Hitler's Holocaust or Stalin's massacre of the Soviet people did not have any goals that would be viewed as worthy of the sacrifice. Hitler's actions were based on flawed scientific methodology at best and many of Stalin's kills were to preserve his own sense of paranoia-ridden security. In this hypothetical scenario the goal is the preservation of not only the human race but of the entire planet. "The ends justify the means" becomes a lot more persuasive when the stakes are so absurdly high.Yeah, pretty much. I don't think that Hitler's oratorical gifts or Stalin's bureaucratic skills or Mao's popular nonfiction really matter much when you look at their track records, do you? The fact that they thought they were doing good when they were actually doing evil is something to think about it in "ends justify the means" situations, I think.
Sure it does. 95 million more people dead means 95 million more individual lives ripped, torn, and sundered apart. Each of those 95 million people represents an individual human life (your neighbor, your children, your dog) and that's a fact that most people can't seem to grasp. It seems that the phrase "1 million men, women, and children" died in the Rwanda massacre doesn't really hit people until they see the pictures. But the suffering is just as real.If you are trying to be completely utilitarian and maintain that 5 million dead is better than 100 million dead, and it does not matter why or by whose hand, fine, but that that line of argument really has no consideration for the value of individual human lives outside of statistics.
Ala "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic."