Darwin’s theories were new, radical and changed the world and shifted many an equation. They resulted in new thinking, great advances in science and towards a greatly improved understanding of the world. They also lead to people using these ideas to throw off some of moral and ethical restrictions placed by the religious epistemology of those days. This could, arguably have influenced Hitler’s thinking and given him some sort of twisted rationale to his actions of purging and killing, though no serious Darwinist has ever suggested or even flirted with this idea. But it is important to remember that Hitler’s ideologies were not scientifically consistent, nor really a direct and logical extrapolation of Darwinist sociology. Blaming Darwin and the theory of evolution for Hitlers actions is akin to blaming Boeing for having built the plane which terrorists flew into the WTC.
Today, there is no doubt that Darwin’s discoveries are true, he was not making up something to subvert the culture or destroy the church, he was being a scientist.
Furthermore, the belief that if one is an atheist, he has no moral obligations is an ill-informed one.All human beings have some degree of personal moral compasses. This can be attributed to an evolutionary necessity for being altruistic or to basic human goodness. what ever the root cause, there is no evidence to support that atheists act without any internal system of morality or ethics.
Just as christians demand that true christianity be differentiated from the logic that was used to condone slavery, the crusades and many other evils that self-professed christians committed, it is essential to accept that twisting of scientific and other beliefs is a common occurrence, and it is our duty as thinking beings to get our facts straight and differentiate between that which is true and that which is used as an excuse.
Let’s face it, all religions, and atheism and all sorts of scientific discoveries have been used by people to justify war, rape and genocide. Many a time, those who carry out these acts are thoroughly convinced that they are doing the right thing and are acting in accordance with the principles of their world view. How ever this does not make religion, atheism or science the enemy. It makes it all the more important for thinking people to examine ideologies, be they scientific or religious and be on the look out for the chance of a recurrence of our past follies. If one human being cannot accept that great good, not just evil resides in the other person, or cannot stop creating “us vs them” divides, progress towards a peaceful, fulfilled world would be impossible.