Would You Kill Baby Hitler

Would You Kill Baby Hitler

Part of a series on Adolf Hitler. [View Related Entries]

Updated Nov 12, 2015 at 04:52PM EST by Don.

Added Nov 12, 2015 at 04:28PM EST by Don.

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About

Would You Kill Baby Hitler is a thought experiment which ponders the ethics of traveling back in time to kill Adolf Hitler as an infant in order to prevent the holocaust.

Origin

The exact origin of the thought experiment is unknown. The idea of traveling back in time to kill Adolf Hitler is a trope[1] used in science fiction and is commonly associated with the proposed grandfather paradox.[2] Additionally, the dilemma bears many similarities to the "trolley problem"[4] ethical thought experiment, which asks participants if they would kill one person to save five others. In 1996, the novel Making History[6] by Stephen Fry was released, in which the protagonist travels back in time to deliver a permanent contraceptive pill to Hitler's father. On October 2nd, 2002, Season 1 Episode 5 "Cradle of Darkness" of the science fiction television series The Twilight Zone was broadcast, in which a woman travels back in time to kill Adolf Hitler as a baby (shown below). The earliest known mention of killing Hitler as an infant online was posted in the Free Republic Forums[5] by user DaveLoneRanger on April 18th, 2006, asking readers "Would you kill baby Hitler to prevent the extermination of millions?"



Spread

On May 14th, 2007, YouTuber John Green uploaded a video discussing the thought experiment (shown below, left). On November 26th, 2008, YouTuber Philip DeFranco posted a video about the Hitler dilemma (shown below, right).



On September 10th, 2010, the ModDDb Forums[7] member PeterHat submitted a poll titled "Would You Kill Baby Hitler?" On May 31st, 2011, YouTuber David Pakman uploaded an interview segment titled "Morality with Motamedi," in which he asks co-host Louis Motamedi if he would kill Hitler as an infant (shown below, left). On July 24th, 2013, the Big Think YouTube channel uploaded a video featuring psychologist Kevin Dutton, in which he discusses the Hitler thought experiment along with other moral dilemmas (shown below, right). On September 7th, 2014, Redditor dantheman757 submitted a post about the baby Hitler dilemma to the /r/Showerthoughts[9] subreddit, where it received upwards of 4,400 votes (94% upvoted) and 770 comments prior to being archived.



2015 Presidential Primary

On October 23rd, 2015, the NYT Mag[3] tweet a graph depicting readers responses to a survey asking "could you kill baby Hitler?" (shown below).


nut mag Dear Reader: Could You Killa Baby Hitler? 28% Not sure 30% No 42% Yes nyt NYT Magazine mag Follow @NYTmag We asked @nytmag readers: If you could go back and kill Hitler as a baby, would you do it? (What's your response?) 2:04 PM - 23 Oct 2015 다 1,045 615

On November 6th, the webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal[8] posted a comic about the dilemma from a moral relativist perspective (shown below).


IM GOING BACK N TIME NO THE CONGE TO KILL BABY HITLER INTRODUCING POLuTIOS INTO THE PROCESS PROVED TO BE A MISTAKE. WILL BE UNPREDICOUR CONSTITUENTS DEMAND THAT EVERYTHIGBUT WEVE N THE WORLD SUODENLY Ger gETTER AT NO COST , THE WORST ALREADY KILLED How ABOUT THE PRETTY BAD PEOPLE? GAN TO HUNT THE SEMA-HITUESS_ OF μ WORLD GOP S UP 3a, HAPPNESS IS UP 66%, AND THE TOOTHBRUSH MUSTACHE IS WORN WITH PRIDE AROUND THE WORLD TUL LEAVE MY OISHES aUT HAVE TO DO THEM NE BECAME ADDICTS. HAD TO KILL LARGER AND LETS KILL STALIN to GeT THE SAME ANO THE GUY WHO FIRST PUT RAISINS STADIUM AND W CARROT CAME THEM IN A HANE TO DIE? EM ITS NOT ABOUT THEM DYING TS ABOUT THE REST oF Us LIVING wELL TO AN HIGHER GOR HIGHER HAPPINESS MORE SAINTUY AND JESUS COMES TO ISIT ON WEEKENDS! HEAVENS! I FORGOT TO NCLWDE A THANKYOU CARD WHEN I GAVE ALL MY SAVINGS TO CHARITY TLAST, I WAS THE ONLY ONE LeFT AD THE IMPALER JACK THE RIPPERI THE AIRST GUY WHO PUT RAISINS ALIENS FROM THE FUT CA WAS WHEN THE WAHOO! WE GOT GALACTI GDP IS UP 47%! THANK YOU FOR THE TIME TRAVEL PARTTHE WORST SPECIES WITH Y0UR HELP WE SHA R VOTINGTHE WORST SPECes TO ELUIMINATE CONTINuE LOOKING ITGELF!

On November 9th, The Huffington Post[10] posted an interview with Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, during which he answered "Hell yeah, I would!" in response to the baby Hitler question (shown below, left). On the following day, YouTuber PFT Commenter uploaded footage of Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson saying "I'm not in favor of aborting anyone" when asked if he would approve of aborting baby Hitler (shown below, right).



Search Interest

External References

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Top Comments

William The Brit
William The Brit

You'd also have to kill the Great Depression, rising anti-Semitism in Europe, every single other member of the Nazi Party and anyone associated with Bolshevik terrorism/mass murder to even stand a chance of guaranteeing that World War 2 and the Holocaust wouldn't happen.

+92

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