tv Richard Weikart The Death of Humanity Hitlers Religion CSPAN September 15, 2018 3:10pm-3:32pm EDT
[inaudible conversations] >> c-span launched booktv 20 year ago on c-span 2. and since then we have covered thousands of authors and book festivals. totaling more than 54,000 hours of programming. the late phyllis schapply offered many books and appeared on book tv dozens of times. here she is in 2000 on our depthprogram. >> i grew up believing i wanted to be educated and train so i could always be able to support myself and that's why i worked my way through college and got a masters and went to work and developed a little career on my own. i never said anything but marrying well but it is a fact that married people are better and better economically and the children are better off. >> you can watch this and many other book tv programs from the past 20 years online at
booktv.org. check the author's name and the word book into the search bar at the top of the page. >> now on book tv we want to introduce you to professor richard weikart, where do you teach and what? >> i teach at california state university stanislaus and i teach modern european history. >> host: how manying intos haveow written. >> guest: six books so far. >> host: your two most recent. >> guest: the deal of humanity and the case for life and then hitler's religion. both of those came out in 2016. >> host: let's start with the adopt -- death of humanity. >> guest: the premier miss is over the past several centuries sense the enlightenment period in 18th century, secular fill fill ossify if head unmind the jew dieow christian life and lead us into a culture of death where abortion, infanticide, ought nice ya-fairly widely
embraced among intellectual leader. >> host: when you talk about the sanctity of lifeth lick, that's that. >> guest: the -- ethic. >> guest: the idea that every individual is equal and has inalienable rights. in opening of the bike talk but the declaration of independence and the way that jefferson phrased it, which is all men are created equal and are endowed by the crate e creator with inalienable rights and i focus on the issue of human eye quality, that all humans ear squall, and all humans have inalienable rights and among those the right to life and specifically looking at the way that the secular thought over the past couple off centers undermine the idea that humans ear ball and have inalienable rights. >> host: whoa due you say that secular thought that undermind that? >> guest: well in fact if you look at the secular thinkers themselves many of. the admit it has done that. look at what they say about issues of human rights and such. now, we sort of have some talking on bought side of the
mouth. many will admit there are human rights. others admit that, no, because there is no god, because there is nothing transcendent, that therefore humans make up their own rights, their own morality and that doesn't give you any kind of fixed morality which includes the right to life. if you see how the spin that out into issues such as abortion and infanticide and oughted nice ya they argue that certain people are not equal to others. there's so-called personhood theory that people like peter singer at princeton, and many other bioethicists enbrace which claims that humans are only valuable if they have certain capacity and rationality is one capacity. that means that humans aren't all equal. many secularists admit that human equality goes along with their point and i show how that spins now secular thought. >> host: how do you show that. >> guest: well by looking at their own works and what they
said themselves about these issues, and sewing that many of. the themselves admit that this is the implications of their view. now i don't claim all of the will say that. man of them actually contradict themselves because many of them do at some level think that human life has value. their philosophy claims it doesn't but they will say -- let me give you a great example that i bring out in the book that blew me away when i was working on the book. bertrand russell, british fill of fer in the earliest 20th 20th century. he said devoce forthright live in his philosophy that humans were insignificant, even called them parasites on the planet. made clear that human rights has no pick meaning no tran send depth purpose and claims that morality is just an emotion, feeling that humans have. if you look at his important life he was a moral absolutist. his daughter, wrote a book
called my life with bertrand ruffle and says he was a moral absolutist. >> host: what is that. >> guest: there were moral absolutes. didn't believe there were objective morality. he went to jail for campaigning against nuclear disarmament and such. why against nuclear disarmment because he believed that human life had some kind of value or purpose, even though his fill as city dade it didn't. you can't like that way and i tried to show that. >> host: you talk about a professor eric pianca. >> guest: yes. >> host: who is that. >> guest: he is a professor of ecology at the university of texas, and a number of years ago he gave a talk at the texas academy of sciences where he was receiving an award, and at that event, he said it would be a good thing if 90% of the population, human population, would be obliterated
preponderances through an ebola. and this would then obliterate 90% of the human population because he thinks we are overpopulate. a very graphic example, obviously extreme of the kind of way that this dehumanizing ideology has percolated. he backed if -- once this calm out in public he backed off of it, but i actually downloaded things from his web site before he could do badge and he sad student evaluations on his web site that said he wanted 90% of the human population to oobliterated help wasn't saying we should do something to actively kill people. he's a nye guy but his philosophy leads in a direction that dehumanizes. >> host: professor weikart, what is the effect of the enlight 'ment and the reformation on our thinking about life? >> guest: well, i would say the enlightenment had a bigger
impact on thinking about the value of human life and part of the reason for that was because even though people in the mainstream enlightenment, like thomas jefferson would have been an enlightenment -- influenced and he wrote the declaration of independence that i referenced about thinking we have inalienable rights and many of the enlightenment figures believed there was fixed morality, a god created things and got things started, created fixed moral law. there's a radical inlying 'ment that took place ask that tended to discard those idea and would be more important in leading into the kinds of dehumanizing philosophy is discuss. one figure was julian, french materialist thinker who wrote a book called "man the machine." and so he construed humans as just a machine. so we're -- this then ends up seeing human life as not anymore valuable than nigglings in the
universe or cot mose. >> host: hugh do you view man sunny see humans as being created in the image of god and thus having sanctity and value in and of themselves. not instrumental view u, some peoples say humans have instrumental value. if they have rational capacities like peter singer and others talk little be the personhood their rhythm think humans have inthis sick value because they're created in image of god. >> host: richard weikart another book is "hit hero's religion." did he have a traditional religion as we think of it? >> guest: well, not traditional as we think of christianity, which that the traditional'ing in germany at the time. one thing i show in germanys was a smorgasbord of relations available at the time and pan theism which i argue was hi religious position -- >> host: what is that. >> guest: the idea that nature is god. so the whole cosmos is the simple as god. -- the same as god and
hitler -- there was fairly strong tradition of -- going would to the reman tick movement of the 1790s. hagel was arguably a than theist. many interpreted him that way at the time as well as today. there were many other german thinkers that were building on pantyism. hitler was a very shrewd politician as we know, and part of his politics was to not alienate people who had various religious viewpoints and he said this forthrightly in "mein kampf," he said that we need to make sure we don't alien nate people over religion because a prominent vevay enaese politics -- viennese politician had alien nateed the catholics and n austria by leading a free
from rome movement. he wanted to get the people out thereof roman catholic church and that has led his political movement into a tailspin. and so hitler said we need to avoid that so he was very careful not to alienate people over their religious views and to try to present himself of -- i call him a religious camillean because he tried to blend in. so, there were times, many athiests and agnostic web sites that will promote this view. hitler did say at one of point he was clip, he called christ -- jesus as lord and savior and such, and so there is -- in public pronouncements times where he claimed to be christian of a more traditional sort. look at his private statements that wasn't the case. one example. when hitler and hess, were in prison, in 1923 to-'24, for the involvement in the -- some of
his other inmates had a conversation about religion. of it was over hitler told hess i have to play a religious hypocrite because of the masses. so hitler was forthrightly in private dismissing christianity, there's a lot of evidence for this. in good-les dier, and him her's die -- diaries -- some people smith the table talks. he inning ling translation no not reliable and that hasp been on the be the case. we have german editions and that's what i repylon. >> what their table talks? >> times when hitler was -- during world war ii, was in his bunker or in other places where he was headquarterses were where we had mon ologs he gave to generals and other of his onentourage that were around and
these were recorded be secretaries and now they're published. the english translations are base bind perhaps fraudulent -- not sure -- set of documents so they're not reliable and i don't use those, but the german wants are pretty reliable and there's two editions and if you compare them, which i have, they compare pretty closely word for word in many places. but again you don't have to rely just on those, goerbles kept dies and rosenberg captain diorism used his diary because they were stolen after world war ii. so there's a lot of evidence behind the scenes hitler was anti-christian in his outlook. >> host: as chancellor and as furor, what was his relationship with the catholic church, the lutheran church in germany. >> guest: well, he knew that most germans were part of the protestants church and/or the carving dish shouldn't do -- or the chock such so he tread
carefully. and he -- but it's pretty clear if you look at his actions relation to the churches, that he was trying to dominate and control them in as much as he could, and as far as he could without being too unpopular. an interesting book called hitler's compromise where it shows that hitler was pretty concerned but popular opinion. we think of hitler as a dominating figure who did whatever he wanted. he was concerned about popular opinion and knew how far he could push. he didn't want alien nate pipe over persecuting the church but wanted to undermine his their positions as much as he thought he could get away with. once the war broke out he tried to tread carefully and didn't alienate the german public but did sort of a number of things to make clear he was trying to erode this influence. win spectacular example. chaplains in the military.
hitler didn't cause the military to stop having chaplains except the air force did not since they were formed under the nazis and gehring was the head of the german air force. they did not have chaplains, the most nazid -- hitler ordered they be sent to front line and that has been referred to as the uria order, where david sent him to the front lines to be killed and this is exactly what hitler wanted to do want the chaplains to die off in the war. that's one kind of example. he tried to undermine the churches' influence. >> host: we have been talking with prefer richard weikart. this is book tv on c-span2. >> you're watching book tv on
c-span2. tonight at 6:45, pulitzer prize winning author steve carl looks at the cia's secret wars in afghanistan and pakistan. then at 7:00:4, janine pirro defends president trump and at 8:50, best selling author steven johnson provides insights from readers in the field of politics, business and the arts on how conflicts decisions are made. then on booktv's afterwards program at,a political columnist offers his thoughts on how progressives influence deem ya, the media and pop culture advance their agenda. he is enter bride by brent bowsell, and we wrap up our primetime programming at 11:00 p.m. eastern with a former faith adviser to president obama who offer his thoughts 0 the
importance of religious diversity in america. that all happens tonight on c-span2's booktv. 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books every weekend. television for serious readers. a reminder this weekend's full schedule is available on our web site, booktv.org. >> too track down the origin over to the honey guide stir he spoke with a nutritional anthropologist at the university of nevada las vegas who made a remarkable discovery out be people of tanzania. a group still living a traditional hunting and gathering lifestyle in the very landscape where our species is thought have evolved. the odds are honey hunter and that follow honey guides. this has been known for decaded but alyssa asked the question, how much honey do they eat? and the answer was surprising.
honey wasn't just an occasional sweet treat. men, women and children all ranked it as heir number one favorite food and looked for it every single day. raiding the nests not just of honey bees but of at least six other honey-making varieties. over the course of a year, honey mid-up fully 15% of they're diet. a figure that was far higher during certain seasons, and higher still for many of the men who would not only gather most of the honey, out in the field bet eat quite bit before the came back to camp. now, that is interesting in and of itself but the idea becomes truly powerful in an evolutionary context. elissa and her colleagues then posed another question. would our ancestors, surviving in roughly the same way, in the same landscape, have behaved any
differently in after all, chimpanzees eat honey. if we have been chasing after bees since the very beginning, that certainly explains the coevolution of honeyy guys. they co-einvolved with us. why would a bird bother trying to attract the continuation of a bad general her their apes out there in plain site. but for elace a and her colleagues the bird is a side note. the role discovery has to do with us because the story of human evolution has always been a story about brain size. and the brain is what physiologists like to call metabolically expensive. it takes a lot of energy to run it. up to 20% of our daily calories go to feed something that makes up only about 2% of our body weight. so if you want to evolve a
bigger brain, then you need more fuel. and as elissa told me, honey is the most energy reach food in nature. and not only that, he energy comes in the form of glucose, or a good portion of it does. it's sugary and our brains are glucose consumers. i if you eat other things your body will transform the things g glucose to feed your brain. one paragraph from chapter 6. like hunting animals, finding honey provide or ancestors with a rich nutritional reward for completing a complex task. it would have created a similar impetus for the development of cooperation and sharing as well as tool use and the mastery of fire. hand axes, flakes and other stone implements did lead to
efficiencies and killing and butchering game but so too would they allow access to he larger bee nests in trees. and while fire may have begin us a nutritional boost through cooking, it would also have allowed the pass-ification of honeybees with smoke. i if our ancestors did search for holiday, evened a van would have been accompanied by a huge surge in sugar calories and bee nests contain lar say and pollen which private calories as well as protein and important micronutrients. the dietary contributions make a strong case that learning to follow bees influenced human if legislation -- evolution and, and they were able to nutritional yay outcompete other species. there is some food for thought.
could it be that our primordial sweet tooth led to us be the happy helping ultimately to make us who we are. what a tantalizing notion. >> you can watch this and other programs online at become tv.org. -- booktv.org. [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon. i'm stephanie mcdaniels from jackson state university. from the division of graduate studies, college of liberal reports the department of english, foreign languages and speech communication and i want to welcome you here today. we're so glad that you decided to choose this panel. at this timee