Thought Experiment

He may have only said that to get sympathy from the judge.
Really? He knew he wasn't going to be free again, but when he said this to the police it was in interview, the judge wasn't there. And even so, you don't know he thought he was doing good which was your claim.
I said MAY, I didnt say I knew for certain. But many criminals say similar things to get sympathy, like saying they are now a born again Christian.
But anyway my main point is my second sentence. If goodness is just experientially grounded then it is subjective and can mean anything. It has to exist objectively and be discovered or revealed, otherwise it can mean anything.
I don't know what you mean by goodness being experientially grounded. But subjective morality doesn't mean arbitrary morality which is what you're describing.
I was responding to Algor who said that goodness experientially grounded. Subjective and arbitrary morality are similar. They both can be anything since they dont have an objective foundation. And since they dont have an objective foundation, then they can mean anything. If your morality is just based on subjective feelings, then you can feel that Jews should not be exterminated but Hamas feels that they should, then how do you prove who is right?
Hitler definitely at least said he was doing good by eliminating the jews. So how do you know he is wrong if morality is experientially grounded?
Quote please.
Page 315 in the Munich 1943 version of Mein Kampf.
 
I said MAY, I didnt say I knew for certain. But many criminals say similar things to get sympathy, like saying they are now a born again Christian.
So I take you won't say in future that Dahmer thought he was doing good with such certainty?
I was responding to Algor who said that goodness experientially grounded. Subjective and arbitrary morality are similar. They both can be anything since they dont have an objective foundation. And since they dont have an objective foundation, then they can mean anything. If your morality is just based on subjective feelings, then you can feel that Jews should not be exterminated but Hamas feels that they should, then how do you prove who is right?
What you are now describing is just arbitrary morality, not subjective morality. No one goes around genuinely thinking rape is a moral good.
Page 315 in the Munich 1943 version of Mein Kampf.
What? If you can't be bothered to give the actual quote to back up your claim, I don't see why I should take your claim seriously.
 
It means He is the standard for goodness. By what standard did you use to determine He wasnt good?
I still need further explanation. What do you mean by a standard for goodness? There is no scale for goodness like there is for temperature, which has a standard of either Fahrenheit or Celsius.

 
It is a caricature but it does incorporate some Christian ideas and so it is with Social Darwinism.

The malignant influence of Social Darwinism is evidence of the perniciousness of Darwinism. (Your claim.)

Positive Christianity:Christianity :: Darwinism:Social Darwinism. (What you said just now.)

Therefore the malignant influence of Positive Christianity is evidence of the perniciousness of Christianity. (Logically follows from the above.)
No, that is not my argument. The second premise is the distortion of true Christianity can result in the malignant influence of Positive Christianity. You may say that Darwinism has been distorted to produce Social Darwinism. But the problem with that is that many highly respected Darwinists see no distortion of Darwinism in Social Darwinism.
You might need to [murder to survive] if someone is attacking you. Hitler felt that the jews were trying to destroy Germany from within.

"Darwin said that survival was important; sometimes survival requires killing; therefore anybody who kills in order to survive in a kill-or-be-killed situation is relying on the wisdom of Charles Darwin"???

You're implicitly claiming that Hitler would not have tried to kill his enemies in a "kill or be killed" situation (as he saw it) if Darwin had not told him that he should. You realize that this is utterly preposterous, don't you? But unless you are in fact claiming this, you have made zero case for saying that Hitler's readiness to kill Jews was due to the influence of Darwin.
No, that is not what I am saying. Hitler probably would have tried to kill his enemies even if he never heard of Darwinism. My point is that Hitler and the Nazis used Darwinism to scientifically justify their killing of the Jews. In addition, according to Dr. Edward Simon, professor of biology at Purdue University, although an evolutionist himself has said, "I dont claim that Darwin and his theory of evolution brought on the holocaust, but I cannot deny that the theory of evolution and the atheism it engendered led to the moral climate that made a holocaust possible."
Yes, but one of Hitler's criticisms of Christianity was that we keep people who were mentally and physically disabled alive and even let them reproduce. Hitler started exterminating the disabled long before he started eliminating the jews. He felt that they were an economic drag on society and if allowed to reproduce would bring in defective genes into the Aryan populatlon.

This does not address my point, which was that everybody, even the most dogmatic young-earth creationist, agrees that the aspect of "Darwinism" which you are saying inspired genocide -- namely, the observation that those who were better adapted to their environment had a better chance of survival -- was and is correct. If some took this true statement and used it to justify eugenics, that's on them, not on Darwin. Again, Darwin himself did not believe that preventing the disable from reproducing was a logical implication of his theory. And Hitler didn't reference Darwin, he referenced ancient Sparta.
He may not have specifically referenced Darwin but he did reference natural selection. And Daniel Gasman author of the Scientific Origins of National Socialism, writes that Hitler stressed and singled out the idea of biological evolution as the most forceful weapon against traditional religion and he repeatedly condemned Christianity for its opposition to the teaching of evolution. For Hitler evolution was the hallmark of modern science and culture, and he defended its veracity as tenaciously as Haeckel. And Even if Darwin did not explicitly endorse eugenics, his own cousin Francis Galton viewed it as a natural extension of Darwins theory.
 
No, that is not my argument. The second premise is the distortion of true Christianity can result in the malignant influence of Positive Christianity. You may say that Darwinism has been distorted to produce Social Darwinism. But the problem with that is that many highly respected Darwinists see no distortion of Darwinism in Social Darwinism.
Can you name any living evolutionary biologists who say that Social Darwinism is a natural implication of Darwin's writing on evolution?

No, that is not what I am saying. Hitler probably would have tried to kill his enemies even if he never heard of Darwinism.
You say "You might need to [murder to survive] if someone is attacking you. Hitler felt that the jews were trying to destroy Germany from within"; that certainly sounds as if you're saying Hitler was "inspired" by the "Darwinist" observation that sometimes you have to kill in a kill-or-be-killed situation. (I put "Darwinist" in quotes because I'm not aware of Darwin ever making that observation, and even if he had, he would have been about the millionth person to make it.)

My point is that Hitler and the Nazis used Darwinism to scientifically justify their killing of the Jews.
I haven't seen you offer any example of Hitler doing this. He never explicitly invoked Darwin or Darwinism, so how did he "use Darwinism"? To what audience of science-worshippers did he (or other Nazis) speak of the Final Solution? What exactly did he/they tell this audience about what Darwin and science had revealed, regarding the need to eliminate the Jews? If you can't offer any specific responses to these questions, you can't support the above claim.

And even if you could support that claim, it doesn't follow that Darwin was at fault. Again (third time now, I think), if Darwin says "organisms which are better adapted to their environment have a better chance of surviving," Darwin is simply making a correct observation about nature. Again, are you claiming that this fact does justify the killing of the Jews? If it doesn't (and I think it's obvious that it doesn't), then for Hitler to "use" Darwin's observation to justify killing the Jews simply demonstrates the murderous insanity of Hitler, not the dangerous implications of Darwinism.

In addition, according to Dr. Edward Simon, professor of biology at Purdue University, although an evolutionist himself has said, "I dont claim that Darwin and his theory of evolution brought on the holocaust, but I cannot deny that the theory of evolution and the atheism it engendered led to the moral climate that made a holocaust possible."
You're quoting somebody offering an opinion -- "Evolution > atheism > moral nihilism > the Holocaust" -- but you're not quoting anything in support of that opinion. It could just be a crackpot notion, even if it comes from a professor of biology.

[Continued]
 
He may not have specifically referenced Darwin but he did reference natural selection.
So for the fourth time now: what did Darwin say about natural selection which was false? Because if Darwin is right about natural selection, and eugenics is the logical implication of that, is Darwin at fault for making a true observation which had ugly implications? And obviously if Darwin was right but those implications do not follow, the blame is on those who drew the false conclusion, not on the scientist who made the correct observation.

[Continued]
 
And Daniel Gasman author of the Scientific Origins of National Socialism, writes that Hitler stressed and singled out the idea of biological evolution as the most forceful weapon against traditional religion and he repeatedly condemned Christianity for its opposition to the teaching of evolution.
What quotes or other evidence does Gasman offer for this?

And again, if Gasman is right, and Hitler was obsessed with evolution, and did believe it justified the war for lebensraum and the final solution, how does any blame for this land on Darwin? Again, if Hitler arrives at a belief in the need for genocidal war crimes because of a "reading" of Darwin, I'm going to blame Hitler 100% and Darwin 0%, unless there is some actual logic in his reading. But there isn't. Similarly, if Charles Manson arrives at a belief in the coming apocalyptic race war based on his "reading" of "Helter Skelter," that's 100% on Manson and 0% on the Beatles.

Do you disagree? Is there any difference in principle between the two cases?


For Hitler evolution was the hallmark of modern science and culture, and he defended its veracity as tenaciously as Haeckel.
Where? When?


And Even if Darwin did not explicitly endorse eugenics, his own cousin Francis Galton viewed it as a natural extension of Darwins theory.
I don't view "guilt by cousinship" as a reliable moral principle.
 
In addition, according to Dr. Edward Simon, professor of biology at Purdue University, although an evolutionist himself has said, "I dont claim that Darwin and his theory of evolution brought on the holocaust, but I cannot deny that the theory of evolution and the atheism it engendered led to the moral climate that made a holocaust possible."
I found this quote in an anti-evolution polemic by Don Boys (not known to me), and there is no citation for it. Do you know where it is from?
 
I repeat, "Weikart doesn't actually show any direct connection between Darwin and Hitler. In fact, Weikart has responded to my criticisms by admitting that the title of his book is misleading, since he cannot show any direct link between Darwin's ideas and Hitler's Nazism."

Chamberlain did not believe Darwinism was true.

What you need to do to make your case is to establish a direct connection between Hitler's Nazism and Darwinism which you haven't done, and in the face of many other factors which bring about prejudice. As I've said before, Hitler wasn't an otherwise good man driven to do the things he did because he might have read Darwin, which he didn't do anyway.

It's you that's drawing this connection, not Hitler.
Read post 1945 where I make the connection.
 
Read post 1945 where I make the connection.
You reference a book by Danial Gasman which is controversial. Here is the first line or two from a review of his book.

Gasman's book is very one-sided and both cherry-picks and omits evidence to make his case that Haeckel's virulent anti-Semitism paved the way for the Nazis. Despite this, Gasman's views have been influential but this is beginning to change. Robert Richards, a distinguished historian who specializes in the history of evolutionary biology, has written many critiques of Gasman's work
Found here.

Why do you keep referencing controversial books?
 
I am not blaming evolution directly for what Hitler did. He hated Christians as well and Christian morality such as the infinite value of all humans of all ages and races. But he DID USE evolution to JUSTIFY what he did. You seem not be able to understand some of my posts.
Your posts aren't always clear. For example, do you mean Hitler literally hated Christian morality because he had read all about it and decided he hated it, or do you mean, he must have hated Christian morality because his actions correlated with hating Christian morality?
He literally hated it. He complained how Christians were helping the mentally and physically disabled to survive and thereby damaging the gene pool.
I am referring to ATHEISTIC evolution, which is what Darwin taught.
Evolution is evolution. Darwin could only write about the facts he discovered and he didn't find God in anything he studied. By all means show where God is found in any study of evolution.
Many Christian scientists believe in theistic evolution and believe that God guid.
So you believe that when we evolved from apes something changed us into something else besides animals? If we are not animals then what are we?
We are animals.
So now you agree with creationists that say that if evolution is true then we are just animals?
The universe is not aware of anything, it is an inanimate object. And again if we are not animals then what are we?
But bits of it are aware of itself. The universe is made of atoms, we are made of atoms, we are are aware of the universe and atoms.
Atoms are not aware of themselves. Minds are aware of themselves and we have minds. And minds are not made of atoms.
Possibly, but we do know that he did not publically believe in an objective morality from what he says in Mein Kampf.
Again, did he directly believe in subjective morality, or are you drawing that conclusion from a correlation that you see?
He directly believed in subjective morality.
No, it can be demonstrated logically that if there is no God then all morality is subjective.
Really? Philosophers of morality and ethics are still arguing this one.
Well so far no atheist I have ever debated has demonstrated that their morality is objective.
Subjective morality does mean no morality because that means it just exists in human minds like unicorns.
The idea of objective morality exists in your head.
The idea may exist in my head, but the actual standard of morality does not. It exists outside our heads. Just like you can have the idea that the moon is made of green cheese, but the actual moon is not.
 
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He literally hated it. He complained how Christians were helping the mentally and physically disabled to survive and thereby damaging the gene pool.
Quotes please, not references to a page number or a book, to verify all you've said here. I ask because the "thereby damaging the gene pool" feels like your addition.
So now you agree with creationists that say that if evolution is true then we are just animals?
It depends what you and/or creationists mean by "just animals", It seems a loaded phrase when "just" is in it.
He literally hated it. He complained how Christians were helping the mentally and physically disabled to survive and thereby damaging the gene pool.
Quotes please, not references to a page number or a book, to verify all you've said here. I ask because the "thereby damaging the gene pool" feels like your addition.
So now you agree with creationists that say that if evolution is true then we are just animals?
It depends what you and/or creationists mean by "just animals", It seems a loaded phrase when "just" is in it.

Atoms are not aware of themselves. Minds are aware of themselves and we have minds. And minds are not made of atoms.
Particular combinations of atoms that comprise brains give rise to minds.
He directly believed in subjective morality.
Again, quotes that show it please, and not page numbers of an obscure book.
Well so far no atheist I have ever debated has demonstrated that their morality is objective.
You seem to want to hang morality on one particular hook, where I don't think it's as easy as that. There is nuance in the subject as sometimes it's easy to say something is right or wrong, and sometimes it isn't.
The idea may exist in my head, but the actual standard of morality does not. It exists outside our heads. Just like you can have the idea that the moon is made of green cheese, but the actual moon is not.
What is this standard of morality? For example, there is a standard of temperature, either centigrade or Fahrenheit. Is the standard of morality you reference like that?
 
Yes it is a guess. When you read a biography you dont usually know all the beliefs of an author on a totally different subject. How would I know whether a biographer of Hitler believes in creation or evolution? Given that he is British most Brits believe in evolution.
If you want to get at the truth of things, you can't make assumptions like this.
By basing ones decision on whether someones research is accurate on their philosophical beliefs is a blatant case of the genetic fallacy. I try to avoid such mistakes in reasoning.
In Mein Kampf he said "A stronger race will supplant the weaker since the drive for life in its final form will decimate every ridiculous fetter of the humaneness of individuals, in order to make place for the humaneness of nature, which destroys the weak to make place for the strong."
Sounds very much like ideas about racial superiority rather than an understanding of evolution.
Much of science based racial superiority IS based on theories of evolution. Nature destroys the weak (the unfit) to make place for the strong (the fit). Survival of the fittest.
See above.

See above.
I think you're reading far too much into all this in an attempt to discredit evolution.
No, I am just showing that it has had some negative impacts on society, irrespective if it is true or not.
Probably but it certainly endorsed his understanding of it as shown above.
I have yet to see any evidence that Hitler had any understanding of evolution. You draw definite conclusions from very loose correlations.
See above he mentioned survival of the fittest in Mein Kampf.
Read Mein Kampf.
Why? It won't tell me that Hitler had actually read anything on evolution.
See above.
Microevolution is real, most of the evidence points towards macroevolution as being unlikely. I am just showing how ideas have consequences irrespective if the ideas are correct or not.
All of the evidence point to macro evolution being correct. What is your understanding of macro evolution?
There are systematic gaps in the fossil record between genera and families, right where it would be expected if macrovolution did not occur.
 
Our thoughts are our thoughts, nothing tells us whether we ought to have certain thoughts or certain actions. Hitler's thoughts came from evolutionary processes and so did yours. Why are your thoughts superior to Hitlers regarding Jews?
This doesn't really address the points they reply to, and is somewhat simplistic in leaving the matter at our thoughts coming from evolutionary processes. What you leave out is that having the ability of abstract thought allows us to reflect on the consequences of our actions which is what makes us moral agents.

I am morally better than Hitler because I wouldn't harm people in the way Hitler did. It's as simple as that. To head you off at the pass, I wouldn't harm people because having the ability of abstract thought, I can appreciate what harm is and can see it's wrong to inflict it on others.
Who made up the criteria that having the ability of abstract thought means you cannot be hurt? What about when you are sleeping or in a coma? Can you hurt someone in that condition and it will not be immoral? In neither case does the person have those abilities.
Hitler's actions made his nation one of the most powerful in the world. That was the consequences of his actions. Why is that bad?
That was the consequence of his building up his armed forces. In itself that isn't bad, it's what he did with them that was bad because he caused immense harm and suffering.
Why is causing harm and suffering bad? Other animals cause harm and suffering and no one punishes them. Why should humans be punished for that and not other animals?
Fraid so. I can quote a speech he made in 1923 if you want me to. He basically believed might makes right. Which is a possible conclusion if evolution is true.
Even accepting he made such a speech doesn't mean he read about evolution. So far all I see is you drawing a loose correlation based on a misunderstanding of evolution and concluding that Hitler read Darwin.
I am not saying he necessarily read Darwin, but he used principles from evolutionary theory to justify his actions, like survival of the fittest.
What we see in nature is a struggle for survival, nature red in tooth and claw. From your point of view that is how God has set things up. It's just as easy to say Hitler looked at nature and decided God was telling him that might makes right, because that was what he saw in God's creation.
But because he believed in evolution, he failed to understand that humans and animals are not the same thing. Only humans are made in the image of God while animals are not. Only humans have a moral conscience and therefore are moral beings. So while animals are red in tooth and claw, humans are not.
 
Who made up the criteria that having the ability of abstract thought means you cannot be hurt?
Huh? No one. I can't see the relevance of that.
What about when you are sleeping or in a coma? Can you hurt someone in that condition and it will not be immoral?
In neither case does the person have those abilities.
Huh? I think you are misunderstanding me.

Of course it's immoral to harm someone whilst they are sleeping.

Why is causing harm and suffering bad? Other animals cause harm and suffering and no one punishes them. Why should humans be punished for that and not other animals?
Because of what harm and suffering are of course.

other animals aren't moral agents because they don't have the ability of abstract thought enabling them to reflect on the consequences of their actions.
I am not saying he necessarily read Darwin, but he used principles from evolutionary theory to justify his actions, like survival of the fittest.
Are you saying he understood those principles of evolutionary theory and acted accordingly, or are you drawing that conclusion because you see a correlation?

I don't think you understand what survival of the fittest means. It's not about the strongest or most ruthless, it's about being best fitted to your environment. A sloth is very fitted to his environment but you can hardly say Hitler looked at sloths and decided to invade Poland because of a principle of evolution sloths live by.
But because he believed in evolution, he failed to understand that humans and animals are not the same thing.
You make an awful lot of claims about Hitler, and give no support for them. I want quotes that support the above. Is this you drawing this conclusion that he must have thought like that?
Only humans are made in the image of God while animals are not. Only humans have a moral conscience and therefore are moral beings. So while animals are red in tooth and claw, humans are not.
But you're saying that Hitler looked at the animal kingdom and saw might makes right, which according to you is the way God set things up. So Hitler could have just as easily taken inspiration for his actions from God as evolution.
 
P1 If evolution is true, it is possible that might makes right.
P2 Hitler believed that might makes right.
C Hitler obtained this belief through the influence of the theory of evolution.

This of course is not a valid argument. And the conclusion is particularly dubious, given that people were arguing that might makes right more than two thousand years before Darwin was born. (You can Google "Thrasymachus," for example.)
That is not my argument. My argument is:
P1: If nontheistic evolution is true, then anything can be right.
P2: Hitler believed might makes right.
C: Hitler justified this belief and attempted to make its basis scientific by using the theory of evolution.
 
That is not my argument. My argument is:
P1: If nontheistic evolution is true, then anything can be right.
P2: Hitler believed might makes right.
C: Hitler justified this belief and attempted to make its basis scientific by using the theory of evolution.
This is not a valid argument either; the conclusion does not follow from the premises. If you want to show that Hitler justified genocide and aggressive war by using the theory of evolution, you need tell us on what occasions he did this; you can't "deduce" his practice from the beliefs he held.

I would also dispute P1. It's a conclusion which itself needs to be proved.

ETA: Note as well that P1 and P2 are inconsistent. If might makes right, then it it isn't the case that "anything can be right"; only things which are backed by might can be right.
 
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Fraid so. I can quote a speech he made in 1923 if you want me to.
Sure; or give us a reference or keyword so we can find it.
Adolf Hitler, "Weltjude and Weltborse, die Urschschuldigen am Weltkriege" April 13, 1923, in Hitler. Samtliche Aufzeichnungen, 1905-1924.
He basically believed might makes right. Which is a possible conclusion if evolution is true.
I already noted a clearly invalid way of deriving "Hitler was influenced by evolution to believe that might makes right" from "If evolution is true, it may be that might makes right." Another argument along those lines, which might seem more promising, would be:

P1 If, and only if evolution is true, does might make right.
P2 Hitler believed that might makes right
C. Therefore Hitler was influenced by his belief in evolution to conclude that might makes right.

But this too is invalid. Even if we grant P1 (and it is a highly dubious premise), it's possible that Hitler believed might made right without understanding that "might makes right" could only be true if evolution were true. He might have believed that it was just a truth of history; he might have just believed it to be a self-evident truth which didn't require any further basis in fact or reasoning; etc.
A better P1 is that if nontheistic evolution is true then might does make right because actually there is no such thing as anything being morally right. No moral lawgiver means no moral laws.
 
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