quote:I often have to wonder if the Admin staff here at EvC has a clue what a personal attack is. From the behavior of many members of the Admin staff it is not clear they do.
Personal attacks are as you describe them, but when I speak of personal, I'm not talking about personal attacks.
I see two types: 1) Asking or requesting personal information and 2) participants are arguing over debate style (for lack of a better description). IOW, they are no longer discussing the topic, but quibbling about what was said and what wasn't said. The discussion is no longer moving forward. There are just accusations of misrepresentation, misleading, misquoting, etc. It becomes a personal battle which can lead to personal attacks, but it doesn't really provide any more information concerning the topic or move the discussion forward.
Those are the types of unproductive discussion that I term personal. That may not be totally accurate, but now you know.
This whole thing was brought about when we began to discuss the behaviour of NJ in Thread Divinity of Jesus in Forum Bible Study. It seemed that NJ swaying off-topic was against forum guidelines, and his misrepresentation of his opponents position was immoral, in my opinion. I asked Phat why he had not done anything about it, though it had been pointed out to him earlier that day, and he replied
quote:Nem, while not entireley honest, did make some good posts that challenged Jars whole modus operendi
Thank you for voicing your concerns. I will attempt to address your grievances as far as they relate to myself.
As Phat has said, Jar has a very structured modus operendi. Jar first reels in the fish by heaping one invective upon another. This is otherwise known as, "goading," which, in his defense, he usually reserves for the chatroom. He claims that all creationists are "snake oil salesmen," and that most fundamentalist Christians are "evil," "Christian Bobbleheads," etc, etc. I'm sure you've seen any of those a number of times since you've been a member. What he is doing is otherwise known as "slander." I doubt very much that anyone other than Jar could get away with the things he says.
When somebody challenges him on his assertions, his claim, no matter what is actually said, is that the response is invariably "irrelevant," "bullshit," or a "strawman." I'm sure you've seen this too.
The secondary plan is just to not respond at all to a direct question.
This is a disengenuous way to debate, and no member should be burdened by it when the sole purpose of a forum is share ideas.
Now, my mentioning of it in that thread was not the appropriate place. I take full responsibility for that. I should, however, bring to your attention that you too decided to respond to me in the same fashion and even referred to me as a "fool." So not only are you hypocriticaly stating that I am off topic, but you also added ad hominem in to the mix. This is not your only instance of doing such things either.
This should not happen again because I have resolved to make a change. Since this has been brought to Jar's attention numerous times, and no change in attitude has resulted, I am opting to ignore Jar from here on out in a member role. I see no purpose in continuing this kind of a debate. I will only respond to Jar in an Admin status when intervention is necessary.
I hope that clears the air and answers your criticisms so that we can continue debating in the most productive way possible.
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).
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).
Why would criticising an evasive debate style be ad hominem, but being called a "fool" wouldn't?
To add: The argument about revisionist vs revised is not a part of the current discussion. Tha'ts just one example out of a myriad. The issue is this particular member always claims that something is off topic, which is evasive and typical of derailing the conversation so as not to answer the question.
But don't worry about it now since I've taken care of the problem by simply ignoring the poster from here on out. I'm having this conversation with Jon, not Jar. Thanks for your input though.
"It is better to shun the bait, than struggle in the snare." -Ravi Zacharias
Because in the first case the criticism was being used INSTEAD of argument (it did not apply to the point in question) and in the other it was simply a comment.
I think you need to reacquaint yourself with the definition of ad hominem. That's an awful lot of wrangling in order to justify your assertion.
I don't doubt that it is but one example of your many, many errors of fact. However it happens to be relevant because it was the point you chose to defend by attacking Jar's debating style.
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. At least be consistent so as not to appear totally biased by scolding all parties involved.
But let me reiterate:
It no longer matters because I've taken care of the problem by simply ignoring the poster. Since I've already stated that I regret making that comment on that thread, I don't know what else there is to discuss.
So as far as I'm concerned, you can have what you covet-- the last word.
"It is better to shun the bait, than struggle in the snare." -Ravi Zacharias
I'd like to just generally comment on two aspects of this discussion.
First, while the Forum Guidelines does to some extent attempt to characterize what it means to let a debate become personal, it must be understood that it just isn't possible in a few very brief sentences to capture all possible such situations that might arise.
So just to clarify a little, in my opinion whether you're calling someone a fool or calling their post foolish, neither really qualifies as civil, and without civility constructive discussion often breaks down.
But second, there's this vexing problem of how to debate with someone who appears to have difficulty putting two correct sentences together on any consistent basis. I won't provide any examples because the offenders will recognize them. Various kinds of significant faux pas are by themselves indicative of nothing, but like George Bush the 1st's continual problems with garbled syntax, some people seem to make a living at committing significant faux pas. How long does one remain polite in the face of this before it becomes condescending and artificial?
I have no answer to this second one, but I would still encourage members to maintain civility as much as they can muster. When you can't hold it in anymore, hopefully the moderators will step in.
I understand that Jar is a concern to many creationists. I rarely encounter Jar in any threads, so I probably can't be too helpful, but I hope moderators are working hard to enforce the Forum Guidelines fairly and evenly.
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.
Sorry, I looked at that post (which was yours, btw), as well as previous and subsequent posts by all concerned, and couldn't see anything sanctionable - although your posts are approaching the line. Perhaps you can give a more complete explanation of just what your complaint is about? Thanks.
It's not wrangling. It's explanation. Simply calling someone a fool may be rude, it may be insulting but it isn't a fallacy.
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.
When you tell someone that they're an idiot, and as part of that you either implicitly or explicitly use their idiocy to justify the dismissal of their argument, then you are committing argumentum ad hominem.
Very rarely, here, do people call each other names as part of agreement with their argument. Any time that someone is being called a "fool", they're invariably being told that they're wrong, too, and that is the argumentum ad hominem, no question about it. When you say "you're wrong because you're an idiot", that's the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem.