Hold mods to same standard they inforce

Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by seagypsy, Jun 6, 2012.

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  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    JDawg, I suspect you don't really know what an ad hom is. Twice now you've invoked it incorrectly. I should never have given it to you.

    An ad hom is not any old generalized slur or criticism.

    An ad hom is a particular attack on the opponent's value specifically to devalue the merit of their argument by making it based on their personal value. That's not the same thing is simply complaining or even insulting someone.

    "Don't listen to him; he's an idiot." That is an ad hom.

    You and I both know that this forum is full of people with crazy ideas. Saying the forum is full of crazies is not an ad hom.

    The reason I personally object to ad hom is because even the least capable of members should be able to voice their argument and have it dealt with on its own merits. While I may not like an, an opponent, and may even think they're kind of loony, I try hard not to let that affect my argument in giving it the respect it deserves. So their argument is judged on its merit, regardless of what I think of them.

    Banning ad homs is a way to allow people who dislike each other to still exchange intelligent discussion. It is unrealistic to expect that members of the forum will actually get to like each other, but this would go a long way.

    I'lll use you as a counter example. You are fond of responding directly to opponents by calling them idiots and trolls as an integral part of your refutation. Those are ad homs. Calling them an idiot while refuting their arguments is a direct and immediate attempt to make the merit of their argument based on their personal merit. This weakens you - each time you resort to an ad hom, it sends a message that you have no stronger argument in your arsenal.

    Now, use it right or don't use it at all. :bugeye:

    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
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  3. Balerion Banned Banned


    The lack of self-awareness required to write something like that is staggering.

    You start by defining ad hominem as the devaluation of a person for the purpose of devaluing the merits of their argument, and then in the next breath devalue people for the purpose of devaluing the merits of their argument.

    You cannot say that "Don't listen to him, he's an idiot," is ad hom but "Don't listen to him, he's crazy" is not.

    Now back under the stairs with you.
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  5. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    You're both crazy, the world is crazy, everyone is crazy, and I dare you to provide irrefutable evidence to the contrary

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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Again, to be clear, it is not my definition.

    Nor did I. So moot point. Both of those are indeed ad homs.

    A statement such as 'the forum is full of people with crazy ideas' is not an ad hom, as I have pointed out, because
    1] it is a general statement about the forum, not about any particular opponent that I might be engaging, and
    2] it is not attempting to devalue a debate in-progress with that opponent.

    An ad hom is an debating tactic, and it's not fair. People - even people with crazy ideas - deserve to have their argument addressed on its merits.

    Abhoring ad homs does not mean I have to like everyone I debate with. I debate with you, but I still attempt to give your arguments the attention they deserve - based on how well-formed they are. And I attempt not to try to devalue your argument by trying to devalue you.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
  8. Gustav Banned Banned


    that was never asserted.
    to make such an a inference from text that takes pain to emphasize exactly the contrary is an staggering exercise in disingenuity. i would be ashamed but i am guessing not you
  9. seagypsy Banned Banned

    Wow, you just gave a great example of discrediting someone's argument based on their character being lacking.

    Where did he do that? Can you quote his exact words where he did that, because I missed it.

    That was Dave's point but I think Gustav already pointed this out very well.

    And a snide unproductive remark for the final finish.
  10. Balerion Banned Banned

    But that's exactly what you did, troll. You picked up BWE1's bait (of all people) and said, essentially, "Don't listen to him, he has very poor communication skills, etc.." Just because you weren't involved in the debate, and instead just taking a potshot from the sidelines doesn't change the fact that you were insulting members of the forum (and we all know who it was you were insulting, by the way), which makes you at the very least a hypocrite for all the complaining you do about insults and ad hominem.

    If you spent half as much time contributing to the site as you did complaining about it, maybe people would be less likely to collectively roll their eyes when you post in a thread, and maybe you'd find yourself with better defenders than the likes of Chipz and Seagypy.
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Another word you misuse with free abandon.
    "Essentially"? You're comfortable putting words in my mouth are you?

    Please show me where I even hinted that someone shouldn't listen to someone. (I have no idea who these someones are supposed to be.)

    Here is the thread for all to read:

    Use of "here" (x2) I interpreted as a general comment about the state of the site, superceding the context of the debate. It is very obvious from my response that I am talking about the site, not any given debate.
    My response, where I explicitly talk about areas of the site that have nothing to do with the thread.

    None of the above is news.

    I have no idea who was being reasonable and who was not (it was 30 posts since my last contribution). What I did do was address his specific comment about the state of SciForums and how ad homs are par for the course - a thought that resonates with me. It was a general complaint about virtually all threads, and I took the opportunity to highlight it.

    A vacuous assertion. Are you tallying my posts?

    Maybe you should speak for yourself.
    Better yet, maybe we should have a show of hands for whom of the two of us these collective people roll their eyes at. I'd honour those results. Would you?


    The tactics you use - putting words in my mouth ("essentially saying"), hyperbole ("staggering lack of self-awareness"), defenseless assertions (my ratio of complaining), more defenseless assertions (apparently you speak for a "collective" of people), these are all cheap tricks that substitute for well-formed arguments.

    And through all that, I'm still treating your arguments with respect.

    I'm facing off with you in a debate with both hands closed and one eye tied behind my back - no insults or debasements of you as a person. That alone is costing you your credibility here. And it's making my point nicely.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
  12. Gustav Banned Banned

    jeez, jdawg
    you appear to be lying thru your teeth about dave in your narrative

    /shocked beyond belief
  13. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

    It seems to me...

    That you would argue with a fence post.

    My total opinion here..
  14. Gustav Banned Banned

    a fence post has a corporeal existence
    jdawg dont play that
    he prefers to argue points that only exists and is pulled out of, an alternate dimension's..................ass.

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