180 — Ray Comfort’s 180th Blunder

I have not watched it.

First of all I will confess that I did not watch 180. I have read enough about it in order to get the gist of the picture. I figured that I have done my fundie-horror-picture-show duty having sat through Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed and A Thief in the Night.

A Thief in the Night is a 1972 embarrassingly campy production that was used as a scare tactic aimed at children.

Expelled and 180 are fundie propaganda movies that employ an appeal-to-emotion tactic that has been a favorite of moronic propagandists for decades now.

From Wikipedia:

Reductio ad Hitlerum, also argumentum ad Hitlerum, (Latin for “reduction to” and “argument to” and dog Latin for “Hitler” respectively) is an ad hominem or ad misericordiam argument whereby an opponent’s view is compared to a view that would be held by Adolf Hitler or the Nazi Party. It is a fallacy of irrelevance, in which a conclusion is suggested based solely on something’s or someone’s origin rather than its current meaning. The suggested logic is one of guilt by association.

Its name is a variation on reductio ad absurdum, and was coined by an academic ethicist, Leo Strauss, in 1953. Engaging in this fallacy is sometimes known as playing the Nazi card,[1] by analogy to playing the race card. The tactic is often used to derail arguments, because such comparisons tend to distract and anger the opponent.[1]

It is effective as a distraction and angering device. Sure, when this puerile fallacy is employed, one may be inclined to begin a retort with something like, “ATTENTION YOU IGNORANT FUCK-BUCKET…” Argumentum ad Hitlerum would not be used with such frequency if it did not have some degree of efficacy. We see this crock used all the time. Again from Wikipedia:

Godwin’s law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies)[1][2] is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990[2] that has become an Internet adage. It states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”[2][3] In other words, Godwin observed that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably criticizes some point made in the discussion by comparing it to beliefs held by Hitler and the Nazis.

It is indubitably the case that there are some topics that cannot be discussed in-depth without mentioning Hitler. If you are talking about WWII, German history, antisemitism,  or totalitarian dictatorships — Hitler would come up by necessity. If you are discussing woman’s right to reproductive choice or the scientific theory of evolution — Hitler is irrelevant.

This fallacy is effective merely because it pisses people off. The way that it is used by Ray Comfort and Ben Stein in their vile pieces of propaganda is nothing more than a grade-school playground insult.

Atheists have become the fundies’ pet scape-goat since the attention that the “new atheism” has been getting starting in the early 2000s.  Being that contemporary American atheists, as a group, don’t commit any dastardly anti-social acts — Ray and them resort the stupid — “just like Hitler” canard.

Those of us who are not currently indoctrinated into a fundamentalist, evangelical Christian-right cult can easily dismiss such horse-shit as a transparent, childish, ignorant, and desperate attempt to demonize a section of society for the purpose of stirring up hatred and bigotry against them. Hate sells.

The cult members are trained like bad dogs not to evoke anything similar to critical analysis when it comes the the assertions made by the cult leaders. Ray Comfort, Ben Stein, Pat Robertson, and them say that atheists are all latent Nazis — ergo — atheists are all latent Nazis. The evidence: “Because some fuck-tard said so.” In the mind of the mindless, if you will accept that oxymoronic but suitable description, that settles the issue.

I find such shallow and narrow-minded dogmatism frustrating. It closes communication. Dogmatic authoritarian structure is designed for the specific purpose of limiting the thought process of the adherents. Their thinking must stay on a simple-minded, dualistic, and child-like level if they are going to remain part of the group. One of the tenets of the fundie doctrine is that atheists, as a group, are to be feared and loathed. Why? Because they are all a bunch of Hitler clones. How do we know? They know because half of them (give or take) used to be atheists — they must therefor be experts on the subject.

Atheists worship Hitler?

I have read some statements written by radical fundies in which they proclaim that Adolf Hitler is some sort of hero to the atheist community. Whenever atheists are not busy worshiping Charles Darwin and praying to the theory of evolution they are aspiring to be the next Hitler-esque tyrant.

I do not believe in any sort of god and I am certain that I do not have any sort of admiration of the late German dictator on my personal agenda either. Really, I don’t, no matter how many Bible verses one can repeat that clearly and unambiguously state that I do, I’m sure that I do not.

There are those who do. Members of Neo-Nazi organizations do expressly and shamelessly state that they do, in fact, consider Adolf Hitler to be a heroic and enlightened historical figure, base their group tenets on the writings of Hitler and other WWII-era German Nazi propagandists, and do express a belief that the World ought to be controlled and dominated by a dictatorship based on the ideology of the long-defunct National Socialist Party of Germany.

I do not associate with any such organization. I have no intention of doing so. I have nothing to do with them, because, frankly, those fuckers scare the shit out of me.

Advertisements

7 comments on “180 — Ray Comfort’s 180th Blunder

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi GP! Froggie here.

    Saw your announcement that you got the boot at the Swamp!
    The new digs look pretty nice.

    And there is always room for your comments over at wearesmrt if you have some time!

    See ya later……..

  2. Starbuck says:

    Hi Panther,

    I saw your message.

    I am assuming I am one of the evangelical fucktards…
    But, i don’t use Hitler in my arguements/discussions unless it is relavant. historical content, Warfare strategy Hitler used (birlliant and then turned into down right idiotic.)

    I have to agree with you. It is stupidity beyond belief to evoke hitler. I don’t get it. I know before I was a Christian I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing what hitler did. There aren’t many who would.

    I don’t understand why Christians are argueing so intensely with atheist. It doesn’t make sense, so I asked around. What I get is that most people seem to think that atheists are going to persecute the christians like they did in russia and do in china.

    I looked into what the Bible has to say. And I must say that atheists won’t be persecuting anyone. However the religious will be. As the tribulation christians are getting persecuted, it will be done by the religious. As they think they will be doing God a favor. Atheists don’t buy into doing God a favor.

    While an atheist might get a bit irritating, for the most part they are not dangerous. People need to remember the God/No God debate has been going on for a long time and that these people they are argueing with are PEOPLE.

    Nice looking Blog Panther!

    • Hi Star,

      Actually the fucktards I was referring to are specifically those who do use the argumentum ad hitlerum argument to demonize others.

      I agree with you about Hitler’s shrewd military strategy that he used at the beginning of WWII. Not to say that either of us agree with his motives or his ideology but that we recognize the cleverness behind some of his strategic endeavor.

      I think more than anything, the Hitler comparison is just a lazy insult. That is why I made the school-yard insult observation.

      What I do find interesting (in a disturbing, morbid curiosity kind of way) is the groups of people who do embrace and promote the Nazi ideology.

      What makes them tick?

  3. Hi Froggie,

    I registered at wearesmrt some time ago and I never got a confirmation e-mail.

    The comment that was banned and followed by the ultimate boot was something about Scott Roeder and the question as to how the “pro-life” advocates can avoid being associated with domestic terrorism. I guess the LW crowd didn’t like that question.

    • Anonymous says:

      GP,
      I am sorry that we have had to work past a glitch on registration.

      If/ when you are in the mood for trying again, let me know what name you are going to register under and I will make it happen.

      Take care!

      Froggie

  4. Anonymous says:

    GP,

    Clarification. If you decide at some point to register at Smrt, just register and then let me know what user name you used and Vagon will release it.

    Also if you go to smrt you will see there is a new chat on the opening page where there is no need to register, although it will show you as “guest.” I’m sure they’d like to hear of the circumstances of your banning!

    Froggie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s