Did the Allies really defeat the Nazis?


On May 8, 1945 the German government officially surrendered to the Allied Forces, thus ending the War in Europe (the War in the Pacific would continue another three months). The Nazis was a horrible government that aside from its treatment of the Jewish people and other “unwanted,” regularly practiced infanticide. Their justification for such an action was they believed the perfect human (read: healthiest human) was the Aryan human; all other babies of unwanted races or that were not healthy at birth were killed off.

63 years later we are faced with a Nazi-like mentality once again – this time, however, the threat is occurring in the nations that defeated Nazism in the first place. The London Times has reported that parents are on the verge of having an easy, non-invasive procedure done to determine if their child has Down’s Syndrome. If so, the parents are then left with the choice to abort the pregnancy or prepare for a child with special needs.

I must ask, how is this way of thinking any different from the Nazi mentality of killing off weaker children in order to have a better society? I know that such a question will automatically get people to accuse me of downplaying the Holocaust, attempting to compare a medical procedure to the horrors of the Holocaust, and that somehow I’m an anti-Semite for bringing this issue up (event though I’m an ethnic Jew), but I believe it is a very legitimate question. How is the mentality that it’s okay to abort a child with Down’s Syndrome – because he won’t lead a productive life, is weak, and will be “inadequate” according to our definition of normal – any different from the Nazi way of thinking?

The chilling answer is simple: there is no difference. By choosing and allowing parents to abort unwanted children due to a “weakness” in the child (a physical or mental abnormality) we, as a society, are saying that such people actually do harm society and therefore really don’t deserve to live. If the parents want to keep the child, mazel tov to them, but as a society we could care less if parents want to kill handicapped children in the womb.

My question is, why stop in the womb? There is no logical justification for this (see my post, “A Philosophical Argument Against Abortion” to see how the lines are very blurry when attempting to define the beginning of human life if “conception” is not the base definition). As a society we’ve devalued life so much that if an individual life does not aid in furthering society, or contribute to the evolution of the community, then that life is looked upon with disdain. Why not begin killing life outside of the womb once it has lost its capability to produce or evolve society?

Is grandmother costing you too much and not making any money? Put her to sleep like a dog. Did your child fall three stories and now has severe brain damage, unable to feed herself? Take her to the doctor, get an injection, and be done with this weight on society. Just found out your son has severe Autism? No worries, we can just kill him.

This brings me to my bigger point; this may not be the end result of Naturalism, but it is literally impossible for someone with a Naturalistic mindset to argue adequately and logically against this ethical system. In fact, such an ethical system is far more logical within Naturalism than one that attempts to protect the weak and feeble minded.

There was a big stink over Expelled bringing up the Holocaust, but I think there is a valuable question in all of this: How does Naturalism adequately argue against genocide, eugenics, and euthanasia? When the value of life is determined by its usefulness to society, what is to stop us from killing those that cannot contribute?

Naturalism does not allow for any intrinsic value to exist within humans, outside of their positive functionality within the community. I know that many Naturalists argue that all life is valuable because it is life, but this is merely a smoke screen (whether they realize it or not). Either they have a hierarchy of ontology, where certain beings are more important than others, or they don’t. If they don’t, then they shouldn’t shower because they are washing various bacteria off their skin every time they shower, indicating they think they are more important than those bacteria. Thus, unless such a person chooses not to eat, drink, shower, or do anything else that would place his life above some other organic form of life, this person inherently believes in a hierarchy of life.

If this is true, does Naturalism place humans – regardless of mental or physical condition – higher than all other animals? The simple answer is that Naturalism cannot do this. Humans are still subject to death by other animals, thus in the hierarchy only the most adaptable of humans are allowed to go on (according to the theory of Evolution). What am I getting at?

If we see it fit to kill other animals for food, kill plants for consumption, wash bacteria off of us, and so on all because we see our life and progression as more valuable than their life and progression (because of what we contribute), what is to stop us from killing off the non-productive humans in our own societies?

The London Times article already showed us that we are more than willing to do this before birth, so what will prevent us from using this Nazi-like mentality on those outside of the womb?





4 thoughts on “Did the Allies really defeat the Nazis?

  1. Joel, one word: emotion. That is all that stops us from applying the logic of eugenics to it’s fullest extent. What stops us all from forcibly euthanising our sick relatives and disabled children is the love we feel for them. Further, the common empathy we feel with even perfect strangers would in most cases prevent us from carrying out such actions against those who have no-one who loves them. Since the universal applications of such a eugenics programs would mentally scar the rest of the population (because it goes against such emotions) such a program would therefore be totally unpractical, and against the public good even in a stictly utiliarian sense. It is only when false ideologies (such as National Socialism, Clean Slate Marxism etc.) attempt to surpass such emotions with high rhetoric about a future utopia that such things actually happen. As long as our society remains totally focused on the individual, I see no reason to suppose that such an event will be a logical conclusion again.
    As to the question of abortion, what differentiates handicapped foetus’ from handicapped children is once again the human emotional response. It is much harder to imagine killing a child when you can see it, hear it, bond with it, talk to it etc.
    All of these things are entirely in line with a naturalistic view of reality. They may be uncomfortable truths for some, but the truth can be tough.
    The reason naturalists have for objecting to the holocaust is that it was a mass killing carried out on the basis of a logical fallacy (that Jews are racially inferior.) The Genocide carried out by Pol Pot was based on a similar fallacy (that deleting all the skilled, the wealthy, and the educated would somehow lead to a purer and better society.) Now if either had led to an actual improvement in society, it would be another matter. But they didn’t. And they never could have. The truth is that the barbarity of such actions inevitably leads to a decline in the mental condition of the society as a whole. Most humans simply cannot mentally tolerate genocide, however violent we might be on a small scale. We are not robots. We can’t tolerate systematic killing. The only way it has been managed in the past is, as I said, with the aid of false ideology. We are bound by our biology.

  2. If emotion is all that stops us, then this would mean it’s not wrong. After all, can’t emotions be irrational?

    This would also mean that murder, rape, and other things should be permissible because “emotion” is all that makes it ‘wrong.’

  3. Joel, it depends how you define ‘wrong’. If morality is not based on our personal reactions and feelings towards an event or potential action, then what is it based on? Of course you can rely on some transcendent moral standard running through the universe. But is this not just wishful thinking?
    Yes, emotions can be irrational. But that doesn’t mean they inevitably are. Or even that they are most of the time. The dichotomy of ‘rationality’ as being the opposite of emotion is false. Emotions can overpower rationality at times. But without inferring to emotion, what is the basis of human rationality? What is the purpose of any action? If there is no positive or negative stimulus for a person to do anything (by which I mean a positive or negative feeling) then there would be no recourse to choose between options, arguments, to distinguish between one thing and another. Rationality would be impossible. And human life could not exist.
    Laws and societal morals are based on the collective of peoples feelings (at least in a democracy.) These are constantly shifting, constantly adapting to fit in with the way people balance their different feelings. At one point, the idea of detaining anyone without trial for indefinite periods, let alone torturing them, seems universally morally abhorrent. And then things change. When people feel threatened, their internal balance shifts, and so societal morality and it’s laws shift accordingly. Suddenly it’s permissable to lock up potentially innocent people, and to attack currently peaceful countries, just in case. Torture is conveniently reclassified.
    Once capital punishment was far more commonplace around the world. Duels were a common way of settling legal disputes. Rape went virtually unreported. And people were strung up for stealing apples. Laws and our ideas of morality have shifted massively just within the last 300 years. They will likely shift much further again. That is what morality is. A shifting collection of ideas and feelings. Scary isn’t it.

  4. Wishful thinking? Absolutely not – in fact, without an external reality even a “collective community” doesn’t get to determine what is and is not moral (after all, this would mean the Nazis were, in fact, justified in their actions).

    If you read this article (https://thechristianwatershed.com/2008/05/07/the-necessity-in-god-in-the-acquisition-of-knowledge/) and then apply it to morality, it shows that external realism does, in fact, provide enough reason for belief in external morality.

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