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Hitler based his views on Darwinism

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Claim

Adolf Hitler exploited the racist ideas of Darwinism to justify genocide.

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Responses

  1. Genocide and racism existed long before Darwin, there was no need for any contribution from Darwinism whatsoever. It is an obvious fact that dead people do not reproduce.
  2. Even if the connection between Darwin and Hitler were true, this is the fallacy of Appeal to Consequences - the consequences of a world view are irrelevant to its truth.
  3. Most scientists agree that evolution is not a direct guide to moral behavior, and it is illegitimate to use it as such. Just because most human beings have sexual desire does not mean that they should always act on it, for instance.
  4. A particular person's misuse of a scientific theory (someone who wasn't even a scientist, no less) does not invalidate the theory anymore than someone's misuse of scripture would invalidate religion (e.g., Crusades, Inquisition).
  5. Corollary: Hitler abused science to justify his abuse of religion. In other words, his views were not based on Darwinism, but rather his (distorted) religious beliefs. Darwinism appeared to support his case, so he twisted it to fit his purposes.
  6. A number of people have exploited, and continue to exploit the atomic theory to make nuclear weapons. Does this somehow make atomic theory less accurate?
  7. Similar erroneous claims could be made that Hitler based his views on X, Y or Z. See Hitler's views had many influences.
  8. If Hitler did, indeed, base his views on Darwinism, it is therefore equally valid to say that the massacres of the Crusades and the tortures of the Inquisition were based on Christianity.
  9. Hitler never mentioned Darwin nor did his view of nature reflect any substantive understanding of evolution. In fact, Hitler's racism was based on the view that "races were created distinct by God" and he frequently cited works such as Martin Luther's "On the Jews and their Lies" as guides to his policies.
  10. Hitler's appeals to "Holy Blood", "God's Will", "Divine Destiny", etc. were ubiquitous in his speeches, and make it very obvious that he did not base his hate on scientific principles.
  11. Hitler cited the genocide of Native Americans in North and South America by European settlers (which people also attempted to justify with Christianity) as an inspiration for his policies
  12. The race laws that Hitler implemented were based on old laws that were present in the Holy Roman Empire that prevented Christians and Jews from "mixing".
  13. Darwin said "As man advances in civilization, and small tribes are united into larger communities, the simplest reason would tell each individual that he ought to extend his social instincts and sympathies to all the members of the same nation, though personally unknown to him. This point being once reached, there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races." - The Descent of Man, 1871. This is a far cry from the views of Hitler.
  14. The views of Darwin were not racist, especially since he observed and acknowledged that all human races are currently adapted to and thriving in each of their native environments, and that each race grades into other, different races.
  15. Those creationists who make this claim are wholly incapable of explaining how Evolutionary Biology inspired authoritarian right-winged ideologies, such as Nazism or eugenics, and yet, simultaneously inspire authoritarian left-winged ideologies, such as Marxism, Stalinism, or Maoism.
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