Godwin's Law and "Reductio ad Hitlerum" - U2 Feedback

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Old 09-16-2006, 02:43 PM   #1
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Godwin's Law and "Reductio ad Hitlerum"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_Law

"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

Quote:
There is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically "lost" whatever debate was in progress.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_Hitlerum

"The reductio ad Hitlerum fallacy is of the form "Adolf Hitler or the Nazi party supported X; therefore X must be evil". This fallacy is often effective due to the near-instant condemnation of anything to do with Hitler or the Nazis."

Quote:
The phrase appears in Strauss's writings in the 1950 Natural Right and History, Chapter II:

"In following this movement towards its end we shall inevitably reach a point beyond which the scene is darkened by the shadow of Hitler. Unfortunately, it does not go without saying that in our examination we must avoid the fallacy that in the last decades has frequently been used as a substitute for the reductio ad absurdum: the reductio ad Hitlerum. A view is not refuted by the fact that it happens to have been shared by Hitler."
Thoughts?

Melon
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Old 09-16-2006, 07:01 PM   #2
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Bush is constantly compared to Hitler.
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:14 PM   #3
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And Democrats are constantly compared to Nazis.

It's a wild, wild world!
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kieran McConville
And Democrats are constantly compared to Nazis.
Really? Comparing Republicans to Nazi's at least makes sense, even if it is false (being that fascism is consider Far Right instead of Far Left).

Anyway, I think Melon brings up an interesting point. I know that I have been somewhat guilty of this fallacy at times. I like to use extreme examples to push an idea to the fullest logical conclusion - and extreme examples seem to "paint the picture" with the least amount of ambiguity.

There were also some other links on the wikipedia pages that led to other interesting laws and such.
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Old 09-16-2006, 09:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by AEON
Bush is constantly compared to Hitler.
in many ways a poor comparison

we would have been much better off
if hitler was as incompetent as Bush
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Old 09-17-2006, 12:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep


in many ways a poor comparison

we would have been much better off
if hitler was as incompetent as Bush
While I dont' agree - I will admit - this was funny
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Old 09-17-2006, 02:27 AM   #7
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In seriousness, I have sympathy for the second 'fallacy' Melon noted, you do get that a lot: the bad guys thought X was a good thing, so it must be bad.

I am less patient with 'Godwin's Law' however, as sometimes the people/things being criticised really are fascist (bearing in mind there were and are fascist movments other than the Nazis and Hitler, who were a more virulent and particularly unutterable example).

So I guess '...as bad as Hitler' does kind of inevitably shut down the discussion, but '...these people are fascists' need not, imo.
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Old 09-17-2006, 03:34 AM   #8
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This came up on another board I was posting on--we asked that a few individuals stop making crass comments about Steve Irwin and were called fascists.

I think, as Kieran said, there are VERY legitimate uses of Hitler and fascist comparisons. Unfortunately, every kid worshipping V for Vendetta has ruined it for the rest of us--those who took history beyond "Western Civ 2"
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Old 09-19-2006, 09:06 AM   #9
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Interesting points.

Melon
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