Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Use of Reductio ad Hitlerum

So today Bush compared Bin Laden to Hitler and Lenin, i.e. used the logical fallacy known as reductio ad Hitlerum.

Upon reading the definition though, the examples given are absurd, hence Strauss's correlation between his newly defined reductio ad Hitlerum and reductio ad absurdum, which is a logical fallacy that tries to correlate two absurd items. As shown in the absurdum definition, usually the use of this logical fallacy is related to the use of the straw man logical fallacy.

So here we have a conundrum. Republicans use reductio ad Hitlerum frequently and often. Their use of this fallacy is tied to their use of a straw man. Yet no one seems to call them on it. Moreover, Republicans don't care if they use logical fallacies to paint their political opponents in a bad way. This is their straw man, and the backbone of their political strategy. "Don't vote for them because it will be worse with them in power."

So this is what Bush had to say:

"Bin laden and his terrorists' allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them," the president said before the Military Officers Association of America and diplomatic representatives of other countries that have suffered terrorist attacks. "The question is `Will we listen? Will we pay attention to what these evil men say?"'

So the reductio ad Hitlerum and reductio ad Leninum that Bush uses says that Bin Laden and their allies are bad because Hitler and Lenin were bad. Okay. So what? What's your point, Mr. President? Why do you get to throw those names around and the rest of us cannot?

What makes a comment logically false? If I say Rumsfeld appeased terrorists by meeting with and condoning Saddam's actions in the 1980s, is that somehow logically false? What is not true about those comments? Is it that Republicans did not consider Saddam a terrorist in the 1980s, because he was their man? Only now when he is being tried for war crimes he committed in the 1980s is Saddam a terrorist? What about those who condoned his actions? Does not the supposed paradigm shift that 9/11 caused also reflect the same on those who supported Saddam in the 1980s?

yeah, I smell hypocrisy here.


At 9/05/2006 05:26:00 PM, Blogger Sherpa said...

Saying that they met isn't a logical fallacy....editorializing on it is here reductio ad association.

I find it interesting though, that if you do really believe in your statement, that the Baath party is quite similar to that of the Nazi party, then why was Reagan and Rumsfeld doing business with Saddam in the 1980s? The real irony of Rumsfeld's speech last week was that it is he who fits the role of Chamberlain best out of anyone here today. It was he who worked with Saddam in the 1980s, who supported Saddam's gassing of the Kurds in 1983, and the use of chemical weapons on the Iranians in the war that Saddam started. More ironic is that just like Hitler, it was Saddam who started the conflict against Iran, trying to, just like Hitler, spread his strength past his borders. So, if Saddam was truly like Hitler, what was Rumsfeld doing shaking Saddam's hand? Furthermore, if you truly believe in fighting against all those who have at one point appeased "evildoers", why do you support Rumsfeld? Or is it okay on occasion to lend support to Nazi-type regimes? Is that the message Rumsfeld is giving?

At 9/05/2006 10:05:00 PM, Blogger nicolaepadigone said...

that particular section, if you read carefully, goes by Ross's logic and reasoning. It is he who compared the Baath regime to that of the Nazi regime. Therefore it is he who used the fallacy, and I merely expounded, showing the ridiculousness of his logic. I could care less if Rumsfeld met Saddam and shook his hand. But if Rumsfeld then comes out and criticizes those who do not agree with him, then his meeting of Saddam is fair game.

At 9/06/2006 07:39:00 AM, Blogger Sherpa said...

Seriously Dan, why don't you let it go? So you committed a logical fallacy, let's just move on.

I can believe that you started this post, but to phrase it that its a "conspiracy." Let. It. Go.

At 9/06/2006 09:15:00 AM, Blogger nicolaepadigone said...

I'm not letting it go because the bigger issue is not the logical fallacy, but the meeting with Saddam. Rumsfeld can claim all that he like that his opponents are suffering "moral confusion," yet it is he who condoned and met with Saddam. Are you not seeing this as the bigger issue? Who freaking cares about a freaking logical fallacy when people are dying! I want him out of power, now!

At 9/06/2006 09:45:00 AM, Blogger Sherpa said...

Seriously, I can see the bigger picture, and the bigger picture is that you seriously need to let it go.

At 9/06/2006 10:02:00 AM, Blogger nicolaepadigone said...

I cannot support Rumsfeld, and will do whatever it takes to have him removed from power. If that means removing Bush through impeachment (as Bush does not want to remove Rumsfeld---it would be a sign of weakness, because of course, Bush doesn't make mistakes, so therefore there is nothing weak about him or his people), then so be it.


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