Re: [asa] Creationists for genocide

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Sat Aug 25 2007 - 22:06:25 EDT

Pim, I mean, really -- the Barmen Declaration and Bonhoeffer are irrelevant
to the question of Christian ethics and Naziism? How can anyone claim to
speak intelligently about Christians and Naziism without even a whif of a
mention of Bonhoeffer. The blogger you quote, BTW, is actually celebrating
Bonhoeffer as a model to combat modern antisemitism -- read the whole post
instead of just puking up Google links -- the blogger you cite would agree
with me!

And Derrdia and semiotics about the book of Habbakuk? What does that have
to do with anything in the real world, much less about the rants of Hector
Avalos?

Finally, I understand that you continually need to evade this kind of
question, but your personal views absolutely are relevant here. If you are
a Christian, Hector Avalos thinks you are a "creationist" and that your
ethical system therefore must inevitably lead inevitably to genocide. How
do you respond to this? How do you, as a Christian who believes in God as
creator, propose an ethical system that avoids the problems Avalos cites?

On 8/25/07, PvM <pvm.pandas@gmail.com> wrote:
> So let's add some corrections to David's 'arguments' and attempt to
> understand what Avalos is actually saying.
>
> Two helpful resources
>
> http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4810212
>
> Examining the Intersection of Religion and Violence
>
> Talk of the Nation, August 22, 2005 · Two authors look into
> correlations between Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and other
> theologies, and violent acts.
>
> Guests:
>
> Hector Avalos, associate professor of religious studies at Iowa State
> University; author of Fighting Words: The Origins Of Religious
> Violence
>
> Charles Kimball, professor of religion at Wake Forest University;
> author of When Religion Becomes Evil
>
> and
>
> http://www.heardworld.com/higgaion/?p=621 "In defense of Hector
> Avalos" by Chris Heard, Associate Professor of Religion at Pepperdine
> University.
>
> <quote>
> What's telling here is that, despite their outrage, the best critique
> the DI can muster is a half-hearted attempt at something resembling
> post-Holocaust sensitivity. They do not, and indeed could not argue
> with intellectual integrity (not usually high on the list for the DI
> when it goes into attack mode), that Hector is wrong—because, simply
> put, he's not. The Tanakh—the focus of my professional activities and
> a significant factor in my own religious convictions—offers up some
> positively genocidal texts, and not just as narratives, but as divine
> law. As a Christian believer, I wish that weren't the case, but I'm
> not going to whitewash matters and pretend that those texts aren't
> there. I have even written about this myself (but unfortunately that
> article sits right in the gap between the SBL's online Semeia archive
> and Rosetta's archive of older Semeia volumes). Yes, of course
> Hector's comparison is provocative, but it's also accurate.
> </quote>
>
> Heard then references a short article and a full paper on the topic
>
>
> Hearing the Children's Cries
> Commentary, Deconstruction, Ethics, and the Book of Habakkuk
> Summary of an article published in Semeia 77 (1997) 75-89
>
> http://faculty.pepperdine.edu/cheard/research/hearing_cries.htm
> and the full paper at
> http://faculty.pepperdine.edu/cheard/research/Heard1997_HearingCries.pdf
>
> From this we learn that Avalos is not stating that Christianity is the
> only cause of violence. In fact, he is clear that any time there is a
> scarcity of resources, there is a potential for violence. What Avalos
> is arguing, much like Heard is that just and unjust violence cannot be
> distinguished.
>
>
> As to Torrey, David may have missed how Avalos presents the quote.
>
> <quote>For example, Louis T. Talbot (1889-1976), a former chancellor
> of Biola College, a creationist mecca, answers a question concerning
> the destiny of those who die in infancy as follows:
>
> Yes, all infants, including stillborn babies, and young children
> who have not reached the age of accountability at death, go
> immediately into the presence of God. [33]
>
> That would mean that abortion should result in a 100% salvation rate
> for fetuses who are aborted. Abortion would also eliminate completely
> the risk of sending aborted fetuses to an eternal torture in hell. So,
> by this logic, creationists should be for abortion, not against it.
>
> In fact, Reuben A. Torrey (1856-1928), a famous creationist, nearly
> comes to this conclusion when explaining why killing Canaanite
> children was justified:
>
> Even today I could almost wish that all the babies born into
> families of wicked influence might be slain in infancy, were it not
> for the hope that some concerned Christian will carry to them the
> saving gospel of the Son of God. [34]
>
> Yet, even this wish is illogical if all dead infants go directly to
> heaven. Torrey substitutes a risky hope of salvation through the
> gospel for what is the certainty of salvation through abortion or
> infanticide.</quote>
>
>
> About the table David argues
>
> <quote>He claims this table applies not only to the holy war passages
> in the OT, but to the whole Bible, including the NT. Of course, he
> makes no effort at all to understand how Jews and Christians actually
> read and understand scripture.</quote>
>
> Yet, the text is clear, even ignoring David's unsupported accusation.
>
> <quote>Given the foregoing discussion, we can demonstrate that almost
> every feature Weikart and his cohorts list for Nazi ideology is
> advocated by at least one passage/biblical author in the Bible (Old
> Testament or New Testament). Here is a summary:</quote>
>
> Surely one can easily appreciate that David's 'defense' is one of
> creating a strawman and ignoring Avalos's arguments.
>
> David's followup response further avoids dealing with Avalos's
> arguments and instead turns the focus on what I believe. Surely David
> must appreciate that my beliefs have no relevance to the accuracy or
> veracity of Avalos's claims. David's simplistic accusations ignore, as
> have the DI's accusations about Avalos, what Avalos is actually
> stating. While his arguments may be troublesome to us Christians, they
> do show a significant level of veracity.
>
> Chris Heard from Pepperdine, http://faculty.pepperdine.edu/cheard/,
> rather than ignoring Avalos, or resorting to avoidance, accusations
> etc, he accepts his scholarship and attempts to incorporate them with
> his faith.
>
> What I find quite interesting is how David responds to Avalos's quote of
Luther.
>
> <quote>Like just about all Christians today, I deplore Luther's
> statements about the Jewish people. Which makes Avalos' reference to
> them all the more frustrating. No one, outside a lunatic fringe,
> argues that Luther was right about the Jewish people. Talk about a
> straw man... </quote>
>
> This of course is irrelevant to Avalos's argument which is that
> anti-Judean arguments, including genocide, preceded Darwinian theory
> and where in fact founded in a religious position. That we may
> disagree with Luther merely shows how Heard and Avalos may have a
> strong argument that individuals get to define what is moral and
> immoral or just and unjust. If religion lacks a way to distinguish
> between to two then how can a biblical foundation for morality be
> justified. Unless perhaps such a morality is inherent in us all, based
> on a foundation linked with evolutionary history. Absolute morality
> may very well exist, but I doubt that we as Christians will ever be
> exposed to its full extent during our life time. At best we can try,
> based on often confusing examples, to do our best. I am sure that
> Luther worked from such a position when he reached his comprehensible
> list of seven.
>
> <quote Heard>
> The book of Habakkuk leaves its readers with no reliable way to tell
> the difference between just and unjust violence, and "when a
> distinction cannot be rigorous and precise, it is not a distinction at
> all" (Derrida, Limited Inc. [Northwestern, 1989] 123-124).</quote>
>
> Understanding Avalos is perhaps a better way to deal with his
> arguments than rejecting them as the musings of an atheist.
>
> So let's focus on what is being said lest we get distracted by a
> strawman argument.
>
> Iowa state btw has an interesting program in Bio Ethics
> http://www.iastate.edu/~ethics/
>
>
> Avalos and Sarfati
> http://www.billmuehlenberg.com/2007/03/15/time-to-trim-the-bible/
>
> David also asked
>
> <quote>BTW, I forgot to ask: how does Avalos fit the Barmen
> Declaration -- one of the greatest and bravest statements of
> Christian ethics in history -- and the writings and martyrdom at the
> hands of the Nazis of Dietrich Bonhoeffer -- into his notion that
> Biblical ethics are equivalent to Naziism? Curiously, he mentions
> neither.</quote>
>
> Many people have been martyrs at the hands of the nazis. Once again
> David ignores the discussion and Avalos's argument in favor of a non
> sequitur. Furthermore suggesting that Avalos mentions neither may
> amongst some be seen as a rebuttal, however I am confident that most
> will recognize it as an attempt to distract.
>
> Let's remind all of what Avalos stated:
>
> <quote>Given the foregoing discussion, we can demonstrate that almost
> every feature Weikart and his cohorts list for Nazi ideology is
> advocated by at least one passage/biblical author in the Bible (Old
> Testament or New Testament). Here is a summary:</quote>
>
> Perhaps David would like to explain in another posting why he believes
> Barmen Declaration, which spoke out against the state Church of
> Hitler, was the greatest and bravest statement of Christian ethics,
> or why Dietrich Bonhoeffer is particularly relevant as one of the
> countless people persecuted?
>
> http://kathleenjrusnak.blogspot.com/
> Kathleen Rusnak provides her unique perspectives on the holocaust.
>
> <quote>The church didn't speak out for the Jews in the 1930's either.
> In fact, the German Lutheran church became Nazified. An underground
> church, The Confessing Church formed, and even in this movement only a
> minority were for Jews. The heroes of that movement are well known
> among scholars and many lay persons. Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Martin
> Niemoller, even though he admits that he was an antisemite. Bonhoeffer
> is known and lifted up as the one who from the beginning could see
> clearly amidst a church and clergy that were so blind to Nazism and
> the plight of the Jews. How lonely he must have felt, I thought, even
> as he wrote his book The Cost of Discipleship, in 1934. I am beginning
> to feel lonely too, as I experience mainline Protestant churches
> focusing almost exclusively on the Palestinians and their situation,
> buying their view of the history of the Middle-East, without batting
> an eye, without an urge for Israel's survival.
>
> Bonhoeffer was hanged by the Nazis. Niemoller spent time in
> Sacksenhausen and Dachau concentration camps, and survived.</quote>
>
> So once again we see a moral relativism between interpretations by the
> State Church and a small minority of Christians (did the Barmen
> declaration even mention anti-semitism?)
>
> David Alan Black writes (http://www.covenantnews.com/daveblack041219.htm)
> <quote>Even fewer Americans are aware that the Barmen Declaration was
> not so much a critique of Hitler's policies as it was an alarm sounded
> against the usurpation of power and authority in the church by the
> "German Christian" movement. As such, the document is a profound
> statement of the supreme authority of Jesus Christ as the one Word of
> God. This is indicated clearly by the two verses that introduce the
> entire document:</quote>
>
> Similarly we learn from a review of The Bonhoeffer Legacy:
> Post-Holocaust Perspectives that
>
> <quote>Haynes begins with a survey of Bonhoeffer in the popular
> (primarily Christian) memory. With the gravity of the murderous scope
> of the holocaust and the Church's acquiescence there is a need for
> moral heroes and, in the mind of many, Bonhoeffer fits the bill
> excellently. It enables us to see that in spite of all its failings
> the Church "did something" to say no to the persecution of Jews.
> Bonhoeffer's involvement in "Operation 7" is cited in support of this
> assertion. In contrast, in his second chapter Haynes focuses on the
> response of Jewish scholars to Bonhoeffer's thought and actions. This
> Jewish reading is never the wholehearted elevation of Bonhoeffer as
> moral paradigm the Christian (and primarily evangelical) popular
> memory; the most benevolent position was to consider Bonhoeffer "the
> best of a bad lot". Why? Bonhoeffer's writings early on, particularly
> in the 1933 essay "The Church and Jewish Question" displayed not only
> a supercessionism but also echoed themes of anti-Jewish rhetoric
> common in the Nazi and pre-Nazi era. For example, Bonhoeffer repeats
> the "witness people" myth that affirms the charge of deicide on the
> Jewish people and their historic sufferings as retribution for this
> sin. Hayne's study is an attempt to steer a middle course between the
> rejection of Bonhoeffer by some Jewish Scholars and the Christian
> 'spin control' of his defenders.</quote>
>
>
http://subrationedei.com/2006/10/30/review-of-the-bonhoeffer-legacy-post-holocaust-perspectives/
>
> But enough on this side issue.
> Bonhoeffer, whatever his contributions may have been, has little
> relevance to the arguments made by Avalos and in fact, the stark
> contradiction between the State Church and the Confessing Church show
> how there may indeed be no claim to moral high-grounds. In fact, even
> within the Confessing Church there seemed to be several conflicting
> parties.
>
> An interesting research side track into the confessing church and the
> role it played in Germany.
> See also http://escholarship.bc.edu/scjr/vol2/iss1/1/ as a final
> parting with this side step.
>
> <quote>Many conservative Lutherans shared Mesier's strategy and
> beliefs. After 1934 these Lutherans distanced themselves from the
> declaration; they felt Barmen's revision of core Lutheran doctrine was
> too drastic. They quite rightly perceived that the Barmen declaration
> challenged four of the conservative Lutherans most sacred tenets: the
> law-gospel dialectic, the orders of creation, natural revelation, and
> the orthodox Lutheran understanding of Martin Luther's doctrine of
> the two kingdoms.
> </quote>
>
> Interesting... History
>
>
> On 8/25/07, PvM <pvm.pandas@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > On 8/25/07, David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > Thanks for giving the link. It demonstrates that Avalos doesn't
understand Christian ethics or Christian history -- or for that matter,
ethics and history in general.
> > >
> > > For example, Avalos says this:
> > >
> > >
> > > Christianity is actually founded on moral relativism that is even more
chaotic than secular systems of ethics. Ephesians 2:15 tells us this about
what Christ did to the Law of Moses: "by abolishing in his flesh the law of
commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in
place of the two, so making peace." In fact, from a traditional Jewish
viewpoint, Christianity is founded on systematically destroying God's laws
as revealed to Moses, and so speaking of a Judeo-Christian tradition is also
akin to speaking of a Capitalist-Marxist tradition.
> > >
> > > If Avalos weren't so serious about this, it would almost be amusing
that he engages in the same sort of willy-nilly proof-texting as religious
fundamentalists. There are many ways to understand the relationship between
the Gospel and the Law, but no responsible Christian interpreter is as
antinomian as Avalos is here. At the very least, Avalos seems to be
ignorant of the many rich streams of Christian thought that wrestle with the
Gospel-Law relationship in ways that are not in any sense relativistic or
antinomian. I wonder, for example, if Avalos has read Frank Thielman's
recent study "Paul and the Law" ( http://tinyurl.com/2jgm7k). Indeed, I
wonder if Avalos is aware of the depth of the entire Christian tradition on
the Gospel-Law relationship. Somehow, I doubt it.
> >
> >
> > Your doubt at most shows the weakness of your argument not that of
Avalos's. I find it fascinating how people tend to respond to criticism by
resorting to the adhominems such as 'no responsible Christian interpreter'.
> >
> >
> >
> > >
> > > This is only one of the many clunkers and recycled chestnuts in
Avalos' article. As another example, he picks on R.A. Torrey -- who is not
even a contemporary creationist of the sort Avalos supposedly is doing
battle -- for the following statement:
> >
> >
> >
> > Why should the creationist be contemporary when Avalos's argument is
that this kind of thought predates Darwinism?
> >
> >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Even today I could almost wish that all the babies born into families
of wicked influence might be slain in infancy, were it not for the hope that
some concerned Christian will carry to them the saving gospel of the Son of
God.
> > > In context, Torrey is trying to understand the OT's "holy war"
passages, and is suggesting that perhaps in some sense it was better for
some of the Canaanite infants to die young rather than to be raised in a
context in which they would surely have worshipped Baal. We can reasonably
debate whether Torrey's approach to these passages is a good one, but notice
that, contrary to Avalos' argument, Torrey is not in any way advocating
abortion, infanticide, or genocide. Even the out-of-context- quote Avalos
provides makes clear that Torrey is not advocating infanticide, but rather
is expressing the hope that concerned Christians will share the gospel with
everyone.
> >
> >
> > Aha, surely your accusation of out of context quote fails since it is,
as you state, not out of context. Furthermore, a more careful reading of
what Avalos wrote shows that he refers to Torrey as a 'defender' of the kind
of genocide found in these examples.
> >
> >
> > >
> > > Moreover, none of this has anything at all to do with Torrey's views
about creation. What Avalos is really arguing here is that any view that
incorporates the perspective of an afterlife is morally abominable. This,
again, is an
> >
> >
> > You seem to be missing Avalos's argument then. Love those strawmen...
> >
> > >
> > > old atheist chestnut -- the promise and/or threat of an afterlife
makes people less attentive to things in this life, less sensitive to
suffering, etc. And again, it's a fundamentalist-style argument that relies
on extremes. True, some people who believe in an afterlife use that belief
to justify or support evil actions. But, as an empirical matter, it simply
isn't true that all, most, or even an appreciable percentage of the
afterlife-believing population do anything of the sort. Indeed, the
evidence might suggest that belief in an afterlife can encourage people to
act more compassionately in this life. And of course, many, many
atrocities have been perpetrated by people who believed their actions in
this life carry no repurcussions for them beyond the grave.
> >
> >
> >
> > And yet we see how Avalos is documenting a Christian thought process
which if not condones, surely understands the concept of genocide and how
these thoughts precede Darwinian theory.
> >
> >
> > >
> > > As one last example of Avalos' embarassingly shallow treatment, take a
look at the summary tables at the end of his article. Avalos compares Nazi
ideology and the Bible as follows:
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Nazi Ideology
> > > Anti-Judaism YES YES
> > > Homosexuality condemned YES YES
> > > Genealogical purity demanded YES YES
> > > Life unequal in value YES YES
> > > Whole groups devalued YES YES
> > > Genocide permissible YES YES
> > >
> > >
> > > He claims this table applies not only to the holy war passages in the
OT, but to the whole Bible, including the NT. Of course, he makes no effort
at all to understand how Jews and Christians actually read and understand
scripture. His is a kind of cherry-picking literalism that not even the
most fundamentalist of Christian exegetes would employ. With regard to the
Christian understanding of the Bilbe, he completely ignores the primacy of
the Cross, and he seems blind to the socially leveling influence that
Christianity has actually had in history.
> >
> >
> >
> > So he ignores thing although he is right to point out these
similarities? Surely analogies do end at a certain level, but this is in
response to the somewhat irresponsible arguments by Weikart. All Avalos is
doing is showing how genocide and Christian and Judean thought on these
matters precedes Darwinism.
> >
> >
> > >
> > > With regard to the Jewish understanding of the Bible, one can only
describe Avalos' tables as alternating between incoherent and
anti-semitic. Let's be clear about what Avalos is saying concerning the
Jewish scriptures and, by implication, the Jewish tradition that is based on
those scriptures: he is arguing that Judaism is equivalent to Nazism! Let
that really sink in if you are at all tempted to think Avalos' approach here
is reasonable.
> >
> >
> > Love them strawmen. Accuse Avalos of anti-semitism, surely that's going
to make his arguments go away. Never mind whether or not there is some
level of veracity to Avalos's arguments... It's much simpler to make it go
away by distracting from his arguments.
> >
> >
> > >
> > > Avalos' concluding paragraph is a fitting summary for this mess of an
essay. He says:
> > >
> > >
> > > Creationist ethics are based on the whims and claims of people who
tell us they know what God wants. Scientific ethics, as imperfect as they
may be, at least can demand verifiable evidence that violence in
self-defense is necessary. Theistic violence, on the other hand, often
relies on the unverifiable belief that a supernatural being said we had to
sacrifice human life.
> > >
> > > It's hard to know where to begin with a passage like this. Avalos
seems to equate "creationist ethics" with some radical form of divine
command theory tied to an even more radical interpretive framework that
would allow for random prophetic utterances without any normative
framework. Once again, Avalos displays his ignorance of the variations of
religious ethics, which often incorporate at least some limited type of
natural theology in addition to the divine command. Avalos further ignores
the idea that the divine command itself, in the Christian tradition, is not
given at the whims of some people at any point in history, but is normed by
the commands and actions of Christ -- in particular by the Cross -- and by
the canonical scriptures.
> > >
> > > Avalos' notion of "scientific ethics" in this concluding paragraph is
equally baffling. There is no serious, sustained school of thought
concerning "scientific ethics." There are some interesting, recent
proposals concerning how evolution might have conditioned ethical thinking,
but no ethicists, religious or secular, outside of perhaps a very small
minority of die-hard reductionistic materialists, conceive of ethics as a
science of the same sort as, say, physics or microbiology.
> >
> >
> > Another nice non sequitur. Whether or not the science of ethics is of
the same level as say physics, is irrelevant. There is quite an extensive
scientific literature on the concept of ethics, ignoring this is just
irresponsible.
> >
> >
> > >
> > > In fact, if Avalos' notion of "scientific ethics" is correct, then not
only religious ethics, but every system of ethics employed by all people
throughout all of human history must be scrapped. Not just divine command
theory and natural law ethics, but also eudaimonistic virtue ethics,
consequentialism, and social contract theory must go by the boards,
because all of them involve normative judgments that are not reducible to
falsificationist "science."
> >
> >
> >
> > I love these strawmen...
> >
> >
> > >
> > > And that, at the end of the day, is Avalos' real argument -- an
argument in favor of a reductionistic materialism and against anything that
stands in its way.
> >
> >
> >
> > Yes, let's redefine his argument in the same manner Avalos shows how
creationists get to redefine the interpretation of 'ethics' and avoid having
to deal with Avalos's arguments.
> >
> > Nothing to say about Luther's statement? I wonder why?
> >
> > Avalos's argument is about the flaws in Weikart's arguments but somehow
David seems to know better. Fascinating...
> >
> >
> >
> > >
> > >
> > > On 8/25/07, PvM < pvm.pandas@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > Aha, I notice that I forgot to add the link to the complete article.
> > > > What I posted was just the introduction
> > > >
> > > > http://www.talkreason.org/articles/Genocide.cfm
> > > >
> > > > I apologize for the omission
> > > >
> > > > On 8/25/07, PvM <pvm.pandas@gmail.com > wrote:
> > > > > I was somewhat surprised to read about the seven steps by Luther.
> > > > > Furthermore, David's response seems to do a disservice to Avalos's
> > > > > arguments. Is ad hominem the only response possible here?
> > > > >
> > > > > On 8/25/07, David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > > > > It seems to me that Avalos and his other atheist fundamentalists
are
> > > > > > out-fundamentalist-ing the religious
fundamentalists. Apparently, anyone
> > > > > > who rejects the Dawkins line that God as portrayed in the OT is
merely
> > > > > > petty, mean, etc., must be a supporter of genocide. Rubbish.
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > On 8/25/07, Michael Roberts < michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk>
wrote:
> > > > > > > A quickie response.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > I have never been impressed with the alleged bloodline running
from Darwin
> > > > > > > to Hitler, and from what I have picked up about Wiekart I am
not
> > > > > > impressed.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Historical attitudes by Christians to others over history have
often been
> > > > > > > wicked eg Luther on Jews and many others.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > However a quick look at Avalos indicates an equally
unimpressive argument.
> > > > > > > To say Torrey (a TE not a creationist) Safarti and Craig
support genocide
> > > > > > > is not accurate as they were seeking to understand the OT.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > I haven't time to do more.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Michael
> > > > > > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > > > > > From: "PvM" <pvm.pandas@gmail.com >
> > > > > > > To: "AmericanScientificAffiliation" < asa@calvin.edu >
> > > > > > > Sent: Saturday, August 25, 2007 6:01 AM
> > > > > > > Subject: [asa] Creationists for genocide
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > Professor Hector Avalos, Professor of Religious Studies at
Iowa State
> > > > > > > > University has recently finished "Creationists for
genocide" which
> > > > > > > > explores the link between ethics, the holocaust, Darwinism
and Luther.
> > > > > > > > An interesting reading with some challenging positions.
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > <quote>
> > > > > > > > One understands nothing about creationism unless one
understands that
> > > > > > > > it is meant to be a system of ethics. That is why the
assault on
> > > > > > > > evolution has always included a lengthy history of moral
judgments
> > > > > > > > against evolution. Perhaps none of these judgments has been
more
> > > > > > > > accusatory than the idea that Darwinism led to the
Holocaust. Such an
> > > > > > > > idea is trumpeted in many creationist venues, including
books and
> > > > > > > > blogs. A prime example of this accusation today is found in
Richard
> > > > > > > > Weikart's From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics,
Eugenics, and
> > > > > > > > Racism in Germany (2004).[1] Weikart is a member of the
Discovery
> > > > > > > > Institute who has devoted his career to elucidating the
supposed
> > > > > > > > immoral consequences of evolution.
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > For Weikart, the materialistic basis of evolutionary theory
is
> > > > > > > > responsible for the devaluation of human life in general. In
> > > > > > > > particular, the idea of the survival of the fittest leads to
the
> > > > > > > > devaluation or extermination of those considered "unfit" in
society.
> > > > > > > > Death becomes a good thing insofar as it helps the species
rid itself
> > > > > > > > of unfit organisms. The principal goal of all such
anti-evolutionary
> > > > > > > > moral arguments is to show that creationism, especially in
its
> > > > > > > > Judeo-Christian form, is a superior moral system.
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > Aside from exposing the historical flaws found in the work
of Weikart,
> > > > > > > > this essay demonstrates that the defense of genocide,
infanticide and
> > > > > > > > "eugenics" by creationists actually has a very venerable and
lengthy
> > > > > > > > tradition that precedes Darwin. In fact, the most blatant
defenses of
> > > > > > > > genocide ever penned are still to be found among
creationists. Some of
> > > > > > > > these defenders of genocide include Reuben A. Torrey, the
famed
> > > > > > > > fundamentalist apologist, William Lane Craig, Jonathan
Sarfati, an
> > > > > > > > Australian Young-Earth creationist with a Ph.D. in
chemistry, and
> > > > > > > > Glenn Miller, an American business executive who fancies
himself to be
> > > > > > > > a biblical scholar.[2]
> > > > > > > > </quote>
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
> > > > > > > > "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
> > > > > > > "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
>

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Received on Sat Aug 25 22:06:43 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sat Aug 25 2007 - 22:06:43 EDT