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

    I generally just ignore you for a while, and let your attention focus on someone else. Usually works.

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

    So can we agree at least you have no intention of reaching an agreeable resolution to this argumentum ad hominem issue?
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    OK moving on...
    I threw this diagram together to symbolically show the distinction between a normal healthy argument and an Argumentum ad hominem.
    Is the diagram useful?
    Does it make sense?

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    Perhaps we can add :
    the frustration of not being able to reach an agreement

    to the list of why people do it?
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
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  7. Bells Staff Member

    Maybe, just maybe, you should just go back to this thread's topic?

    I'll give you a refresher:

    Sound like a plan?

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  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Every time you use the word "intention", or refer to the motives behind a given post, you are mindreading -
    in almost all of your posting on this topic, in other words.
    Nonsense. They would be committing insult, deprecation, etc., of the person, without involving the "worth" of the points at all.
    (And that is before we notice that what they "specifically stated" was quite different).
    You don't.
    If you did, you wouldn't need to assume intentions and motives to try to get your misreading to make sense. Instead, you keep posting about "intention", assuming intentions and motives, and so forth - because you have to, to conjure up an ad hominem argument not otherwise visible.

    As with almost all rightwing posters here, you simply don't know what argument ad hominem is or how such arguments work. You repeatedly and consistently confuse them with personal "attacks", insults, slanders, and so forth. You repeatedly and consistently reverse the direction of implication. It's almost a definitive field mark of the American "conservative".
    Not an ad hominem argument.
    Post 140 can help you understand the role of bad faith and bullshit in the decision to engage with posters - regardless of the "worth" of any specific post from them, which is often (as here) set aside as irrelevant. That can help you acquire the ability to recognize the difference between dealing with a post and dealing with a poster - the lack of which seems to be a crippling flaw in the forum contributions of the typical American "conservative", and in any case is a fatal flaw in anyone attempting to discuss ad hominem arguments.
    (Take a look at the recent forum postings from Seattle, for example).
  9. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    So if someone posts “it is my intention to...” it is mind reading to refer to their intention? That is what QQ effectively stated. Explicitly. As in “because of X I will do Y”. No mind reading involved. Period.
    It is not nonsense at all. If they insult with the intention to avoid, that becomes an ad hominem argument, just as it is if they offer a personal insult as a direct rebuttal.
    No misreading, no mindreading, and no assumption of intention, thanks. It was all quite explicitly stated. “given X I intend to do Y.”
    It is visible, as already explained. Argument against the person specifically to avoid the points raised.
    I do know what an ad hominem argument is, thanks, and how it works. I do not confuse them with insult, slander etc, and have been quite clear in the difference. I also do not reverse the direction of implication, and have explained it numerous times already. In fact it seems that none of your criticisms hold any water whatsoever.
    If anything it is you who doesn’t appreciate what an argumentum ad hominem is, starting with thinking they are a formal fallacy.
    Argument aimed at the person to avoid, rebut, or taint points made. That makes it an ad hominem.
    Do you agree that: “your points are wrong because you post in bad faith” is an ad hominem argument?
    If so, there is no difference, other than in intent (avoiding v rebutting the specific points) between that and “I am not going to answer those points because you post in bad faith”. No difference. Both are ad hominem arguments.
    Get to grips with the principles and apply them. Then you’ll stop making the same errors.

    Sure, when the issue is whether or not to engage with poster at all, not when it is used to avoid specific points, as is the case in question. So it simply isn’t relevant to this case.
    When the latter is used specifically to avoid the points raised in the former, your desire for such a neat demarcation becomes rather naive.
    If you say so, but your rather bitter demeanour against those you perceive as such Americans really has little place here.
    Such as?
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    I do wish you would stop misrepresenting my posts and have the courage and integrity to provide the appropriate evidence to support your... uhmm.... commentary...
    Use quotes and be specific... as I was, at the time please...
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  11. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    I don’t think it’s possible for everyone to agree but maybe it comes down to agreeing to disagree, but also conceding when someone else’s “argument” truly makes more sense than your own.

    There are some know-it-all’s on here who just wish to lecture everyone on how they know everything about every subject under the sun, and aren’t interested in any type of “discussion.” Best to just avoid them, imo.
    Quantum Quack likes this.
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    What you wrote has been quoted often enough. It is not a matter of courage and integrity, just a simple assessment of there being no need as we are all patently aware of what was said and what is being discussed.
    But to humour you, and to spell it out in simple terms in the hope that even you will be able to follow...
    - “given your lack of good will, I will refrain from discussing the rest of your post...
    - “Given your...” equates to “because of your...”
    - What follows the “I will...” is your intention.
    - “refrain from discussing the rest of your post...” is to avoid specific points raised, while addressing others.

    It is quite explicit. No misrepresentation.
    You used what you perceived to be an issue with the person in order to avoid specific points. Ergo, ad hominem.
    Now, are we done with this, like you suggested, or do you want to carry on the merry-go round?
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Make a few attempts then give up. I should often give up earlier than I do; it's a flaw I have.
    Nope. I do not post with a goal of "coming to a resolution." That's often impossible. I post to explain my point of view and to learn other's points of view. If they are based on incorrect assumptions I try to correct them. If they are based on valid assumptions but we simply disagree, that's not 'fixable.'
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  14. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    here is a print screen of the particular post #75.

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    My argument was NOT to avoid your points it was to avoid you personally regarding your post. It could be seen as the start of a new and separate argument.
    As such it is not an Argumentum ad hominem.

    Can we agree to disagree?
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  15. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Opinion and belief only ( no facts )
    There are philosophical schools of thought that deal with this issue to some extent. Although indirectly.
    Essentially it is a morbid fear of Unity, a fear of becoming one and loosing the sense of unique identity. The compulsion to constantly disagree is about protecting the ego, the mask we all wear to hide behind, the image we present to the world so that the truth of ourselves, held in secret, remains the only real power we have. It is about the defending the fortress we spend our entire lives building.

    The fear of unity = the fear of death = the fear of becoming one with "God" and losing our own unique "Godhood" ( ego).

    It's about power, and it is perceived that agreement dis empowers, where as disagreement empowers. And it actually works out that way until it becomes extreme and relationship and societal dysfunction is the outcome where irrational disagreement leads to dis-empowerment instead of empowerment.
    I think you are quite correct (I quite agree) but would take it further ( slight disagreement - as required for discussion) and suggest that for you to remain you, and I to remain I, a certain amount of disagreement must be present.
    In healthy loving relationships this ability to agree to disagree is essential, so that it allows for greatest intimacy to develop as the intensity of the need to agree to disagree becomes less as trust and affection builds.
    The status quo of strangers in a state of relative peace, is a more significant state of agreeing to disagree (ATD) which I guess is part of the reason they are strangers and not friends or lovers etc.

    All in all I "very much" agree that it is not possible for every one to agree, but would extend to explain why I think that is so. What ever it is that is slightly in disagreement is too trivial to be an obstacle to agreement.

    Yes again I quite agree....and you have raised a very significant point...

    This is one of the keys to identifying whether a poster is either acting with out good will/faith or suffering a mental health issue.
    To go from a position of stronger "agreeing to disagree" ( start of conversation) to a position of lesser "agreeing to disagree" (progression of discussion) one MUST concede to sensible arguments, admit to mistaken belief, acknowledge the need for humility etc.. It is when it becomes apparent that reasonable concessions are NOT being made during the discussion that you know you have a problem on you hands.
    Or when those concessions are not genuine and are used as manipulative tools, recanted and form the basis of hypocrisy and self-contradiction and most importantly abuse of others and self.

    It only when the remaining disagreements are too trivial to pose a problem that "Agreement" can be achieved.

    Perhaps you may be interested in running a thread on the subject "Why can we not agree?"
    well I guess if they thought there knew it all then there really isn't anything to discuss....nor is there anything to learn or find value in other peoples experience and POV's.
    In taking that position they devalue the worth of the others position.

    One member here, at sciforums recently stated that "You never get anything of value from online forum discussion" which renders any further discussion worthless in his estimation. Is it little wonder he may feel isolated and uninvolved?
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    "Effectively"? Mindreading again.
    You need to quote, rather than attempt further paraphrase.
    Avoid what? Why?
    In this case, avoid the poster - at least on certain topics - because their posting has proven to be bullshit or in bad faith some other way.

    That's the opposite of an ad hominem argument.

    Once again, for the slow: an argument from the nature of the post to the nature of the poster is not an ad hominem argument - its direction of implication is opposite an ad hominem argument's, it is not directed at the points made, etc.
    (And that is the fourth or fifth time you have encountered that exact and key, central, almost definitive observation - yet you still post about the intention to avoid without specifying what is being avoided. Which is a bit strange, even though it is so familiar from that one political faction - why do you suppose you reposted an ambiguous source of hassle and confusion like that, after other people had clarified the matter several times?)

    In this case they have made no argument against the "points", at all. For example: As you have seen, the points made by a bullshitter are occasionally valid, worthy, etc - avoiding a bullshitter or other form of bad faith poster says nothing about the "worth" of whatever "points" they are "raising" this time.
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  17. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    and you are not the only one with that "flaw"as you call it.

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

    perhaps a good fun example : Strangers to friendly transition ( agreeing to disagree => less agreeing to disagree)
    need sound

    Note sure some of the people were planted but it's the ones that aren't that are worth a look at...

    Watch this video for how people can "agree to disagree" in a chorus with silent conducting...

    Not one of the singers fear the pseudo unity of team work.

    ....which opens the door to further understanding the importance and "Why" of sport, music, dance, poetry, literature and other creative pursuits to human social functioning.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  19. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Can we add
    Fear of intimacy/Unity
    to the list of why we do it?
  20. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    --Or-- Why do we fight to agree? --Or-- If given the choice, is it better to be right or kind?
  21. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    All good thread topics...
  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Or why do we need to agree when it's better to just get along (which is similar to just being kind). Part of this IMO is also to not look for "unkindness" in every comment that someone else makes. Don't be so easily offended that you (generic you) expect the world to go your way all the time.

    I notice that there are some people who are always offended when most of those around them are not. Along with this would go "try to read comments by others in the best light rather than in the worst light".
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Horse laugh of the month.

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