Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Inverse of Godwin's Law

Godwin's Law was introduced in the 90s when numerous conflicts on the internet would degenerate into accusations of people being Nazis or Hitler (closeted or otherwise). Indeed this was and still is a problem; and such ad-hominem attacks tend to deplete any argument or debate.

It certainly moves the debate into new territory, for once such an accusation is launched, a certain decorum has been violated and even if the attack is true it moves the debaters into a more emotional state and thus doesn't allow for a more impartial view of the facts.

That being said, I'm now introducing the Inverse of Godwin's Law because now it appears that the internet has decided that almost any mention of the Nazis, or comparison thereof is a reason to nullify an argument (this goes for any comparison to something in the past that one deems historically "big" so as to make a point in the current debate, and to make the present day item it's being compared to not seem as big, or make it bigger than it seems).

This is especially true since comparing something, usually an atrocity with smaller casualty figures, to the Nazis is not entirely invalid. Here in the US, it is very important because WWII still hangs heavy over most any foreign policy ideas. And thus we must allowed to compare it to that (given that it is correctly used) whether or not that comparison.

A large reason that this bothers me is that there exists in calling out "Godwin's Law" the need to completely kill off ideas that cause us discomfort. We usually call this trolling and it ends up stifling the debate, or even an attempt at a debate (I'm finding too many choruses these days, or at best limited discussions that lead to nothing). This is prevalent on the left and right wing sites. It is, of course, group think at its worst.

Now, I'm going off on a tangent here, but this might speak to the limitations of comments, and I hope to find a way to solve that (is it the species using the internet that's the issue? Are we too tribal for our own good?). Nevertheless, for now you should focus on not always applying Godwin's law, but rather
critical analysis to all aspects of arguments and comparisons.

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1 comment:

  1. My man, you're hitting some truths here. Now what do you think about Trump?


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