HISTORY NEWS NETWORK
Following is a letter from Paul Grubach. I asked him to go ahead.
History News Network is a Web site sponsored by George Mason University, created "By professors, for professors."
I was just looking over your Dec. 2005 newsletter and saw your very interesting debate with the History News Network.
[See: http://hnn.us/articles/18197.html , then go to "comments"]
Those guys you are debating are putting forth a bunch of fallacies. Some examples.
1. Cravatts says: "Some truths are absolute and do not require a fair and balanced measurement against some contradictory body of thought. An entire intellectual 'industry' of Holocaust denial research has many fervent followers...but few sentient school boards would find it palatable or reasonable to have students exposed to the 'theory' that the Holocaust never occurred along with history lessons expressing the verifiable and incontrovertible fact that it did."
Cravatts contradicts himself. On the one hand, he criticizes Intelligent Design as "non- science," and unscientific, and then he goes on to make a very fallacious, unscientific defense of the Holocaust ideology.
First of all, there are no absolute truths in science. All scientific claims must be open to rebuttal, reinvestigation, and reevaluation. What separates a scientific theory from a nonscientific theory is that a scientific theory must be open to empirical falsification at all times.
By claiming that the Holocaust ideology is an "absolute truth" and "does not require a fair and balanced measurement against some contradictory body of thought," he is claiming the Holocaust ideology must be accepted a priori--period!!! Therefore, it can never be open to empirical falsification and it is not a scientific theory. By forcing people to accept it a priori, they make the Holocaust ideology unfalsifiable and self-perpetuting. Exactly what the Holocaust ideologists want.
2. John Beatty wrote: "Why is it a criminal offense? Simple: 'Never Again!' By denying the truth of industrialized genocide it becomes possible again. Personally I don't care if you deny the Earth beneath your feet. But doing that will not enable systematic murder again."
He is saying that if you deny the Holocaust ideology, you make is possible that the Holocaust will happen again. So therefore, "holocaust denial" should be banned.
To show the fallacy in this argument. Suppose group of left-wing historians came forward and said that "Stalin's genocidal crimes are vastly exaggerated and we can prove it."
The historical community would not say: "Oh, you cannot deny or minimize Stalin's crimes, because then they will happen again. So we will not listen to your evidence. You must accept Stalin's crimes as fact and that is it. And all questioning or reevaluation of Stalin's crimes will be banned."
No, the historical community would quietly listen to the arguments and evidence of those who claim that Stalin's crimes of genocide are vastly exaggerated. It is only in the case of the Holocaust ideology do intellectuals come forth with pseudo-intellectual defenses like Beatty's to protect the ideology.
Would you like me to write a short article showing the fallacies in your opponent's arguments, and then you could put this in your next newsletter?