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How Moral Was Hitler?

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The obvious answer seems, “Not very.”

Surely the terms moral and Hitler have to be mutually antagonistic.

And yet…

Author Richard Weikart offers the proposition that Hitler was a moral man.

See what you make of this:

In his most recent book, Hitler’s Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress, Discovery Institute fellow Richard Weikart lays out a historian’s case for the proposition that Adolf Hitler’s murderous policies arose from a scientific racism inspired by Charles Darwin’s most famous ideas.

According to Weikart, Hitler wasn’t an amoral monster, but a frighteningly “moral” one — “moral” in the sense of principled, of course. Principles can be directed to evil or to good. Hitler was an autocrat who aimed to bring about what seemed to him to be a praiseworthy end, a biological utopia forged in the fiery struggle for life. In Hitler’s mind, this world-to-come would be the inevitable result of Natural Selection, a blind and unforgiving process he would merely speed along by expansionist warfare, eugenics, and institutional racism. In Hitler’s view, evolutionary progress was so great an end that any means used to achieve it would be moral, even programmatic genocide.

The most ghoulish evils of Nazi foreign and domestic policy were made possible in the first place because Hitler sought to apply Darwinian concepts to the world outside the biology lecture hall. Mere ideas are not to blame for mortal suffering, true, but in light of Hitler’s Ethic, the exportation of Darwinian ideas outside the confines of biological study merits close watch.

Source: On Darwinism and Hitlerism

Did Hitler get carried away with his applications of Darwin’s theory of evolution?

If so, why would evolution be OK as a theory of origins but not as a set of principles by which to live?

Interesting.

And perhaps you will find these two articles of interest as well:

2 thoughts on “How Moral Was Hitler?

  1. Hi Mark,

    The thing is that principles and values are not enough to be an upright person. For these need to be ordained. In other words, and very simplified: property is less important than life, and life less important than God.

    Hitler’s principles? He had some, but they weren’t ordered right, and included a few of what we could call anti-values, like that the stronger should enslave the weak.

Comment? Sure!

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