Eugenics was definitely influenced by Darwinism and played a significant role in Hitler and NAZI thinking. To deny this is silly.
Now, to argue that the NAZIs misused evo doctrine is acceptable, just as to argue Catholics misused biblical teaching. The only difference I can see is the Bible unequivocally condemns the persecutorial approach of medieval Roman Catholicism whereas there is not, imo, the same inconsistency between Darwinism's amoral approach and statist eugenics. That doesn't mean Darwinists approve of their ideas being used for genocide, of course. It just means there is a consistency between the amoral approaches to truth.
What did God order to be done with Achan when he took some of the loot of Jericho? What about all the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites that were killed by the Israelites because they didn't want Joshua to walk through their land?
You'll have to forgive me if I don't see anything "inequivocal" about how God condemns persecution.
Have you read the gospels and the New Testament?
On your comment on amorality vs immorality, my point on amorality is that there are no absolute morals for Darwinism. Absent of God, man makes up his own morals as he sees fit, and if he thinks it's fit to artificially select humanity's progress, who is to say he is wrong?
How can you say genocide is wrong per se even? Sure, you can say you find it personally despicable and so wrong according to your morals, but who says your morals are right anyway?
I don't think it takes a genius to see how the Nazis drew inspiration from Darwinism.
The Darwin-Hitler connection is no recent discovery. In her classic 1951 work The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt wrote: â€œUnderlying the Nazisâ€™ belief in race laws as the expression of the law of nature in man, is Darwinâ€™s idea of man as the product of a natural development which does not necessarily stop with the present species of human being.â€
The standard biographies of Hitler almost all point to the influence of Darwinism on their subject. In Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, Alan Bullock writes: â€œThe basis of Hitlerâ€™s political beliefs was a crude Darwinism.â€ What Hitler found objectionable about Christianity was its rejection of Darwinâ€™s theory: â€œIts teaching, he declared, was a rebellion against the natural law of selection by struggle and the survival of the fittest.â€
John Tolandâ€™s Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography says this of Hitlerâ€™s Second Book published in 1928: â€œAn essential of Hitlerâ€™s conclusions in this book was the conviction drawn from Darwin that might makes right.â€
In his biography, Hitler: 1889-1936: Hubris, Ian Kershaw explains that â€œcrude social-Darwinismâ€ gave Hitler â€œhis entire political â€˜world-view.â€™ â€ Hitler, like lots of other Europeans and Americans of his day, saw Darwinism as offering a total picture of social reality. This view called â€œsocial Darwinismâ€ is a logical extension of Darwinian evolutionary theory and was articulated by Darwin himself.
The key elements in the ideology that produced Auschwitz are moral relativism aligned with a rejection of the sacredness of human life, a belief that violent competition in nature creates greater and lesser races, that the greater will inevitably exterminate the lesser, and finally that the lesser race most in need of extermination is the Jews. All but the last of these ideas may be found in Darwinâ€™s writing.
Like Hitler, Charles Darwin saw natural processes as setting moral standards. Itâ€™s all in The Descent of Man, where he explains that, had we evolved differently, we would have different moral ideas. On a particularly delicate moral topic, for example, he wrote: â€œWe may, therefore, reject the belief, lately insisted on by some writers, that the abhorrence of incest is due to our possessing a special God-implanted conscience.â€
In the same book, he compared the evolution of people to the breeding of animals and drew a chilling conclusion regarding what he saw as the undesirable consequences of allowing the unfit to breed:
â€œThus the weak members of civilized 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.â€ In this desacralized picture of existence, to speak of life as possessing any kind of holiness is to introduce an alien note.
Most disturbing of all, in The Descent of Man, Darwin prophesied: â€œAt some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.â€
â€œAt some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.â€
Sounds pretty Hitlerish to me except Darwin probably didn't mean Jews but under-developed nations (ethnic groups in those nations).
More from the same article.....Mein Kempf apparently does mention evolution.
You only have to read Mein Kampf to see the indebtedness. A shrewd manipulator of his fellow Germansâ€™ sympathy for scientifically flavored racial theorizing, Hitler gives a Darwinian-style analysis of how the struggle for existence mandates a defense of the Aryan race.
He invokes the â€œprinciples of Natureâ€™s rule,â€ â€œher whole work of higher breeding,â€ in which â€œstruggle is always a means for improving a speciesâ€™ health and power of resistance and, therefore, a cause of its higher development.â€ He warns against racial decline from the mixing of blood â€” his own spin on Darwinism â€” arguing that the preservation of a â€œcreative raceâ€ is â€œbound up with the rigid law of necessity and the right of victory of the best and stronger in this world.â€ He calls for â€œa more noble evolution.â€
Other Nazi propaganda followed his lead. In a 1937 German propaganda film, Victims of the Past, the audience is shown a retarded person as the narrator intones, â€œIn the last few decades, mankind has sinned terribly against the law of natural selection. We havenâ€™t just maintained life unworthy of life, we have even allowed it to multiply.â€
It's a slam dunk case. Now, the real debate should be whether Hitler was following the logic of Darwin or not.