Ad Hominem - why do people do it?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Quantum Quack, Aug 31, 2019.

  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    8,572
    And in admitting that you really shoot yourself in the foot here, as it removes any doubt that your “refrain from addressing the rest of your post” was simply to avoid the points raised.
    You know that. I know that. Others don’t seem to.
    But again, please don’t think i have any particular issue with it; it has simply become the focussed example in helping understand what an ad hominem is.

    Now, let’s move on, shall we?

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  3. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    OK I think time out may be in order... a moment of reflection and some time to allow it to make better sense.
    If I was to respond to the rest of that post I would first have to wade through all the other posts that are wrong, abusive or distortions or AAH
    This thread would go in to thousands of pages....

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    and the data base is only so big...
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
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  5. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    No, there is an argument.
    If you say “Given X I am going to do Y” then X is an argument in support of action Y. This is what an argument is.
    Compare to “Given your lack of good will, I will refrain...” etc.
     
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  7. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    And the only way to tell would be to read minds.
    Because the post itself is not an ad hominem argument.
    And if you don't, as in this case, you have not created an ad hominem argument.
    (You have now checked both boxes in my off-the-cuff illustration of wingnut posting on this and several other matters of basic literacy: the "why" and the "if" examples).
    Sure - that is, once mentally corrected for rightwing syntax collapse ("reasons" are never "an ad hominem". Arguments can be. You seem to do better when you don't shorthand - you had a streak of correct usage going).
    But in this case no such reasons were visible, as one can see by reading the post, and when claimed by mindreading they were denied by the poster. So no ad hominem argument was present.
    It's going to be difficult to discuss why people post ad hominem arguments without some kind of basic agreement about what they are in the first place.
    For example: Apparently - according to some here - I am entitled to claim that anyone who has me on ignore is committing the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem, in whatever thread we both appear. It seems that all I have to do to justify that is assign them the appropriate motive or "reasons".
    So the question of why they do that would be relevant in this thread?
    Seems implausible, and quite confused.

    Meanwhile, the ability to separate out the practical issue of dealing with a bad faith poster without addressing their "points" or arguments -

    that is: regardless of the "worth" of the "points" they may have "raised" -
    - especially a bullshitter, who will inevitably make what read as worthy points amid the spew -

    is a basic necessity around here and in most public discussion arenas these days.
     
  9. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    8,572
    It is, and no mind-reading required, thanks.
    And in this case we do, so your point is moot.
    Reasons are arguments when used in support of something. Since that had been already explained, the use of reason in what I said is quite legitimate in context.
    And as for “rightwing syntax”, I’m sure you have some clarification as to what you mean by “rightwing” in this context? Or is it as perceived, an irrelevant introduction of an incorrectly assumed political ideology you think I have?
    The reason was given, as in “given that...”. This denotes an argument in support of subsequent action.

    Not true. If they explicitly state that they are ignoring your points in one post for reasons irrelevant to the points made, then yes, they would be committing the AAH. Simply ignoring someone is not an AAH, as in that case the ignoring is very much of the person, not the omits raised. When one writes that they ignoring the rest of a post (having already responded to some of it), rather than ignoring the person outright, the rest simply follows.
    It would indeed be relevant, but the discussion at hand is on the issue of whether an example is or is not an AAH. And to that end #140 seems irrelevant. Not perhaps to the thread as a whole, but to this particular issue being discussed.
    Sure, and that is where ad hominems can seem to be entirely justified and regarded as non-fallacious, irrespective of what you might think. But being justified and non-fallacious does not mean that they are not an AAH.
     
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    21,307
    and yet in similar form:

    "Because I am foolish enough to believe you are not acting in good will, I will not respond to your [..value yet to be determined...] points " isn't an AAH ( according to your post in another thread.)
    see?

    As I mentioned earlier it is the inference drawn and not the actual words used that is critical in your argument here.
    Obviously when dealing with hyper sensitive posters the need to be very careful in the semantics becomes important. The more sensitive to a perceiving a humiliation the more careful one must be... Like walking on egg shells....
    so compare the two statements again:
    • Given your lack of good will I will not respond to your post - AAH
    • Because I ( add self deprecation ) believe you are not acting in good will, I will not respond to your posts. - Not AAH

    why?
    Why does the self deprecation make a difference?
    Do you see how the vanity issue is quite strong...?

    Aside:
    Why do you you think the reports of chaos keep coming out of the Trump Administration?
    When dealing with a barely functional narcissist, near constant chaos is inevitable.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  11. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    on topic:
    How important is vanity to the question of Why do it?
     
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    8,572
    If that is what you think was stated in that other post then I suggest you have misunderstood it. Perhaps seek clarification in that other thread.
    Not really, no.
    It is nothing to do with self deprecation, and the first of your examples is not really an AAH, unless you are using it to cherry pick which points you address. So if you answer half the points and then use the "lack of good will" to ignore the other half, to me that makes it an AAH. There is deliberate avoidance of those specific points through an argument aimed at the person and not the points themselves.
    In the latter, for sure, you have explicitly stated that you will not respond to their posts - i.e. any post, irrespective of points made or not. That makes it no longer an issue of avoidance of those specific points, but of simply removing yourself from discussion with the poster entirely.
    I'm not sure it is. Why do you think it is?
     
  13. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    21,307
    note the bolded "To me".
    By saying so, you are stating that the AAH is subjectively derived and is indeed itself open to argument. It is also determined by the sensitivity of the opponent and not the written facts.
    Inference is there fore important in your argument and that of others, thus confusion abounds when people, as Iceaura has repeatedly stated, use a loose definition of AAH.
     
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    No, by "to me" I am saying that based on my understanding of what an AAH is, that makes it an AAH etc. I am not saying that I think it is subjective. Someone else may have a different understanding, and to them it would not be an AAH. But the difference is not a matter of an AAH being subjectively established but of one (or both) of us having an incorrect understanding of the objective position of what an AAH is.
     
  15. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    You may fail to see it but...
    I didn't say it was important. You have drawn an inference based on your sensitivity.
    read what I asked again carefully, word for word:

    How important is vanity to the question of Why do it?

    The ask the question of yourself:
    Why do I think that QQ thinks it is important?

    Asking "Why do I ask?" may have been a better question.
     
  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    ok... this is a vastly better position to take.... maybe worth framing and putting on the wall at home. IMO
    Still has significant problems of claiming objective subjectivity but .... still a step forward... perhaps...I.M.Subjective.O.

    Not all AAH's are cut and dried....
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    8,572
    No, I have simply made an assumption. Not an inference.
    Indeed, and you simply answering "I don't" may have been a better answer.
     
  18. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    I asked an open question.
    My opinion is in the process of being formed. Other wise why would I ask the question?
    I am waiting to see if respondents can help me mature my position and in the course of discussion perhaps aid them in their maturation.
    That any preconceptions I may have may prove to be incorrect, inconsistent etc...
    I am hoping to learn something because I acknowledge the limitations of my subjective cognitive bubble.

    Why do you ask questions?
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  19. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Of course you know what these two words mean , so that is not an issue. Nor is your high IQ.
    It is why you choose to consider an assumption that is not derived by inference that fully indicates that you are not posting in good faith. That you are "game play arguing" to fill in time perhaps. That you are demonstrating a breach of social contract and attempting to commit an intellectual fraud.

    How does it feel to be permanently stuck in "disagree-ability"mode?
    Do you ever agree to anything?(*)
    Do you think this question(*) is worth consideration if you were dealing with a bad faith poster whose main weapon is to disagree about everything?
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  20. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    21,307
    here is a test: (Rhetorical)
    Write down a list of things you agree with QQ about and I shall do the same about my agreement with you.
    then compare lists...

    for those members that may be interested this wiki might be of value:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agreeableness
     
  21. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  22. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    8,572
    Or you are grossly overthinking a simple question that happens to include an assumption. But rather than just answer the question in a simple manner that highlights the incorrect assumption, you start going down a path of rather hypocritical pop-psychology, as if your opinion in such matters has any worth, or is relevant to the discussion at hand.

    Your subsequent posts, as is this one that I am responding to, are simply irrelevant. If you have an issue with me, raise it in a PM. But please quit the pathetic attempts at psychoanalysis. You are not qualified, you are not impartial (as you are clearly driven by your own agenda), you haven’t really the first Scooby what you’re talking about, and, as the saying goes, let the person who is without sin cast the first stone. And trust me, you really don’t want to see the size of the rocks that can be thrown back at you.
     
  23. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    How do you deal with bad faith posters?
    You know... posters that have no intention of ever agreeing and reaching a resolution?
    That is what an argument or debate is all about its it not?
    Coming to a resolution , a conclusion born of mutual understanding.

    The obvious next question to ask of you is what do we need to resolve to reach an agreement?
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019

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