Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Robert Musil
    Offline

    Robert Musil Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    217
    Location:
    USA

    Would you kill baby Hitler?

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Robert Musil, Oct 24, 2015.

    Maybe you all saw the latest firestorm of the Twitterverse. If not, here's a quick summary, but it's basically exactly what it sounds like:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/10/23/twitter-responds-nytmag-question-killing-baby-hitler/74474142/

    Anyway--I would not kill baby Hitler, personally. If it were grown up Hitler in 1933 or '36 or '41, maybe, but not baby Hitler back in 1898 or whatever. It just seems like, if you're going back that early in his life, there are plenty of other ways to avoid him doing the Holocaust without having to kill him? I mean, kidnap him and raise him to be a Buddhist, or something, but baby Hitler hasn't (yet) done anything wrong and it just seems like the only way you could justify killing him is based on projecting our own assumptions from 2015 (that the Holocaust is inevitable, etc.).

    This is all assuming, as well, that the Holocaust/WWII needed Hitler in order to happen, and that if you take him out of the equation someone else won't take his place as an anti-Semitic right-wing dictator of Germany. So yeah, pretty thin justification for infanticide, IMO.
     
  2. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,834
    Likes Received:
    10,013
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Yes, I saw this.

    If anything, I think the mode of question "would you kill baby Hitler" is the indictment herein as regards how polarized and tribal we have become. It presumes no other mode of altering history. I mean, we all know he was a failed artist, so, maybe, with one's time traveling powers one could serve as his artistic patron instead and steer him in a different direction. But, no. The question is would you kill him because that's where we seem to be in the zeitgeist, isn't it. Kill the opposing view. Scream/shout/sealion it out of existence. Offensive to you? Make it unsayable and then unthinkable, which is, in truth, a kind of historic revisionism. Make it be gone and never was.

    No, of course I would not kill baby Hitler. I would do everything in my capacity to alter events so as to avoid the time-line in question, but I would not kill him.
     
  3. BrianIff
    Offline

    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,294
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Canada
    What are the specifics of the question, though? Do I get to try to rear him to our liking? If it was a one-shot deal, I'd kill him. Germany would probably become fascist like Spain and Italy, but not necessarily genocidal, in my opinion.
     
  4. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,051
    Likes Received:
    5,256
    Location:
    California, US
    No. You'd be killing an innocent person, of course.
     
    ManOrAstroMan likes this.
  5. matwoolf
    Offline

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    2,219
    Location:
    Brighton Heights
    Even if one could kill the baby, a very powerful baby such as Hitler might have a dog, a raven as his companion. Also, what is the best way to kill a baby? Poison, some kind of pavement collision with the trolley car. Little bastard makes me so angry.
     
    Robert Musil and BrianIff like this.
  6. matwoolf
    Offline

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    2,219
    Location:
    Brighton Heights
    [​IMG]
     
  7. BrianIff
    Offline

    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,294
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Canada
    Would I be, with our foreknowledge?
     
  8. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,834
    Likes Received:
    10,013
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Is it just me or have we not stepped into the plot-line of Minority Report?
     
    123456789 and Steerpike like this.
  9. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,051
    Likes Received:
    5,256
    Location:
    California, US
    Sure. The baby hadn't done anything. The fact that you're there in the past with foreknowledge changes everything. If the baby grows up and takes the same path, I think you can do something, but at the point of being a baby he's still an innocent person. Nothing has occurred yet. I don't think you can punish someone for what they're going to do but haven't done yet.
     
    ManOrAstroMan likes this.
  10. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,051
    Likes Received:
    5,256
    Location:
    California, US
    Was just going to mention that story.
     
  11. BrianIff
    Offline

    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,294
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Canada
    Thread has potential to reach interesting philosophical points but it all depends on the stipulations of the OP. I disagree, @Steerpike , but I'm not sure how I'd formulate my justification yet.
     
  12. matwoolf
    Offline

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    2,219
    Location:
    Brighton Heights
    3rd response from Twitter:

    I want to meet the 11-year-old who came up with that baby hitler question @andreagrimes
     
    BrianIff likes this.
  13. BrianIff
    Offline

    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,294
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Canada
    I saw Minority Report, but maybe didn't walk away with the same insights as others, not to be snarky. Something you want to share?
     
  14. Kingtype
    Online

    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    Messages:
    8,949
    Likes Received:
    1,030
    Location:
    Right under your nose!
    Isn't there like some time travel rule that if you do something in the past then the future normally turns out worse or something?
     
  15. ManOrAstroMan
    Offline

    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    342
    Location:
    Missouri
    I think that only applies to butterflies, which are pretty powerful, what with all the tornadoes and such.
     
    Kingtype, Steerpike and matwoolf like this.
  16. BrianIff
    Offline

    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,294
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Canada
    You say that the fact that I'm there changes everything. Can you flesh that out? Do you mean that I'm going to tell the baby that he's going to blow his brains out? I don't mean to put you on the spot, so if you find anything presumptuous about what I said, by all means, ask. I'm working from the standpoint that he will kill millions of people and don't believe that another individual will take his place.
     
  17. Bookster
    Offline

    Bookster Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    71
    Location:
    Right between the eyes
    Yes. One baby against the possibility of six plus million dead? Easy choice.
     
  18. ManOrAstroMan
    Offline

    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    342
    Location:
    Missouri
    With foreknowledge of future events, there are better ways to prevent tragedy than murdering a baby in cold blood.
     
  19. matwoolf
    Offline

    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    2,219
    Location:
    Brighton Heights
    Poke out his eyes.
     
    BrianIff likes this.
  20. Bookster
    Offline

    Bookster Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    71
    Location:
    Right between the eyes
    I'd kill him in the womb. That way, it wouldn't matter who or what that particular 'product of conception' might have become, right?
     
  21. ManOrAstroMan
    Offline

    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    817
    Likes Received:
    342
    Location:
    Missouri
    Um....this is one of those troll threads, isn't it?
     
    Shattered Shields and ADreamer like this.
  22. NigeTheHat
    Offline

    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    754
    Likes Received:
    566
    Location:
    London
    The question kinda misses how the world works, IMO. We like to believe things come down to just one mastermind and if you take them out everything's shiny, but WW2 didn't happen because of Hitler. It happened because of the last 30-odd years of European history. Kill baby Hitler and one of the other Nazis will rise to the top, and we'll all be discussing killing baby Eigel instead.
     
  23. Link the Writer
    Online

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,199
    Likes Received:
    4,209
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    I've seen this question before. It stipulates that one goes back in time and knife, poison, throttle, smother, or otherwise kill a baby whose only crime, at the time, was shitting in his own pants and keeping his parents up at night. Remember, no one back then had the benefit of hindsight. No one looked at Baby!Hitler and knew that he'd be the monster of the 20th-century. If someone went back and knifed him, then prattled on about how he'd grow up to murder six million people, I would think most would be outraged and throw the person in jail. Why? Because to them, that person would be a madman who had just murdered a baby.

    My sci-fi protagonist, Helen Chert, actually had this question asked of her. Her response? “I'd take him and raise him as if he were my own. Show him the world, the different cultures. Teach him compassion, humility, tolerance. Of course, if he grew up and tried to kill six million people anyway, I'd have to stop him but for that one moment? When I'm cradling him in my arms? He's a life full of many possibilities.”
     
    ManOrAstroMan likes this.
  24. ADreamer
    Offline

    ADreamer Banned Sock-Puppet

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2015
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    24
    I am hoping those saying kill, kill, kill aren't among the ranks of pro-lifers who demand that mothers must have a child without question [regardless of its potential defects or how it may have been conceived] because if you are hang your heads for being shamefully hypocritical.


    As it is, would I kill Hitler? Sure if I had the right to kill every single Japanese soldier who murdered up to a potential 10 million Asians during that same time frame. Sure if I had the right to kill every single German soldier that saw to the death [either directly or indirectly] of a potential 22 million Russians and Ukrainians due to their actions during World War II. Sure if I had the right to kill every single "scientist" and "doctor" involved in the Nazi experiments - let's see, between the different cultures & religions captured and tortured [minus the well known Jews] that'd be about 4 to 8 million people or more. The only numbers that we've ever gotten remotely accurate are the Jewish populations - numbers of other victimized groups range from a few hundred thousand to many, many millions.

    See where do you draw the line? Was there 30 million Hitlers running around holding guns to these people's heads? Did he swap out their brains and fill their heads with sawdust? Naïve doesn't even begin to describe if you think he was the only culprit.


    Killing Hitler would change very little. Obviously whomever on the web held that concept never did any research into Germany - the mindset was already there [I believe the rumblings had started 50 odd years before Hitler was even a speck of concern], Hitler was just the match to the tinder. If it hadn't been him, someone else would probably have stepped up.


    On that note can I likewise go back in time and kill every Crusader? How about every witch hunter? How about Genghis Khan? Julius Caesar? Stalin? Hideki Tojo? Leopold II? How about Mao Zedong [he makes Hitler & Stalin look like children playing at madness]?
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
  25. Link the Writer
    Online

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,199
    Likes Received:
    4,209
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    I'm with @NigeTheHat and @ADreamer . Hitler wasn't born wanting to kill people, he had to be taught that. He had to grow up in an environment where eugenics was the talk of the town, where racism and bigotry was the norm. He had to see Germany get its ass kicked in World War I and shoulder the blame for the whole thing, including the reparations it couldn't pay off. All that nasty shit was there, long before his mom squeezed him out into the world. He was just the spark that lit the fire.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page