Ad Hominem - why do people do it?

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

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

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    of course it doesn't, except to me and for me, as explained.....

    Once someone demonstrates to me that they lack good will I usually don't even read their posts, I scim them. The validity of the points is no longer relevant. But hey that's just me...
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
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  3. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    perhaps you could ask Why I believe as I do and then you might get an argument...but you aren't and I probably would NOT get into it any how because I do not believe you would be asking in good faith.
     
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    and this is important in my opinion:
    "But the purpose of the argument you use it in "
    ...is determined by who?
    and what is it within that person (trait, characteristic or emotion) that mainly impacts upon or effects that determination?
     
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  7. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Open the question up to the board:
    if you read:
    "Given that I believe you are not acting with good will, I will not respond to your post"
    Is that an argument?
    What is it?
     
  8. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    QQ, do you know what constitutes an argument in this context? I ask as it seems that you do not.
    An argument is simply a reason (one or a set of) in support of an idea or a course of action.
    Now, with that in mind, care to revisit your responses thus far on this matter?
     
  9. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    try this:
    the so called argument you refer to is my own inner argument and mine alone. one that I shared publicly.
    It is my own argument about my belief not your beliefs.
    swap out the word given and replace with because to simplify...

    "Because I believe that you are acting with out good will I will not respond to your post."
    ok?
    It's a statement for you to read but an "argument" for myself.
    I am not arguing with you about my belief...

    Therefore no argumentum ad hominem is present...

    If I stated:
    Your points are invalid because I believe you are arguing with out good will, then sure that would be an argumentum ad hominem.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    If I posted:
    I believe you are acting with out good will so therefore I will not respond to your post
    Does that change anything for you?
    the try it with out the words "so therefore"

    I believe you are acting with out good will. I will not respond to your post

    or just simply:
    I will not respond to your post

    there is no argumentum ad hominem
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  11. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    If you limited it to ad hominem arguments as properly defined, it wouldn't be a very profound discussion. In 99.9% of cases, that fallacy would be employed by people with all the same traits as any other people. It's a small transgression against the rules of debate, such as anyone might commit through ignorance (i.e. they really believe that Einstein can't have made a single valid observation on any subject except physics) or impatience, such as DaveC's example (i.e. it's addressed to that ignorant debater; they grow weary of answering the same bogus point for the hundredth time) or a last resort (i.e. they have no valid response).
    I didn't object to that question; I objected to the inclusion of sadism, sport, abuse, bullying and all the other extraneous material you've dragged in under this puny little parasol.
    Like this:
    Who said there was any lying involved?
    I repeat: If you want to discuss other topics, I'm game. I just don't like them all mixed in together.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  12. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Of course it is.
    But since it doesn't pertain to any specific point made by the other debater, I'm not sure it counts as an ad hominem argument. A participant can withdraw from the field and state their reason for doing so, at any time, without committing a fallacy.
    Of course, I would then expect you to stop responding, just as i expected to stop responding about three pages ago. Turns out, when addressed directly, I can't seem to resist answering. That's no reflection on anyone else; just psychology.
     
  13. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    So you accept it as an argument, at least? Good, whether it is an inner argument, publicly shared or not, is irrelevant.

    I know you’re not arguing with me about your belief, but you have provided an argument to avoid discussing the points raised, an argument that also tries to taint their value. Because that argument is directed at the person and not the points themselves, the argument is an ad hominem.
    It doesn’t matter who the argument is intended for, whether public, private, or written on a toilet wall... if the argument acts to dismiss the points of another, or devalue their worth, through an attack on the person who made them rather than the points they made, the argument is an ad hominem.
    This is exactly what you did: dismiss the points made due to perceived motive/character of the person who made them.
    It would, and that would certainly be a more obvious example, but it is sufficient that it is an argument intended to avoid the discussion entirely, or to simply taint their perceived value by others.
    Don’t feel you need to limit the identification to just the simple examples. Look at the principles behind it and apply those principles.
    No, it’s just the reformulation of the same argument.
    With this it starts to become less clear that the action is a direct result of the belief, thus the belief could be said to not be an argument for the action. But There is stronger argument to be had that the implication is still there, given the lack of any further justification for the act, and the stated belief otherwise being simply a redundant utterance.
    In this, no, there is not, as it is just a statement, and nothing can easily be implied from it as to the reason for it. Note here that there is also no attack on the character of the person who made the points, no attempt at rebuttal, no apparent attempt to taint those points.
    Of course, your own internal thought process may be guilty of the original argumentum ad hominem, but it is neither explicit nor implicit in the words you have written in this last case. You have merely written a statement of intent. And as such you can not be held accused of the ad hominem based on what you have written.
     
  14. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    When that reason given is an attack on the person making the points, and simply to avoid addressing those points raised rather than any other, and done in a manner that tries to portray the value of those points negatively, then it is an ad hominem. It may not address any specific point but it addresses them in their entirety as not being of value enough to discuss... due to the character of the person who made them.

    One can of course withdraw for any reason, and do so without committing an ad hominem. To do so in the manner examples would not be one such way.
     
  15. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Do I fit in somewhere in all this, where in another thread I called QQ a retard and exclaimed his argument was not genuine, hence, not ad hominem?
     
  16. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Did you say his argument was not genuine because he was a retard, or did you separately lay out your reasoning for the argument not being considered genuine? Or just make the two claims?
    And do you have a link?

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  17. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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  18. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Stating one's own conviction is not an attack on another person's character.
    I suppose, though, it would be more in keeping with the spirit of argumentation to say:
    "P1. I have addressed seven of your points thus far
    P2. I have refuted those seven points with valid arguments
    p3. Every one of your points was invalid, bogus, misconceived or irrelevant.
    P4. I have repeatedly asked that you consider the facts presented
    P5. Thus far, you have not responded to that request
    C. I surmise from the above that you are not arguing in good faith
    D. I'm outahere."
     
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  19. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    It certainly can be. If it is my firmly held belief that X is not to be trusted, that is certainly an attack on X’s character, is it not?
    Now that would not be an ad hominem.

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    There is no intention to avoid the arguments via the accusation (they’ve mostly been addressed separately) and the accusation of not arguing in good faith is laid out separately from the points themselves. This is similar to simply adding an insult onto a response. If the point is addressed, and you add “and you must be an ignorant @#£& not to realise” then that is just an insult and not an ad hominem argument.
     
  20. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Not an ad hominem (in post #331 of that thread). I’ve created a thread to examine what is or is not an ad hominem in the Philosophy thread (whereas this thread is specifically about why people use them), and your is the first example.

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  21. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    A simple observation, not ad hominem.
     
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    This is not an argument. It does not require anyone to grant it as valid or refute it as invalid. (In programmer's terms, it takes no inputs - literally, it takes zero arguments.

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    )

    It is simply a statement.

    It contains an arguable motive, though even that is wrapped in a belief - meaning the belief still doesn't invite validation or refutation for it to be stated.

    However, there's nothing stopping anyone (since you put it on the table) from questioning whether your belief is based on sound reasoning.


    How so?

    What would a valid counterargument look like? "No, you don't believe that."

    I assume your submission would be something to the effect of "that is a false accusation that I am not arguing in good faith". You're sort drilling down a layer or two to tackle why he believes what he believes.
     
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  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    That particular argument is (if made well) a sound argument, not an ad hominem argument. It is an argument against bothering to consider the points raised, not the validity of the points themselves, and the good faith of the source is a valid criterion.

    In dealing with bullshit, the difference between the validity of arguments and the value of bothering with them is often central, critical.

    (One common and illustrative circumstance around here is the Fox Pundit response pattern to an argument - the "If you {irrelevancy, falsehood}, then you {some flaw or another}, the "why do you {falsehood, irrelevancy} when {falsehood, irrelevancy} ? These are often "valid" as posted - granted the "if", the "then" follows, etc - but have no value to others and should not be addressed as arguments)
    No, it isn't.
    The "value of the points for others" has nothing to do with their validity, in the case of bullshit. It's a separate issue, and the good faith of the one ostensibly making the points is often relevant.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
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