Ad Hominem - why do people do it?

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

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Literacy point: correlations are not "made". The near miss syntax is taking over.
    Cynical claim: my money says you can't describe the correlation I have been pointing out. You don't know what it is.
    Rhetorical observation: I have been posting examples and illustrative quotes and references to specific exhibitions of that correlation all along, for years now. As always, the word "if" in a rightwinger's post precedes bullshit.

    Afaik the best explanation for the stereotypical wingnut's insistence on other people's supposed hatred, bitterness, etc, is habitual projection from a limited and inculcated set. At any rate, that is the explanation that best fits the fact that they invariably miss - they assign me flaws I do not exhibit, and fail to assign me my actual flaw of attitude, despite its visibility and ubiquity and my open admission of it.
    Your practice of substituting misleading and confused paraphrases for other people's posting is not only unnecessary but objectionable. It's inherently dishonest, in the first place. Argument from such a basis is fallacy, in the second.
    If the purpose was to mislead and obscure.
    But argument from misrepresentation, as in every time you paraphrase, is a fallacy - the "strawman" fallacy, usually and here.
    Meanwhile, the actual post was - according to you - entirely adequate as well, and much less work for everybody. There is no need for you to put yourself and everyone else through the chore of untangling where you went wrong this time, in your bizarre insistence on paraphrasing what you yourself have repeatedly claimed is clear and "explicit" posting.
    In one direction ->: There are hundreds of different debates about American politics - none of them are "the debate". There is no such thing as "the debate" about American politics. And I am not "describing" any debate at all, let alone whatever you think "the debate about - politics" is. I am pointing to information relevant to the OP question.

    Meanwhile, in the other direction <- : The related arguments I do post from the pattern of behavior I have been noting and pointing at are not usually - and not here - about, confined to, or even focused on, American politics in general. In this thread my posts are "about" answering the OP question, which is not primarily a political one.
    You managed to go haywire from both directions of argument simultaneously, in other words.

    If anyone wants to answer the OP question (why do people post ad hominem arguments in these forums), they probably should take into consideration who is posting them and who is not. That seems fairly basic, obvious. But it requires being able to recognize and sort out an ad hominem argument, which is proving to be difficult for some folks.
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    It's not a near-miss syntax at all: you are attempting to make what isn't there to identify in reality.
    I'll wait for you to support it, thanks.
    When you describe everyone who makes what you see as such an error as a "rightwinger" then it is little wonder you see the correlation. Selection bias. Look it up.
    It's not insistence, merely an observation.
    Sure, whatever you say, 'cos, you know, you're by far the best judge of how you come across to others. And of course, anyone who disagrees with your view of yourself is a "wingnut", right?
    You think you only have one to identify? Priceless.
    No misleading, or confusion, thanks. Of course, if you fail to comprehend what is written then perhaps I am guilty of assuming too much of you regarding comprehension within context.
    No misrepresentation, so all rather ironic.
    Need or not is irrelevant, thanks. Bizarre or not is likewise irrelevant.
    There is from my perspective. I am neither American nor much care about the politics there. To me there is "the debate" about American politics. Apologies if that is too broad a description for you.
    By using the terms "rightwing" and "American conservative" that is exactly what you are doing. The terms allude to political debate, and sufficiently describe one side.
    Stating that the "who" almost completely overlap a classification by membership in a particular political faction in the US remains bullshit on your part. And if you can't get the "who" right, of what use are they in identifying the "why".
    I can see why you might think that based on your flawed analysis. But hey ho, it is what it is.
    And you think those that do post them, or fail to recognise them, are almost all "rightwingies" and "American conservatives"? I'm asking for clarification here, because that is what your mess of a position currently seems to be. I guess if one is only ever looking for the bad in a certain type of person (e.g. "rightwingies" and "American converatives") then one can get possibly become blind as to the proliferation of those traits elsewhere. Or else if one simply defines people with those traits as being that certain type of person, perhaps.
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    And has been for years, plainly and explicitly and argued from overwhelming evidence. Dozens, possibly hundreds of posts. You are asking for clarifications you apparently didn't recognize when they were slapped in your face dozens of times for years on end.

    So next time I point out that your replies to my posts reveal your ignorance or denial of their contents, refer to post 262 here for what has become not mere evidence, but proof of that fact.
    They do neither of those things. Fascist movements do not engage in debate or occupy sides concerning real world issues, for starters, and essentially benign or reality referent terms such as "rightwing" and "conservative" do not describe them or their political initiatives.
    You needn't continue to declare your ignorance - it's been established among the reality based participants here for years, and unlike your fellow cadre of what some bloggers and fringe lefties
    - the people with the best track records of prediction and analysis, among other pundit virtues, but the thinnest wallets -
    - refer to as "reprogrammable meatbags" (my term is "parrots"),

    they do not forget things like that from one week to the next.

    The relevance here is that your personal ignorance is evidence of nothing except likely membership in a category of poster marked by the repeated employment of their own ignorance of conflicting reality as supporting evidence for their claims. That category of poster happens to be the same one that deals in bs accusations of what they often refer to as "an ad hom" - or even more ridiculously: "ad homs". That is one of the common explanations for their unique volume and repetition of ad hominem arguments, repeated and likewise unique (in volume and proportion) projections of that feature unto other posters, etc, all of which requires repeated denial and muddling and rejection of the standard meanings of common terms of political discourse (such as "ad hominem argument").

    And they aren't joking. For one thing, the media operatives involved in trashing US political and economic vocabulary are aiming at the ability of the Federal Judiciary and the US courts generally to decide and enforce written law.
    Or you could read the posts at hand, which display what was argued and how and on what grounds in plain and much-repeated English.
    It would save you a lot of typing, and the bulk of your - how to put it - less fully grounded mistakes.

    It might even pry your mental toolkit away from the media feed of US corporate professionals encountered second hand, which is not adequate for replying to reality based arguments and claims and so forth.

    And then you could be the one answering the OP query - the wingnut who has seen the light is often not only heard but paid for their repetitions of decades old leftwing common knowledge.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  7. Bells Staff Member

    Perhaps it's an American thing, but for those of us who are not American, if someone, such as yourself for example, drops "right wing" or "American conservative" into a debate, we will assume that person is pushing a political argument, simply because "right wing" and "American conservative" is so closely tied to politics and political discussion when it comes to America, Americans and your politics.
    Sarkus likes this.
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    When the argument involved is posted in front of you, many times, in simple English prose featuring correct syntax and words used for their long standard meanings,

    that you read it and address it in whatever responses to it you make - rather than whatever presumptions you would otherwise entertain - is not asking much. imho.

    In particular, here, "right wing" and American "conservative" refer quite plainly and directly to a largely self-identified and only partly political category of people and their characteristic misuse of certain English terms - as observed most recently in this thread. No reference to political debate or political argument outside of some presumably existent context for misuse of "ad hominem argument" appears. Reference to the OP, which queries the misuse of that term, appears in each and every post.

    That is, the thread OP is addressed directly and consistently in the relevant posts - via the unexceptional observation that in attempting to answer the question of why people misuse "argumentum ad hominem" (usually in shorthand like "ad hom", which lends itself to the common misuses in obvious ways )

    one should consider who is misusing it, especially if they are easily identified and differentiated for consideration.

    That seems fairly basic. It doesn't look subtle, or complex, or easy to misread. One must go well out of one's way to scratch up a conflicting presumption for such banality. The only unusual aspect of it is that only one poster has brought it up on this thread, and that belatedly - does everyone else here really think they can address "why" without addressing "who"?
  9. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    You've had a mess of a position for years? Okay.
    Please feel free to provide any evidence that those that you think misunderstand ad hominem arguments overlap almost entirely with "rightwing" or "American conservatives". If you can't, and if all you can rely on is you naming them as such, which is all that you have so far done, the labelling of them as rightwing or American "conservatives" is pointless. Other than to further your obvious agenda against them, that is.
    Proof that I am ignoring part of the content of your post? Well, if all you can offer is demonstrably mistaken analysis (as explained ad nauseam), then sue me for ignoring your continued bleating.
    They do both of those things.
    Thanks for the irrelevancy, given that i never said it did. It is enough to describe a line and one side of it.
    Yet more bullshit from you, I'm afraid, since (a) you don't know me from Adam, and (b) I have never actually participated seriously in any debates on American politics on this site. Perhaps you need reminding that to not engage is not the same as to be ignorant?
    Oh, I get it: if one doesn't know much about American politics, one is more likely to be a rightwing or American "conservative". As said before, get your head out of your own ass for a change.
    I've snipped out most of the irrelevant stuff, given the utter lack of support for any correlation your are positing. I await your study into it, though, the evidence of it, beyond your simple placing of things in boxes that you have labelled through obvious personal agenda.
    Move beyond US politics, please. Move beyond politics entirely if you are able. This isn't a political debate. Don't turn it into one through your ridiculous and absurd claim of correlation.
    The posts have been read, and responded to. Repeatedly, thanks.
    And yet again to irrelevant US references. Don't you have anything else? Anything at all?
    And yet again it's back to politics. Go figure. But of course, those of us who happen not to really give a shit about it, and especially not American politics, well I guess we'll have to put up with your rather crackpot theories and postulated correlations that must mean we are almost certainly American conservatives, and rightwing, given the almost complete overlap.

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  10. Bells Staff Member

    "Partly political category of people" is still political.

    Your argument and labeling is political.

    Partly or otherwise.
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Like everything else of the kind. So?
    The labeling is, Partly. Like the labeling of all human social behavior.
    Not the argument - the direction of implication is the reverse.
    I have said nothing about "misunderstanding" ad hominem arguments.
    You need to quit paraphrasing, if you want to reply to my actual posts rather than misrepresent them.
    Not once, by you.
    You haven't done that.
    And you are now confusing line of rhetoric with line of division, in a bizarre attempt to create "sides" where there is at most one coherent faction - this is becoming hopeless
    Hasn't come up yet.
    Never said anything like that.
    You aren't, and I never said you were.
    You attempt to object to the contents of my posting by providing further proof that you are ignorant of the contents of my posting. Bizarre.
    I know your posting - you don't know mine, as you once again reveal by mistaking something you have repeatedly typed in "response" for something that has appeared in my posting.

    My posts on this thread, including this one for example, have (unlike yours) been focused on the thread topic: the reasons people attempt ad hominem arguments on this forum. One of my several contributions to that topic has been to note that identifying who does and does not attempt such argument is an important and probably necessary step in answering the question of why "people" do so, and fortunately enough is a fairly easy step to take - plenty of evidence, far more than the several illustrative examples I have dug up, is scattered throughout this forum in threads on many topics.
    If you would kindly begin to ignore my posting it would save me the chore of continually correcting your misrepresentation of it, and you from making a stereotypical wingnut ass of yourself in public. I have recommended that tactic to you in the past, if you recall
    You need reminding that your ignorance of what you are posting about here does not and will not safely prevent you from "engaging". No maybe about it.
    You post dozens of ignorant misrepresentations of my posting directly to me, decorate them with insult, and claim to not have knowledge of or "engage" in what you just then posted. In this respect, as well as others mentioned above, you are lockstepped with a stereotype - as with several other posters here (Schmelzer, notably) you manage to be an American "conservative" without even the excuse of being American. (other categories of the type: the Russian schoolboy, the Italian mobster, the Japanese workaholic).
    I read your ignorant misrepresentations, I attempt correction and response, you object - and then double down. Rinse and repeat.
    I need no reminders of what I'm dealing with, in your posting.
    Indeed you will.

    The overlap is obvious, and directly relevant to this thread - with the possible caveat that despite your lockstep posting you really don't know what an American "conservative" looks like on one of these forums.

    And from long familiarity I can help you there - for example: one field mark relevant to this thread is that they frequently and consistently and almost uniquely misuse the shorthand term "ad hom" while in the process of getting some posted argument exactly backwards, and then refuse all correction.

    And that - if I do not miss my guess - is or could be a significant contribution toward answering the OP question.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019

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