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Holocaust Denial

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Holocaust Denial
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obsidianavengerPosts: 840Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:44 am Gender: Pinecone

Post Holocaust Denial

this is an area of fringe lunacy that i think is already adequately dealt with by people in general- they are prefectly capable of applying standards of evidence in the context of history.

the part that is mindblowing to me is this guy i know who thinks that the right of free speech does not extend to holocaust deniers. i am at a loss to what to say to him. i've already tried "the whole point of free speech is to protect unpopular views" and "if they are allowed to express the idea publicly they can be rebutted publicly" but... he insists that i am being "overly idealistic" in defending peoples right to say whatever they want regardless of how wrong they may be.

anyone have any ideas for how i could get him to see my point?
Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:19 pm
5810SingerPosts: 982Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:51 pm

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

obsidianavenger wrote:this is an area of fringe lunacy that i think is already adequately dealt with by people in general- they are prefectly capable of applying standards of evidence in the context of history.

the part that is mindblowing to me is this guy i know who thinks that the right of free speech does not extend to holocaust deniers. i am at a loss to what to say to him. i've already tried "the whole point of free speech is to protect unpopular views" and "if they are allowed to express the idea publicly they can be rebutted publicly" but... he insists that i am being "overly idealistic" in defending peoples right to say whatever they want regardless of how wrong they may be.

anyone have any ideas for how i could get him to see my point?


How would you feel about it if it wasn't people denying the holocaust ever happened, and instead it was people denying that the slave trade ever happened?
And no matter what evidence you show them they just say: "That's just anti-white propaganda, slavery never happened."

Also, do you think that creationism should be taught in schools?
If not, why not?
Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:28 pm
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

Get your friend to read John Stuart Mill on free-speach that is still the best defense of the principle I have ever seen.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:46 pm
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ImprobableJoeLime TordUser avatarPosts: 6195Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:24 pm

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

5810Singer wrote:
How would you feel about it if it wasn't people denying the holocaust ever happened, and instead it was people denying that the slave trade ever happened?
And no matter what evidence you show them they just say: "That's just anti-white propaganda, slavery never happened."

Also, do you think that creationism should be taught in schools?
If not, why not?

I think you're mixing up two different issues here. There's the issue of free speech, and then there's the issue of providing a platform for that speech. If someone wants to deny the Holocaust or be a Creationist, that's their right as far as I'm concerned. If they want to force other people to listen to them or require the government give them a forum for those views, that's out of bounds in my book.
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Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:55 pm
5810SingerPosts: 982Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:51 pm

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

ImprobableJoe wrote:
5810Singer wrote:
How would you feel about it if it wasn't people denying the holocaust ever happened, and instead it was people denying that the slave trade ever happened?
And no matter what evidence you show them they just say: "That's just anti-white propaganda, slavery never happened."

Also, do you think that creationism should be taught in schools?
If not, why not?

I think you're mixing up two different issues here. There's the issue of free speech, and then there's the issue of providing a platform for that speech. If someone wants to deny the Holocaust or be a Creationist, that's their right as far as I'm concerned. If they want to force other people to listen to them or require the government give them a forum for those views, that's out of bounds in my book.


I guess so.

It was an emotional reaction on my part.

It's just that I see some lies as so big, and the wrongs they cover up are so evil, that freedom of speech can go hang.

I'm not rational when it comes to the Nazis, I freely admit it.

@Obsidian: Forget I posted. ;)
Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:18 pm
GiliellUser avatarPosts: 1218Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:29 am Gender: Female

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

I go with the principle of those who survived the Holocaust(mind, not all of my family did, or maybe it was just strange case of mass-suicide to discredit a perfectly reasonable political opinion):
Fascism is not an opinion, it's a crime.)
As such it is not protected by free speech.
Go to heaven, we don't want you in hell with us!
Most people don't object to discrimination and oppression as such, they only object to being at the receiving end
Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:36 pm
5810SingerPosts: 982Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:51 pm

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

Giliell wrote: Fascism is not an opinion, it's a crime.)
As such it is not protected by free speech.


Ok,...now I'm torn again, because I agree with Gilliel 100%.
Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:02 pm
obsidianavengerPosts: 840Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:44 am Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

facism is a form of government, not an opinion.

think about it. its not illegal to shout 1 + 1= 5 from the rooftops, its just absurd.

its not illegal to shout jesus died for your sins.

its not illegal to shout scientology propeganda which is clearly made up.

as far as i know, its not illegal to hold racist opinions or say racist things....

how can you say the very *act* of denying the holocaust is wrong except on emotional grounds? while it might make some people feel very bad, its obviously not true, and one can't really enforce belief. unless its a crime to hurt someone's feelings i can see no justification for it...
Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:17 pm
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

I couldn't find a good summary of Mill's work so I've taken it upon myself to write one. You're welcome :lol:

When we express an opinion there are two basic possibilities, either that opinion is true or it is false. If it is true, by suppressing that opinion we deny the opportunity for others to rid themselves of falsehoods. Assuming possessing truth is better than accepting falsehoods we should not prevent people from expressing true opinions.

If an opinion is false then by suppressing that speech we lose the opportunity to provide a public refutation. If we are so confident that we are right and the other person is wrong, then the truth will be shown to be more logical or supported by more evidence. Publicly demonstrating that the truth is superior gives us more confidence about the view that has been criticised and means the correct opinion does not stay hidden as some dead dogma.

A subset of false claims are falsehoods that contain an element of truth. If we silence a person for advocating a false opinion we will also prevent that truth from being known. One example from Holocaust denial would be David Irving, who has discovered interesting truths about the Nazi regime. Even though I find his views distasteful I wouldn't wish to silence him on the subject of Nazis and the Holocaust because I think it is important for the truth to be known.

In order to silence someone (who is not causing harm) you have to be convinced that their opinion is completely false and does not contain any element of truth. In other words you have to be infallible. This is an impossible criterion to reach so we should not be in the business of censoring speech no matter how distasteful it might be.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:13 pm
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GiliellUser avatarPosts: 1218Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:29 am Gender: Female

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

obsidianavenger wrote:how can you say the very *act* of denying the holocaust is wrong except on emotional grounds? while it might make some people feel very bad, its obviously not true, and one can't really enforce belief. unless its a crime to hurt someone's feelings i can see no justification for it...


I can say that denying the holocaust is dangerous because it makes fascism seem good and therefore makes way for a new fascism which could claim millions of lives again. And since that danger is real to outlaw holocaust denial (which is ilegal in Germany for those very reasons) is fully justified IMO.
Go to heaven, we don't want you in hell with us!
Most people don't object to discrimination and oppression as such, they only object to being at the receiving end
Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:06 pm
RichardMNixonUser avatarPosts: 1047Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:45 pmLocation: USA Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

What was the nature of the Holocaust denial? If it's just a conspiracy-theorist "Well how come they never found the bodies?" idiot, I think free speech should give him the right to ask and sensible people the right to publicly refute him. The problem is that by my understanding, a lot of Holocaust denial doesn't only deny that it happened, but incriminate Jews in some kind of conspiracy to use the Holocaust to conquer the world, and inspire violence against Jews. That is not free speech.
"When I come to my own beliefs, I find myself quite unable to discern any purpose in the universe, and still more unable to wish to discern one." ~ Bertrand Russell
"If we do not succeed, we run the risk of failure." ~ Dan Quayle
Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:19 am
obsidianavengerPosts: 840Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:44 am Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

Giliell wrote:
obsidianavenger wrote:how can you say the very *act* of denying the holocaust is wrong except on emotional grounds? while it might make some people feel very bad, its obviously not true, and one can't really enforce belief. unless its a crime to hurt someone's feelings i can see no justification for it...


I can say that denying the holocaust is dangerous because it makes fascism seem good and therefore makes way for a new fascism which could claim millions of lives again. And since that danger is real to outlaw holocaust denial (which is ilegal in Germany for those very reasons) is fully justified IMO.


outlaw neo-fascism then. outlaw violent *actions*. while words can lead to dangerous situations, they are not, of themselves, harmful in any way. yes, it is a noble goal to fight fascism in all its forms, but banning the *ideas* (or the spreading thereof) is itself rather authoritarian, making the law kind of hypocritical on top of being ineffective (imo) at fighting fascism.
Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:44 am
RichardMNixonUser avatarPosts: 1047Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:45 pmLocation: USA Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

obsidianavenger wrote:outlaw neo-fascism then. outlaw violent *actions*. while words can lead to dangerous situations, they are not, of themselves, harmful in any way. yes, it is a noble goal to fight fascism in all its forms, but banning the *ideas* (or the spreading thereof) is itself rather authoritarian, making the law kind of hypocritical on top of being ineffective (imo) at fighting fascism.

"Hey you guys! The Jews are out to get us! Go kill them!"

Those are just words, that doesn't make them nonharmful or acceptable.
"When I come to my own beliefs, I find myself quite unable to discern any purpose in the universe, and still more unable to wish to discern one." ~ Bertrand Russell
"If we do not succeed, we run the risk of failure." ~ Dan Quayle
Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:38 am
UnwardilUser avatarPosts: 814Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:32 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

RichardMNixon wrote:"Hey you guys! The Jews are out to get us! Go kill them!"

Those are just words, that doesn't make them nonharmful or acceptable.


See, that would fall under incitement to cause bodilly harm, or something like that. I'm pretty sure even the most liberal free speach advocates are still agains't incitement to violence. Simple hatred, bigotry or intollerance isn't quite the same. Obviously it leads to that, but you can't have a free society that punishes thought crime. That would be the absolute height of facism.

I think it's great that stupid people be allowed to voice thier oppinions in public. It means that intelligent people can more easilly identify them for what they are.
Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:11 am
obsidianavengerPosts: 840Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:44 am Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

RichardMNixon wrote:
obsidianavenger wrote:outlaw neo-fascism then. outlaw violent *actions*. while words can lead to dangerous situations, they are not, of themselves, harmful in any way. yes, it is a noble goal to fight fascism in all its forms, but banning the *ideas* (or the spreading thereof) is itself rather authoritarian, making the law kind of hypocritical on top of being ineffective (imo) at fighting fascism.

"Hey you guys! The Jews are out to get us! Go kill them!"

Those are just words, that doesn't make them nonharmful or acceptable.


true dat.

inciting someone to riot, or otherwise suggesting they do harm to someone is a threat, and thus an exception.

hating someone isn't. even though a long diatribe against jews may lead someone to yell "kill the jews" or whatever, the diatribe itself is not punishable in the way an actual threat to harm jews is.
Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:19 pm
QuantumleaperPosts: 2Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:04 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

Giliell wrote:
obsidianavenger wrote:how can you say the very *act* of denying the holocaust is wrong except on emotional grounds? while it might make some people feel very bad, its obviously not true, and one can't really enforce belief. unless its a crime to hurt someone's feelings i can see no justification for it...


I can say that denying the holocaust is dangerous because it makes fascism seem good and therefore makes way for a new fascism which could claim millions of lives again. And since that danger is real to outlaw holocaust denial (which is ilegal in Germany for those very reasons) is fully justified IMO.


How can my personal opinion be dangerous if i can't affect the masses around me with it? Following the logical path when someone is expressing that the holocaust isn't real, that under normal circumstances can't be a direct and open "me likes the ideology" statement. The path ends in a conclusion that one is either well informed upon the matter from all aspects and points of view and expresses his opinion upon the true or false fact about the reality of the holocaust or is either a part of the indoctrinated mass which is naively consuming other information form certain people how wish that the masses do not invoke further questions about the matter, without further investigation on their own behalf.

So to answer my own question form the beginning, An opinion is harmless until it is backed by power over the masses.

You, me, them ...we all have the possibility (not the right) to say anything that we ALONE think is right.
Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:52 pm
GiliellUser avatarPosts: 1218Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:29 am Gender: Female

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

Well, that's propbably why it's only a fellony if you do so publicly. You can believe any shit you like.
But if cutting the right on free speech for a few means to save the lives of many and prevent a second holocaust, I think that's worth it.
Think about it.
The Holocaust is the one secular justification for the State of Israel. Which is why nut jobs like Ahmadinejad deny it.
The problem with denialism is that it costs lifes
The most dangerous is certainly AIDS denialism. You only need one person to believe it to have casualties (look at Concordance's videos on the effect in SA)
Holocaust denialism is the next dangerous, because it would most of the times need a group to have an action
Evolution denialism, albeit the weirdest one, is the least dangerous since you'd have to get more or less all of the world to join. Even if it was outlawed tomorrow in the states, its application would still go on in the rest of the world
Go to heaven, we don't want you in hell with us!
Most people don't object to discrimination and oppression as such, they only object to being at the receiving end
Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:55 am
stratosPosts: 141Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:55 am

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

I would like to point out that the freedom of speech is not the same thing as the freedom of thought.
The two often coincide and when it comes to arguments for/against freedom of speech one should be careful to exclude the freedom of thought part of it.

People are free to think the holocaust was a hoax, if people can not have this freedom then you basically have a thought police and that's as absurd as it sounds.
The issue with freedom of speech is if some of the more absurd opinions are to be allowed to be expressed.

Even if we abolish freedom of speech and any public expression of opinion would have to be verified and approved by the bureau of public opinion safety, even then people will do stupid things because they believe or don't believe certain facts. The restriction of freedom of speech does not "solve" people from holding wrong beliefs.

Currently I live in a country where mein campf is banned from being reproduced. (a very round about way to basically censor the book) It is also illegal to deny, diminish or rationalise the holocaust under the discrimination laws.
While both these measures got created shortly after the war, the more liberal parties here have tried to address, weakening or removing those measures a few years back, but this received a lot of negative feedback and as such did not happen.

While I myself am undecided about where the line should be drawn on the matter of free speech it is almost universal that 'hate speech' is excluded from free speech in the laws of most countries. But by reasoning purely from a logical stance it is counter productive to basically treat the symptoms of the "problem". When looked however from a more pragmatic stance it is a needed evil, because the masses are very bad at detecting bullshit, but on the other hand, by actively suppressing something, you are creating an underdog, and everyone loves the underdog.

With the recent rise of more conservative parties that take a hard stance against foreigners, the british national party, and the party of geert wilders in the netherlands for example, we are seeing a dangerous return of these themes. Both play the underdog card, "saying what the people are thinking", "daring to address issues nobody dares speak about".

Both these parties make statements that fringe on forbidden territory, because of this they not only get the vote of the extreme fringes in society but also the more moderate opinions in that direction. If only because any party that would express even more extreme views would be banned. (which has happened in the past), if those parties would be allowed to exist then the BNP and PVV would be much smaller in size. Either because the people with more extreme views would vote something more extreme, or because the parties themselves would voice more extreme views, losing the more moderate size.

By being able to place themselves on the political edge of the spectrum they get the all the voters from the "forbidden" extension of that spectrum.
Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:38 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2956Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

Greetings,

I think that both Aught3 (aka JS Mill - :) ) and stratos are correct.

Free speech is fine - until it crosses the line into "inciting a breach of the peace".

With openness, one can deal with falsehoods - if they go underground, they can fester and burst out unexpectedly, catching all unprepared.

Even so, there will always be those (the "fringe") who will "Deny!, Deny!, Deny!" the truth and evidence supporting the facts as "conspiracies".

Nevertheless, one would trust - if not hope - that the majority of people could be prevented from falling for the falsehoods.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, both sides of my family are military - two of my uncles were among the first British soldiers to enter concentration camps towards the end of the war: their stories of what they saw certainly were above and beyond what would be expected of "normal" experiences of war.

Kindest regards,

James
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Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:46 pm
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: Holocaust Denial

Aught3 (aka JS Mill - )

I like it :lol:
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:32 pm
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