Free Philosophy of Lying Essay Sample
Indeed the biggest lie ever told in the world involves the events surrounding the Holocaust in Germany. The rise of Adolf Hitler to Power was characterized by a lot of deception, lies, propaganda and manipulation. Hitler and the Nazi regime convinced the German people to believe that indeed the cause of all their problems starts and ends with the Jews. He blamed the Jews for the economic turmoil in Germany, for Germany’s loss in the World War 1 and for practicing communism and financial capitalism. Eventually, Germany turned against the Jews lading to the Holocaust where about 6 million Jews died. This big lie can be deconstructed through the Application of philosophies advanced by Immanuel Kant and Frederich Nietzsche.
Application of Immanuel Kant ideas of lying
Background of Immanuel Kant and Frederich Nietzsche philosophies
Before considering an analysis of the philosophies advanced by both Kant and Nietzsche it is important to understand what they stood for in the society. Immanuel Kant is a staunch Christian who believed in the concept of virtue ethics. He believed in a moral society, a society that avoids evil. Kant further developed the philosophy of utilitarianism in which he advocated for the common good of a greater number of people in every circumstance. He indicated that utilitarianism would apply to all circumstances and that if anyone is faced with any ethical dilemma, they should always apply utilitarianism. On the contrary, Nietzsche was the total opposite. Nietzsche believed in everything that that was contrary to Christian teachings and democracy. Nietzsche was an anti- Christ, anti- socialist, Anti-Judaism and anti- Christianity. When examining the big lie therefore, it is important to look at what the philosophers stood for.
Application of Kant’s Account of the big lies in Nazi Germany
Immanuel Cant holds the position that lying is morally wrong notwithstanding the situation in which it’s made. This is something that upsets the conscience of humanity. Further, it has always been argued that all human beings possess an inherent right to human dignity. On the contrary however, despite the he dignity being universal, individuals who engage in lying are deemed to attack the dignity of others. From the Nazi point of view, the acts of discrimination meted against the Jewish people had such a high magnitude that it affected the dignity of the Jews across the Globe. For example, while Hitler hated the conservative party, his hate was driven by the fact the party was run by most of the Jews. This was an absolute lie on the part of Hitler and the Nazi regime and the aim was simply to persecute the Jews. Further, the German leaders in what they called the “final solution” perpetrated a lie by pretending to uphold national unity when in real sense, all they needed was to conduct murders of the Jews and mass extermination. Lying as to the true state of affairs is what Immanuel Cant was against in his philosophy. In fact, Immanuel cant supported the idea of utilitarianism in which he believed in acting in a manner that promotes the interests of the larger part of the community. A holocaust is definitely not one of the ideas that promotes the greatest good for a greater number of people in the society. Kant further stated that human beings have a free choice as rational human beings to decide what they wish to do, they also have the power to choose as to whether they wish to be ethical to themselves and others. The unethical choice of declaring the Jews as bad people and therefore proceeding to inflict violence and kill them, is therefore unethical according to Kant.
Immanuel Kant always believed that the reason why lying is wrong is because, it interferes with a human beings rational choices by corrupting their minds and also robing others of their freedom of choice. Owing to the above, it is evident that the lies perpetrated by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime to the extent that they led to the extermination and murder of a lot of the Jews, denied the people of Germany a free choice but also led to the infringement of human dignity. The incitement and propaganda by Hitler simply put was geared towards achieving personal interests and had little towards protecting the dignity of the people of Germany.
Immanuel Kant was also of the idea that lying contradicts the virtue of honesty and therefore unethical. One would ask himself or herself why Hitler chose to hate the Jews over fabricated reasons. His lies began when he left the military to become the head of propaganda at the NAZI party. The propaganda was majorly fabricated lies that were meant to dilute people’s minds into believing that the Jews were a threat to their National unity. Hitler pretended to cherish national unity in a country that was already united. Hitler knew that Germany was undergoing a lot of pain and problems owing to the world condemning it of initiating the First World War. Particularly under the Versailles treaty, Germany was held responsible for the pain suffered across the world owing to the First world war and part of their oversees provinces were taken away. At the point that Hitler joined the NAZI party, therefore, Germany had not healed and was struggling with the world sanctions over it. Hitler therefore used these problems to manipulate his people and blame it on the Jews. He believed that were it not for the Jews, Germany would never has undergone such pain. He championed division in the name of Unity. From his very beginning of his rule therefore, Hitler and the NAZI government was never sincere to the German people. This is what Kant referred to as lack of ethics and virtue. In the eyes of Immanuel Kant therefore, the fact that Hitler was never hones about his leadership and the accusations leveled against the Jewish People, he engaged in lies (dishonesty) which lead to one of the worst sufferings of humanity in the world.
The last account of Immanuel Kant’s philosophy about lies is through utilitarianism. He argues that a lie is acceptable as long as it is meant to achieve the maximum benefit for a greater number of people. The German Holocaust which was orchestrated on the basis of lying however ended up killing about 6 million Jews and other 5 million non-Jews. Within the concept of Utilitarianism therefore, the lie was not acceptable according to Emmanuel Kant. Based on the above exposition of lying as a philosophy therefore, it is evident that the lies meted by Hitler were unacceptable.
Nietzsche Application of his Philosophy of lying
Nietzsche’s ideas were generally the back bone of the Nazi ideologies and influenced their decisions. In his philosophies, the primary objective was that man must desire to be more than just a man. He advocated for man becoming a superman. He however believed that to be a superman, man must relearn to become man. Many of the Nazi regime members exploited his idea of the creation of a superman to build a dictator in Adolf Hitler. Further, Nietzsche idea of good and bad was also utilized by the Nazi regime. Being an anti-Christ for example, Nietzsche argued that human being are naturally capable of knowing what is good and bad and what amounts to truth and what connotes lie . He however criticized the modern truth by stating that whatever is defined as evil today is actually a culmination of culturally biased ideas whose origin is either Christianity or Socratic logic. Essentially, Nietzsche therefore seems to support the murder of Jews occurring in Germany during the Holocaust. He seemed to justify the lies created by Hitler. In essence what he meant is that we ought not to focus on the lies but what they were meant to achieve. The consequences of Hitler’s lies are very evident in the millions of murders meted against the Jews in the name of protecting sovereignty and championing for community unity. Nietzsche rejected the Biblical conception of truth.
Hitler and the Nazi regime strictly followed Nietzsche philosophy of truth and lies and good and bad. For example, the NAZI believed that evil did not exist in the world, only good deeds existed. The NAZI tried their best to eradicate the humanistic, platonic and Christian concept of good from their minds by denying the existence of evil. This meant that even lying was not evil according to them because it never existed. In fact, it is on the basis of their hate for Judaism as a religion that the NAZI ended up hating the Jews. They hated both the Jews and their religion and believed that they were the source of all tribulations in the world. Since lying was never evil according to Nietzsche therefore, they adopted this philosophy to paint the Jews as weak people and a source of their problems. They therefore designed lies to eradicate them in the name of chasing “the final solution” for the Germans. It was their basis for anti-Semitism. Hitler believed in socialism and therefore was against the spread of any catholic churches in Germany. He believed that that in building one community where women did not have to worry about where food would come from for their families. However, to achieve his philosophy, he used lies. These lies were done by adhering to Nietzsche’s idea of non-existence of evil.