Social Darwinism vs. Social Gospel

516 Words3 Pages
Social Darwinism and Social Gospel were two ideologies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries adopted by many American business men as a way to prove their superiority. Even though they were very different they still were similar in some ways. Social Darwinism is the concept of applying Charles Darwin’s natural selection theory to human beings. Social Darwinism was created by using the applications of Charles Darwin’s scientific theories of evolution and natural selection, ‘the survival of the fittest’. Then the theory was applied to human development by Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner thought that the economy was a natural event and that it did not need any guidance in its evolution. And based on Sumer’s views they greatly contrasted the beliefs of the Social Gospel. Under the theory of Social Darwinism a person’s “fitness” was determined by their wealth, social status, and their property. And similar to Darwin’s actual theory the poor people in this case were seen as “less fit to survive” because they were seen as being lazy and inferior to the wealthy. Also the theory of Social Darwinism appealed to the protestant work ethic because they believed that anyone could become successful and prosper with hard work intelligence and perseverance. Social Darwinist also supported the idea of a laissez faire type policies in which they believed that the government should not regulate the marketplace. The ideas of Social Darwinism was used by many industrialist including Andrew Carnegie. Social Gospel was a moral reform movement promoted by protestant clergy Walter Rauschenbusch and Washington Gladden the reason behind this movement was the abuses of industrialism. It applied to biblical teachings and Christian ethics to industrialization and social problems. Social Gospel taught its followers that it is a person’s duty to help others in need, and not just a
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