Friday, May 16, 2008

Holocaust Denial and Evolution Denial

I stumbled across a blog debunking evolution denial and look what I found:

"A classic denial strategy is to take a quote from a historian and pretend that the historian is saying what the denier wants him to say. It's a subtle form of lying that we define as quote-mining."

Sounds familiar.

Now take a look at this article:

"Those who argue that the holocaust deniers must be given a fair hearing fail to recognize that the deniers' quest is not a search for truth. Rather they are motivated by racism, extremism, and virulent anti-Semitism."

In other words, deniers demand "equal time" for their views, and their views are based on idealogy (not science). Deja Vu. The article goes on:

"Those who are committed to the liberal idea of dialogue fail to recognize that certain views are beyond the bounds of rational discourse. After all, these views do not emanate from rational or honest inquiry. Thomas Jefferson argued that in a setting committed to the honest pursuit of truth, all ideas and opinions must be tolerated. But he added a caveat, which is particularly applicable: "We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it" (emphasis added). In the case of Holocaust denial, reason becomes hostage to particularly odious ideology. "

So, why don't we give up on fighting the claims of creationists, and focus in on the idealogy? How should we go about this? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.


Clostridiophile said...

Well, I think we do focus on the ideology as well as the claims. I mean, all one has to do is look at the title "Answers in GENESIS" to know where those nitwits are coming from. I think any reasonable person knows that AIG, ID and all forms of creationism are Biblical and not scientific; even the Bible thumpers that claim they are science know the truth. Same with holocaust denial. I think you would be hard pressed to find many people who actually thought it didn't happen. Those that actually think creationism is science and that the holocaust did not occur....well, that is where the evidence comes in; but most of these people will never consider our arguments.

SirMoogie said...

We mustn't forget that technically science is an ideology, in so far as it's a collection of ideas for acquiring/establishing (provisional) knowledge (i.e. an epistemology). What we're really railing against is what is more appropriately called "dogma". Ideologies aren't authoritative, and may go through changes. Dogmatic ideologies are the opposite, and resist change or challenge.

As explained by Barbara Forrest [1], science has the benefit of being an ideology that has been fruitful and useful. IOW, it has great utility for explaining the natural world. The same cannot be said of the dogmas discussed, and whatever use they might have in other areas, such as offering comfort for death, is not parsimonious. This is to say there is no need to import all of Christianity's axioms, for example, in order to provide comfort for those that grieve.

- Mike Kandefer (a.k.a SirMoogie)

[1] -

AIGBusted said...

Thank you, Sir Moogie. I agree with you completely, in fact it may have been better if I had used the word "dogma" rather than "ideaology".

Ideaologies are no problem, the problem is when something declares that it is the truth no matter what and offers nothing to support that claim. Dogma is the problem.