Re: Social Committee proposal
On Sat, 27 Jan 2007 18:41:17 +0100, Bernhard R Link <firstname.lastname@example.org> said:
> * Manoj Srivastava <email@example.com> [070127 16:49]:
>> * Argumentum ad hominem is never acceptable, please respond to the
>> issue at hand.
> I think one should be careful with such a rule, as "ad hominem" is
> quite overused.
Argument against the man, as opposed to argument against the
issue being discussed is over used?
> Especially if it's about people's behaviour speaking about what that
> people just did it is often misused to just meaning speaking to your
When speaking about technical issues, why is this ever
relevant? Present arguments against the opinion/solution provided,
and forget who said what. Why should the characteristics of the man
making the argument have relevance to the issue at hand?
> This gets especially exhausting if some discusions went into
> meta-discussions, as when the discussion is about what people just
> wrote in the discussion, where the issue at hand is the people
Such meta discussions, usually, are off topic, suck time,
energy, and attention away, and cause flame wars. Something I think
we should avoid.
> Though perhaps it can be useful together with an other rule,
> forbidding meta-discussion, especially forbidding to accuse people
> on the same list to discuss improperly. (And I think all terms like
> "ad hominem", "strawman", "godwin", "hypocrisis" and "fallacy" can
> easily be treated like swear words are treated elsewhere. When they
> are used they are almost always just escalating the situation, I've
> never seen them help...)
Argumentum ad hominum is not something that can be applied to
an argument that was not addressed to the man, as opposed to the
solution. strawman is also quite well defined. Calling someone a
fascist is indeed Argumentum ad hominum, as is calling them
hypocrites. Whether or not fallacy as an adjective is warranted or
not would depend on the case at hand, I would say. Something for the
ctte to rule on.
Speaking of purchasing a dog, never buy a watchdog that's on
sale. After all, everyone knows a bargain dog never bites!
Manoj Srivastava <firstname.lastname@example.org> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>
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