Social Darwinism: Herbert Spencer And The Catholic Church

682 words - 3 pages

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 only happen if everyone had equal liberty.

Spencer strongly believed in the theory of survival of the fittest
where only the fit will survive and the weak will perish, this would
lead to a lot of competition. It is needed in order for the fit to
stay on top of the economic and social struggle (Sweet). Spencer
played a large role in the 19th century and the effects on society,
religion and politics that would later affect our world today.

The Catholic Church

As the Catholic Church and its beliefs were still strong in the 19th
century, it was about to be challenged like never before in it's
history. A man named Charles Darwin did this through his views on
nature, also challenging biblical theology and raising...

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