Thursday, April 7, 2016


Historian Richard Weikart has written persuasively about how our philosophies have adversely affected how we live:

* Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor who endured the horrors presided over by Himmler’s SS at Auschwitz, astutely commented on the way that modern European thought had helped prepare the way for Nazi atrocities (and his own misery). He stated:

  • If we present a man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present man as an automaton of reflexes, as a mind-machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of instinct, heredity and environment, we feed the nihilism to which modern man is, in any case, prone. I became acquainted with the last stage of that corruption in my second concentration camp, Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment—or, as the Nazi liked to say, of “Blood and Soil.” I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some Ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers. ("The Death of Humanity: And the Case for Life")
Before the Nazis could act, they had to be convinced of the "rightness" of their actions. They didn't need to invent a supportive philosophy. It was already in place. Their society was already pregnant with the "wisdom" of racial superiority of social Darwinism. 

In "The Descent of Man," Darwin himself offered some encouragement to the racism implicit in his theory:

  • "[a]t some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races."
This prediction is implicit to evolution, even though it is strenuously denied. If we evolved from lower primates, it is inevitable that some human races will be regarded as closer to them than others, and woe to them!

In contrast, the biblical worldview provides no basis for racial superiority. It posits an absolute separation between humanity and the animal kingdom. For one thing, we all descended from the same two human parents (Acts 17:26). More importantly, in God's reckoning, race and sex can never serve as the basis for any concept of inherent superiority:

  • “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.” (Galatians 3:28-29)

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