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Re: OT fallacies

From: <duggar_at_alum.mit.edu>
Date: 11 Jun 2006 12:08:01 -0700
Message-ID: <1150052881.473016.61040@f6g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>


Robert Martin wrote:
> We are not stupid people.

Some have accused you of being ignorant not stupid. Do you understand these are different concepts? Is it possible that you are more ignorant than you recognize?

(Some people may have called you "stupid", but that derives from the vociferous part of VI.)

Robert Martin wrote:
> Insults stop the discussion.

Robert Martin wrote:
> Shame based on insults can bounce, and the bearer may
> never how truly shamed they are. What is sadder, they may
> never care.

You contradict yourself. Which is it Robert, "insults can bounce" or "insults stop the discussion"? Perhaps you meant insults /might/ "stop the discussion"? Some of us, having been through many grueling debates, have learned to continue discussion despite being insulted.

> If you are going to shame someone, shame them with
> reasoned argument. Shame them by presenting substance.
> Shame them with your command of the topic.

Just as "insults can bounce" so too arguments /no matter how well reasoned/ can also bounce. Particularly off VI skin. Do you recognize this fact? Furthermore, continued attempts to reason with VI simply gives them the publicity they crave. Do you recognize this can be harmful? Do you recognize that flawed arguments can impede learning simply by shear volume?

Robert Martin wrote:
> Keith H Duggar wrote :
> > 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 issues.

I have explained in excruciating detail in the very post that you are reply to that argumentum ad hominem is /NOT/ an argument /ABOUT/ people. It is an appeal /TO/ people. In other words ad hominem refers to argument where the /OBJECT/ not the /SUBJECT/ is the person being appealed to. Do you understand this? Let me give you an example:

"Do not buy Japanese cars! The Japanese raped, tortured, and massacred Koreans, Chinese, and others in WWII."

That is argumentum ad hominem. And notice that 1) the /SUBJECT/ of the argument, buying Japanese cars, is /NOT/ a person and 2) the appeal (... rape ... massacred ...) is not even an /insult/ it's a simple historical fact.

Please /stop confusing/ insults and arguments /ABOUT/ people with ad hominem.

Furthermore, you are right that "it's not an argument about the issue" and thus it cannot be a fallacious "argument about the issue" since it isn't even an "argument about the issue" in the first place. The postings you posted were in fact arguments /ABOUT/ you. Again, /do not confuse/ an argument /ABOUT/ a person (you) with ad hominem.

Finally, stating someone is an idiot, ignorant, etc isn't even an appeal to the person (remember here person is the /OBJECT/ of the argument, ie those being appealed to, argued to, not those being argued /ABOUT/). It's simply a statement of observed ignorance, lack of expertise, etc. A warning that a person has demonstrated a certain behavior and hence don't be surprised if they do again; prepare yourself.

Received on Sun Jun 11 2006 - 14:08:01 CDT

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