Monday, February 4, 2013

How could it happen? / 15 / Haeckel

There is a book on Amazon, which has been sitting on my wishlist.  "From Darwin to Hitler, Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics and Racism in Germany." 

The reviews are not all glowing, but in reading the detractors, I find that they don't really have a problem with the book per se; instead they consider it making a valid contribution, as it deals largely with Ernst Haeckel, and other certain individuals some of whom we've encountered several times in the last posts.  So, here we have an interesting connection.

I am loathe to buy another book, still,  and maybe will try and find it in the library.  We see that there is also a Wikipedia entry on the book. The author is a historian at the University of California.  Criticism seems to center on the evolution vs. intelligent design debate and the author's appearing in "Expelled.  No Intelligence Allowed."  One could see how regular Darwinian evolutionists would not like to see themselves besmirched by Hitler's policies.  However, I would have to see, that in our research so far, we can see how the materialist world-view, and the anti-Biblical liberal "Christian" world view, also, leave the door wide open for such ideologies as Hitler's to develop, as well as "scientific racism", as we have explored, lately.

Ernst Haeckel indeed has taught wrong and disastrously inhuman things.  It helps no one to ignore these facts or white-wash them.  Through Haeckel we can dehumanize the embryo into a fish, and the negro into a subhuman, the Jews and Slavs into inferiors, the Aryans into the master race.  Not, not, not, not good.

But we saw that some of these ideas were prevalent much before Darwin and Haeckel.  Even in Voltaire's day, we have these thoughts, as we saw, yesterday.  They came to the evil fruition in the fullness of time, so to speak.  These ideas came up through colonialism, anti-Biblical, materialistic philosophy.  A Hitler did not have to necessarily happen, nor the slave trade.  But the door was open for these systems.

Richard Weikart wrote another more recent book, which also has many reviews, "Hitler's Ethics".   And there is a book on Bonhoeffer and how evangelical he was.  Hm.  I'll have to peruse the section at the Concordia library, if not head down to the U of A.

Re: Bonhoeffer.  He is something of a Lutheran, but he is also a child of his times having imbibed some modern ideas about reality and myth.  I do like him and respect him a lot, though, if only for his profound and densely poetic communication.  That he should have moments of doubt along with faith, we cannot begrudge him.  We are all like that.

Hitler's Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress

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