Talk:Reductio ad Hitlerum

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Rajendra K. Pachauri[edit]

Is his entry here trivial and/or unsupportable by its references? Take a look at Rajendra K. Pachauri's recent history. The action starts with my edit at 22:57, 18 February 2012. You can then follow the defenders' logic and my replies. Note this editor's assertion that the National Review, ABC news, and The Guardian are not "of the reliability required to make such claims". (The story ends for the moment here.) It seems to me that if his mention in this article is non-trivial and supportable, then it should be the same in his own article. ~~— Preceding unsigned comment added by BruceSwanson (talkcontribs) 15:47, 21 February 2012‎

Yes, the entry seems pretty unsupportable here. We should only be highlighting examples of a "fallacy of irrelevance" when a documented third party has specifically called someone out for that. We shouldn't be digging out Nazi comparisons and labelling them as reductio ad Hitlerum fallacies based on our own interpretation of the context. I'll clear out the list. --McGeddon (talk) 15:55, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

You didn't go far enough. I've deleted the entire Section. Anyone can Google the phrase to find actual usages. With the exception of the Kristallnacht reference, none of the deleted references made specific reference to reductio ad Hitlerum that I could find.— Preceding unsigned comment added by BruceSwanson (talkcontribs) 02:02, 22 February 2012‎

And I think you went too far; I've restored the Bernstein reference which you already regard as an exception, and also the Beck example, which refers directly to the fallacy where "an opponent's view is compared to a view that would be held by Adolf Hitler or the Nazi Party", making it relevant to the article, even if it doesn't use the exact reductio term. An interested reader shouldn't have to research their own examples. --McGeddon (talk) 10:22, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
More such examples seem to have crept into the section. --Joshua Issac (talk) 20:17, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Does this count as an example too?[edit]

When people say things like 'the Nazis were just following orders too!' (in reference to the Holocaust) when one is in a situation where one's paid employment involves making another person unhappy for one reason or another, and the phrase 'I'm just doing my job' is uttered in response to a tirade of abuse - often in jobs that have something to do with insisting that people pay their debts, preventing people from being antisocial or refusing them free stuff in my experience... :) Should this sort of thing be mentioned in the article, do you think? --87.115.78.105 (talk) 04:56, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Weak example. It is ideologically loaded. "Just following orders" applies to someone doing something brutal (such as a massacre or an enslavement) to a class of helpless people or destruction of freedom of thought (as in burning books or musical scores for their content or creator). Everybody has a job to do, and unless one's job is exclusively the manipulation of objects as labor, one has responsibilities to step on some toes. A preacher has the right (and duty) to tell a Satanist that a church cannot be used for Satanic rituals. A teacher has the right and duty to insist that kids not to use profanity or threatening language. Any boss has the expected duty to deterring his subordinates from slacking off.

Civilization itself depends upon the enforcement of expectations. Brutality such as the Atlantic Slave Trade or the Holocaust also tears at the fundamental decencies of human behavior that underpin civilization. So does the destruction of the products of intellectual creativity solely because those items (books, artwork, music) offend the sensibilities of the political leadership of the day. Pbrower2a (talk) 15:06, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

You would need a source that identifies the comment as a reductio ad hitlerum. The point of the Nuremburg defense is that a public servant or soldier is responsible for their crimes even if carried out on the orders of a superior, not that one should refuse orders that are distasteful, which itself would normally be considered a crime. TFD (talk) 16:22, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Argument by analogy[edit]

It seems to me that this is generally of the form of argument by analogy. But for argument by analogy to 'work', the two things need to be 'relevantly' similar. So when talking about Hitler, or Nazis, in relation to particular political or philosophical beliefs, the argument can be valid (in the week sense). There is also some other problem whereby the assumption is made that since a comparison to Hitler has been made, the argument MUST be invalid. Which is of course, absurd. All of this relies however on some deeper analysis of what specifics of Hitler are relevant. And that is where things can get all too grey. Certainly, for example, we could talk about elements of the Zionist movement of the 30s being like the Nazis, in 'nationalistic' fervour, group identity, paramilitary organisation etc. This argument is rather more nuanced, and relies on examining the nature of Nazism, and ultimately making another argument that the similarities are relevant and that, for example, strong group identity can lead to atrocities like the Holocaust. 103.1.7.171 (talk) 02:17, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

"Reductio ad Stalinum"[edit]

What about opposition to policies based on their perceived similarity to communism, such as ObamaCare and increasing the minimum wage (especially common in America)? Here's one. 149.89.161.103 (talk) 22:28, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

The usual statement is "That's socialism" and it is used AFAIK in the U.S. It wouldn't make sense for example for the Labour Party to accuse the Tories of being socialists and vice versa. But I don't know if there is a term for it. People are called Stalinists as an epithet, but usually they are doctrinaire Communists. TFD (talk) 03:09, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
There are more examples below of the term Stalinism being used to bash social democrat policies in Europe, so it's not just an American thing. Maybe add a 'Variants' section?
Deepred6502 (talk) 14:04, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
The relevant article is Red-baiting. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 22:11, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Putin examples[edit]

The "Invocations of the fallacy" lists illustrative cases where public figures have been specifically accused of constructing an argument which uses a form of reductio ad Hitlerum. Including examples of public figures who have drawn Hitler comparisons without drawing any such criticism is WP:OR ("any analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position not advanced by the sources"), however obvious the reductio might personally seem to Wikipedia editors. --McGeddon (talk) 14:14, 1 April 2014 (UTC)