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Fantastic news for posters! Godwin's law struck down as unconstitutional (and meaningless).

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-13-13 09:24 AM
Original message
Fantastic news for posters! Godwin's law struck down as unconstitutional (and meaningless).
First, what does Godwin's law say (maybe different from what you think)?

The content of Godwin's Law:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."<2><3> In other words, Godwin said that, given enough time, in any online discussionregardless of topic or scopesomeone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis.


Okay, big whoop.

Over time, corollaries to Godwin's law have developed. (Duh, it's the internet. Of course corollaries developed.) You can read about them here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

When I first learned of Godwin's Law a number of years ago, I decided that whoever had come up with it must be a right winger. It seemed logical to me that wingers would have the most incentive to try to restrict discussion of things that are like Nazis. Besides, I consider any attempt to restrict discussion of anything a right wing move. (However, I have had to eat those thoughts and assumptions. )

Anyway, I looked up the wiki back then to try to learn more and saw that Mike Godwin had made up the "law" as a joke. However, the wiki no longer says that. Now it says that he made it up as an experiment in spreading a meme. He has also said that he wanted to make people think before making casual comparisons to the Holocaust. (Not sure if that is in the wiki or only in interviews that he's given about the "law" and I don't feel like checking.)

Whoa! Not every reference to Nazis is a reference to the Holocaust. Even if the Holocaust had never occurred, Nazis would still present many cautionary tales. You want to talk about killing 12 million people, that is a reference to the Holocaust. Referring to Nazi-like idolatry of a leader, Nazi-like brutality, etc. may or may not refer to the Holocaust.

Besides, if you are not making light of the Holocaust, or denying that it happened, or something of that kind, what in hell is wrong with referring to the Holocaust? As a kid, I remember being transfixed by a documentary on TV about the Holocaust. The title of it was "Lest We Forget." Do we really want to make the Holocaust something people feel embarrassed about mentioning?

But, I digress. Point is, Godwin's Law is nothing but one man's experiment. It is not a law, or even a regulation or a rule.

Is it even one man's opinion? Godwin was one of the attorneys of record for plaintiffs in a first amendment case! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Godwin

Anyway, assuming no disrespect of the Holocaust, making a bad comparison to Nazis is no worse than making a bad comparison to anything else. On the other hand, the danger of arbitrary suppression of political speech is a very serious and undesirable thing, a detriment to society. And the last thing we need these days is impediments to criticizing oppressive actions.

Based on the above, it is one woman's opinion that one man's opinion is contrary to First Amendment values and to the best interests of people all over the world. Ergo, I hereby repeal Godwin's Law under the very same authority by which Godwin purported to create it.

You may link to this post to prove that Godwin's law has been repealed.

And to posters all over the world: You're welcome.













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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-13-13 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. I knew it wasn't an actual law. Godwin's law has no real signifance.
Edited on Wed Nov-13-13 02:15 PM by Enthusiast
People would spout off about Godwin's law anytime someone noted a valid parallel in our world today with Nazi Germany. This was no different than yelling, "La la la!" to stifle any discussion. They frequently say, "This is disrespectful to those that died in the Holocaust." But it isn't disrespectful to those that died in the Holocaust. If anything it reminds us that the Nazis didn't start out dragging Jews and others off to the gas chambers. It started with the same sort of inflammatory rhetoric we hear in the USA today. Certain groups were targeted as scape goats by the loud mouth Nazis. It is no coincidence that several of the target groups are the same targets of the far right in the USA today. We ignore history at our peril.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-13-13 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Agreed. This is why it's good that the so-called law was so called declared unconstitutional
(by me, anyway--a dirty job, but someone had to do it).
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-14-13 03:22 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. From now on, when someone cites Godwin's Law,
I will tell them that it was declared unconstitutional.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-14-13 05:36 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Was declared unconstitutional, should have been declared unconstitutional, was
Edited on Thu Nov-14-13 05:42 AM by No Elephants
never a law in the first place, was always arbitrary and stupid, was a boon to neo-Nazis and tyrants everywhere, etc.

So many valid criticisms, so little time.

Use whichever one(s) work(s).

All else failing, swap out "facism" for "Nazism," which easily evades the so-called law altogether, yet another reason the so-called law was stupid and meaningless from day one.
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