Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Although Holocaust Remembrance Day officially commemorates the approximately 6 million Jews that died during the Holocaust and Jewish resistance, I agree with Evan Bernstein of The Rogues Gallery and The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe that this is a good day to remember all the genocides that have occurred during the ever-so-bloody 20th century. Piero Scaruffi sums up the sordid history on his website.
Note to Ben Stein: Amazingly all the genocides on this list were motivated by religion, ethnic disputes, and/or political ideology. Not one instance of the rigorous application of scientific theory leading to genocide.
While some might argue that looking at the frequency of genocides might induce apathy or the conclusion that genocides aer natural and unavoidable, I disagree. On the contrary, understanding that an individual genocide, such as the Holocaust, was not a completely unique event, an outlier in history, forces on realize that these mass murders are the symptom of true problems in the way humans deal with each other. Only when we see genocides as the result of systematic problems in human society, do we stand a chance of doing something to treat the disease, because we are lousy at treating the symptom.
Only then can we avoid the, "Sorry about that, won't do that again" attitude. Beacause we know "won't do that again" is followed by "until next time."
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