Friday, September 18, 2009

Darwin and Death Panels


[Jews at Birkenau selected upon arrival for the gas chamber - a taste of Darwinian health care?]

During the recent debate concerning health care reform, one criticism of the President's plan is that it would allegedly create death panels - governmental bodies that would cut off care for the critically ill as a cost-cutting measure.

It's interesting to consider what Charles Darwin, the founder of atheism, would have had to say about this:

With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin

Talk about health care reform! Wow! According to atheists, we should discontinue health care or we will eventually lose the evolutionary battle and become extinct. This is supposedly science.

If the atheists become more influential, we should probably start investing in companies producing hydrogen cyanide and crematoria.

[An atheist might argue that Darwin is not making here any practical recommendation, and on the contrary immediately afterwards he argues that “if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil”. Clearly, however, someone a little more heartless or bolder perhaps, than Darwin could reach a different conclusion. In fact, that is exactly what happened later in Germany. It could even be argued that were Darwin alive today and were he to witness the present economic crisis and spirally health care costs, he himself might have decided differently regarding the “weak and helpless”.]

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

From the same chapter:
"It must not be forgotten that although a high standard of morality gives but a slight or no advantage to each individual man and his children over the other men of the same tribe, yet that an increase in the number of well-endowed men and an advancement in the standard of morality will certainly give an immense advantage to one tribe over another. A tribe including many members who, from possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage, and sympathy, were always ready to aid one another, and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection. At all times throughout the world tribes have supplanted other tribes; and as morality is one important element in their success, the standard of morality and the number of well-endowed men will thus everywhere tend to rise and increase. "

And the continuation of your 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, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. "

Nice quoting out of context, JP.
That's dishonest.

jewish philosopher said...

I think Darwin is actually the one being dishonest there. To make his ideas sound less diabolical, he is sneaking in the idea that "sympathy" is somehow more important than fitness. Of course that's nonsense.

From a Darwinian perspective, death will always eliminate the less fit.

Which nation will be most fit - a nation going bankrupt to preserve "the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick" or a nation which chooses to turn them into lampshades?

Anonymous said...

Darwin seems to be defining morality as loyalty to the tribe in the struggle with other tribes. Hitler usd this very same willingness towards self sacrifice asd proof that the Aryans were superior. Yet another parallel between Nazism and Darwinism.

Anon1 said...

You guys are liars.

Until the advent of humanism, all morality was about taking care of your own family, tribe or clan, period. As far as other peoples, if they left you alone and you had no use for their resources, you left them alone, too. On the other hand, if they got in your way, you were to utterly destroy them. Read the bible.

Now suddenly you guys pretend that caring about other peoples is from God. That's not God or Torah, that's humanism. Don't be disingenuous. No orthodox rabbi would tell a follower to donate an organ to save a sick child in Africa. Show me a frummie volunteer living in the Amazon rain forests trying to help the natives.

jewish philosopher said...

"Until the advent of humanism"

When exactly did humanism appear?

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT TO A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS ON HEALTH CARE September 9, 2009

"There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms -- the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally."

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-to-a-Joint-Session-of-Congress-on-Health-Care/

In other words: We take care of our own tribe, period.

Anonymous said...

The halacha quite clearly says that jews are required to provide for poor gentiles, care for sick gentiles, bury gentile dead. All this can be found in the Rambam, who predated humanism. Now, the Torah says quite clearly we are not to molest Moabites, or Ammonites. It says that the we are not even allowed to hate an Egyption. All this predates humanism. Joshua honored the pact he made with the Givonim who lived outside the tribe, even though they commited fraud. Dovid Hamelech executed the sons of Shaul to placate the Givonim.
And I do know lots of Rabbis who encourage their flocks to donate blood, which goes to any one who needs it, tribe members or not. And there is the Halachic Organ Donors Society. To the best of my knowledge they do not limit doantions to fellow Jews.

gatogreensleeves said...

"Talk about health care reform! Wow! According to atheists, we should basically outlaw health care or we will eventually lose the evolutionary battle and become extinct."- JP

JP, you are not allowed to continue to perpetuate the is/ought fallacy- You have had this explained to you very clearly in other forums.

"Darwin seems to be defining morality as loyalty to the tribe in the struggle with other tribes" Anonymous

Of course, there is no loyalty amongst Jews!: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j8QwP4ZvRjh-5EDghmS7q9wwP_DgD9ATRI300 That's family values mafia style!!

I can always count on this forum to reinvigorate my inspiration to speak plainly about the evil side of religion.

jewish philosopher said...

Someone who marries a goy is not a Jew. It's his money after all to leave to whom he wants.

jewish philosopher said...

"speak plainly about the evil side of religion"

How is anything evil according to atheism, if we have souls or free will or God given morality?

Anonymous said...

"How is anything evil according to atheism, if we have souls or free will or God given morality?"

did you mean to write "if we DON"T have souls..."?

Joseph said...

Since religious people are outbreeding atheists (also see this blog), clearly Applied Darwinism would involve encouraging religion.

Remember, "fittest" does not mean the ability to pass an arbitrary test; it means the ability to survive.

the previous Anonymous said...

HELLO, is that what you meant JP? I'm trying to make sense of you'r sentence.

also, do you by any chance have a private way I can contact you.

thanks.

jewish philosopher said...

I meant "don't have souls".

I have email on my profile.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly
1) Darwin is not the "Father of atheism"
2) People were atheists before they made up god
3) Darwin tried to use evolution to argue AGAINST racism and such (we are all the same species so why is one better than the other)

jewish philosopher said...

"Darwin is not the "Father of atheism""

There were very, very few atheists before Origin of Species.

"The Darwinian revolution was not merely the replacement of one scientific theory by another, as had been the scientific revolutions in the physical sciences, but rather the replacement of a world view, in which the supernatural was accepted as a normal and relevant explanatory principle, by a new world view in which there was no room for supernatural forces." Ernst Mayr (1904 – 2005) Professor of Zoology at Harvard University Nature March 22, 1974 p.285

"Darwin tried to use evolution to argue AGAINST racism and such"

Not to my knowledge.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/04/trip-to-zoo.html

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

In chapters 5 and 6 of "The Descentof Man" Darwin wrote that he expected the more highly evolved European races to exterminate the less evolved non-Europeans. This very closely parallels what Hitler wrote in chapter 11, volumn one of "Mein Kampf."

And Dawkins wrote that evolution allows one to be an intelletually fullfilled atheist.

Nathan

Anonymous said...

Two points: one, you are lying about health care reform and "death panels"; and two, you are lying about Darwin being the primary inspiration for the Nazis going genocidally berserk.

The Nazis exploited *centuries* of European anti-semitism, going all the way back to St. John Chrysostom and even earlier. And have you forgotten Martin Luther and "Of the Jews and Their Lies"?

jewish philosopher said...

I wrote:

"one criticism of the President's plan is that it would allegedly create death panels - governmental bodies that would cut off care for the critically ill as a cost-cutting measure"

which is true.

It is also certainly true that the Nazi T4 program was inspired by Darwin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-4_Euthanasia_Program#Background

Simon B said...

Considering the simple facts that the concept of atheism has existed since the 6th century BC, and Darwin lived in the 19th century AD, how can you claim that Darwin is the founder of atheism?

jewish philosopher said...

I think this quote sums it up:

"The Darwinian revolution was not merely the replacement of one scientific theory by another, as had been the scientific revolutions in the physical sciences, but rather the replacement of a world view, in which the supernatural was accepted as a normal and relevant explanatory principle, by a new world view in which there was no room for supernatural forces."

Ernst Mayr (1904 – 2005) Professor of Zoology at Harvard University Nature March 22, 1974 p.285

I would say that modern, Western atheism as we know it was founded by Darwin.

"An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: "I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn't a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one." I can't help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist."

-- Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, page 6

Atheists themselves seem to regard Darwin as their religion's founder.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dW-bt_1LzY

Simon B said...

Ernst Mayr's comment doesn't sum up anything to do with Darwin being the founder of atheism, or as you are now claiming "modern, Western atheism", nor does Richard Dawkins' comment support your claim either.

Oh and by the way you seem to have missed the point of that You Tube video, it was a send up.

jewish philosopher said...

The quotes I included demonstrate that without Darwin, atheists would be a few crackpots, rejected by scientists and society.

Bear in mind that before Darwin, ALL scientists were what would now be called Intelligent Design advocates and Creationists.

The Youtube was attempting to demonstrate how inconsiderate Mormons are by going door to door and proselytizing since they would be angry if atheists did it to them. However the atheists were quite sincere about Origin of Species being the atheist Bible.

Simon B said...

So you have gone from claiming Darwin was the founder of atheism, to Darwin was the founder of modern, Western atheism, to without Darwin atheists would be a few crackpots. Why is that I wonder?

By the way, do you have any evidence that ALL scientists before Darwin were as you claim ID advocates (which is unlikely) or Creationists (again unlikely), as even before Darwin there would have been scientists who were atheists.

And again the point of the You Tube clip seems to have passed you by, the "sincerity" of the two atheists in the clip about Darwin's book being their Bible was part of the send up.

I know a great many atheists, and not one of them would refer to Darwin as the founder of atheism, nor would they refer to Darwin's book as their Bible.

Oh, and by the way, did you know that according to the CIA World Factbook 2.32% of the world population is atheist (which doesn't include the 11.77% who refer to themselves as being non-religious), and only 0.23% follow the Judaic religion?

Finally, I still feel you ought to withdraw your claim that Darwin was the founder of atheism, as it is not true. And I am sure that even in the Judaic faith lying is a sin against God.

jewish philosopher said...

I think atheists prefer to believe that atheism has no founder - it's just the obvious truth. I think muslims have a similar idea.

Simon B said...

Why do you feel that atheism has to have had a founder?

And what do you mean by "I think Muslims have a similar idea"?

jewish philosopher said...

This article, the New York Times review of Origin in 1860, I think gives an interesting glimpse of science before and after Darwin.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9E01E0DC133DE73ABC4051DFB566838B679FDE&scp=1&sq=origin+of+species&st=p

Muslims believe that we all naturally Muslims; Adam and Abraham were Muslims allegedly. When you become a Muslim you technically "revert", not "convert".

Simon B said...

This response of yours fails utterly to explain why you feel that atheism has to have had a founder or why you think that Muslims have a similar idea.

The New York Times article while interesting, doesn't address your need for atheism to have had a founder.

Nor does your comment that Muslims think we are all naturally Muslims fit with that notion either.

In fact your responses rarely if ever actually address my questions, and leave me wondering if you are being obtuse or simply avoiding giving me honest answers.

jewish philosopher said...

Based upon my research and countless dialogs with atheists, I believe that the core belief of atheism is that the Biblical God does not exist and evolution created us. I believe that Charles Darwin originated this belief.