The Social Justice Defense of Violence

Dan Arel is a social justice atheist activist.  He is also a Christophobe, actually believing that “Christian terrorism is a bigger threat to U.S. freedom than Islamic terrorism.
He is also one of the atheists who has been working hard to rationalize and justify the use of violence to help achieve his version of a utopia – Should we be okay with punching Nazis?

Thus, it’s not surprising that it looks like Arel is doing something of a victory dance after another social justice activist tried to gun down dozens of Republicans.

So let’s have a look at Arel’s atheistic attempt to justify punching nazis.

He begins his essay as follows:

Ever since the punching of Nazi Richard Spencer outside of the Trump inauguration on January 20, a debate has erupted about if we should punch Nazis.

There are a few layers to this argument and I want to address some now.

And these are real Nazis. Not someone people simply dislike, but actual genocidal, Nazi-saluting, Nazis. So don’t read this picturing some jerk in a Trump hat, but instead someone who is working to organize a movement that if successful, would eradicate entire populations.

Sorry, but the social justice movement does NOT have a good track record of carefully distinguishing between a “real Nazi” and “some jerk in a Trump hat.”  On the contrary, they have a history of blurring such distinctions.  Remember, we are talking about a movement that has targeted a social justice scientist, Bret Weinstein,  as a “racist.”  We are talking about a movement that labeled George Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney as nazis.  In fact, Arel himself has accused people like Jerry Coyne of being aligned with “white nationalism.”  Thus, those of us who value critical thinking are not fooled by Arel’s weak attempt to make it look like he is making a sincere distinction.  Even if he were, we cannot count on his social justice readers and fans to make that distinction for the simple reason that they rarely do.

Arel then proceeds to defend the “Punch a Nazi” position by criticizing three objections:

  1. If accepted by most people, the “punch a nazi” position puts us on a slippery slope to societal chaos and bloodshed.
  2. Those who punch nazis abandon the moral highground.
  3. Those who advocate punching nazis find themselves in a position of opposing free speech.

Arel fails to rebut any of these objections, but I’m going to focus on the first one since his failure on this one eliminates the need to give his defense of violence any intellectual respect.

Given his atheism, Arel’s moral sense is guided by the principle of ends justify the means.  And given his social justice advocacy, Arel’s thinking is clearly guided by his Id.  The Id loves the “ends justify the means” argument because it gives the Id an excuse to act out its primitive instincts.

So Arel’s basic argument is that the nazis are such an existential threat (the Id’s fear) that by punching them now (the Id’s aggression) we can prevent the occurrence of genocide.  In other words, commit interpersonal acts of violence in the name of the Greater Good.

Of course, this logic can be used to justify just about any politically motivated violence.  All you have to do is package the Fear and Rage under some imagined “Greater Good.”  So it’s rather obvious to rational people that Arel’s logic simply cannot be restrained to targeting Nazis and does indeed put us on a slippery slope to a bloody culture.

Let’s watch how Arel tries to sidestep this fatal flaw:

Can a religious person punch an atheist?


Should a religious person punch an atheist?


Can a person punch a Nazi?


Should a person punch a Nazi?


So how can I hold what sounds like such a hypocritical position?

It’s really simple actually. Ideas don’t exist on a plain.

Atheism and Nazism are not equally founded ideas and one advocates for harm and one does not.

Atheism is the nonbelief in gods. The end. It doesn’t color your views on race, sexual orientation, etc.

Nazism is an ideology based on white supremacy and the eradication, through genocide, of nonwhites (and many others).

A Christian, for example, can believe an atheist is evil for not believing in their god and punch them. Their action, however, is unfounded. They punched an atheist based on an appeal to their emotions.

We know Nazism is evil. We know their goals, we know where their ideology leads. If you punch a Nazi, especially if you’re one of those marginalized and threatened by their ideology, you’re acting in self-defense. Even if you’re a white person punching a Nazi, you’re acting in the defense of others.

So the slippery slope analogy fails immediately here.

The analogy fails in this instance because Arel chose a bad one.  We’ll overlook his ignorance in thinking that Christians would want to punch atheists because they think it is evil to not believe in God and simply focus on the fact that Christians are not out there physically assaulting atheists for being atheists.  There is no argument among us Christians about whether we should be physically attacking New Atheists.

So let’s look at better analogies, shall we?  Arel’s “punch a nazi” logic is the same logic used by the few people who have bombed abortion clinics or murdered abortionists.  For the abortion clinic bomber, they think they are fighting against the genocide of the unborn.  They view themselves as defending the unborn.  So in their minds, such extreme violence is justified in the name of the Greater Good.   So how is “punch a nazi” all that different from “punch an abortionist?”

But why stop there?  Why not “punch a Marxist?”  After all, Marxism has a long, bloody, murderous history  that includes genocide.  Why not punch Marxists to prevent them from bringing such bloodshed and gulags to our country?  Why not punch a Marxist if it will help us from following in the footsteps of Venezuela?   If it’s okay to punch Nazis in the name of the Greater Good, it’s okay to punch Marxists in the name of the Greater Good.

There is yet another route for the slippery slope to travel.  Why stop with punching a nazi when the same logic works for killing a nazi?  If we are to punch nazis to keep from from acquiring power, killing nazis would seem to be even more effective.

There is simply no way to keep the logic of “punch a nazi” from spreading out to other tribes and involving violence that goes beyond punching.  That is why rational and moral people deny their Id and refuse to walk down that bloody road.

Of course, there are many other problems with the “punch a nazi”  meme, but this one is serious enough to completely discredit it.  And the people who defend and advocate for it.

This entry was posted in Social Justice, social justice atheism and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Social Justice Defense of Violence

  1. Thought: what is the difference between secular fundamentalists (those who won’t listen to any counter evidence) and many Alex Jones/Trump Supporters? Both make widely inaccurate and baseless claims, yet the base won’t listen. Indoctrination indeed….

  2. mechanar says:

    this is one of the most dangerous Ideas ever on pair with nazism! because with this view your are not acting on that what someone IS actually doing now, but what you THINK they are going to do!That plus the fact that the person in question is only thinking the worst of the other, his actions are as equally bad than what he imagines in his mind his enemies would do even thought they mayd be not at all what he thinks they are.

  3. Ilíon says:

    He is also a Christophobe, actually believing that “Christian terrorism is a bigger threat to U.S. freedom than Islamic terrorism.”

    Oh! Give the poor guy a break! Look at it from his point of view — the Moslems only intend to kill him (plus, if it comes to it, they may spare him if he promises to stick his ass in the air five times a day while chanting “W’allah W’allah bing bang”), but the Christians want to convert him.

  4. Regual Llegna says:

    “GOP weakens restrictions on gun ownership.
    GOP relentlessly attacks the working class.
    Then has balls to ask how today’s shooting happened”

    This guy believe that criminals follow self imposed norms and laws. No gun, then knife or anything that could be usted as a weapon. He believes that the wealthfare people are in that because they are working. And that victim cannot ask ‘why something bad happen against them’.

  5. stcordova says:

    “Then has balls to ask how today’s shooting happened” — Dan Arel

    The shooting was committed by a pro gun-control volunteer of the Bernie Sanders camp. Regressive left-wing hypocrisy on full display.

  6. Talon says:

    Arel is a nutjob. If one thinks Neo-Nazis are homicidally dangerous, enough so that they would be willing to eradicate “millions” of your people, why in the hell would you go out and assault them and risk your target responding with violence? Or a good lawyer even? If an antifa meathead picks on the wrong “Nazi” and gets curb-stomped or hurts an innocent bystander, how much sympathy or support does he think they’ll get when it becomes apparent s/he provoked it? Given the recent horrific violence from the radical left and alt-right, how long until the general public has had a bellyful of both?! May cooler heads prevail, because no one will benefit from a race war.

  7. The Deuce says:

    Even at the highest levels of government, the Left is now justifying violence against dissenters. Here’s Nancy Pelosi yesterday:

    She doesn’t explicitly say that what the shooter did was okay, but by blaming her co-ideologues’ actions on the words of their victims, she is effectively doing so. Her message is effectively, “You Republicans need to shut up and stop doing things we don’t like, or our virtuous, peace-loving supporters will be forced to commit more terrorism against you.”

    I believe the Social Justice Warriors have brought us past a point of no return in American politics.

  8. TFBW says:

    So … far left atheist activists like Dan Arel say it’s OK to punch far right atheist activists like Richard Spencer. Things have changed.

  9. Ilíon says:

    How is Spencer “far right” in any objective sense? National Socialism was leftist; that International Socialists and other leftists try to make Naziism rightist doesn’t make it so. Similarly, that some leftists are calling themselves “alt right” doesn’t make them rightists … nor, in the end, enemies of the other leftists. Remember, all that fuss in Germany in the ’20s and ’30s between the Nazis and the Communists was just two different groups of leftists fighting for market-share.

  10. TFBW says:

    Well, apparently the whole difference between “far left” and “far right” (in the minds of these players, at least) is globalism vs nationalism, and the underdog vs the Übermensch. The totalitarianism part they seem to have in common (which is why Antifa looks so similar to the thing it ostensibly opposes), along with a general lack of belief that human rights can originate in God (if they exist at all). Technically, though, I’ll argue that “far right” can’t have a strictly “objective” sense, because it’s a social construct.

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