitler never formally ended his church membership, but according to Albert Speer, “he had no real attachment to it.”[15]

    Mein Kampf, published in 1925-26, before his rise to power, displays a more ambivalent attitude. In an attempt to justify Nazi intolerance he recommends militantism, which he associates with the rise of Christianity over the old pagan religions. He referred to Christianity as “the first spiritual terror”, as a model for the Nazis in their pursuit of power, while simultaneously lamenting the demise of what he calls “the far freer ancient world” before Christianity. [16]

    I hope you’re beginning to see why people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Linking to Hitler – it’s too easy to do and too intellectually bankrupt to bother with. Any reasonable discussion is over once the Nazi card is played. Godwin’s Law.

  80. Is the flood “genocide” the “Worst”?
    Or “most effective”?
    Or “best” – morality based?

    I always wondered that. Why didn’t God just snap His fingers, kill everyone instantly except Noah etc, and be done with it? Why subject the whole of humanity (and all animals) to the terror of the fast-raising waters, the mad rush to high ground, the horror of seeing everything destroyed and their loved ones drowning like rats? Inscrutable, isn’t it?

  81. Dave, Hitler abandoned Catholicism, when he was a child. Everyone knows that he was a demagogue and would say or do anything to gain and hold power. You seem to take this idea seriously that he really was a believer. In fact, he was not. He hated Christianity in all its forms. Don’t forget, he was not in this alone. He had henchmen all around him, and we know for a fact that all of them, Galton especially, were committed Darwinists. Clearly, they were all on the same page, ideologically and strategically. So, you can’t credibly play the Catholic card.

    You seem to think that his disingenuous public pronouncements about religion should be taken as seriously as the atheism that informed the whole bunch of them. Make no mistake, this was an atheist enterprise. That fact is more than confirmed by the fact that Hitler also admired and revered Nietzsche, the fierce anti-Christian philosopher who was famous for his doctrine of “will to power.” In truth, Nietzsche probably influenced Hitler even more than Darwin. Bottom line: Hitler was Nietzsche first and Darwin second. His henchmen were Darwinists through and through. Not one of them took Catholicism or Christianity seriously.

  82. 82

    Dave Scott, I’ve watched you over the past days take up the argument you have.

    I hate it all, and can very easily disagree with you (and, I feel that I can just as easily support my disagreement) but I am frankly too grateful that you are doing what you are doing.

    Religion has some growing up to do.

    PWLIGHSNTS!

  83. Is Godwin’s Law meant to say, “Thou shalt not investigate the historical background of the Nazis!”? The Wikipedia article notes, “The rule does not make any statement whether any particular reference or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that one arising is increasingly probable. It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact.”

    By and large it has been the political left that frivolously throws around epithets like Hitler and Nazi. After all we are constantly told that Nazism was a movement of the right. The same can be said for the term fascism—it is incessantly leveled at American conservatives. Finally an American conservative, Jonah Goldberg, has addressed this phenomenon with a book, Liberal Fascism, that looks into the origins of the movement. I heartily recommend it.

    Now of course not all of us are all that interested in history—which is OK—but that does not mean that resistence is futile before the secular materialism that grips the academy except in “science”. History is important and at least some sound minds should be studying it because, as George Santayana (a Darwinist, by the way) is oft quoted as saying, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

  84. http://evolutionlist.blogspot......arwin.html

    {DLH points to: Godwin’s Darwin By Allen MacNeill March 29, 2008 }

  85. (Except for Quirk’s exception)

    Haeckel may be the key link from Darwin to Hitler. Jack Cashill observes: Expelled’ goes easy on Darwin-Nazi link

    Born in Potsdam in 1834, Haeckel read Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” in the summer it was first published in German, 1860, and fell immediately under its sway. He could see straight off that Darwin offered a useful exit strategy from a God-dominated cosmos.

    Once liberated, Haeckel created his own secular religion called “Monism.” Not lacking for confidence, he imagined Monism as nothing less than a unified, naturalistic understanding of the entire universe.

    “The modern science of evolution has shown that there never was any such creation,” claims Haeckel of the Judeo-Christian tradition, “but that the universe is eternal and the law of substance all-ruling.”

    In his 1971 book, “The Scientific Origins of National Socialism,” Dr. Daniel Gasman of John Jay College shows the “decisive” role that Haeckel played in the development of the German “Volkish” movement, a revival of pre-Christian German culture and spiritualism that found its eventual ecological outlet in the Holocaust.

    As it happens, many of the most influential Volkish spokesmen were tied in with either Haeckel or his Monist followers. These were the semi-respectable zanies that found common cause in National Socialism, and they were problem enough.

    But it was in the field of eugenics and racial science that Haeckel had the most direct and lethal impact. Germany’s leading advocates of racial anthropology and eugenics, notes Gasman, “were deeply and consciously indebted to Haeckel for many, if not for most, of their ideas.” . . .
    Haeckel had, in fact, inspired Hitler and Hitler’s Germany with Darwin’s cosmology, the story of the world as told by nature. For Haeckel and Hitler both, Gasman writes, “The great defect of modern Western society was that man was in constant violation of nature.”

    Given this perspective, it should not surprise that Nazi and proto-Nazi propaganda depicted Jews as pollutants: Poisoning wells, drinking blood, spreading disease and, ultimately, defiling the Aryan race. . . .

    See full article

  86. DaveScot:

    “in the same way that killing is a logical conclusion of a religious world view.”

    Dave it’s seems it’s getting worse and worse as you dig in to defend yourself here. You’re sounding more and more like Dick Dawkins!

    “I mean, if everyone has life everlasting and when the die …, then logically you do someone a favor when you kill them as you’re delivering them to paradise.”

    Maybe think over what you wrote there with a little less angst?

    You’re saying that if everyone goes to heaven after death (no Xian branch I know of says that universalists) then life isn’t worth living, life has no purpose and life sucks, therefore a selfish desire for personal well-being with no trials or troubles is the best thing heaven has to offer. Freedom from problems and suffering is hardly what heaven is all about. It’s sad so many religious types speak of it that way. Heaven and hell are both consequences of personal choices – something like vacations and prison.

    “Heaven offers nothing that a mercenary soul can desire”

    CS Lewis

    “I’m saying that Darwinism as a necessary condition is utter bullshit an unreasonable conclusion”

    Agreed. However, Darwinism was, as historical fact, a key element of Hitler’s views and actions.

    You don’t need Darwin to be racist any more than to be a blodd sucking eugenicist. But he sure helped clear the way in that his ‘scientific’ theory logically and simply leads to the devaluation of human life and the view that some are superior humans and others inferior – survival of the fittest and all. There have been 1000′s of Hitlers in history long before Darwin. But ours was definietly linked to Darwinism.

    “You’d think the basic “thou shalt not kill” and Jesus “love thy neighbor” and “turn the other cheek” would have made the Christian position on war and killing quite clear but I’m afraid actions speak louder than words and by that measure Christianity is no religion of peace.”

    “Do no murder” is the right translation there.

    But here you’re going off the deep end imo. If by peace you mean, perfect pacifism, then you’re right. Unfortunately, this idealist view of peace here is both erroneous and ludicrous in a world wherein free will rules and thus evil exists. Is that the kind of peace you mention? At any cost to freedom and the rape of justice?

    Is that the kind of “peace and love” you would exercise if someone invaded your home to put you and your family into brutal slavery, rape…?

    Forgive me to doubt it. It is the right and the duty of a man to defend himself and his family, and that unto death if such need be – and you know this. So it is also the right of nations. It cannot be otherwise in a free world wherein not everyone is going to choose to be peaceable or loving to their neighbor. Otherwise why not disarm the police? Why not then get rid of the military all together? Sounds great but cannot and should not happen until men are either no longer free or no longer selfish. Should we also tear down all the prisons? No longer punish any crimes? Be careful there Dave, your reasoning is going to far off on a tangent.

    “I think Hitler was a Catholic.”

    There is a huge difference by professing to be catholic (or anything else) and actually being one. Hitler’s god was not a personal someone but a something. As cited by j above : “God (that is to say, the dominion of natural laws throughout the whole universe).” Sound like catholic to you? See j’s last response as well. Btw, do you really trust wikipedia for anything?

    I strongly suggest you go look at the Nuremburg trials records here.
    Notice the 1st installation : “The Nazi Master Plan: The Persecution of the Christian Churches” – Yes Dave, Hitler was a genuine catholic!! Sheesh.

    “I believe in many Christian denominations a deathbed conversion or confession is all you need to get into heaven.”

    Do you really think God is such a dupe? That he does not examine the heart motives in all things? And then grant pardon to those who are sincere in change of heart and grant nothing to those who see him as an easy ticket out of prison – hell – the asylum of the universe for the criminally insane?
    Apparently some religious people do. But they can never support such a view by the teachings of Christ.

    “…the get out of jail free card? Talk about counter-productive messages to give out. Do what you want, it’s all good, God will forgive you no matter what.”

    I agree. And thankfully that is not the message given by Christ at all!

    Fortunately though, for us, there is one aspect of that which is true – Upon a sincere change of heart, from an ultimate motive of serving self to a new motive of unselfish living for the highest good of all, such a free pardon can be received and is in fact offered to all mankind.

    That is what the death of Christ is all about. Providing a fully legal method of both satisfying the demands of the Moral Law and it’s sanctions, while granting pardon to repentant criminals who have violated that law. His was a substitutionary death. His perfect life offered in place of the execution of the penalty of the law upon virtually the whole of mankind. Take yer pick. Governors have the power to grant pardons. God far more so. But only upon certain conditions and only because the demands of public justice were already met by Christ.

    Then you accuse God of genocide in the flood. Fine, rant on like Dawkins.
    But read this, “Gen 6:5 The LORD saw how evil humans had become on the earth. All day long their deepest thoughts were nothing but evil.”

    Sounds pretty bad to me. And after 120 years of patience in attempting to change those hearts, without success…well…

    Sorry to break the news to you but any true God being has rights over his creations. And the right to terminate a created thing, upon certain perpetuated violations of moral law, is one of them. Nothing God does is arbitrary, unwise or unjust. Otherwise God is no more God.

    No ruler can allow perpetuated rebellion (rape, murder, incest, lying, fraud, etc…) to persist in his state with impunity.

  87. DaveScot (79): “According to Hitler himself in public speech he’s a Catholic.”

    More from Hitler’s [private] Table Talk:

    The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew.

    Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.

    [I]t’s not opportune to hurl ourselves now into a struggle with the Churches. The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death. A slow death has something comforting about it. The dogma of Christianity gets worn away before the advances of science. Religion will have to make more and more concessions. Gradually the myths crumble…

    Methods of persuasion of a moral order are not an effective weapon against those who despise the truth — when we have to do with priests, for example, of a Church who know that everything about it is based on lies, and who live by it… You don’t imagine I can convert the Holy Father. One does not persuade a man who’s the head of such a gigantic concern to give it up. It’s his livelihood!

    The final state must be: in St. Peter’s chair, a senile officiant; facing him, a few sinister old women, as gaga and as poor in spirit as anyone could wish.

    The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light, and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity.

    Pure Christianity — the Christianity of the catacombs — is concerned with translating the Christian doctrine into facts. It leads quite simply to the annihilation of mankind.

    __________

    Borne, thanks for the further explantion re: polyphyletic.

  88. StephenB @ 81 –

    Don’t forget, he was not in this alone. He had henchmen all around him, and we know for a fact that all of them, Galton especially, were committed Darwinists.

    Eh? Galton was one of Hitler’s henchmen? Sorry, but if you want to be taken seriously, you can’t just make stuff up: Galton died in 1911.

  89. —–Bob O’H: Don’t forget, he was not in this alone. He had henchmen all around him, and we know for a fact that all of them, Galton especially, were committed Darwinists.

    You are right of course. What I meant to say was especially Galton’s disciples. They reinvented Galton’s eugenics.

  90. Dave, regarding the Darwinism > eugenics > Nazism links, you’ve maintained that “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” I respectfully disagree.

    Rude has been making a more persuasive point: rather than conspiring to keep silent about the historic roots of the Holocaust lest our own oxen get gored, humanity would be better served by a courageous and forthright examination of the root causes. If my ox gets gored, so be it.

    We have hardly begun to look into the mirror of this event, let alone describe what we see there. When genocide takes place in Rwanda or Darfur, for example, we can dismiss it as the primitive behavior of uncivilized people. But the Holocaust hits too close to home. The technologically sophisticated methods, the efficient record-keeping and processing of people, the creepy familiarity of its rationales all overlap disturbingly with our own existence.

    When I visited Dachau many years ago, one of the most disturbing images I walked away with was the gleaming newness of the stainless steel ovens. I am a baby boomer, so the Holocaust happened before I was born. But somehow I had located it in my mind back in the mists of prehistory or the darkness of the middle ages. The newness of the ovens jarringly explained to me how wrong I was. It could have happened within my lifetime.

    When I told this to a rabbi friend of mine, he said that some Jews say that Western civilization has already forgotten about the Holocaust. That was prior to the establishment of the U.S. Holocaust Museum, the Shoah Project, and other undertakings to help us remember.

    I think that placing it back somewhere in history where it’s irrelevant is the same sort of defensive maneuver which we make by pointing the finger at some “other” group of people. It gets “us” off the hook. Psychologists after WW II tried to explain the whole phenomenon in terms of “the authoritarian personality,” which tended to comply and follow orders without questioning. This, some researchers assumed, must be a trait of the German people who allowed such a thing to happen in their midst.

    This whole notion was blown out of the water by Stanley Milgram’s famous experiments, which showed that most people (i.e., “normal people”), under the right circumstances, will comply with authority and inflict pain on others in violation of their conscience. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

    All of us live in glass houses on this one, I’m afraid. The question is, as Rude poses, will we have the courage to understand the rivulets and streams leading to the Holocaust in spite of that? Or not?

  91. Lutepisc at 90
    Well put.
    * Critical to preserving democratic republics is an educated citizenry.

    * Critical to preventing tyrants from taking over is to distinguish tyranny from good government.

    Unless we expose the history of tyranny, how can we distinguish it from god government?

    Thus Ben Stein is performing a critically important service by exposing the links from Darwinism to totalitarianism.

    Expelled is equally important in exposing the totalitarian activities of the current Darwinian oligarchy.

    Unless the light is shone on it and action taken, it will never be turned back.

  92. While there might not be a logical connection between Darwin’s ideas and eugenics, there may be a chain of applying his ideas, even if wrongly, that led to the idea of eugenics. The fact that his relatives were actively involved is indicative of something.

    The ideas of selective breeding have been with us a long time in the form of not sanctioning the marrying outside of one’s class/race. There is a long history. Much of it amongst the upper classes was economic or political as arranged marriages were common amongst nobility but a good part of it was the belief that nobility had better characteristics that should be preserved in the children of the marriage. Certainly Darwin seemed to harbor such thoughts and so did many others in Victorian England.

    Here is what Marvin Olasky said on Dinesh D’Souza’s tothesource web site about this issue in Expelled.

    “The real question is: Did Darwinism bulwark Hitlerian hatred by providing a scientific rationale for killing those considered less fit in the struggle for survival?

    The answer to that question is an unambiguous yes. When I stalked the stacks of the Library of Congress in the early 1990s, I saw and scanned shelf upon shelf of racist and anti-Semitic journals from the first several decades of the last century, with articles frequently citing and applying Darwin. If you read an anti-Expelled review that dodges the issue of substance by concentrating merely on style, you’ll be seeing another sign of closed minds. “

  93. —-DLH: “Lutepisc at 90
    Well put.
    * Critical to preserving democratic republics is an educated citizenry.

    * Critical to preventing tyrants from taking over is to distinguish tyranny from good government.

    Unless we expose the history of tyranny, how can we distinguish it from god government?”

    I agree totally, and I would add this amendment. We should be critical of any belief system, religious or secular, which denies the “inherent dignity of the human person. NeoDarwinism should not take all the heat. Any tyranny should be condemned, including Nazisim, Communism, or for that matter, Sharia law.

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