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In the top-voted answer in this thread: Why is communism considered as evil (like fascism and nazism) in the United States?, it is argued that communism is evil.

The argument goes that communist ideas are contradictory with natural human rights (right to property, right to the fruit of one's labor, etc). Since communism would thus lead to dissent, and since that dissent would need to be contained/subdued, it follows that communism is inherently evil.

The first statement is certainly acceptable ("communist ideas contradict natural rights"). But the remaining conclusions are not linked directly to communism. The fact that the people would dissent if their natural rights were oppressed, and the fact that this dissent would need to be subdued, are two notions unrelated to the concept of communism. Hence, if it still follows that communism is evil, it must be entirely due to the first statement. That is, anything which is contradictory to human rights is evil.

But, that statement right there is absurd:

anything which is contradictory to human rights is evil.

This statement has NO meaning. Human rights are DEFINED by using the terms good and evil. One cannot say that something is a human right without already implicitly having defined what one considers evil and what one considers good. Hence, this statement is entirely circular.

It is not just a poor argument, it's not even an argument, it amounts to saying "5 equals five, therefore communism is evil". I think "oxymoron" is the word.

Am I wrong?

Clearly not. So why then did all you people upvote this ridiculous nonsensical circular answer?

  • It's a tautology actually, not an oxymoron. Also lol at natural law why you're talking about anything besides hard sciences. – Teleka Nov 16 '17 at 16:20
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    The fallacy you're looking for is "Begging the Question". It's where you use a premise to prove itself. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Nov 16 '17 at 21:37
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    HNQ strikes again. See also politics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/3005/4666 – Brythan Nov 17 '17 at 7:21
  • Uh WUT? How can a meta question have unknown user when meta users are all just clones from main site users? (I know this can happen when migrting between main SE sites, but this is main to meta) – user4012 Nov 17 '17 at 13:34
  • @user4012 It might have something to do with the user who posted the question on the main site not having the reputation to post on meta. – Philipp Nov 17 '17 at 14:00
  • @Philipp - there's a rep limit for Meta? YLYL. – user4012 Nov 17 '17 at 14:07
  • @user4012 Yes, it is awarded at 5 reputation: politics.stackexchange.com/help/privileges/participate-in-meta – Philipp Nov 17 '17 at 14:08
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    To be fair nearly 1/6 votes in that question and top answers are downvotes. – user9389 Nov 17 '17 at 21:16
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Both this question and its answers are terrible, but they got massively upvoted only because of Hot Network Questions.

It's really crazy how a high-quality question or answer here will reach barely 100 upvotes, but a low-quality question that reaches HNQ will get 150 upvotes, even though there is less than 100 regulars here.

I myself fell victim, I asked a question that, when looking back, I find awful on another stack exchange website. For some random reason it went to HNQ and I got massively upvoted, despite my question being poor. I got a ridiculously high amount of poor answers and more than 400 reputation, despite it being the only question I asked there. (I don't link to that quesiton because I feel only embarassement for that).

  • +1, but for completeness, the problem isn't with this specific question and answers. There's a *(&(^ of awful questions and far more awful answers on Politics.SE that are highly upvoted only due to HNQ. – user4012 Nov 17 '17 at 13:36
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    The hot network questions are a double-edges sword. On the one hand, they are a crucial tool to attract new users to the website. But on the other hand, these users often don't understand the purpose of this website very well, resulting to unconstructive voting on the question and its answers. One thing I try to fight the problem is to protect a question as soon as I see it in the HNQ tab so we do at least limit the number of answers from users who don't know yet that this website is not an opinion popularity contest. – Philipp Nov 17 '17 at 14:06
  • @Philipp Do the Hot network questions attract people from outside the SE network? The community standards on politics.SE aren't that different from most other SE's I've been to. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Nov 18 '17 at 18:03

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