Social Darwinism: Herbert Spencer and The Catholic Church Essay

Social Darwinism: Herbert Spencer and The Catholic Church Essay

Length: 475 words (1.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


Herbert Spencer was the most important Social Darwinist of the 19th
Century. He was the first to begin thinking about evolutionist long
before Darwin came out with his book on the "Origins of Species". He
had many theories such as that everything evolves from one basic
creature and then breaks off into more diverse species (Haberman
(Hab.), 171). His theory was that social, political, and intellectual
movements were caused by the development from the homogeneous to the
heterogeneous. Spencer once stated, "If the advance of man towards
greater heterogeneity is traceable to the production of many effects
by one cause, still more clearly may the advance of society towards
greater heterogeneity be so explained" (Haberman 2 (Hab2))

Spencer believed that governments should not try to change social
environment, for it would hamper with processes of nature and
individual liberty (Hab). He had a theory that evil would disappear if
"every man may claim the fullest liberty to exercise his faculties"(Hab).
Although this would onl...

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection, Social Darwinism and the Catholic Church

- A dark dense rainforest, the sound of rain falling on green leaves and the chatter of birds in the canopy surrounds you. On the forest ground two dark shapes circle each other, both let out an ear-piercing roar that silences the entire forest. The dark shapes revealed themselves to be a pair of male gorillas, suddenly they rear up on their back legs and clash together in a fury of swinging arms. The larger gorilla gets a direct blow to the other one as the crunch of bone fills the silent jungle air....   [tags: Social Darwinism]

Good Essays
1196 words (3.4 pages)

Thre Views of Social Darwinism Essay

- The concept of Social Darwinism was a widely accepted theory in the nineteenth-century. Various intellectual, and political figures from each side of the political spectrum grasped the theory and interpreted it in various ways. In this paper, we will discuss three different nineteenth-century thinkers and their conception of Social Darwinism. The conservative, Heinrich von Treitschke, and liberal Herbert Spencer both gave arguments on the usefulness of competition between people on a global scale....   [tags: Social Darwinism Essays]

Good Essays
1702 words (4.9 pages)

Social Darwinism and Race Superiority In The West Essay

- Social Darwinism was a set of theories developed by various people during the 19th century. It was the adaptation of Darwin theory of evolution applied to human social behavior and ability to survive compared to other human beings. It can now easily be seen that these theories could be used to justify racial discrimination and they have been used in this way throughout history. This misconception of Darwin’s theories popularized by various academics in the west gave western nations to treat other nations badly....   [tags: Social Darwinism Essays]

Good Essays
2028 words (5.8 pages)

Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection and Social Darwinism Essay

- The publication of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species in 1859 had far reaching consequences. One of the most important notions in his ground-breaking book was the claim that no species is fixed. Rather “a well marked variety may .... well be called an incipient species,” demonstrating that nature is not static but a continuum where varieties beget species. Assuming that man was a part of nature, a concept many scientists had come to accept, this principle could be extended to include human societies....   [tags: Social Darwinism Essays]

Good Essays
2200 words (6.3 pages)

The Development of Social Darwinism Essay

- The theory developed by Charles Darwin in 1859 in his book The Origin of Species is considered not only one of the greatest scientific discoveries ever but, also a system of knowledge that revolutionized the fundamental patterns of thought. This discovery was the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution shattered old beliefs and philosophies and imposed the necessity for building new ones. Two of the great ideologies that developed from Charles Darwin's theory of evolution are Darwinism and Social Darwinism....   [tags: Social Darwinism Essays]

Good Essays
1787 words (5.1 pages)

Social Darwinism in American Politics Essay

- Introduction Social Darwinism is a quasi-philosophical, quasi-religious, quasi-sociological view that came from the mind of Herbert Spencer, an English philosopher in the 19th century. It did not achieve wide acceptance in England or Europe, but flourished in this country, as is true of many ideologies, religions, and philosophies. A good summary of Social Darwinism is by Johnson: In these years, when Darwin's Origin of Species, popularized by Herbert Spencer as "the survival of the fittest, " and applied to races as well as species in a vulgarized form, Social Darwinism, the coming Christian triumph was presented as an Anglo-Saxon Protestant one....   [tags: Social Darwinism Essays]

Good Essays
1210 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Social Darwinism in Cyberpunk Literature

- In the 1870s, the English sociologist Herbert Spencer applied Charles Darwin's theories of biological evolution to human behavior and institutions. Spencer used the idea of survival of the fittest in biology and theorized human society had evolved the same way (Cooper 15). Social Darwinism, as Spencer's theory is called, pits everyone against each other to survive in the world where humans are soldiers in a war for survival. If a person is poor, it is their fault and no one should help that person rise above the poverty status....   [tags: Social Darwinism Essays]

Good Essays
1291 words (3.7 pages)

Conservatism Supports Social Darwinism Essay

- Social Darwinism is the belief that the individual is more powerful than society. It encourages a ruthless system of self-interest and intolerant treatment of others. Those who believe in Social Darwinism believe that the society is inferior to the needs of the individual. Often those who believe in Social Darwinism are racist and believe that the white origin is the superior race of society. Social Darwinism is the opposite of socialism. Socialists believe that society comes before the individual while those who follow Social Darwinism believe the individual comes before society....   [tags: Social Darwinism Essays]

Free Essays
470 words (1.3 pages)

Social Darwinism Essay

-      Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection, a scientific theory that supported the belief of evolution, was manipulated and applied to different areas of life, and thus it became the shaping force in European thought in the last half of the nineteenth century. Darwin, through observation of organisms, determined that a system of natural selection controlled the evolution of species. He found that the organisms that were most fit and assimilated to the environment would survive. They would also reproduce so that over time they would eventually dominate in numbers over the organisms with weaker characteristics....   [tags: Social Darwinism Essays]

Good Essays
1192 words (3.4 pages)

Social Darwinism is NOT Science Essay

- Charles Darwin is NOT responsible for Social Darwinism. War and oppression have always been components of human history, however with the introduction of Darwin's theory of evolution man had a new justification for his cruelty. Darwin's ideas promoted a "superman" or "super-race" philosophy. The prime component of Darwin's ideas revolves around the notion that life progresses by natural selection - the survival of the fittest. Couple this with the racist culture in the scientific world of his day and you have the reason to pursue any exploitive agenda....   [tags: Social Darwinism Essays]

Good Essays
775 words (2.2 pages)