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Talk:Josef Mengele/Debate Guide

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Debate guide, not arguing article

I reiterate that I, in my own words, have never called Mengele a "war criminal". Robert Jay Lifton, then of CUNY and now a semiretired visiting professor at Harvard Medical School, a distinguished writer on The Genocidal Mentality (coincidentally the title of another book), is quoted in using it in a very specific context -- the quote makes no sense if the words are elided.

Nevertheless, if we follow Russell's suggestion of making this a debate guide, comments about specific articles are irrelevant.

If I write a "maybe", I'd further contextualize his quote. My "maybe" position, really more appropriate to war crime than Mengele alone, is that the unqualified term was used in 1945-1950 historiography and precedent-setting tribunals. It is not used in contemporary international law or historiography. Insisting on rigorous in the past is presentism; Lifton's reference was for impact and can be contextualized. Howard C. Berkowitz 16:19, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

I intend to restore my Maybe and add arguments for it. Further, I request that Martin delete the paragraph arguing about the article in its present form, which I have offered to modify once it is unlocked AND a debate guide added to receive the questionable quote.
He certainly can use his words to speak against calling Mengele a war criminal, but all should be aware I personally have never done so -- I've used words such as "alleged" or "suspected". The only positive statement in the article that refers to him as a "war criminal" is a direct quote from Robert Jay Lifton, a widely accepted authority on Mengele and the broader context of Nazi medical atrocities. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:08, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
This is a debate guide to the terminology in the Mengele article. i am deleting nothing. I suggest that you put some cogent arguments on the page. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 17:20, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I shall, therefore, put a "Maybe" position on the page, which is my actual position. Either one of us can give the argument "yes". I will not, however, merely put up a heading, but at least 50 words so they cannot be deleted without discussion.
If you are arguing "no", you certainly can argue against the "maybe" position there, in a reasoned manner, or at least the emotional position permissible in debate. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:23, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Could I point out that the purpose of the Debate Guide is not to have you two debate, but to have you two present the evidence of the two (or more) sides? Clearly, Lifton, for example, believes that Mengele was a war criminal. So an explanation of his position on the matter would be placed under "yes." And as the Debate Guide is not a talk page, the use of first person voice and signatures should be avoided. Russell D. Jones 18:32, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Modified, as appropriate. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 19:36, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
The last paragraph of YES is highly misleading and ambiguous, as well as not being particularly relevant to the position is claims to support -- rather, the opposite I would say. If there is no code of individual responsibility, then how can breaking a non-existent code be a crime? It doesn't make sense. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 13:34, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
I am not going to argue it; I'm still working on it. I have said it is not a position I personally support, and am adding it as a contribution to the three positions. Improve it if you like, and if you can see other arguments. Howard C. Berkowitz 13:56, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Please remove irrelevant text

If the Debate Guide is added to the Mengele article when the main page is unlocked, the Lifton quote will be paraphrased and moved to the Guide, as I have done in the introduction. It would be criticizing something not in the main article.

The paragraph

In this specific article Josef Mengele, the actual quotation in the introduction describes Mengele as a war criminal (as if this were a clear fact). (That quotation has been redacted, using an ellipsis.) It is perfectly reasonable to note somewhere in the article (but not in the first one or two sentences) that Mengele is considered by many to be a war criminal, despite not having stood trial. It is not acceptable -- and contrary to CZ policy -- to put the description "war criminal" in the lead and give an impression to the reader that all is "cut and dried". Mengele was neither tried in absentia nor summarily sentenced, as the Nuremberg Trials frequently did: therefore describing him as a "war criminal" is a personal opinion that is not vindicated by the historical or legal facts.

thus is superfluous. I would note, however, that the statement has always been Lifton's opinion, clearly identified as such, although an attempt keeps being made to call it my opinion. Howard C. Berkowitz 14:01, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

It seems highly relevant to me, as this is a debate about the term "war criminal" in the article Josef Mengele. I did not imply that it is your personal opinion, although as I have told your repeatedly, your choice of quotations and where they are located in an article, reflects on your own position. This has been the major problem from the outset with the construction of the Mengele article, and you still refuse to accept the most standard of academic approaches about the use of citations. They cannot be things that you insert in the opening paragraph then claim that it has nothing to do with you! That is an absurd position to adopt. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 14:24, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
Please read this carefully. If there is a Debate Guide subpage, the quote that concerns you will not be in the main article, but here. This is a talk page about the debate guide. No point is served by continuing to argue about an article that won't contain the text to which you object.
"They cannot be things that you insert in the opening paragraph then claim that it has nothing to do with you!" Nonsense. If I quoted Vlad the Impaler in the lede of an article about him, does that mean I agree with him? Whatever happened to writing for the enemy?

Howard C. Berkowitz 14:31, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Why don't we make a Talk page about the Talk page, so that way you can avoid the issues completely? Martin Baldwin-Edwards 16:27, 23 November 2010 (UTC)