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No ad hominem attacks at all, especially in P & R, please
Posted: Posted May 23rd
Edited July 2nd by chiarizio
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Site rule #2 is frequently violated.
In the Politics & Religion forum, it seems to be violated at least once per thread at a minimum.

Can we tempban, say for 72 hours or something, anyone who attacks the holder&expresser of an opinion, rather than combatting the opinion itself with either evidence or reasoning or both?

Can we suspend for 72 hours or so any thread on which an ad-hominem attack has been responded to by another ad-hominem attack?



Request Status: Requested

There are 10 Replies

During the year that I spent as an administrator on this site, I came to the conclusion that arguments that bleed into the grey area between ad hominem and merely aggressive psychoanalysis in the service of figuring out how and why some of the people here make the arguments that they do are inextricable from the fabric of this community. There are ways that we could change this; these methods would tear the community apart and then stitch them back together in even more uncomfortable and dysfunctional (not to mention fascist) ways.

We are a very unique, personal and vibrant community. Or, to put it less charitably, we're a handful of big fish in a small pond. We come here and see the same people posting variations of the same opinion every day. The familiarity breeds contempt between certain users, especially the less fortunate of us who have real problems. These are inevitably addressed, not merely as the out-of-hand attempts to discard rational argument that you may see in a brief, impersonal exchange on another website, but as representations of frustration at the pattern of fundamentally unhealthy bias that it would seem to reveal in various posters that most people here know well.

The reason that I left the staff was mainly because the only way I could see to fix this community was to go Dirty Harry on their asses, which would have brutalized the userbase.

Edited May 23rd by Cruinn-Annuin
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There are ways that we could change this; these methods would tear the community apart and then stitch them back together in even more uncomfortable and dysfunctional (not to mention fascist) ways.


Why would change require a fascist outcome though?

Posted May 23rd by Knuckles39392
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Shit I think I've asked that question before to the same person making a similar post. That or it's a weird deja vu.

Edited May 23rd by Knuckles34554
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Shit I think I've asked that question before to the same person making a similar post. That or it's a weird deja vu.


If you mean me: No, I joined this group between Feb 6 and Feb 25. Probably anything before March 1, and definitely anything before Feb 1, wasn’t me.

If you mean Cruinn-Annwn (sp?), I don’t know.

—————

A polite way of ending fruitless attempts to change each others’ minds about something might be “Let’s agree to disagree about this.”
To follow that up by explaining that the addressee’s faculties of sense and reason, and general sanity and intellectual capacity, are just too flawed and defective to be worth the effort of trying to persuade them, turns into an ad hominem attack.
So does accusing them of being deliberately obtuse, especially for ulterior motives.
Not saying you personally did that.
But I think someone on your thread almost did.

I could be wrong.
I’m quite skilled at being wrong; I’ve had years of practice.




Edited May 23rd by chiarizio
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I meant Cruinn-Annuin with that.

Posted May 23rd by Knuckles2394
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... the grey area between ad hominem and merely aggressive psychoanalysis in the service of figuring out how and why some of the people here make the arguments that they do ...


I’m in favor of also suppressing aggressive psychoanalysis.

“psychoanalysis in the service of figuring out how and why some of the people here make the arguments that they do” ought to all be interrogative instead of declarative or exclamatory or imperative.
It also ought all to be gentle, or at least respectful; and assume that the answers to any of those psychoanalytic questions are at least partly true, or seem true from the POV of the responder.

If you can’t do that you should probably just not make any psychoanalytic-style responses to people who disagree (apparently intransigently) with you.


Posted May 23rd by chiarizio
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Personally, I don't see ad hominem attacks as a problem but I do see ad hominem fallacies as a problem.

If I feel someone is an idiot and I want to say so then I will.

Posted May 23rd by Fox Forever
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Cruinn-Annwn (sp?)


"Annwn" is the historically correct spelling of the word, but I alter it in my name because I appreciate the assonance of the repeated "ui". It does not change the pronunciation, so I felt free to take that liberty.

[...] turns into an ad hominem attack. So does accusing them of being deliberately obtuse, especially for ulterior motives.


Irrational counter-argument on the basis of the motive of the other is a separate fallacy, though that tidbit of rhetoric is less important than your overall message.

I do think that there is a grey area of allowable aggressive qualification of the argumentation of the other based on their prior evinced biases, especially in the discussions relating to art and other softer subjects where personal opinion is more insidious.

To provide a completely impersonal and drama-free example: let's say a person comes here regularly and that, through various conversations, we find out that this user invariably downtalks things that are blue. They do so so regularly that they get into weekly arguments with people that attempt to explain to the user why a good blue thing isn't that bad. Then, a new blue thing is released. The user says that it's bad. Someone responds "well, you think that because you hate everything that's blue, for whatever weird personal reason". Not a valid argument, no. But it is merely an outgrowth of and response to a strange (and potentially very toxic) personal issue.

This response would not be welcome in a forum for serious debate - and neither would the initial posit.

Edited May 23rd by Cruinn-Annuin
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@Cruinn-Annuin:
OK, I sort of get it.

Posted May 24th by chiarizio
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Reply to: No ad hominem attacks at all, especially in P & R, please
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