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View Full Version : What's with all the Ad Hominem?



KC
09-04-2012, 01:48 PM
More and more what I see on these forums are arguments against people rather than arguments against ideas. In any serious debate that wouldn't fly; ad hominem (against the person) attacks are a logical fallacy since they never really address the substance of the idea they oppose. "Libruhls is dumb!" or "Durned effin' conservatards," or pretty much any argument that attack the source rather than the substance of an idea qualify.

Maybe I'm asking too much, this is the internet. Trolls are inevitable, but it seems like I read this sort of shitposting from serious members as well.

Brewskier
09-04-2012, 01:49 PM
More and more what I see on these forums are arguments against people rather than arguments against ideas. In any serious debate that wouldn't fly; ad hominem (against the person) attacks are a logical fallacy since they never really address the substance of the idea they oppose. "Libruhls is dumb!" or "Durned effin' conservatards," or pretty much any argument that attack the source rather than the substance of an idea qualify.

Maybe I'm asking too much, this is the internet. Trolls are inevitable, but it seems like I read this sort of shitposting from serious members as well.

Completely off topic, but you aren't named after a Darkthrone song by any chance, are you?

KC
09-04-2012, 01:52 PM
Completely off topic, but you aren't named after a Darkthrone song by any chance, are you?

That I am!

When I got an autograph from my favorite musician, John Darnielle, he wrote the name of this song on the back of one of his own records, "Satanic Messiah." I rushed home to sign up for his band's forums and to look up Darkthrone. I ended up loving the A Blaze in the Northern Sky and using the song as my forum handle for pretty much everything since.

Brewskier
09-04-2012, 02:09 PM
That I am!

When I got an autograph from my favorite musician, John Darnielle, he wrote the name of this song on the back of one of his own records, "Satanic Messiah." I rushed home to sign up for his band's forums and to look up Darkthrone. I ended up loving the A Blaze in the Northern Sky and using the song as my forum handle for pretty much everything since.

Nice. It's definitely the best one on the album. I only knew of their extremely minimalistic material ("Transylvanian Hunger") prior to hearing "Blaze..." and I was very impressed with it. It had a touch of their early death metal sound left over, which the band didn't like, but I thought it helped the album's sound immensely. I think it's their best album.

Sanguine
09-04-2012, 02:13 PM
I read this really nice essay that gives an introduction to logical fallacies. I hope people can read this and by recognizing all the logical fallacies they can argue a little bit more constructively.
http://www.theness.com/index.php/how-to-argue/

KC
09-04-2012, 02:20 PM
There are tons of places on the net to read about the logical fallacies. You don't have to take a class in logic, as I did a few years back to understand most of them. Generally they're pretty easy to grasp and a good guide to make yourself a more respectful (and respectable) debater.

Captain Obvious
09-04-2012, 05:32 PM
More and more what I see on these forums are arguments against people rather than arguments against ideas. In any serious debate that wouldn't fly; ad hominem (against the person) attacks are a logical fallacy since they never really address the substance of the idea they oppose. "Libruhls is dumb!" or "Durned effin' conservatards," or pretty much any argument that attack the source rather than the substance of an idea qualify.

Maybe I'm asking too much, this is the internet. Trolls are inevitable, but it seems like I read this sort of shitposting from serious members as well.

I think you are asking too much on the internet.

Just my honest opinion. Bell curve thing, take any valid population and, I dunno - roughly half maybe will want to get into a pissing match, and a quarter will want to discuss ideas and concepts without confrontation. The other quarter will be brain dead.

It's not just forums, it's school boards, church groups, PTA committees, etc.

Way of the world thing.

KC
09-04-2012, 06:54 PM
I think you are asking too much on the internet.

Just my honest opinion. Bell curve thing, take any valid population and, I dunno - roughly half maybe will want to get into a pissing match, and a quarter will want to discuss ideas and concepts without confrontation. The other quarter will be brain dead.

It's not just forums, it's school boards, church groups, PTA committees, etc.

Way of the world thing.

We shouldn't have a normal distribution since we are a self selected, voluntary group that goes on the internet to discuss politics. That means at one point nearly all of us decided that we love to talk about politics enough that we needed to stop bugging our friends and family and join other like minded people. The least we can do is not get into pissing matches.

Captain Obvious
09-04-2012, 06:59 PM
We shouldn't have a normal distribution since we are a self selected, voluntary group that goes on the internet to discuss politics. That means at one point nearly all of us decided that we love to talk about politics enough that we needed to stop bugging our friends and family and join other like minded people. The least we can do is not get into pissing matches.

Continuing with your atypical distribution theory, maybe political message forum frequenters are mostly assholes.

I've been to my fair share of forums, political and otherwise and I'm sure you have too. This forum so far does not display anything out of the ordinary in this respect. Granted forums can be micromanaged to the extent that membership is ground down to a select few who share virtually the same posting styles and traits but that's an extreme stance.

And it's one of the reasons from what I can tell as to why there's been a sudden influx of members, they seem to be fleeing a strongly micromanaged forum.

Kranes56
09-04-2012, 07:33 PM
More and more what I see on these forums are arguments against people rather than arguments against ideas. In any serious debate that wouldn't fly; ad hominem (against the person) attacks are a logical fallacy since they never really address the substance of the idea they oppose. "Libruhls is dumb!" or "Durned effin' conservatards," or pretty much any argument that attack the source rather than the substance of an idea qualify.

Maybe I'm asking too much, this is the internet. Trolls are inevitable, but it seems like I read this sort of shitposting from serious members as well.

Because it's the magical time of Trolls lives. When something really matters in the world, like a presidental debate.

Chris
09-04-2012, 08:28 PM
Probably the worst fallacy is the fallacy fallacy (argumentum ad logicam).


I think the ad hom you see on forums, especially political forums, is just a reflection of what we see and hear from politicians going back in the US to Jefferson and Adams.

Captain Obvious
09-04-2012, 08:32 PM
Probably the worst fallacy is the fallacy fallacy (argumentum ad logicam).


I think the ad hom you see on forums, especially political forums, is just a reflection of what we see and hear from politicians going back in the US to Jefferson and Adams.

Right - kinda what I was suggesting to some degree.

Minus the latin of course.

Savitri Devi
09-05-2012, 06:41 AM
Ad hominem attacks are the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Trinnity
09-05-2012, 07:39 AM
It's real simple. We mod lightly so people have some freedom. We let a lot of the snarking and insults slide for that reason. The alternative is having the mods be controlling a-holes. If people wanna be trolls or make asses of themselves, it reflects on them. But, this place is NOT a slugfest, and we'll never let it get to that point.

If a member or thread gets really nasty or the insults go on to long, we'll usually step in with a thread warning, and in some cases a post edit or deletion.
The site doesn't have a profanity filter, but reasonable discretion is best. The "c-word" is probably the one word we never want to see, imo. The "f-word" would be best used sparingly.

We're all adults here, try to be nice to each other as much as possible. :)

Please everyone, read the forum guidelines, it's your responsibility to know them.
http://thepoliticalforums.com/threads/14-Rules-of-the-Board-aka-Common-Sense-and-Decency
http://thepoliticalforums.com/threads/3332-Posting-Standards
http://thepoliticalforums.com/threads/5320-Attack-Threads-and-other-Matters
http://thepoliticalforums.com/threads/4432-If-you-like-the-site-please-tag-your-threads

KC
09-05-2012, 03:24 PM
It's real simple. We mod lightly so people have some freedom. We let a lot of the snarking and insults slide for that reason. The alternative is having the mods be controlling a-holes. If people wanna be trolls or make asses of themselves, it reflects on them. But, this place is NOT a slugfest, and we'll never let it get to that point.

If a member or thread gets really nasty or the insults go on to long, we'll usually step in with a thread warning, and in some cases a post edit or deletion.
The site doesn't have a profanity filter, but reasonable discretion is best. The "c-word" is probably the one word we never want to see, imo. The "f-word" would be best used sparingly.

We're all adults here, try to be nice to each other as much as possible. :)

Please everyone, read the forum guidelines, it's your responsibility to know them.
http://thepoliticalforums.com/threads/14-Rules-of-the-Board-aka-Common-Sense-and-Decency
http://thepoliticalforums.com/threads/3332-Posting-Standards
http://thepoliticalforums.com/threads/5320-Attack-Threads-and-other-Matters
http://thepoliticalforums.com/threads/4432-If-you-like-the-site-please-tag-your-threads

I'dd rather not see the mods here control anyone's posts. I think the internet should be the last place where you can really exercise freedom in one of the most unrestricted senses. Of course some things need to be restricted, such as pornography on a non pornographic site, or child pornography everywhere, but other than that I see the internet as no holds barred.

At any rate, my plea is for social regulation. Regulate your behavior in order to be received by others in a positive light.

Or don't. But my experience is that policy debate is much much funner than throwing insults around.

Captain Obvious
09-05-2012, 05:22 PM
Add rather not see the mods here control anyone's posts. I think the internet should be the last place where you can really exercise freedom in one of the most unrestricted senses. Of course some things need to be restricted, such as pornography on a non pornographic site, or child pornography everywhere, but other than that I see the internet as no holds barred.

At any rate, my plea is for social regulation. Regulate your behavior in order to be received by others in a positive light.

Or don't. But my experience is that policy debate is much much funner than throwing insults around.

Amen to that.

GCF
09-08-2012, 03:17 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_enNmzWn6Y

Your Welcome

KC
09-08-2012, 03:31 AM
Thanks?