A Question of Morality
I floated the following hypothetical question on Twitter yesterday and was quite surprised at the response, so I thought I’d repeat it here and see what the reaction is.
Please make your choice before reading my opinion below the line.
My view is that killing Hitler in 1933 would have been morally indefensible. But, I can hear you saying, he went on to be responsible for millions of deaths! Surely taking his life would have prevented the loss of many more?
Well, my response is that we know that now but could one have been certain then the future would turn out the way it did? Can you justify killing someone you think might commit a murder, even though they haven’t done it yet?
Where the real moral failing lay in the years leading up to World War Two was in those who could have opposed Hitler by lawful means, but chose not to do so. And I’m not just talking about German citizens who failed to speak out against him, but the people and institutions abroad who sat on their hands or actively collaborated with the Nazis to the extent that they became normalized. Seeing fascist Marine Le Pen using the BBC as her mouthpiece yesterday (on Remembrance Sunday, of all days) it struck me again how dangerous the current time is. We must resist fascism wherever we see it, before it’s too late.Follow @telescoper