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The Ethics of Killing Baby Hitler

The New York Times’ question to its reader: would you kill baby Hitler if you could? I am on the ‘no’ camp because I reckon Hitler is merely a product of his time, what with Germany going through its worst ever economic slump. If not Hitler, it will be someone else.

Nonetheless, still an interesting ethical dilemma to think about. I like how this article puts it:

We live in cynical times, which masks the fact that we live in extraordinary times. Atrocities still occur, but human rights are now a normative value throughout most of the world, even if their enforcement is imperfect. Conflicts are still fought, but the great powers have avoided another world war for seven decades. Racism and anti-Semitism still exist, but pre-war forms of colonialism and pogroms have largely disappeared. This is not the future for which Nazi Germany fought and fell. Removing Hitler from history would gamble with one irrefutable truth: He lost.

Isn’t it ironic (and sad) that humanity’s biggest progress are almost always driven by our biggest failings?

 

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