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Reply #27: I beg to differ [View All]

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Tims Donating Member (544 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-25-04 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #20
27. I beg to differ
The premises of Social Darwinism is NOT in Darwin's work. You say that Darwin was used to justify all sorts abhorrent policies and beliefs, yet Darwin can justify nothing. We cannot blame Darwin or his theories for their misuse or misapplication.

I'm not sure what you mean by rejoicing "at any alternative paradigm that suggests otherwise". By this do you mean that without Darwin, society would have been different, that all these ills you mention would have disappeared without Darwin's support? Or are you suggesting that because Darwin's theories fail to solve our social problems that his paradigm was wrong, even though he had no intention of applying it to the social realm? In the first case, other justifications would have been made as they had always been made in the centuries before Darwin. WWI, racism, and all the other ill you mention would still have occured, their perpetrators would simply have found other means of justification. As to the later, no alternative paradigm is needed. Darwin's theories cannot be thrown out simply because we don't like their implications (or perceived implications).

Anyone who believes that Darwin justifies a social condition must contend with the fact that at any one time virtually all possible social systems are in effect somewhere on the planet and are working just fine despite the Darwinian "proof" in some other place that they should have failed. Would the capitalist look at the success of the Bolshivik revolution as "survival of the fittest" in action. Yet from the bastardized view of Social Darwinism, this is indeed what was happening. Do the Chinese now represent the "fittest" system. They seem to be doing quite well and there are more of them than there are of anyone else.

The simple point is Darwin was used as an excuse. No blame can be placed on the theory itself because, had it not existed, other excuses would be found. Darwin's strength lies in its biological truth, it cannot be condemned because of its misapplication outside of biology.

One could just as easily claim that since quantum mechanics proves that the act of measurement alters the resulting measured values that we should not vote because the act of voting itself invalidates the results and therefore quantum mechanics justifies dictatorships. Should we now condemn quantum mechanics?
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