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19.2.2021 - Social Systems Security 6:

Nazi "Logic":

(By Eike Scholz)

This is a common type of fallacy, that really should be avoided. It was prominently used in Nazi ideology, but it is much more common. Despite of Godwin's law the name is chosen to make it easy for ideologues of all sorts to drop the bullshit this kind of "logic" is.

Nazi "logic" is a deontic logic fallacy, that consists of three steps:
1.) Reasonable Judgment:
All \(x \in X\) should \(Y\).
2.) Ideological Narrowing:
All \(x' \in X'\) under consideration are in \(X\).
3.) Fallacy of Attribution:
All \(x' \in X'\) should \(Y\) .
The formal problem is, that usually \[ \{\ x' \in X'\ |\ x' \text{ is not under consideration }\ \} \setminus X \ne \emptyset \text{ .}\] In words: Usually there are \(x'\) in \(X'\), that are not under consideration, not in \(X\) and for which it is not true that they should \(Y\). (Update: Fixed text in the formula! 😅 )

Observable Examples Cases:
  • Nazis and the Jews.
  • Racists and other races.
  • Feminists and the "masculine".
  • Communists and the bourgeoisie.
  • This post. Making it a sound argument is left to the reader as an exercise.

  • Why is this post in this list? Well, consider the entailed argument:
    1. All ideologues committing this fallacy should stop this kind of bullshit.
    2. Of all ideologues, the feminists under consideration condemn the masculine and judge, that masculine humans should atone for their wrongdoing and/or wrongbeing.
    3. All feminists should stop this bullshit.
    The fallacy of attribution in this case is unsound only for the reason, that in order to stop something, you need to have to be doing it. It is a kind of "When will you stop beating your wife?" situation, when the questioned actually may not beat his wife ever.

    This particular example shows, that the line between Nazi "logic" and sound argumentation is sometimes just the line between careful and not careful wording and/or listening. That, given the way the Nazis rose to power, should not surprise anyone. The German voters did not listen carefully. They apparently thought, that the condemnation of the Jews by the Nazis is just lazy wording - lazy wording similar to the way feminists are put into the list above.

    Thus be careful with ideological narrowing. Due to natural variation, there are too many fellow human beings in any large population, who actually like domination and causing related harm and pain. For them any kind of ideology is just a welcome excuse to indulge in their dark desires - without fear of losing their face or severer consequences. That is what one primarily observes, if looking at historical atrocities justified by ideologies. The ideologies served their purpose well in that case, just not for those who created or followed them to crate a, in their view, better world.

    A certain type of follower can be worse for an ideology than any external adversary could be. Every ideology based group, that was unable to control this kind of follower, failed in the medium to long run. Often after inflicting immeasurable suffering and pain for the pleasure of those who like to indulge in that.

    In an age of technological proficiency, that is easily sufficient to produce weapons of mass destruction, it will be a question of global survival to learn to handle potent ideologies with adequate respect and maturity, since those who suffer for the pleasure of others may have nothing left to lose.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as the saying goes.

    All posts of this month.