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Old 04-28-2008, 12:41 PM   #121
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If you're talking about the way Expelled presents the subject, then yes. Including the entire quote is anything but sophistry.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:53 PM   #122
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Diemen-

Did you see the movie?

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Old 04-28-2008, 03:34 PM   #123
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Did the movie include the whole quote that I showed?
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Old 04-28-2008, 03:55 PM   #124
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No, it did not.

Of course it was edited and presented in a way to support Stein's views. That is why I said the first 2/3s of the movie was more effective.

One might actually think some of the arguments are reasonable.

But, when he spun the Nazi stuff out, his creditability started to slide.
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Old 04-28-2008, 04:01 PM   #125
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Saying that Darwin's theory of evolution was a "necessary but not sufficient condition" for the Holocaust is like saying that the doctrine of salvation was a "necessary but not sufficient condition" for the Spanish Conquest and resulting slave trade in first Native Americans, then Africans. Well, kind of...in the sense that the event in question wouldn't have unfolded precisely the way it did, wouldn't have looked exactly the way it did, had a particular understanding of the theory/doctrine in question--an understanding itself distinctly shaped by unrelated ideas and events peculiar to that time and place--not been bound up in the ideology of the perpetrators. But to suggest that said theory/doctrine inevitably leads to such outcomes is ridiculous, and even pointedly fingering it as a "necessary but not sufficient condition" in the context of polemicizing against its proponents (while just as pointedly neglecting to examine other "necessary but not sufficient conditions") ought to immediately raise a red flag. It's tempting to think that if only we all subscribed to the 'right' worldview, we could transcend our capacity for mass brutality once and for all, but unfortunately human history shows otherwise.
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Old 04-28-2008, 08:44 PM   #126
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Quote:
Originally posted by Diemen
Did the movie include the whole quote that I showed?
I will take that as no.

Come to the table when you're knowledgeable enough about this film.

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Old 04-28-2008, 08:46 PM   #127
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
No, it did not.

Of course it was edited and presented in a way to support Stein's views. That is why I said the first 2/3s of the movie was more effective.

One might actually think some of the arguments are reasonable.

But, when he spun the Nazi stuff out, his creditability started to slide.
I disagree completely, that's when it made some viewers connect the dots and other viewers squirm.

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Old 04-28-2008, 09:23 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
Come to the table when you're knowledgeable enough about this film.
This assertion...:
Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
Hilter took glee in riding the planet of the Jews and those he felt were inferior, a view proffered also by Darwin.
...was about Darwin, not about the movie. If you know it's true that Darwin "proffered" that view, then you should be able to make a case for that in your own words, rather than saying "just see the movie."
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:43 PM   #129
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Is it rocket science or within a short intellectual reach to be able draw conclusions with mantras such as:
"Survival of the Fitess" to "Eterminate an inferior race"

paticularily when members of the Nazi Party proclaimed themselves as Darwinists and that some Nazis took or interpreted Darwinian Principles to justify their evil?

That said, have you viewed this film Yolland?

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Old 04-28-2008, 10:59 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
Is it rocket science or within a short intellectual reach to be able draw conclusions with mantras such as:
"Survival of the Fitess" to "Eterminate an inferior race"

paticularily when members of the Nazi Party proclaimed themselves as Darwinists and that some Nazis took or interpreted Darwinian Principles to justify their evil?

That said, have you viewed this film Yolland?

<>
Did you even read my initial response? Did you actual read the entire quote from Darwin, and not just the one shown in the film?

If so, I would think any rational being would realize that Darwin was not arguing for elimination of inferior humans. Let me again repeat Darwin's assertion:

Quote:
“The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature.
So diamond, would you actually care to respond to the facts here or will you continue to dodge them and make your own broad assertions based on what a film has told you to think rather than what you have come to learn from the unbiased facts?
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:21 PM   #131
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I will engage in dialogue with you only after you see the movie, instead answering to a parsley spattering of randomly clipped quotes here and there.

We could also love chat aout "War and Peace" after you read the book -if you like.

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Old 04-28-2008, 11:53 PM   #132
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Nice dodge, diamond - exactly what I expected. However, the movie is not necessary at this point to discuss the claim that Darwin was pro-eugenics. But since you know you have no ground to stand on here, you cling to the movie.

But in the (incredibly rare) chance that you actually would be interested in oh, I don't know, actually discussing a topic using logic and not talking points, ignore the movie for second. Reading the quote of Darwin's, how could you logically come to the conclusion that he is arguing for eugenics when he explicity says that to go down that road would be at the expense of the "noblest part of our nature"?
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:04 AM   #133
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
Is it rocket science or within a short intellectual reach to be able draw conclusions with mantras such as:
"Survival of the Fitess" to "Eterminate an inferior race"

paticularily when members of the Nazi Party proclaimed themselves as Darwinists and that some Nazis took or interpreted Darwinian Principles to justify their evil?

That said, have you viewed this film Yolland?

<>
And being as knowledgeable as you are you would know that it wasn't Darwin who coined the phrase survival of the fittest and natural selection is not about exterminating other races or species.
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:07 AM   #134
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Nevermind the number of people who have used the Bible to justify ugly and evil deeds.
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:10 AM   #135
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Well that is justified, because in places the bible is so very explicit about when genocide is morally alright.

Darwinian Natural Selection does not say that it is morally right for one thing or another thing to happen, only why it happens.
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:56 AM   #136
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond


I will take that as no.

Come to the table when you're knowledgeable enough about this film.

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on the basis of this,

you now only get to comment on gay people and gay relationships after you've been with a man.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:41 AM   #137
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
Is it rocket science or within a short intellectual reach to be able draw conclusions with mantras such as:
"Survival of the Fitess" to "Eterminate an inferior race"
In other words, you in fact have no evidence that Darwin actually advocated "ridding the planet of Jews and those that he felt were inferior"...probably because Darwin never advocated any such thing. "Survival of the fittest" (which was coined by the economist Herbert Spencer, not by Darwin, who spoke of "natural selection") is a descriptive phrase for the mechanism by which certain heritable traits become more common in nature, while others become less common or disappear altogether, as evinced by the fossil record. It's not a public policy prescription.

As for Darwin's views on race, the only way to get the full picture of them is to read his works, but in the interest of nuancing things a little, here are some excerpts:
Quote:
Those who look tenderly at the slave owner, and with a cold heart at the slave, never seem to put themselves into the position of the latter; what a cheerless prospect, with not even a hope of change! picture to yourself the chance, ever hanging over you, of your wife and your little children--those objects which nature urges even the slave to call his own--being torn from you and sold like beasts to the first bidder! And these deeds are done and palliated by men, who profess to love their neighbours as themselves, who believe in God, and pray that his Will be done on earth! It makes one's blood boil, yet heart tremble, to think that we Englishmen and our American descendants, with their boastful cry of liberty, have been and are so guilty.

--The Voyage of the Beagle (1839)
Quote:
Our naturalist would likewise be much disturbed as soon as he perceived that the distinctive characters of all the races were highly variable. This fact strikes every one on first beholding the negro slaves in Brazil, who have been imported from all parts of Africa. The same remark holds good with the Polynesians, and with many other races. It may be doubted whether any character can be named which is distinctive of a race and is constant.

--The Descent of Man (1871)
Quote:
Although the existing races of man differ in many respects, as in colour, hair, shape of skull, proportions of the body, &c., yet if their whole structure be taken into consideration they are found to resemble each other closely in a multitude of points. Many of these are of so unimportant or of so singular a nature, that it is extremely improbable that they should have been independently acquired by aboriginally distinct species or races. The same remark holds good with equal or greater force with respect to the numerous points of mental similarity between the most distinct races of man...He who will read Mr. Tylor's and Sir J. Lubbock's interesting works can hardly fail to be deeply impressed with the close similarity between the men of all races in tastes, dispositions and habits. This is shown by the pleasure which they all take in dancing, rude music, acting, painting, tattoing, and otherwise decorating themselves; in their mutual comprehension of gesture-language, by the same expression in their features, and by the same inarticulate cries, when excited by the same emotions. This similarity, or rather identity, is striking, when contrasted with the different expressions and cries made by distinct species of monkeys. There is good evidence that the art of shooting with bows and arrows has not been handed down from any common progenitor of mankind, yet as Westropp and Nilsson have remarked, the stone arrow-heads, brought from the most distant parts of the world, and manufactured at the most remote periods, are almost identical; and this fact can only be accounted for by the various races having similar inventive or mental powers.

--The Descent of Man
Quote:
Hence our natural rate of increase, though leading to many and obvious evils, must not be greatly diminished by any means. There should be open competition for all men; and the most able should not be prevented by laws or customs from succeeding best and rearing the largest number of offspring. Important as the struggle for existence has been and even still is, yet as far as the highest part of man's nature is concerned there are other agencies more important. For the moral qualities are advanced, either directly or indirectly, much more through the effects of habit, the reasoning powers, instruction, religion, &c., than through natural selection; though to this latter agency may be safely attributed the social instincts, which afforded the basis for the development of the moral sense.

--The Descent of Man
Quote:
As man advances in civilisation, and small tribes are united into larger communities, the simplest reason would tell each individual that he ought to extend his social instincts and sympathies to all the members of the same nation, though personally unknown to him. This point being once reached, there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races. If, indeed, such men are separated from him by great differences in appearance or habits, experience unfortunately shews us how long it is, before we look at them as our fellow-creatures.

--The Descent of Man
Quote:
The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil.

--The Descent of Man
So...Darwin was an abolitionist, rejected the idea of distinct and inalterable racial characteristics, lamented the "artificial barriers" which prevent our "sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races," and condemned both deliberate neglect of the weak and helpless, and the use of coercive "laws or customs" to limit a group's fertility. Not exactly incipient Nazi ideology.

It is true that almost any reader of today will find numerous passages in Darwin's writings on race (and for that matter, class) that are liable to make them cringe. He lived, learned and wrote in the Victorian era, and it shows--a tendency to condescend to "savage" peoples for instance, and to assume that the poor are poor because they're just not smart enough to get rich. But I'd be hard-pressed to think of any significant writer on race or ethnography from that era, including (other) abolitionists, of whom that's not true.
Quote:
paticularily when members of the Nazi Party proclaimed themselves as Darwinists and that some Nazis took or interpreted Darwinian Principles to justify their evil?
Which members of the Nazi Party proclaimed themselves as Darwinists?

"Took or interpreted," I would take as being in line with what I said earlier in suggesting the salvation/Spanish Conquest analogy--yes, it's reasonable to suggest that particular interpretations of ideas found in Darwin's work (like natural selection) played a role in the Nazis' ideological repertoire; no, it's not reasonable to suggest that the concept of natural selection leads to institutional racism and genocide. Even if one were only examining Nazi race theories specifically, you'd also need to read and consider the works of Arthur de Gobineau (whose Inequality of the Human Races preceded Darwin's Descent of Man by 20 years, and first presented the idea of the "Aryan master race"); Josiah Nott and George Gliddon, whose Types of Mankind preceded Darwin's Descent by 17 years, and are probably the most famous exponents of the Negroes-are-the-closest-race-to-apes idea; Francis Galton, whom melon already mentioned; the craniometrist Samuel Morton, whose works were published several decades before Darwin's, who claimed that his studies of skulls proved innate racial differences in mental capacity; Johann Gottfried Herder, who died before Darwin was born, and wrote on the racial essence of nations (Volksgeist); the late-nineteenth-century philosopher and scientist Houston Chamberlain, who further elaborated de Gobineau's "Aryan master race" ideas, proclaiming "Nordic" or "Teutonic" Aryans the most superior of all (he actually eventually became a Nazi, but was an old man by then); and the American lawyer (and amateur naturalist) Madison Grant, whose The Passing of the Great Race (1916) also promoted the "Nordic superiority" idea.

Of course, if one wanted to focus on Nazi anti-Semitic ideology specifically, then in addition to some of the above (not all those writers were anti-Semitic), one would, yes, also need to study the millennia-old history of Christian anti-Semitic thought, from the 'deicide' charge to the Fourth Lateran Council to the writings of Pope Clement VIII to, perhaps most famously, Martin Luther's On the Jews and Their Lies (1543):
Quote:
First, their synagogues should be set on fire, and whatever does not burn up should be covered or spread over with dirt so that no one may ever be able to see a cinder or stone of it...their homes should likewise be broken down and destroyed...Their rabbis must be forbidden under threat of death to teach any more...safe conduct on the highways should be abolished completely for the Jews...If we wish to wash our hands of the Jews' blasphemy and not share in their guilt, we have to part company with them. They must be driven from our country.
........................
We are at fault in not avenging all this innocent blood of our Lord and of the Christians which they shed for three hundred years after the destruction of Jerusalem, and the blood of the children they have shed since then, which still shines forth from their eyes and their skin. We are at fault in not slaying them...I wish and I ask that our rulers who have Jewish subjects exercise a sharp mercy towards these wretched people...They must act like a good physician who, when gangrene has set in, proceeds without mercy to cut, saw and burn flesh, veins, bone and marrow.
On the Jews was also the source of the Nazi weekly Der Sturmer's front-page motto, "The Jews are our misfortune," which like other Nazi propaganda not infrequently drew on Christian imagery and metaphor to promote anti-Semitism (and, ironically, sometimes anti-Catholicism as well). Always, of course, in a highly cynical and opportunistic way...in other words, the same way they drew on science.
Quote:
That said, have you viewed this film Yolland?
No, and as long as it's cinema-release only I certainly won't, as I'm hearing-disabled and experience anything too high-volume (like standard theater audio systems) as distorted beyond recognition. I may rent it once it comes out on DVD, though my must-rent list is already pretty long.
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:22 AM   #138
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From who we might call a true conservative around here, John Derbyshire
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What on earth has happened to Ben Stein? He and I go back a long way. No, I’ve never met the guy. Back in the 1970s, though, when The American Spectator was in its broadsheet format, I would always turn first to Ben Stein’s diary, which appeared in every issue. He was funny and clever and worldly in a way I liked a lot. The very few times I’ve caught him on-screen, he seems to have had a nice line in deadpan self-deprecation, also something I like. Though I’ve never met him, I know people who know him, and they all speak well of him. Larry Kudlow, whose opinion is worth a dozen average opinions on any topic, thinks the world of Ben.

So what’s going on here with this stupid Expelled movie? No, I haven’t seen the dang thing. I’ve been reading about it steadily for weeks now though, both pro (including the pieces by David Klinghoffer and Dave Berg on National Review Online) and con, and I can’t believe it would yield up many surprises on an actual viewing. It’s pretty plain that the thing is creationist porn, propaganda for ignorance and obscurantism. How could a guy like this do a thing like that?

I turned over some possibilities, but decisively rejected them all. The first thing that came to mind was Saudi money. Half of the evils and absurdities in our society seem to have a Saudi prince behind them somewhere, and the Wahhabists are, like all fundamentalist Muslims, committed creationists. This doesn’t hold water, though. For one thing, Stein is Jewish. For another, he is rich, and doesn’t need the money. And for another, the stills and clips I have seen are from a low-budget production. Saudi financing would surely at least have come up with some decent computer graphics. No, Ben Stein is no crook. He must then be foolish; and that’s sad, because I now think less of a guy I once admired, and whom my friends admire. Life, it’s just one darn bubble bursting after another.

To return to the matter of computer graphics for a moment, it seems that the producers of Expelled, rather than go to the trouble and expense of making their own, may have just stolen some. (The creationists have posted a defense here. There will probably be a lawsuit under way, which I shall report back on. Oh, and as I write this, I see a Reuters report that our defenders of faith and morality may have stolen some music too. How many more shoes will drop, I wonder?) It is at any rate clear that they engaged in much deception with the subjects they interviewed for the movie, many of whom are complaining loudly. This, together with much, much else about the movie, can be read about on the Expelled Exposed website put up by the National Center for Science Education, which I urge all interested readers to explore.

These dishonesties do not surprise me. When talking about the creationists to people who don’t follow these controversies closely, I have found that the hardest thing to get across is the shifty, low-cunning aspect of the whole modern creationist enterprise. Individual creationists can be very nice people, though they get nicer the further away they are from the full-time core enterprise of modern creationism at the Discovery Institute. The enterprise as a whole, however, really doesn’t smell good. You notice this when you’re around it a lot. I shall give some more examples in a minute; but what accounts for all this dishonesty and misrepresentation?

My own theory is that the creationists have been morally corrupted by the constant effort of pretending not to be what they are. What they are, as is amply documented, is a pressure group for religious teaching in public schools.

Now, there is nothing wrong with that. We are a nation of pressure groups, and one more would hardly notice. However, since parents who want their kids religiously educated already have plenty of private and parochial schools to choose from (half the kids on my street have attended parochial school), as well as the option of home schooling, now very well organized and supported (and heartily approved of by me: I just wish I knew how they find the time); and since current jurisprudence, how correctly I am not competent to say, regards tax-funded religious instruction as unconstitutional; creationists are a pressure group without hope, if they campaign openly for the thing they want.

Understanding this, the creationists took the morally fatal decision to campaign clandestinely. They overhauled creationism as “intelligent design,” roped in a handful of eccentric non-Christian cranks keen for a well-funded vehicle to help them push their own flat-earth theories, and set about presenting themselves to the public as “alternative science" engaged in a “controversy” with a closed-minded, reactionary “science establishment” fearful of new ideas. (Ignoring the fact that without a constant supply of new ideas, there would be nothing for scientists to do.) Nothing to do with religion at all!

I think this willful act of deception has corrupted creationism irredeemably. The old Biblical creationists were, in my opinion, wrong-headed, but they were mostly honest people. The “intelligent design” crowd lean more in the other direction. Hence the dishonesty and sheer nastiness, even down to plain bad manners, that you keep encountering in ID circles. It’s by no means all of them, but it’s enough to corrupt and poison the creationist enterprise, which might otherwise have added something worthwhile to our national life, if only by way of entertainment value.

This dishonesty showed up very soon after the creationists decided to don the mask of “alternative science” in the 1990s. A key episode was the Kunming conference of June 1999. In very brief — you can read the full story in Forrest and Gross’s Creationism’s Trojan Horse (“A bad book, a very bad book,” shuddered the Discovery Institute’s Bruce Chapman when he saw it on my desk, like a vampire spotting a clove of garlic), pp.56-66 — there is a very interesting bed of extremely old fossils near Kunming, in southern China. Paul Chien, a little-known creationist of Chinese ancestry from San Francisco, acted as a front man for the Discovery Institute to organize a conference in Kunming, bringing in professional paleontologists from China and abroad, but without telling them of the Discovery Institute’s involvement. The aim was “to produce and then to promote a book containing the conference papers of [creationist] members immediately juxtaposed to those written by respected scientists in the relevant fields.” (Forrest & Gross, their italics.) When the real paleontologists found out what was going on, and how they had been brought across China, or around the world, they were not pleased. Embarrassing scenes followed. No book ever appeared.

Examples can be multiplied. The witty and mild-mannered federal Judge Jones, who presided over the 2005 Kitzmiller trial in Dover, Pa., felt moved to note that: “The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.” The response of the Discovery Institute was to launch sneering, slanderous attacks on the professionalism and competence of Judge Jones (a church-going conservative Republican appointed by President George W. Bush).

So it goes with the stalwart defenders of truth and morality over at the Discovery Institute. So it goes with Ben Stein, apparently, since he has signed up with these mountebanks, for reasons that remain mysterious to me. The misrepresentations in Expelled are far too numerous for me to list here, and the task is unnecessary since others have done it. The aforementioned Expelled Exposed website is a great resource. Biologist P. Z. Myers, in a less organized way, has been pointing up the errors and deceptions in Expelled since the wretched thing hove into view. (Here he links to a whole stack of reviews, including a couple of positives.) Other science-literate bloggers have been weighing in, often very angrily. One of my favorite comments came from “Pixy Misa” (Andrew Mazels) who correctly called Ben Stein's accusing Darwin of responsibility for the Holocaust “a blood libel on science.”

I would actually go further than that, to something like “a blood libel on Western Civilization.” One of the most-quoted remarks by one conservative writer about another was Evelyn Waugh's on Kipling. It bears quoting again.

[Kipling] was a conservative in the sense that he believed civilization to be something laboriously achieved which was only precariously defended. He wanted to see the defences fully manned and he hated the liberals because he thought them gullible and feeble, believing in the easy perfectibility of man and ready to abandon the work of centuries for sentimental qualms.

Western civilization has many glories. There are the legacies of the ancients, in literature and thought. There are the late-medieval cathedrals, those huge miracles of stone, statuary, and spiritual devotion. There is painting, music, the orderly cityscapes of Renaissance Italy, the peaceful, self-governed townships of old New England and the Frontier, the steel marvels of the early industrial revolution, our parliaments and courts of law, our great universities with their spirit of restless inquiry.

And there is science, perhaps the greatest of all our achievements, because nowhere else on earth did it appear. China, India, the Muslim world, all had fine cities and systems of law, architecture and painting, poetry and prose, religion and philosophy. None of them ever accomplished what began in northwest Europe in the later 17th century, though: a scientific revolution. Thoughtful men and women came together in learned societies to compare notes on their observations of the natural world, to test their ideas in experiments, and in reasoned argument against the ideas of others, and to publish their results in learned journals. A body of common knowledge gradually accumulated. Patterns were observed, laws discerned and stated.

If I write with more feeling than usual here it is because I have just shipped off a review to an editor (for another magazine) of Gino Segrè’s new book about the history of quantum mechanics. It’s a good, if not very remarkable, book giving pen-portraits of the great players in physics during the 1920s and 1930s, and of their meetings and disagreements. Segrè, a particle physicist himself, who has been around for a while, knew some of these people personally, and of course heard many anecdotes from their intellectual descendants. It's a “warm” book, full of feeling for the scientists and their magnificent enterprise, struggling with some of the most difficult problems the human intellect has ever confronted, striving with all their powers to understand what can barely be understood.

Gino Segrè’s book — and, of course, hundreds like it (I have, ahem, dabbled myself) brings to us a feeling for what the scientific endeavor is like, and how painfully its triumphs are won, with what sweat and tears. Our scientific theories are the crowning adornments of our civilization, towering monuments of intellectual effort, built from untold millions of hours of observation, measurement, classification, discussion, and deliberation. This is quite apart from their wonderful utility — from the light, heat, and mobility they give us, the drugs and the gadgets and the media. (A “thank you” wouldn’t go amiss.) Simply as intellectual constructs, our well-established scientific theories are awe-inspiring.

And now here is Ben Stein, sneering and scoffing at Darwin, a man who spent decades observing and pondering the natural world — that world Stein glimpses through the window of his automobile now and then, when he’s not chattering into his cell phone. Stein claims to be doing it in the name of an alternative theory of the origin of species: Yet no such alternative theory has ever been presented, nor is one presented in the movie, nor even hinted at. There is only a gaggle of fools and fraudsters, gaping and pointing like Apaches on seeing their first locomotive: “Look! It moves! There must be a ghost inside making it move!”

The “intelligent design” hoax is not merely non-science, nor even merely anti-science; it is anti-civilization. It is an appeal to barbarism, to the sensibilities of those Apaches, made by people who lack the imaginative power to know the horrors of true barbarism. (A thing that cannot be said of Darwin. See Chapter X of Voyage of the Beagle.)

And yes: When our greatest achievements are blamed for our greatest moral failures, that is a blood libel against Western civilization itself. What next, Ben? Johann Sebastian Bach ran a slave-trading enterprise on the side? Kepler started the Thirty Years War? Tolstoy instigated the Kishinev Pogrom? Dante was a bag-man for the Golden Horde? Why not go smash a few windows in Chartres Cathedral, Ben? Break wind in a chamber-music concert? Splash some red paint around in the Uffizi? Which other of our civilizational achievements would you like to sneer at? What else from what Waugh called “the work of centuries” would you like to “abandon … for sentimental qualms”? You call yourself a conservative? Feugh!

For shame, Ben Stein, for shame. Stand up for your civilization, man! and all its glories. The barbarians are at the gate, as they always have been. Come man the defenses with us, leaving the liars and fools to their lies and folly.
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZGYwMzdjOWRmNGRhOWQ4MTQyZDMxNjNhYTU1YTE5Njk=&w=MQ==
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Old 04-29-2008, 08:45 AM   #139
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Originally posted by yolland

In other words, you in fact have no evidence that Darwin actually advocated "ridding the planet of Jews and those that he felt were inferior"...probably because Darwin never advocated any such thing. "Survival of the fittest" (which was coined by the economist Herbert Spencer, not by Darwin, who spoke of "natural selection") is a descriptive phrase for the mechanism by which certain heritable traits become more common in nature, while others become less common or disappear altogether, as evinced by the fossil record. It's not a public policy prescription.

As for Darwin's views on race, the only way to get the full picture of them is to read his works, but in the interest of nuancing things a little, here are some excerpts:






So...Darwin was an abolitionist, rejected the idea of distinct and inalterable racial characteristics, lamented the "artificial barriers" which prevent our "sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races," and condemned both deliberate neglect of the weak and helpless, and the use of coercive "laws or customs" to limit a group's fertility. Not exactly incipient Nazi ideology.

It is true that almost any reader of today will find numerous passages in Darwin's writings on race (and for that matter, class) that are liable to make them cringe. He lived, learned and wrote in the Victorian era, and it shows--a tendency to condescend to "savage" peoples for instance, and to assume that the poor are poor because they're just not smart enough to get rich. But I'd be hard-pressed to think of any significant writer on race or ethnography from that era, including (other) abolitionists, of whom that's not true.

Which members of the Nazi Party proclaimed themselves as Darwinists?

"Took or interpreted," I would take as being in line with what I said earlier in suggesting the salvation/Spanish Conquest analogy--yes, it's reasonable to suggest that particular interpretations of ideas found in Darwin's work (like natural selection) played a role in the Nazis' ideological repertoire; no, it's not reasonable to suggest that the concept of natural selection leads to institutional racism and genocide. Even if one were only examining Nazi race theories specifically, you'd also need to read and consider the works of Arthur de Gobineau (whose Inequality of the Human Races preceded Darwin's Descent of Man by 20 years, and first presented the idea of the "Aryan master race"); Josiah Nott and George Gliddon, whose Types of Mankind preceded Darwin's Descent by 17 years, and are probably the most famous exponents of the Negroes-are-the-closest-race-to-apes idea; Francis Galton, whom melon already mentioned; the craniometrist Samuel Morton, whose works were published several decades before Darwin's, who claimed that his studies of skulls proved innate racial differences in mental capacity; Johann Gottfried Herder, who died before Darwin was born, and wrote on the racial essence of nations (Volksgeist); the late-nineteenth-century philosopher and scientist Houston Chamberlain, who further elaborated de Gobineau's "Aryan master race" ideas, proclaiming "Nordic" or "Teutonic" Aryans the most superior of all (he actually eventually became a Nazi, but was an old man by then); and the American lawyer (and amateur naturalist) Madison Grant, whose The Passing of the Great Race (1916) also promoted the "Nordic superiority" idea.

Of course, if one wanted to focus on Nazi anti-Semitic ideology specifically, then in addition to some of the above (not all those writers were anti-Semitic), one would, yes, also need to study the millennia-old history of Christian anti-Semitic thought, from the 'deicide' charge to the Fourth Lateran Council to the writings of Pope Clement VIII to, perhaps most famously, Martin Luther's On the Jews and Their Lies (1543):

On the Jews was also the source of the Nazi weekly Der Sturmer's front-page motto, "The Jews are our misfortune," which like other Nazi propaganda not infrequently drew on Christian imagery and metaphor to promote anti-Semitism (and, ironically, sometimes anti-Catholicism as well). Always, of course, in a highly cynical and opportunistic way...in other words, the same way they drew on science.

No, and as long as it's cinema-release only I certainly won't, as I'm hearing-disabled and experience anything too high-volume (like standard theater audio systems) as distorted beyond recognition. I may rent it once it comes out on DVD, though my must-rent list is already pretty long.
Yolland,

Do rent it when you're able.
The film uses the term "natural selection" much more not "survival of the fittest"

The Nazis used any mantra whether the source was good or bad as long as they could swipe it to justify their evil- and that is historically apparent without viewing the film.

Ben makes the point that many Nazis embraced Darwin, (especially Nazis killing off ppl with disabilities ), Eugenics and other ideologies to advance their agenda-once a person watches the film, most *fairminded* ppl wil garnish this from an openminded viewing, and I feel *you* are that type of a person.

Anyway I answered *your* post due to the patient respectabilty in which you dialouge.

I think when you finally watch the film, you would encourage all of the non watchers to view it, so that things can be discussed in their totality, equally and fairly instead of the usual tangents that many are proned to go off on and cling to.

Best,

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Old 04-29-2008, 09:00 AM   #140
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
The Nazis used any mantra whether the source was good or bad as long as they could swipe it to justify their evil- and that is historically apparent without viewing the film.

Ben makes the point that many Nazis embraced Darwin, (especially Nazis killing off ppl with disabilities ), Eugenics and other ideologies to advance their agenda-once a person watches the film, most *fairminded* ppl wil garnish this from an openminded viewing, and I feel *you* are that type of a person.
This sounds like the logical fallacy that Leo Strauss referred to as "reductio ad Hitlerum."

Quote:
Reductio ad Hitlerum is rationally unsound for two different reasons: As a wrong direction fallacy (a type of questionable cause), it inverts the cause–effect relationship between why a villain and an idea might be criticized; conversely, as guilt by association (a form of association fallacy), it illogically attempts to shift culpability from a villain to an idea regardless of who is espousing it and why. Specific instances of reductio ad Hitlerum are also frequently likely to suffer from the fallacy of begging the question or take the form of slippery slope arguments, which are frequently (though not always) fallacious as well.
Quote:
The fallacious nature of reductio ad Hitlerum is, however, most easily illustrated by identifying X as something that Adolf Hitler or his supporters did promote but which is not considered unethical, such as watercolor painting, owning dogs, or vegetarianism. It may be refuted through counterexamples using figures with reputations generally opposite that of Hitler:

* Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, Hitler's British opponent, also painted.
* President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his successor Harry Truman, Hitler's American opponents, also owned dogs.
* India's celebrated, pacifist reformer Mahatma Gandhi was also a vegetarian.

The fallacy is common enough that the counter-example can be used without a proper explanation; for example, dismissively saying, "yeah, and the Fascists made the trains run on time", and expecting the listener to understand the reference to reductio ad Hitlerum.
Quote:
"In following this movement towards its end we shall inevitably reach a point beyond which the scene is darkened by the shadow of Hitler. Unfortunately, it does not go without saying that in our examination we must avoid the fallacy that in the last decades has frequently been used as a substitute for the reductio ad absurdum: the reductio ad Hitlerum. A view is not refuted by the fact that it happens to have been shared by Hitler." - Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History, 1950
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