Social Darwinism

Weston Bortner
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Social Darwinism

This comes up a lot, I've seen, so I'd like to discuss it.

 

Some Christians say that social darwinism is atheistic and was the cause of the Holocaust. Naturally, I doubt very much the former, and the latter is debatable I'm sure. But, I'd like to talk about Social Darwinism itself.

I don't think that the idea of Social Darwinism is evil in and of itself, and I think that people using it to justify acts of murder and evil is not the fault of the idea itself. It's like the old "Guns don't kill people; people kill people" notion. Even if a consequence of Social Darwinism is to people using it to kill is true, it is no more the fault of the gun that some guy picked it up and pointed it at a another person and pulled the trigger.

And, in some ways, I think Social Darwinism is true. Like in the job market. Obviously if you don't work and have an education you will have a difficult time to "survive" in society. Now, obviously, I don't think Social Darwinism gives anyone the right to start killing people who are "inferior" or "weak", but obviously the ideas of Social Darwinism aren't that positive or nice sounding. But, naturally, that doesn't make it any less true.

 

Our job on this Earth, is to take care of each other. Something that we have ultimately failed at doing, hence why we are so miserable.


Beyond Saving
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Weston Bortner wrote:And, in

Weston Bortner wrote:

And, in some ways, I think Social Darwinism is true. Like in the job market. Obviously if you don't work and have an education you will have a difficult time to "survive" in society. Now, obviously, I don't think Social Darwinism gives anyone the right to start killing people who are "inferior" or "weak", but obviously the ideas of Social Darwinism aren't that positive or nice sounding. But, naturally, that doesn't make it any less true.

 

First you have to define what you mean by "success" in society. Do you mean someone who contributes actively and improves it? Do you mean anyone who is financially successful? Or do you mean those who use society the most efficiently for themselves by providing nothing while having a bunch of kids, Octomom for example?

 

Do you have any evidence that those who fail in society have fewer children than those who succeed? The evidence I have seen indicates that the more education a person has and the higher income they make the fewer children they have. http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/p20-558.pdf Of course, the death rate is higher among the poor so maybe that balances it out.

 

Also, you have to address the question of whether or not your success in society is genetic. While it is obvious that being born to a wealthy family gives you certain advantages of circumstance, I don't think it is at all clear that those born to successful parents have a genetic edge. 


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'Social Darwinism' cannot

'Social Darwinism' cannot logically be the basis of any choice of action, at least in a basic interpretation of what such a phrase might mean.

It would only be meaningful as a description of how society actual changes, as actions and philosophies which tend to enhance the survival and spread of those ideas themselves will tend to become dominant. It is really an early version of 'Meme' theory.

Once people start trying to apply 'Darwinism' to social issues, if actions based on that belief have any significant effect on society, that will be 'Darwinism' working, and will not necessarily have the ultimate effects intended. The term 'Social Darwinism' is usually applied to justify conscious intervention in an attempt to 'second-guess' or guide which ideas or groups are going to ultimately spread.

IOW, the idea of consciously trying to guide the development of society by suppressing unwanted ideas, or prevent the reproduction of individuals or groups judged undesirable, will itself be selected for or against depending on its ultimate success or failure in leading to more or less 'functional' or workable societies.

If a belief or social doctrine or other idea enhances the life success of the people holding those ideas or beliefs, to the extent of making it more likely to have more children, that is simply 'Darwinism'.

 

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Weston Bortner
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Beyond Saving wrote:Weston

Beyond Saving wrote:

Weston Bortner wrote:

And, in some ways, I think Social Darwinism is true. Like in the job market. Obviously if you don't work and have an education you will have a difficult time to "survive" in society. Now, obviously, I don't think Social Darwinism gives anyone the right to start killing people who are "inferior" or "weak", but obviously the ideas of Social Darwinism aren't that positive or nice sounding. But, naturally, that doesn't make it any less true.

 

First you have to define what you mean by "success" in society. Do you mean someone who contributes actively and improves it? Do you mean anyone who is financially successful? Or do you mean those who use society the most efficiently for themselves by providing nothing while having a bunch of kids, Octomom for example?

 

Do you have any evidence that those who fail in society have fewer children than those who succeed? The evidence I have seen indicates that the more education a person has and the higher income they make the fewer children they have. http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/p20-558.pdf Of course, the death rate is higher among the poor so maybe that balances it out.

 

Also, you have to address the question of whether or not your success in society is genetic. While it is obvious that being born to a wealthy family gives you certain advantages of circumstance, I don't think it is at all clear that those born to successful parents have a genetic edge. 

 

I wasn't saying anything about genetics or offspring. What I mean be "success" is actually being able to live on your own, at least to some degree, though it's extraordinarily difficult is hammer down a definite definition of success. Success, in my opinion, is not gentics

What I meant is, if you are able to get the things necessary to sustain yourself in society (which typically requires work and an education) then you will "succeed". If you don't achieve those, for whatever reason. You will not "succeed".

It's a pretty basic definition and you could probably raise objections to it, but I think that's what social darwinism is.

Our job on this Earth, is to take care of each other. Something that we have ultimately failed at doing, hence why we are so miserable.


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 You can't measure success

 You can't measure success in society by how independent you are. It's a social grouping based on interdependence. 

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


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Darwinism!!

 

 

                   I believe Charles Darwin would be appalled at what is called Social Darwinism.  He never advocated for evolution,  he used it to explain the diversity of life on the planet.  He was very clear that adaptability was not based on the strongest or the smartest nor the best looking and certainly not a bank account!   Social Darwinism is a bastardize coruption of the real Darwin writings.

 

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