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Would you kill one person if you knew it would save millions?

I remember my history teacher asking the class what the world would have been like if Hitler had died young. Most in the class thought things would be better, but a couple of argued that potentially we may not have learned the hard lessons that we did if the holocaust hadn’t happened, and it was possible that things could be worse.


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    Aug 18 2011: In the case of Hitler and the holocaust I don't think we should attribute to much of what happened to Hitler. Don't missunderstand me. What Hitler did was terrible, but I think the main problem was the circumstances. People felt dissapointed by the outcome of the first world war, eugenics were popular, and there was the great depression. People were looking for a leader like Hitler to step forward, and I find it likely that if Hitler not had been born someone else would have taken the role instead. This is why I think that the most important thing often not is to find who is responsible for this or that, but to allways try to fight the circulation of stupid and dangerous ideas.
    • Aug 18 2011: I think you nailed this one, Kristopher. The Holocaust was due much more to global anti-semitism than one evil man. The old phrase that you can kill a person, but not an idea is so true.

      I think it is a more constructive thought to consider how many people we each can save by fighting intolerance, ignorance and bigotry.
      • Aug 18 2011: Hitler provided a terrible final solution to the global anti-semitism though. It is true that someone else might have developed a similar solution but might not have been able to carry it out or fluently deliver the solution.

        Without Hitler, it is possible that Nazism would have faded or not developed as such a political force.

        Sometimes one human can have a significant impact on people.

        Look how Steve Jobs influenced Apple as a company and how the flag ship products of Apple have influenced the world.

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