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Hitler wasn't "evil"

15th Aug 20167m08s

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  • Hitler wasn't evil. Now why do I say this? So often I hear people talk about Hitler and they always say that he was pure evil. He was this guy who was full of evil who wanted to do evil things as if he was bound to do those things from the day he was born. In fact, Jeb Bush, who was running for President until very recently, once said that if he had the chance to go back and kill the baby Hitler that he would. Because who wouldn't right? If you can kill the baby Hitler then you can prevent that baby growing up into becoming the evil man that Hitler was and thereby preventing WWII from ever happening, prevent the Holocaust from ever happening, but of course it's ridiculous. If it hadn't been Hitler, it might have been someone else. Now maybe that person wouldn't have done things to the same scale as Hitler did, but he still would have done some pretty bad things because the environment in Germany at the time was ripe for something like this to happen. We can at least say that much. But what else is wrong with calling Hitler evil? The problem with calling him evil is it sort of comes back to the sort of biblical definition of good and evil. So evil is something that's been viewed with the energy of Satan and good as something that isn't, that is in view with the energy of God. So it implies that Hitler was fundamentally evil, a fundamentally malicious as a human being, which obviously isn't true. I think Hitler had a very twisted view of how the world ought to be, and a twisted view of what needs to be done in order to make, in order to remake the world into his vision. And unfortunately he was charismatic enough to get into a position of power whereby he could instruct millions of people to do what he felt was the right thing to do. And that's the key, he felt it was the right thing to do, and the people who believed in and followed him also felt that what they were doing was the right thing to do. Even though looking back, and even at the time we could say that was wrong. And bear in mind that the allied powers, the so-called allies, didn't even intervene until they felt that he had gone beyond the limits within which they were willing to tolerate him. So it's not like Hitler starting killing Jews and everybody immediately jumped on him and decided to stop him doing that. No it wasn't until they had, he has exceeded certain limits, geographical limits and started to threaten more their interests that they decided that he needed to be stopped. Looking back we can say, people fought Hitler for the good of humanity, for the good of morality, from ethical, for ethical reasons, but the real reasons at the time were a lot more complicated than that. So Hitler wasn't evil, he was just a bad dude, a really bad dude with a twisted view of the world who got into power. And it's important, this point because often times when somebody wants to make something seems bad they make comparison to Hitler. So the recently I think someone in the U.S., one of the Congressmen or one of the politicians said ISIS are even worse than Hitler. Now for me, that statement doesn't do anything. We already know ISIS are bad, we already know we need to stop them. What's the point in saying that they're worse than Hitler? Are you trying to make it, people really hate them? Well people already hate them. Everybody hates ISIS, apart from ISIS obviously. But that comparison with Hitler, there's no need to make that comparison. But people do this though because Hitler is the gold standard for what's considered evil. Everyone universally agrees this guy was evil, so if you compare something to Hitler then that thing must be bad, right? That thing must be bad too, and that's why Hitler is used often in comparisons. In fact there's Godwin's Law which states that as the length of an online discussion, or the duration of a discussion happening online extends to infinity, the probability of a Hitler comparison being made extends to one. In other words, in any online discussion if people keep talking and talking and talking for a long period of time at some point someone is very, very, likely to make a comparison to Hitler. This is obviously a discussion in which people are debating something or arguing something. And I found in my experience that that's actually quite true, and again comes back to this idea, this prevalent idea that Hitler was evil, he's the sort-of the gold standard of evil. Now I don't think there's anything wrong with using Hitler in that sense, as this sort-of this gold standard of evil, but he wasn't actually evil, like he didn't actually have Satan inside him. I mean I'm not a religious person so that's why I guess I'm disagreeing with a Christian who might speak differently, by the way Hitler was a Christian and he was even endorsed by the Vatican. So which is kind of ironic for people who wanna say that he was filled with Satan 'cause obviously the Vatican agree to that now, but they're saying that with hindsight, at the time they completely supported him. I mean the German soldiers had on their belts, "Gott ist Gott mit uns" you know "God is God with us", God is on our side. So clearly there's a lot of irony there in saying that Hitler was satanically-driven and evil, given that he had the support of the Vatican. And the larger point I want to make is that nobody in this world is really evil, people are people. Human beings all do things that they think are right, and that they think are in accordance with their view of how the world works, or how the world should work. So when Hitler was a baby, he was just a normal baby like every other baby, and it was the environment and the culture that Hitler grew up in. It was the things that happened in Hitler's life, it was the way that Hitler's personality developed. All of these factors contributed to him becoming who he became in the end. All of these factors contributed, it wasn't that he was born with the evil seed of Satan. No such thing, and that goes for anybody in this world who you or I might consider evil. They're not really evil, it's just a combination of factors and situations and circumstances. And yeah, you can blame them, you can blame people for that happening, but it's that combination of factors that makes them who they are. That doesn't mean that we have to condone what they're doing, it doesn't mean we have to agree with what they're doing, or that we have to forgive them for what they've done, but it does mean that we have to be a little bit more nuanced about how we characterize them, instead of just saying that that person is pure evil. Because another problem with calling somebody pure evil is that there's no redemption for them. If they decide that they want to redeem themselves if they decide to ask for forgiveness, how can there be redemption if they're pure evil? There can't be redemption. And we know there are people throughout history who did terrible things, and who then redeemed themselves, who repented and really felt remorse for what they had done, and then became incredible human beings later on. If people are characterized as pure evil, then there can never be any redemption for them. With Hitler, obviously he doesn't have a chance, because you know, he got killed, he was never put on trial. And I'm not saying that Hitler should've been redeemed or given the chance to redeem, I'm just saying that it's easier to call someone pure evil when you're at a distance from them and you just see their bad actions and you don't know what's going on inside their minds. Call them bad, call them messed up, call them mentally screwed-up, somebody with mental health issues, but pure evil? I don't think so.