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

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-13-13 10:24 AM
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Fantastic news for posters! Godwin's law struck down as unconstitutional (and meaningless).
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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.

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!

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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