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Godwin’s Law for Online Debate

Today I learned from Dr. Stackhouse in Dr. Susan Wise Bauer‘s lecture on Fighting Words:

Godwin’s Law – “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God… If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” (James 1:19-20, 26)

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4 Responses

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  1. Rob Haskell says

    You were there too? I didn’t see you. Really good stuff.

    • Anson says

      I was sitting in the overflow room.
      Yeah, really good stuff. Perhaps one of the best, I say.

      See you in tonight’s lecture.

  2. Edmund says

    Wow, good that Regent is teaching its students how to argue!! Probably should include topics like this in every baptismal class or discipleship class, don’t you think?

    • Anson says

      Yeah, it’s a topic that is much needed to be discussed.

      In the second lecture, she used three cases studies from within the evangelical circle to illustrate the “slippery slope mentality” that so often degenerates into uncivil personal attacks:
      1. Peter Enns being kicked out of WTS for his controversial book “Inspiration and Incarnation”
      2. Bruce Waltke being forced to resign from RTS due to his Biologos comment on evoution
      3. Herself being blasted by others after she simply said she liked Dr. John Stackhouse’s “Finally Feminist” book on her blog.

      It’s a really great lecture. Very interesting too. Especially if you wonder how the internet as a medium affects our thinking and behavior. Download it later when it comes out on MP3 on