To respond to both of you in a less snarky way...
Knives, you have said repeatedly that SM screwed with the "myth." I replied that any and all myths are based on a "mythos" or truth from which they spring. Without the underlying mythos, the myth's have no reason to exist other than for sheer enjoyment. However, the fact that myth has remained, changing, yes, but still there, indicates that it touches on something deeper than cultural ethics.
What do you believe is behind the myths? Do you see any basic truths on which they touch?
Andy, thank you. I was going to post on exactly that topic. Much has been postulated about the Nazi (or any extremist) phenomenon. We all want to know how such travesties can occur so that we can perhaps stop them from happening again. Indeed, my friend of Jewish heritage and I discuss it often. The most frightening thing about Hitler wasn't that he was a monster, but that he was such a normal man. He and I share many of the same hobbies.
So, what makes us different? Are we different? Am I any different than a murderer? I hope so.
Without a set moral code, the only way we are different is that Hitler's view was deemed by society to be wrong. I am not saying this, but the end result of ethics based on culture is that very conclusion. Hitler was wrong, not because he did evil, but because his side lost.
God help us all when we get to that point.
One thing is clear from the horrors of WWII: there were men and women who went with the flow of their society and committed atrocities against their fellow man, and yet there were others who found within themselves the the impossible courage to hide their fellow men, to stand against those who would destroy, and to stand for what they knew was right.
Have you ever read the statements as to their moral choice? If not, I suggest you do - for both sides. On the Nazi side, man after man repeatedly says that there was a point that they made a choice to ignore what they knew was wrong and go along with the regime. This is not unique to Nazism, this is often a universal statement. There was a point where the choice was made. Conversely, those who hid Jews (I am mostly referring to works written about the courageous citizens of Holland here) can almost all point to the moment where they made the choice to stand against Germany. Their words will send shivers down your spine as you read of their courage.
So my question to you both is, if in that time these people made a choice, as they clearly reference, what did they base that choice on? Why did two incredibly similar societies take two very different ethical and moral roads? If there is no truth, no basis behind ethics, why was there a difference at all?