Monday, August 21, 2006

Invoking Godwin's Law

Being someone who spends a great amount of time online, I'm familiar with a number of internet adages that some may not be familiar with. One of the most common and profoundly accurate is one known as "Godwin's Law". In core format, it simply states that as an internet discussion progresses, the probability of someone comparing the opposing party or their position to Nazis or facism increases.

While not explicitly stated, it's generally assumed that once this happens, the discussion is essentially over because the person invoking Godwin's Law has resorted to this comparison which is a logical fallacy. It demonstrates that the party no longer has any valid points and instead seeks to rely on emotional appeals instead of any sort of logic.

Yet it seems that this is the stage that the ID crowd has finally reached. Having had their appeals to (bad) logic thrown out by judges, voters, school boards, and scientists, it seems that all they have left is to equate Darwin with Hilter.

The article quotes the host for the television special saying, "To put it simply, no Darwin, no Hitler."

Interestingly enough, replace "Darwin" with "Christianity" and the quote still applies since Hitler used perversion of religious ideals and well as scientific paradigms to influence the masses.

But equality isn't something that the theocrats are in favor of. Instead, they seek to use any appeal necessary, no matter how fallacious in order to abolish "Darwinism" (which is another arbitrary term that has no real menaing, which is why theocrats love it so). Yet should they look in the mirror and realize that their religion is just as much to blame, then we should do away with Christianity as well.

Even as an athiest I hold that this is a rather silly idea. Ban a concept simply because someone distorted and misapplied it? Talk about cutting off the nose to spite the face.

Additionally, given the claims of these theocrats, they seem to imply that this "Darwinism" is the root of all evil. This would mean that before Darwin came up with his groundbreaking theory, the world was a perfect place free of war. However, a brief sojourn into history will reveal that this is obviously not the case. But of those two options, one did exist thousands of years earlier and has been involved in far more massacres than even the most ridiculous ID supporter could tie Darwin to: Religion.

So would banning religion prevent all future wars? If I bought into the theocrat's black and white world of false dichomies that would seem to be the case. Luckly I don't. Neither religion nor Darwin are the root cause of any war (dispite religion being much more frequently linked). I hold that both have been exploited as tools to wage war, but I would no more support banning either one than banning weapons because a few individuals have used them for the wrong purposes.


Jon Voisey said...

jb: It seems you haven't learned that there's a difference between the scientific positions someone has, and the philosophical positions. Regardless of whether or not Darwin was elitist, sexist, or anything else, his scientific theories are devoid of all of this.

But don't let that stop you from a good ad hominem.

TheBrummell said...

Wow, a troll. Quelle Surprise!

Nice post, by the way, I've seen lots of other blog-posts about this, so I almost skipped reading yours, but I'm glad I stuck around.

Kay said...

I'm actually pretty sure that Darwin was religious.

Jon Voisey said...

Darwin was certainly religious early in his life, but his writings show a general loss of faith and at best, a vague deism at the end of his life.

Kay said...

I'm actually pretty sure that Darwin was religious.