An Arrogant Argument Essay

1490 words - 6 pages

One of the most destructive and arrogant persons in history was Adolf Hitler. The destruction that he and his regime brought on humanity has seldom seen its equal. In reality the Holocaust was a terrible horror, but in Hitler’s mind it was merely a brushstroke in the masterpiece that he believed he was creating. Hitler believed that the Aryan race was superior to all others and that it was only natural, and not cruel, that the higher would show no humanity toward the lower (296). This prejudiced belief predominated Hitler’s thinking. In his essay, On Nation and Race, his assumption that Aryans are superior to all others creates a type of logical fallacy called “Begging the Question” (Rottenberg 291).
Hitler not only assumes that Aryans are superior to all other races but that the German people believe this as well. He assumes that that the question of race superiority has already been answered. According to Annette T. Rottenberg’s The Structure of Argument, “if [a] writer makes a statement that assumes that the very question being argued has already been proved, [that] writer is guilty of begging the question” (291). Hitler proudly states, “All the human culture, all the results of art, science, and technology that we see before us today, are almost exclusively the creative product of the Aryan” (300). This statement, which he presents as if it is fact, is most certainly not true. He uses this fallacy to promote his agenda. He wants to take out the competition, most specifically the Jews, so that the Aryan race can dominate Germany and eventually the world. Hitler makes another statement which begs the question: “Nature subject[s] the weaker part to such severe living conditions that by them alone the number is limited” (297). Again he’s making a statement as if it has been proven. I think Hitler believes that he is beyond reproach and that there is no need for him to support his arguments. One might argue that nature is not the one that subjects the so-called weaker persons to punishment, but that other forces are at work; such as racist power wielding maniacs.
While begging the question is the fallacy that epitomizes Hitler’s thought process, there are other types of fallacies at work. One might argue that Hitler’s thinking is predominated by another type of logical fallacy, for example, “Non Sequitur” (293). This is plausible. Rottenberg's text states, “[N]on sequitur, which means ‘it does not follow,’ is [a] fallacy of irrelevance” (293). If a writer makes an argument and provides examples that are irrelevant to the question at hand and presents those examples as though they prove the point that the writer is attempting to make, he has done himself a disservice, and the proposed conclusion does not follow the evidence provided. Hitler is certainly guilty of using this kind of fallacy. In fact, Hitler makes the argument that animals are at odds with other animals outside of their own species and do not mate naturally...

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