Monday, August 14, 2006

Pacifism Meets Godwin's Law: Debunking a strawman argument.

Whenever I hear about some kind of "do no harm" attitude I always want to ask "does it pass the WW2 test?" What I mean is, would you really have preferred to have sat by and watched the Holocaust happen rather than fight? If so, then I consider the concept morally bankrupt.
-- theStorminMormon (883615)
It is truly unfortunate to see pacifism treated in such a disrespectful manner. This argument, if one could call it that, is a straw man. It discounts entirely that the point for pacifism and diplomacy had passed: by the time the Holocaust had begun, the choice to engage in violence had been made through inaction. Were pacifism applied to the events of WW2, more efforts would have been made to preserve peace before Hitler took power. To say that WW2 is an argument against pacifism is to substitute blatant emotional appeal for rational discourse, and is, in effect, distorting the claims made by pacifists to paint them with the same brush as the Nazis.

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