Re: OT fallacies

From: Robert Martin <>
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2006 18:14:47 +0200
Message-ID: <2006061118144764440-unclebob_at_objectmentorcom>

On 2006-06-03 12:10:17 +0200, "Keith H Duggar" <> said:

> mAsterdam wrote:

>> Keith H Duggar wrote:
>>> How do you know the purpose of those insults? I for one
>>> believe they served a /very/ different purpose having
>>> little to do with the argumentation here.
>> What's your take on the purpose?

> some possibilities are:
> 1) warnings to future readers. If a VI is outed frequently
> it increases the likelihood future readers will avoid
> their snake-oil.

Right. "He's an idiot, don't listen to him. He'll sell you snake oil." That's an ad-hominem argument. It's not an argument about the issue. It's an argument about the people and emotions involved in the issue.
> 2) shame as deterrent. If a VI is insulted enough times by
> enough people they /may/ pause to examine themselves.

When you are shamed in public, your standing is decreased and others will not listen to you. Therefore an attempt to cause shame to a debater through the use of insults as opposed to actual subtantive arguments, is an ad-hominem argument. It is an attempt to use human emotion and feelings instead of substance.

> 3) venting frustration.

Once, perhaps. But not when it is gleefully repetative.

Robert C. Martin (Uncle Bob)  | email:
Object Mentor Inc.            | blog:
The Agile Transition Experts  | web:
800-338-6716                  |
Received on Sun Jun 11 2006 - 18:14:47 CEST

Original text of this message