Friday, January 08, 2016

Killing Baby Hitler

Sometimes even the silliest hypothetical can be illuminating. "Would you kill a cute baby Hitler?" is one of the silliest, but it has deep resonances in legend and story. For Pharaoh in the story of Moses, for Herod in that of Jesus, and, of course for Voldemort himself, the answer was as easy as it was for one of the slow witted dolts running for the Republican Presidential nomination. The problem, of course, is that nobody is clearly Hitler (or Moses, or Jesus, or Harry Potter) when they are a baby.

So the follow up question to "Would you kill Baby Hitler?" has to be, what if you could narrow future Hitler down to just three babies? Would you kill them all? Let the future unfold with millions slaughtered? How about if you could narrow it down to just 1000 babies? How about a whole nation?

If you answer the first question yes, you are Jeb Bush. The second, and you are also Lord Voldemort, and the third would make you Pharaoh, Herod, or the avenging angel invoked by Moses. If the final answer is yes, then you are Hitler.