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Author Topic:   Skeptical Inquirer has research on ad hominem attacks in July/Aug issue.
LamarkNewAge
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Posts: 1967
Joined: 12-22-2015
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 1 of 8 (887037)
07-04-2021 7:20 PM


The article (page 41 to 45, in July/Aug 2021 issue) has a much broader scope than what I will cover.

Here is the text of a table, "Table 1: Initial Ad Hominem Rubric" :

(The format will be changed, but the text will be the same, except "Type" and "Brief Description", will be left out.

Expertise/credentials

Attack on data/claim because the source lacks expertise or has been formally disavowed by some institution

Emotions/passion

Attack on data/claim because the source is emotional or blinded by passion

Ethics/character

Attack on data/claim because the source is unethical or of bad character

Intelligence/ bad thinking processes

Attack on data/claim because of the way the source thinks or doesn't think ( e.g. stupid, close-minded, ignorant)

Financial Interest

Attack on data/claim because the source has a vested financial interest

Appeal to negative non-financial motivations

Attack on data/claim because motives of the source are bad for non-financial reasons

Association with bad people/groups

Attack on data/claim because the source is a member of an organization that is known to be bad or because the source associates with people known to be bad

Generic abusive

Attack on data/claim because the source is bad in a vague/generic sense(e.g., a jerk)

Bad action

Attack on data/claim because the source engaged in a bad action

Other negative qualities

An attack on data/claim because of something negative about the source, but doesn't fit into any other categories above

End of table text

This personal attack issue is something that I have a mixed opinion about. I feel that ad hominems should perhaps be labeled as such, as an editorial note, in the body of a person's text.

The article has a broad scope, but to keep with my limited scope, I will reference the article's example of Andrew Wakefield's study which showed a significant association between children taking the MMR vaccine and autism spectrum symptoms in the subjects. The Skeptical Inquirer authors pointed out that an example of ad hominem attacks on his research would involve the comment that Dr Wakefield's medical license was revoked. The "argument directly targeting Wakefield's claims might focus on the small sample size, inaccurate data reporting, and lack of replication of Wakefield's now-retracted Lancet article".

I think ad hominems are extremely harmful to information debates, when they take up more than a very very tiny sliver of a post. I feel that the moderators should have to comb posts for ad hominem comments, and highlight the identified text in a color code. It would help keep the discussion targeted toward proper argumentation.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Tangle, posted 07-05-2021 2:44 AM LamarkNewAge has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8208
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 2 of 8 (887041)
07-05-2021 2:44 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by LamarkNewAge
07-04-2021 7:20 PM


Personally, if Wakefield turned up here I'd like to see admin treat him with extreme prejudice - he's a liar, a deceitful opportunist and a public health menace. He can't be trusted to present any kind of data honestly.

That's not ad hominem, that's simple, proven data and is violently relevant.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by LamarkNewAge, posted 07-04-2021 7:20 PM LamarkNewAge has not yet responded

  
PaulK
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Posts: 17008
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 3 of 8 (887042)
07-05-2021 3:35 AM


Comments
1) Skeptical Inquirer has an online presence and lists the articles in the issue (some are available to general readers). None have titles suggesting that they are “research on ad hominem attacks”.

2) In an Argument from Authority the person IS the argument. Pointing out that they are not reliable sources - as is the case with Andrew Wakefield - is an entirely valid response.

3) Even in the case of Wakefield’s paper the undeclared conflicts of interest - for instance - are relevant information.

4) I see no reason to believe that there is a problem on this forum that would justify the additional workload of the proposed “solution”.
Providing evidence that there is a significant problem here would be far more relevant to that than anything in the article.


Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by LamarkNewAge, posted 07-05-2021 5:20 PM PaulK has responded

  
LamarkNewAge
Member
Posts: 1967
Joined: 12-22-2015
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 4 of 8 (887050)
07-05-2021 5:20 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by PaulK
07-05-2021 3:35 AM


Re: Comments
Article is 'Dont trust that scientist'.

(I just went to the site and I see that this is not a free article. So the discussion might be more difficult. Sorry)

As for my examples, I will just have to suggest that the future posts, of various posters, will probably reveal the examples.

We have the Skeptical Inquirer list, so we should be watchful for the genuine ad hominem attacks that will probably make their way into the issue discussions.

Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by PaulK, posted 07-05-2021 3:35 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Tangle, posted 07-05-2021 5:31 PM LamarkNewAge has responded
 Message 8 by PaulK, posted 07-06-2021 7:19 AM LamarkNewAge has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8208
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 5 of 8 (887051)
07-05-2021 5:31 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by LamarkNewAge
07-05-2021 5:20 PM


Re: Comments
LMNA writes:

We have the Skeptical Inquirer list, so we should be watchful for the genuine ad hominem attacks that will probably make their way into the issue discussions.

This is a discussion forum not a academic publication, attacking a poster's credibility based on their pre-convictions is perfectly legitimate.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by LamarkNewAge, posted 07-05-2021 5:20 PM LamarkNewAge has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by LamarkNewAge, posted 07-05-2021 8:06 PM Tangle has responded

  
LamarkNewAge
Member
Posts: 1967
Joined: 12-22-2015
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 6 of 8 (887052)
07-05-2021 8:06 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Tangle
07-05-2021 5:31 PM


Re: Comments
Personal attacks are personal attacks.

The list remains...

here.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Tangle, posted 07-05-2021 5:31 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Tangle, posted 07-06-2021 3:30 AM LamarkNewAge has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8208
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.6


(2)
Message 7 of 8 (887055)
07-06-2021 3:30 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by LamarkNewAge
07-05-2021 8:06 PM


Re: Comments
LMA writes:

Personal attacks are personal attacks.

Yes, and are perfectly legitimate when the person has proven to be a liar and reprobate. The character of the person saying something is important; data rarely stands alone as its own irrefutable defense.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by LamarkNewAge, posted 07-05-2021 8:06 PM LamarkNewAge has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17008
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


(1)
Message 8 of 8 (887059)
07-06-2021 7:19 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by LamarkNewAge
07-05-2021 5:20 PM


Re: Comments
So are you going to do anything about your own use of ad hominem?

Are you going to mark that?

eg Message 176


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by LamarkNewAge, posted 07-05-2021 5:20 PM LamarkNewAge has not yet responded

  
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