To say that reading this article was a shock to me, would be the understatement of the decade. I could not believe what I was reading.
Social Darwinism, which all compassionate people hoped was dead, is alive and well, it would seem.
But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. I don’t know what sort of reading background is normal for my dear readers, but maybe you’re not all sure what Social Darwinism is.
Social Darwinism is the savagery that Hitler used for an excuse when he had millions of Jews, gypsies, vagrants, the mentally ill, all kinds of other innocent people, and anyone who tried to protect or hide them slaughtered in what he termed “The Final Solution,” but which history better remembers as the Holocaust.
Basically, Social Darwinism examines the theory of evolution, which states that natural selection will gradually winnow out those in a population who are unfit to live. In the wild, weak animals never last very long, and sick ones are the first to be picked off by predators. This results in the strongest animals surviving to reproduce. This is all well and good–in the wild.
However, Social Darwinism takes the idea that natural selection is a good thing to the extreme. Social Darwinism states that inferior human beings deserve to die as well. And, as dystopian novels are constantly reminding us, the human condition is such that no human being is inferior, and certainly that no human being is “worthless”!
From Social Darwinism springs the idea (much abjured especially by Charles Dickens in his work, specifically in A Christmas Carol) that we should not help the poor; that they are “unfit to live”, and we should just let them die. I don’t know about you, my fair readers, but this idea with its blatant disregard for human life and lack of belief in the value of all life horrifies me. After all, sometimes conditions are horribly unfair. They hit a man or woman when he or she is down, while seeming to reward those who cheat. For instance, even though my dad has every reason to be employed, we were forced to rely on our savings for a year while he was unemployed. (He’s a very competent computer security and risk management expert. He could have prevented one security breach at a company he worked for if the people in charge had actually listened to him. Forgive me for not giving better credentials, but Internet privacy and safety and all that.) Life has a way of knocking people down when they don’t deserve it. And people, contrary to all expectation, have a way of getting up again.
If you are all for Social Security and wellfare and that sort of thing, let me tell you… Apparently Richard Dawkins… isn’t?
Because it seems Richard Dawkins thinks that giving birth to a baby with Downs Syndrome or another mental health issue is “immoral.” According to him, we should abort all such pregnancies. (I find this especially frightening and horrifying, as such a belief was trademark of one of my–fortunately fictional–totalitarian governments which was depicted in Angels’ Reflections, and which, realistically speaking, would be a likely component of the totalitarian governments of the future. For more information about Angels’ Reflections, visit my Novels page.) From there, it’s just one step away from the concentration, and eventually death, camps.
To me, this is barbarism of the worst kind. To kill a child for merely having a genetic disorder is savagery, in my mind. Mr. Dawkins even called it “civilized.” Yes, if you want the worst of the Roman Empire. Yes, if you want to live in Sparta–which, by all accounts, was a very brutal city. One of the worst human “instincts”–the one of which we should be most ashamed–seems to be that at every level in history, we tend to slaughter our young.
In ancient times, in many cultures, including the ones now considered to be the root of most modern cultures, a baby that was perceived as “weak” was left exposed to the elements to die.
When Herod was afraid of being replaced on his throne, what did he do? The Slaughter of the Innocents.
Children killed in hospitals and death camps alike in Hitler’s “Final Solution.”
Gender-specific abortions, targeting (guess what?) mainly unborn baby girls.
And now, abortions targeting those children who are mentally ill or who have a genetic disorder that isn’t always nearly as debilitating as we are told.
Do we see a pattern here?
It seems Richard Dawkins has an interesting brand of “morality”. (Man, it’s hard not to make ad-hominem attacks when something this odious comes out… I’m trying. Possibly not succeeding. But trying.)
Let’s take this out even further, shall we?
Is there one person currently living on this earth who has never told a lie? Not even a little “white lie”? Not even a lie of omission?
Is there one person who has not been tempted to steal or embezzle at times?
Is there one person who has never been tempted to use violence, whether on others or himself or herself?
Wait, wait, wait. Those are all things that can leave you behind in the “grand” scheme of things. (Like, say, if you were registered in The Hunger Games.) Let’s talk in language Social Darwinists would understand.
Is there one human being in this world who has never made a bad business decision?
Is there one person who has never, ever made a mistake? (From a strictly amoral viewpoint.)
Is there one person who has not had to have their life saved in some way?
Also, how should we measure who deserves to live and who deserves to be aborted? Should we determine it by the righteousness of the individual? Righteous people don’t always do things that are for the amoral “good” of people in general. Should we reward those who put themselves ahead of others, or vice versa? Should we reward those who are physically strong, or those who are intellectual and intelligent? The two don’t always go together. There have been intellectuals with bad health, and strong people with bad health, and strong people who were also intellectual. (This is a big, glaring problem with moral relativism, FYI.) There are simply too many variables to measure.
And all this was before I saw his Twitter feed. (The link is at the bottom of the article I linked you to above.) Really, Mr. Dawkins? “Dislikes pretentious obscurantism”? (Well, I agree, Gnosticism was a gnarly heresy, but does it really justify hard-core materialism?) “Treats all religions with good-humored ridicule”? I’ve seen and heard some of your ridicule before, and in places it was anything but good-humored. And even if it was good-humored, it was violently–yes, I’m using that word–violently anti-religion. Dare I say, in places you were even as bitter towards religion as I am currently bitter and outraged at your inane Twitter logic.
Basically, what I’m getting at here is that, on some level or other, every human being alive today is unfit for survival. Every last person alive has known failure. I’m sure that at this point Mr. Dawkins would say, “We’re only talking about eliminating those least fit to live!” To which I would have to answer, “Who are we to say who deserves to live and die? We are mere grains of sand in a vast dune, mere moments in the ocean of time. To use the Christians’ imagery, we are mere dust. Who are we to say that one of our number deserves death when, perhaps on another level, we equally deserve death?”
We are mere dust, mere creation. But we were shaped by the hand of God, and thus though we are equal in guilt, we are also all equal in destiny. Autistic children have been known to be incredibly bright. Children who, all the doctors prophesied, would be no better than vegetables, have grown up and thrived. Inspiring stories can be found everywhere. I’m certain that our scientist friend would object that “The plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘data’!” But truly, there would not be so many instances of excellence, found in the strangest of places, if there was not some “divine spark” to be found in all men, women, and children, making all men, women and children worthy to have at least their lives and dignity respected?
Shout me down for comparing Dawkins’ philosophy to Hitler’s. I’m just calling it like I see it. But I can not be silent when I hear about this horrid fiasco going on with our educated scientist friend.
Survival of the fittest is a horrible philosophy, Mr. Dawkins, when applied to the “real world” of humanity and politics. I hope you realize that soon.
Disclaimer: The author apologizes for any bruised toes caused by this article. She does not, however, apologize for presenting her views, though she admits to being a mere human idiot (despite having a high IQ and better grades than most of her classmates,) and thus parts of this post may be inaccurate or misrepresented. She would also like to point out that this is not, technically, any kind of personal attack, especially as the words “is going to hell” did not appear in conjunction with anyone’s name, in keeping with the general theme of nonjudgmental-ness, and she opposes the principles or philosophy proposed by the
victim subject of this post. She would also like it if her readers were to research the origins of the theory of evolution and the history of Social Darwinism–if they dare. 😛
I’M STUCK IN THE DARK AGES AND PROUD OF IT! X-P Hey, that should be a badge… 😛
Thanks for reading, and may God Bless you, whether you believe in Him or not! 😀