Sunday, February 26, 2006

White Roses or Reductio ad absurdum (2)

Why are oppressed people so proud of resistance fighters? Why are conscience-stricken minds so glad to hear from nobleness and decency?

The slaves of the world, remembering Spartacus, the proud Britons adoring Boudicca, the Germans proud of Sophie Scholl?

Because these persons are living examples, that people are not all the same, that slaves are not all submissive, that Britons did not all servilely comply to the Romans and that Germans weren’t all monsters.

They are living proofs by contradiction - reductio ad absurdum. And when times changed, the slaves were freed, the Romans were expelled and the Nazis had got what they deserved, no one could claim that all slaves were submissive, because Spartacus fought and no one could claim, that all Britons are willing poodles of the Romans, because Boudicca resisted and no one could claim, that “all Germans blindly went along with Hitler”, because Sophie Scholl of The White Rose “been mistreated so much in her "questioning" by the Gestapo that she arrived in court with a broken leg” displayed “great courage, she stood up to the President of the Court, Roland Freisler (known for his perversion of justice), saying: "You know as well as we do that the war is lost. Why are you so cowardly that you won't admit it?"”

As Steve C. Day let his protagonist say in his story “I Can Still Remember Freedom”:“And one more thing, old man: You were wrong in what you said . . . Your life did matter. You made a difference. In fact, as things worked out, you made all the difference in the world.”

A single soul can make a difference – because (s)he can be the one thing leading a claim A to an absurd result B as in:

A — You should respect C's belief, for all beliefs are of equal validity and cannot be denied.

B —
1. I deny that belief of yours and believe it to be invalid.
2. According to your statement, this belief of mine (1) is valid, like all other beliefs.
3. However, your statement also contradicts and invalidates mine, being the exact opposite of it.
4. The conclusions of 2 and 3 are incompatible and contradictory, so your statement is logically absurd.


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