Hitler vs. Plato

| Thursday, December 23, 2010
I had planned to write about how gearscore and racism are not at all similar, but Iapetes pointed out that gearscore is irrelevant these days. And I figure, racism is over too, so instead I decided to write about Hitler.

And logically, Plato.

It is from these old Greek guys like Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle that much of the Western world inherited reason, logic, and questions. Presumably the rest of the world does not yet have these things, having failed to study Greece.

If you've ever run into an obnoxious jackass who insists on asking obvious questions and claims that his goal isn't merely to be an obnoxious jackass, then you're probably familiar with the Socratic method. In theory this helps to bring out some deeper truth or challenge assumptions. In practice it tends to be an excuse to be an obnoxious jackass. Note that children are excluded from this rule since the first word they learn after "no" is "why", so they must be forgiven.

In contrast, there is Hitler. I'm sure we're all familiar with him as a man who bravely tried to unite and purify the white world and in the end was forced to commit suicide to prevent capture by Slavs.

Which of course leads to the Great Battle of Logic.

On one side we have the old Greek guys who are more or less credited with the idea of logic and who have retained the credit through their after-life armies of professors who have ruled by the logical theory of "might makes right", which is a shorter way of saying "give them credit or I will fail you and you'll end up homeless on the street". And on the other side we have Nazis.

You might be asking, "what contribution have Nazis made to logic?" Of course you'd ask that. How about I just use an example.

Imagine that you want to reduce poverty. A logical, reasonable approach might be to analyze the characteristics of people in poverty, their situations, how they spend money, how they get money, where they live, that sort of thing. The general goal is to figure out the causes of poverty. Then formulate theories on how to remove the causes, attempting to separate symptom reduction and actual solutions. Weigh costs of implementation and benefits of various plans. Finally you may even attempt to implement some of the plans, most likely those which are cheapest or offer the quickest improvement. At this point some obnoxious jackass will come along and, pretending to use the Socratic method, ask why we should care about the poor at all, thereby proving that he is an obnoxious jackass. Well damn, so much for reducing poverty; it's all over. Or is it?

Call him a Nazi! Problem: solved.

Until of course he claims that your attempt to improve society is actually much like the plans of Hitler, ergo you want to kill 11 million Jews. In practice he wouldn't say ergo because he probably thinks ergo sounds gay. But the point is, he calls you Hitler.

And here we can see that logic has ultimately lost out to Nazis, a proxy war for the true war in which Hitler always beats Plato.

Hitler may have lost WWII due to his arrogance and racism, but he always wins arguments for the exact same reasons.


Glyph, the Architect said...

In my book, playing the Nazi card is an automatic disqualification from any argument. This sadly doesn't seem to be the case for everyone else.

Treats said...

"If you've ever run into an obnoxious jackass who insists on asking obvious questions and claims that his goal isn't merely to be an obnoxious jackass..."

Hey, I know someone like that!

Klepsacovic said...

@Glyph: See, the automatic disqualification just means you underestimate the logical power of your foes.

@Treats: Sure can't be me, I never ask obvious questions, only questions that I miss because I am busy talking over you.

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