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Re: Analysis of the ballot options

On Sun, Jun 20, 2004 at 10:59:44AM +0200, Andreas Barth wrote:
> > Andreas made an ill-formed proposal which the project secretary
> > rejected for this ballot, and refused all suggestions about how it
> > should be properly formed. He appears to hold a grudge, I'm not sure
> > why.
> Ah, never retain from a ad-hominem attacks, eh?

Oh, come on. That was not an argument, therefore it cannot *possibly*
be an instance of argumentum ad hominem. It was simply data, so that
people can evaluate your statements in context; I see no reason to
posit an actual argument, as any rational person should be able to
figure it out on their own.

"Data which I do not like" does not constitute argumentum ad
hominem. The world is full of things that you don't like, and you
don't get to reject them just because you don't like them.

I'm getting really tired of this cargo-cult approach to debate that
has appeared on the mailing lists in the past year or two. "argumentum
ad hominem" is precisely the set of arguments that say "This argument
is wrong because of (some feature of) the person that said it". These
arguments are fallacious. Nothing else about them is
significant. Labelling everything you find objectionable as "ad
hominem" is pointless, because it's wrong.

It is *absolutely not the case* that "anything which reflects badly on
a given person is wrong".

You only get to invoke the classical fallacies as a short-circuit to
avoid a full response when the argument proposed *is* one of the
classical fallacies. Their purpose is simply to avoid spending time
explaining the nature of the fallacy - it is assumed that everybody
involved understands why it is wrong, and you are simply pointing this
out as a substitute for the standard response. Furthermore you are
expected to explain the fallacy if somebody involved does not
understand it.

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
 `. `'                          |
   `-             -><-          |

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