Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia University on Monday. He is the president of Iran. At the top of the list of things I dislike about his resume is that he refers to the Holocaust as a "myth." As recently as December 2006 Iran hosted a 2 day conference to discuss whether the Holocaust really happened. The conference was his idea. He apparently claims he'll believe it when someone proves it to him.
Just the fact that he thought a 2 day conference in Iran would convince him is ridiculous. Wouldn't traveling to the site of the Holocaust and touring a few museums be more persuasive? What is some dude that you invited to Iran going to say that is more persuasive than the pile of human hair at the Auschwitz museum? Or the giant pile of children's shoes or videotape or photographs or statements of survivors.
I think Ahmadinejad is wrong about the Holocaust. Obviously. And I think he's annoying. People that require proof of every single thing before they will believe anything are annoying. Because there aren't enough hours in the day to prove every single concept to every single person. Just imagine how long high school biology class would last if they attempted to prove every single thing. Occasionally you just have to roll with reputable sources and the evidence before you. And it doesn't seem like any amount of evidence is enough to persuade some people anyway. They claim photos can be doctored. They claim video can be produced on a movie set. Well, then, what would persuade you because we're fresh out of time machines to send you back to the scene of the crime.
I'm not saying you shouldn't question things. I support thinking for yourself. Denying the Holocaust just seems so stupid. I can't believe such a prestigious university actually invited him to speak. Why give him such a reputable forum? I know it's important to listen to all points of view. And I know it's important not to silence unpopular ideas. But couldn't we just let him give the keynote address at some neo-Nazi rally instead? CNN could still cover it. And we could all still have a good time chatting about what a nut job he is. I don't know. It bugs me.
Speaking of stupid ways of thinking, there's also Sherri Shepherd's recent comments on The View about not knowing if the world is flat because she'd never thought about it. It's called a globe. Has she never seen one? Was she absent the day they talked about Columbus back in fifth grade? And why would it require any thought on her part? Like she's some great thinker and she's going to apply her superior acumen to figure that out for us. Maybe while she's at it she can reinvent the wheel for us too. I hear wheels are pretty handy. Although I've never really thought about it so who knows.