Statesboro, GA, USA
"The Nazi actions were evil." Now, I don't know what to do with that statement if we define evil as in league with the devil, but if we define the murder of people for the sole reason or religion or race, then it is an objective statement.
You meant "of" religion or race right?
I wonder though, how we can define evil at all without making reference to some kind of over arching standard. If we can't do that, then the Third Reich was guilty of no more than upholding the interests of it's own regime, and the percieved "good" that it imagined. Atrocities can be justified as simply a pro-active and prophyllactic kind of self defense. But where do we get the concept of "injustice" without reference to something more than human subjectivism? Somewhere along the way, we have to look at motives and actions (preferably our own first) and ask whether they are just or unjust, evil or good.
If we define "murder", to use your example, as bad merely because it harms the propagation of the human race, then I would ask whether the value of progeny is the a priori moral value you have finally appealed to. It seems that in escaping one assumed traditional ethic (such as "murder is wrong"), we always end up appealing to another one anyway, (such as "you should always value life, or the survival of the human race").
Lewis put it this way...
Since I can see no answer to these questions, I draw the following conclusions. This thing which I have called for convenience the Tao, and which others may call Natural Law or Traditional Morality or the First Principles of Practical Reason or the First Platitudes, is not one among a series of possible systems of value. It is the sole source of all value judgements. If it is rejected, all value is rejected. If any value is retained, it is retained. The effort to refute it and raise a new system of value in its place is self-contradictory. There has never been, and never will be, a radically new judgement of value in the history of the world. What purport to be new systems or (as they now call them) 'ideologies', all consist of fragments from the Tao itself, arbitrarily wrenched from their context in the whole and then swollen to madness in their isolation, yet still owing to the Tao and to it alone such validity as they possess. If my duty to my parents is a superstition, then so is my duty to posterity. If justice is a superstition, then so is my duty to my country or my race. If the pursuit of scientific knowledge is a real value, then so is conjugal fidelity. The rebellion of new ideologies against the Tao is a rebellion of the branches against the tree: if the rebels could succeed they would find that they had destroyed themselves. The human mind has no more power of inventing a new value than of imagining a new primary colour, or, indeed, of creating a new sun and a new sky for it to move in...
The truth finally becomes apparent that neither in any operation with factual propositions nor in any appeal to instinct can the Innovator find the basis for a system of values. None of the principles he requires are to be found there: but they are all to be found somewhere else. 'All within the four seas are his brothers' (xii. 5) says Confucius of the Chün-tzu, the cuor gentil or gentleman. Humani nihil a me alienum puto says the Stoic. 'Do as you would be done by,' says Jesus. 'Humanity is to be preserved,' says Locke.4 All the practical principles behind the Innovator's case for posterity, or society, or the species, are there from time immemorial in the Tao. But they are nowhere else. Unless you accept these without question as being to the world of action what axioms are to the world of theory, you can have no practical principles whatever. You cannot reach them as conclusions: they are premisses. You may ... regard them as sentiments: but then you must give up contrasting 'real' or 'rational' value with sentimental value. All value will be sentimental; and you must confess (on pain of abandoning every value) that all sentiment is not 'merely' subjective. You may, on the other hand, regard them as rational—nay as rationality itself—as things so obviously reasonable that they neither demand nor admit proof. But then you must allow that Reason can be practical, that an ought must not be dismissed because it cannot produce some is as its credential. If nothing is self-evident, nothing can be proved. Similarly if nothing is obligatory for its own sake, nothing is obligatory at all.
(C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man)