Further reading – Godwin’s Law

Having recently discussed the strategy of comparing one’s antagonist’s actions to those of the Nazis, I was amused to notice Dr Crippen referring to a similar technique:

Over the years, I have seen far too many women who have been raped. There will be others, patients of mine, who have not sought help from me and possibly, indeed, not sought help from anyone. I have also seen some women who have had bad obstetric experiences. Sometimes not anyone’s fault. Sometimes, sadly, there have been problems with unsympathetic doctors or midwives. I have seen patients who, as a result of their bad experiences, have developed post-natal depression. I have never had a patient compare their experience to rape. A bad obstetric experience is not rape, nor is it anything like it.

In this case women are comparing their poor birthing experiences to being raped. Admittedly giving birth can be traumatic if things go wrong. Medical staff often don’t have time to explain everything going on when they try to act in a crisis. I would suggest that nothing which occurs as part of the process of childbirth could ever be described using the term rape.

One of the commenters on the post described the practice via Godwin’s Law. The law states:

As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.

Clicking on the right link yields the correct name for the practice previously described:

Reductio ad Hitlerum is a modern fallacy in logic. Engaging in this fallacy is sometimes known as playing the Nazi card.

(via wikipedia)

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