AR-FAQ - #09

#09 Weren't Hitler and Goebbels in favor of animal rights?

This argument is absurd and almost unworthy of serious consideration. The questioner implies that since Hitler and Goebbels allegedly held views supportive of animal rights (e.g., Hitler was a vegetarian for some time), the animal rights viewpoint must be wrong or dubious. The problem for this argument is simple: bad people and good people can both believe things correctly. Or put in another way, just because a person holds one bad belief (e.g., Nazism), that doesn't make all his beliefs wrong. A few examples suffice to illustrate this. The Nazis undertook smoking reduction campaigns. Is it therefore dubious to discourage smoking? Early Americans withheld respect and liberty for black people. Does that mean that they were wrong in giving respect and liberty to others? Technically, this argument is an "ignoratio elenchus fallacy", arguing from irrelevance. Finally, many scholars are doubtful that Hitler and Goebbels supported AR in any meaningful way. DG