Hitler based his views on Darwinism (Talk.Origins)
Claim CA006.1: Adolf Hitler exploited the racist ideas of Darwinism to justify genocide.
Source: Weston-Broome, Sharon. 2001. Louisiana House Concurrent Resolution no. 74: CIVIL RIGHTS: Provides relative to racism and education about racism. HLS 01-2652 ORIGINAL.
In typical fashion, Talk.Origins dedicates most of its argument to trying to persuade people that Hitler was a Christian. Of course, to do this it must make the mistake of accepting the things Hitler said to the German people and ignore other evidence to the contrary. Similarly, many American politicians who support partial birth abortion, gay marriage and other blatantly anti-Christian practices swear black and blue that they are Christians, so talking the talk is meaningless without walking the walk. Perhaps Talk.Origins forgets that this was the same man who censored soldiers' death reports from newspapers and claimed Germany was winning WWII until he saw Russian soldiers marching down the streets of Berlin.
After the Talk Origins whitewash was originally written, Richard Weikart, professor of modern European history at California State University, Stanislaus, has thoroughly documented the Darwinian roots of many aspects of the Nazi terror in his 2004 book From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany (see link to his page, and a review of this book).
(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)
1. Hitler based his ideas not on Darwinism but on a "divine right" philosophy:
- Thus, it [the folkish philosophy] by no means believes in an equality of races, but along with their difference it recognizes their higher or lesser value and feels itself obligated, through this knowledge, to promote the victory of the better and stronger, and demand the subordination of the inferior and weaker in accordance with the eternal will that dominates this universe. (Hitler 1943, 383)
Exactly where Talk.Origins gets the idea that this was any sort of divine right is not explained. This quote only vaguely implies any sort of deity, but this "eternal will" could even be a reference to nature.
The first edition of Mein Kampf suggests that Hitler may once have believed in a young earth: "this planet will, as it did thousands of years ago, move through the ether devoid of men" (p. 65; the second edition substitutes "millions" for "thousands," and chapter 11 refers to "hundreds of thousands of years" of life in another context.) Other passages further support his creationist leanings:
- The undermining of the existence of human culture by the destruction of its bearer seems in the eyes of a folkish philosophy the most execrable crime. Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent Creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise. (Hitler 1943, 383)
- What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, . . . so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator of the universe. (Hitler 1943, 214)
Quotes from Hitler invoking Christianity as a basis for his actions could be multiplied ad nauseam. For example:
- Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord (Hitler 1943, 65).
"[T]he task of preserving and advancing the highest humanity, given to this earth by the benevolence of the Almighty, seems a truly high mission" (Hitler 1943, 398).
Of course, this does not mean that Hitler's ideas were based on creationism any more than they were based on evolution. Hitler's ideas were a perversion of both religion and biology.
- A campaign against the "godless movement" and an appeal for Catholic support were launched Wednesday by Chancellor Adolf Hitler's forces (Associated Press 1933).
These four quotes are Talk.Origins' attempt to prove Hitler was a Christian. Were the author alive during WWII and living in Germany, no doubt he would have believed Hitler when he claimed Germany was not the country that started the war and that Germany was winning when it clearly wasn't. In addition, most of these quotes are severely misinterpreted by Talk.Origins.
It becomes more obvious, when you realize that none of this has anything to do with creationism, that the only point of this Talk.Origins response is to slander Christianity.
2. Genocide and racism existed long before Darwin. Obviously, they did not need any contribution from Darwinism. In many instances, such as the Crusades and the Spanish conquest of Central America, religion was explicitly invoked to justify them.
Genocide and racism did exist before Darwin. So did evolution. But the claim that Talk.Origins is attempting to refute is whether or not Hitler based his ideas on them; not whether evolution was the sole cause or justification.
3. Evolution does not promote social Darwinism or racism or eugenics.
Nor do creationists claim so. Rather, it is the likely consequence of this type of worldview. When one believes evolution, and that there is no God, then the belief that one is superior to all others generally follows.