In the Angelic and Demonic Perceptions thread AdminBuz is complaining that he thought that the topic was intended to refer only to demons (and maybe fallen angels).
quote: I'm concerned that where you are going from the OP is another topic, i.e. the good angelic realm. There may be occasion to incorporate reference to the good guys but only when it has some application to your OP perse.
But the first half of the OP is about the "good guys". So surely references to them are to be expected and are as relevant to the OP as discussion of demons are. So why the concern ?
I would also add that I personally see nothing wrong with dealing with both in a single thread.
Strictly speaking calling someone a fool in itself is not an ad hominem fallacy .
Your attack on Jar's debating style was - it was an attack on the person rather than the actual point (and in this case Jar was and is entirely correct - to call a document "revisionist" is not the same as saying that it has been revised).
An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "argument to the person", "argument against the man") consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to an irrelevant characteristic about the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim.
A debater commits the Ad Hominem Fallacy when he introduces irrelevant personal premisses about his opponent. Such red herrings may successfully distract the opponent or the audience from the topic of the debate.
That's the first three results from googling for "ad hominem fallacy" (with the quotes).
quote: Its not really so much of a debate style as it is an avoidance problem. Jar doesn't get to run the tempo of the board by expecting everyone to jump through his hoops. I find it humorous that you say that I'm "attacking" Jar, but you say nothing about his slander, or Jon's for that matter-- something that it unambiguously ad hom.
I didn't mention Ray Martinez or CTD either - both of whom are far worse. Nor did I comment on the truth or otherwise of your criticisms of Jar.
What I did simply comment on the real meaning of ad hominem - and the fact that you were indulging in it and evading Jar's point. If you're going to accuse someone of bad debating habits - well you ought to remember that huge beam sitting in your eye.
quote: I think you're ignoring the fact that, invariably, people are being called "fools" as part of an implication that they've just advanced a bad argument.
No, I'm not. If you throw in the world "fool" your answer doesn't become any less right. You can't say that an incidental comment turns a valid response into a fallacious response.
There is a big difference between saying that someone is a fool, implying that their argument is bad and showing that their argument is bad and concluding that they are a fool. The former is a fallacy, the latter is quite definitely not.
I repeat my point - an incidental comment cannot be a fallacy because it is not an attempt to rebut an argument. Thus simply using the world fool cannot in itself be considered an example of the ad hominem fallacy.
quote: I'm not saying that it does. But if I write the following post:
quote:You're wrong because Lewis discovered such-and-such in his landmark paper "Lewis et al., The Effect of Stuff on the Other Thing, Journal of Stuff (2006)". You've completely misrepresented my argument to you and debated with a strawman. You're also wrong because you're an idiot.
If you write THAT you've got an ad hominem by the standards that I've stated. If you suggest otherwise you're arguing against a strawman. If you don't then the kindest thing I can say is that your argument is incomplete because you didn't manage to make a relevant point with that.
quote: I think it's bad logic, at least, to imply that one bad argument or one mistake - or even one act of dishonesty - makes someone a fool or a liar.
And that's a red herring. Whether the conclusion is justified or not it isn't relevant to whether there is an ad hominem fallacy or not.
quote: In my experience that's how they're being invariably used - "I don't have to explain how your assertions are wrong, because we've established that you're an idiot." That does constitute argumentum ad hominem. That a post may additionally contain legitimate rebuttals against a point in addition doesn't change the fact that the post also contains a fallacious ad hominem argument.
I very much doubt that that is how they are "invariably" used. In fact if the points actually HAVE been rebutted you can't simply assume that calling the opponent an idiot is being used that way - not without some positive evidence.
Edited by PaulK, : replaced title with a more accurate one
quote: I agree. But I was just making explicit what is mostly implicit around here: "You're an idiot so your argument is wrong." That's where most of the name-calling happens, which is why it's ad-hom.
In other words you didn't mean it to address a relevant point. The relevant questions are when it is reasonable to read it as implicit and if such implicit use is as common as you claim.
quote: Well, I guess you can either read plain statements in English, or you can be deliberately obtuse.
More accurately one can read charitably or with an eye to finding fault - quite possibly to the extent of finding faults that aren't there.
You've given me absolutely no reason to assume that anything I've said is wrong. You haven't given one example of what I am supposedly ignoring. And neither of us know how I'd evaluate an actual example of the sort of thing you're talking about. In my case because you haven't actually produced one.
quote: I meant all along to address a specific deficiency of your argument, and I've succeeded in doing so.
It doesn't seem to me that you have. And your example - which was the specific point under discussion didn't really address the point you claim to be making.
quote: Maybe you got a little lost along the way but my point from the get-go a few posts back has always been that you're nominally correct that just calling somebody a "fool" isn't strictly argumentum ad hominem, but that's irrelevant since invariably, people are being called names in order to discredit their arguments.
That certainly isn't always true. And I'm far from sure that it's even usually true - or even only usually true here. ANd so far we have only your assertion that it is.
quote: It was never my intent to show that you are wrong, because you're not wrong. You just overlooked something, and I have attempted to correct your oversight. I believe I have done so, since now you appear to agree with me.
Since my position hasn't shifted one iota it's more likely that the "oversight" was not present in the first place.
So essentially your whole point is that you infer ad hominem in many uses of "fool" or similar comments. But you won't even give a fictional example of the sort of thing you're referring to - let alone an actual example. Which is odd when you are prepared to give irrelevant fictional examples. Now if you had clearly said that and that it was just your opinion which you had no intention of supporting this could have been a shorter conversation.
I'm reading and writing English too - and I summed up and dealt with all the points you seemed to be making.
quote: f you're determined to be so obtuse that you'll deny that people call people "fool" in response to arguments that they hope to discredit, there's absolutely no example - fictional or authentic - I can present that you simply won't be more obtuse in response to.
You mean that if I won't accept your unsupported opinion I wouldn't accept any evidence either. Nice example of poisoning the well.
quote: Look, I'll do it right now, dipshit.
Since I wasn't advancing an argument for you to discredit your "example" doesn't work.