[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Summary of the debian-devel BoF at Debconf9

* Ben Finney <ben+debian@benfinney.id.au> [090818 11:28]:
> "Bernhard R. Link" <brlink@debian.org> writes:
> > Perhaps there is a way to [???] discourage all meta-discussion or
> > mentioning of "fallacy", "ad-hominem" or "strawman" on the other
> > lists.
> Perhaps you have a better way of succinct terms to use when challenging
> those logical fallacies?

I think succinct terms help not at all here. Once there is a succinct
term 90% of their use is name-calling. If people think something is
wrong they should say what is wrong and not invoce some name.

But I think it would much help if the replies on the lists itself are
about the topic, and not diverting into what are valid or invalid forms
to produce arguments.

And really, if some logical conclusion is so broken that this brokeness
has its own name, then everybody should be able to see it.
So either someone does it on purpose (then it is just some form of
misbehaviour and discussing it only on topic on some mailing list about
behviour on mailing lists).
Or the writer really missed something. (In this case I cannot imagine
shouting "strawman" will make them understand), but staying with the
facts and not entering the meta-level helps more.

So calling "fallacy #7" has mostly one point: Ridicule somebody by
claiming what they do follow a scheme of incompetence of ill-will.
It's has the additional "advantage" that one does not have to
mess with the other sides arguments: The reader is supposed to
match the scheme with what was said and the person attacked would
need to rebut all possible (mis-)interpretations fitting into that
scheme, thus being forced to assume guilt to be able to defence.

I guess that is a reason why those "succinct" terms are so often used
to throw them againt people like names-calling. And that is why I think
they do not belong in any discussion unless you are sure you know
everything better.

	Bernhard R. Link

Reply to: