Monday, January 23, 2017

Rationally debating nazis is bad

During the course of the discussions surrounding the punching or non-punching of nazis, many references have been made to the notion of rational debate. Words are stronger than fists, as it were, and it is better to use words whenever possible. Especially when considered in the long term - sticks and stones ain't got nothing on the longevity of words.

I do not think the proponents of rational debate understand what it is they are proposing.

To put it in its most brutal form: waking up to a world where parliament is engaged in rational debate regarding the extermination of the Jews would be a nightmare. Especially if they applied all the tools of rationality - weighing the benefits to the costs, comparing different methods of achieving the goal, searching the remaining nazi records for useful information on practical implementation.

These are not things you want to see rationally debated. You want them as far away from the range of available topics of conversation as possible. Ideally, you want the topic so fat removed from consideration that even thinking about it becomes an exercise in speculative fiction. It is not a topic for discussion.

Imagine, however, that it was a topic for discussion. Every day. All the time. To such a degree that when you try to go about your business, you are approached by someone who very politely asks if you have considered exterminating the Jews today. They have a pamphlet, you see, and a book of reasons why today is the day to start thinking that, yeah, maybe there are too many Jews around. Maybe they actually are a problem that needs to be solved, once and for all. After all, you've been hearing about it for so long, there might just be something to it.

If you at this point think to yourself that there is no set of circumstances which would make you consider the extermination of Jews to be a good idea on rational grounds, then you have fully understood why rational debate is not an option. The notion of rational debate assumes that the topic at hand is in the best interest of those who participate in the discussion, and if it is in your best interest to see Jews exterminated -

Well then, my friend, I have some bad news for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment