Saturday, January 01, 2005

Ad hominem

The Ad hominem area is intended for use when a member (or a non-member) feels the need to attack someone, as opposed to attacking their arguments.

This could be as simple and direct as flat out abuse, or as subtle as a detailed geneological analysis of a specific individuals motives and predjudices. When the knives come out, and there seems no alternative to telling someone what you think of them, (and why), this is the place to settle things.

On the validity of Ad hominem assaults, Wikipedia has this to say: "Premises discrediting the person can exist in valid arguments, when the person being criticized is the sole source for a piece of evidence used in one of his arguments."


Knock yourselves out.

44 comments:

Pete said...

Martin sucks

Pete said...

Anonymous shuold at least have the balls to put thier name to their comments.

Seriously the anonymous posting of comments on this blog really shits me. After all it's not like your being asked to confess your fetishes for candle wax on the nipples or anything...

Samuel Douglas said...

It is not a fetish. It's a pre-disposition.

It is unfair of anonymous to be that way. I'm sure the heritage of Michaels shirts can be traced back over many generations. Maybe they are decended from convict shirts. I can see why someone might be deported for wearing one.

I have taken the point on board Pete, and in future I will only allow Anon. comments in this section to stay if their is some point.

MH said...

Sorry, but I thought that Samuel was employing this particular ‘anonymous’ … though, given the phrasing, it could be Rowan …

Samuel Douglas said...

You lot will speculate about anything.

michael said...

I never speculate; I'm already speculactacular enough.

Pete said...

Aristotle wrote a text to follow on from his Poetics. The topic of this text was comedy. Unfortunatley the ages have claimed this text and little of it remains for us today. Michael and hence the rest of us could have benefited from it's pages....

And I think if Martin is going to post something on this blog he should at least have the decency to allow comments to be made here rather than using the blog as ad space for another of his droll ventures.

MH said...

Apologies for having caused offence with the closed comments. My thought was that it would be easier to limit the discussion to a single location, rather than having two simultaneous discussions, though I’ll not do it again. And, just for you, I’ll open the comments to both the posts!

Samuel Douglas said...

The only spectacular thing about you lately was how red your eyes were when I ran into you the other day.

Pete said...

It should be known that on the 1st of February, 2006, Ming was witnessed wearing a decent shirt.

He did however later admit to owning other garments that were somewhat dubious. (You should see his new shoes).

Pete said...

I'd like to see this part of the blog get more use. It is a good idea to have an 'arena' where we can abuse the crap out of each other. So...
Take a bath Rowan.
Lighten up Sam.
Martin, stop masturbating so damn much.
And Michael if you are going to call yourself a philosophy student AND insist on taking on the world then at least have the sense to learn the basics. As is your just crapping on with nonsense.

Samuel Douglas said...

Pete you are right this time (don't get too used to it).

I think Rowan needs more than a bath.

Yes I do need to lighten up. But I might not want to. All of you can bite me if you don't like it.

Do law students indulge in self-abuse? Bring on the Panopticon and we can find out. (But why would we wnat to?)

Michael: It does take more than bad shirts, pimp shoes and a disposition toward dense meaningless turns of phrase to make a philosopher. I would have thought you would have gotten that by now. I thought I was difficult, but you take the biscuit. If you want to be obscure, go for it, but can you try to behave in a way that does not reduce the employment prospects of Philosophy graduates everywhere every tme you open your mouth? It is people like you that will force Rowan to deliver fried food for the rest of his natural life.

michael said...

It's an absurd world, people. I am the result. It's not my fault, it's yours. You made me what I am today, thus I am your creation. So I reflect somewhat badly on you: well you should have thought of that earlier.

(How's that for responsibility dodging?)

Now, we have a problem, in that Pete has not taken any insults: is he to slipery slimy for anything to stick?

Samuel Douglas said...

I created you?!? Ew! Nooooooo! (insert dramatic kneeling and fist shaking here)

No wonder I have so much self loathing. Let's revive God so I can blame Him for you and your shirts.

Slippery slimy Pete? I'd rather not dwell too heavily on that if it's all the same.

Pete said...

Slippery and slimey is it eh?

That gives me an idea....

Btw Michael, is your problem that you feel that you have to attempt to rally support before launching an attack against me? If you wish to insult me then just do it by God!

michael said...

As before stated, any support I 'rally' would only be created by me, so no more powerful than me myself, thus I can safely say, no, I don't feel the need to rally support, and again I try to acuse you of slipping out of the limelight. Slimy. And I'll do it by myself, for I created God too, in the form of my speedos, remember, so there is no point doing it by him.

Pete said...

So Michael, once again you demonstrate the pathetic nature of your 'make-it-up-as-you-go-along' philosophy: where one person becomes two and now many people become one!

Seriously dude, there is this project that some people have been working on for some time that you should check out, it's called 'physics'...

michael said...

physics is just ethicists trying to sound like something else.

Samuel Douglas said...

Michael: Can I first say what I usually say (or think) whenever I try to make sense of your meanderings- What the sweet fuck are you on about?

Now that I've got that out of my system lets look at this latest offering.

physics is just ethicists trying to sound like something else

Do you mean it is just 'ethics' trying to sound like something else? On what grounds do you make this wacky (there I said it) accusation? The only use of 'ought' or 'should' in physics is in the predictive aspect, not the ethical sense. Light 'should' bend as is passes a black hole, because our theories point to it behaving a certain way and we expect (or maybe hope) that we turn out to be right. Ethics is not like this and it is a gross category mistake to equate them.

Admittedly one could try to make some sort of 'they are both normative systems' type of argument, but that would require the author to be really smart, good at physics, good at analytic philosophy and good at continental philosophy. You are none of these things.

On a different note: Samuel Barnes is too in love with how weird he wants us all to think he is. He should give the tales of random lame crap that happened to him a rest and try talking and thinking about philosophy for a change. And if he interupts another legitimate conversation to start one of these stories there will be trouble. He is the best reason for a structured meeting I've yet come across. What a gimp.

Zig thinks he's cool. I hate that.

Come to think of it that goes for SB as well. You are not cool SB, you are not rebelling against anything, your just running away from the harsh reality of life. Nietzsche, were he a regular attendee, would smack you down if he was not so feeble.

Michael: Your shirts are still crap.

michael said...

Did you pop something Sam?

Samuel Douglas said...

Not yet.

Samuel Douglas said...

You all still suck.

Samuel said...

I wasn't sure where to put this. Its a bit polite for this forum and a bit rude for the main page. A drag queen sent me this.

"Suppose there is a town (clearly not sydney) with just one male make-up artist; and that every man in the town is a drag queen (ok maybe it is sydney): some draw their eyebrows on themselves, some attend the make-up artist.

The make-up artist obeys the following rule: He only draws on the eyebrows of all those men who do not draw their own eyebrows on.

Under this scenario, we can ask the following question: Does the make-up artist draw his own eyebrows on?

Asking this, however, we discover that the situation presented is in fact impossible:

If the make-up artist does not draw his own eyebrows on, he must abide by the rule and then draw his eyebrows on.
If he then does draw his eyebrows on, according to the rule he should not draw his eyebrows on.

Ahhhhh the paradox of self-reference . . ."

I (Sam) dunno what he'd do with the eyebrows, so i'll take a punt on what some smarter dudes than myself would say:

David hume would say: "It is impossible to prove that eyebrows exist, let alone that they are drawn on'

George Berkeley would say: "Eyebrows don't exist. You can only see them"

Foucalt would say: "Eyebrows are a micro-ism of social power. Self or other-painted eyebrows function as discourses of demarcation to identify the individual as..."
(I don't have space for a complete statement by Foucalt)

Kierkegaard would say: "It would be unreasonable for him to either paint them on or not paint them on. He must simply believe they exist"

Wittgenstien would say: "Stop asking stupid questions. Why don't we say that balding men have ear-brows?"

Karl Popper would say: "The rule is based on inductive reasoning and is therefore irrational. Take a wild guess about what the makeup artist will do and congratulate yourself if you are wrong."

Jean Calvin would say: "Anyone who thinks their eyebrows can be painted is a liar. Eyebrows grow wild and shaggy whatever we do"

Marx would say: "In a capitalist society the worker is denied the fruits of his own labour. The makeup artist must join the revolution before he is permitted eybrows"

Samuel Douglas said...

I suppose that humor of this form could be seen as an Ad hominem attack on those named, though I suspect that it is you Samuel B, who comes out looking bad. (On the other hand, I don't think we have enough philosophical humor on this site.)

What I really want to know is are you trying to save the drag queen in question from fiery damnation?

Samuel said...

Why not be helpful instead of telling me stuff I already know? And some of them are quite good, if I do say so myself.

And re the drag queen: No, possibly because I havn't met him/her/it.

Samuel Douglas said...

If I wanted to be helpful I would have beauty therapist or colonic irrigator. It is true (subjectively at least)that some of 'them'
are good, but this is Ad hominem, so what did you expect?

Samuel said...

I expected a response with a bit of colour, like "Calvin would have you drowned for offences to comedy if he was still alive" or something more generic, like "your post is a pointless wank"- and from more than one person. Having a single response gently implying that I'm wasting my time makes me feel rather flat.

Samuel said...

And is there really that much difference between hub assistants and colonic irrigators?

Anonymous said...

hmm, they both deal with other people's shit. Like colonic irrigation sometimes this is necessary, and sometimes it is pure self-indulgence. I would assert that it is much a perversion to willingly enter a student Hub for help as it is to have a stranger gently pump warm water up your backside, except that the analogy is unfair to those with an enema fetish.

Samuel Douglas said...

Thanks for making me feel good about my job Anonymous.

Samuel B, are you saying that you will only try to save people you have met? Is this so you can judge them first? Your inconsistencies irritate me!

Samuel said...

Its hard to hold a conversation over myspace. I havn't seen anything to suggest that trying to evengelise this person over myspace wouldn't be a waste of time. And why do you ask about him/her/it particularly? You've never complained that I put insufficient effort into trying to save you from hell.

Samuel Douglas said...

Here's a suggestion: Why don't you go and "act d" ( or was it act b?) yourself!

Seriously - Are you saying that Evangelising can sometimes be a waste of time? I'm sure that's not true.

Samuel said...

You're sure evangelism is never a waste of time?

Welcome brother!

The blue shirt and the stack of tracts are waiting for you and your missionary zeal.

Samuel Douglas said...

There is such a thing as being too sarcastic you know!

Samuel said...

Maybe, but you started it.

Samuel said...

A ghost, a little girl and a smart saber fencer were run down by a truck
Which one of them died?

The girl. The other two don't exist.

Samuel Douglas said...

Whose character are you trying to assassinate - your own?

Pathetic!

MH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MH said...

I know that there have been a few comments since, but can I ask who 'Foucalt' is? Now, I'm familiar with Michel Foucault, but have never heard of this 'Foucalt' ...

Or could it be that the Evangelical Samuel simply hasn't heard of google? Or even looked at the front page of the blog lately?

To finish, bluntly, your one liners were as funny as those 'how many philosophers does it take to change a light-blub?' and 'how many students of [insert name of Newcastle/Hunter High School here] does it take to change a light-blub jokes?' If you want to publish this sort of material and call it humour perhaps you should do a set on Rove or try a career in drive-time radio. In future, keep your jokes and attempts at looking cool and non-discriminatory (drag-queen friend? Your arse!) to yourself, and leave these pages as a monument to the golden days when a man could attack Ming's wardrobe mercilessly and with impunity!

Samuel Douglas said...

You should see Ming's hat.

MH said...

Ming? A Hat? Has he finally decided to surrender in his struggle against fortune and become a hobo?

Samuel Douglas said...

I thought becoming a high school English teacher was surrender enough.

MH said...

'Becoming a high school English teacher' is a process, uncomplete, which he could abort, and not a surrender until he has actually become a high school English teacher, where as the acquisition of a hat is a finalised process ... I think that I might have actually been channeling Ming there ... I need a drink ... It's not even nine ... it's going to be long day ...

Samuel said...

I'm thinking of two saber fencers in particular. One was commented on in this thread, the other is on the list of contributors, and neither of them is me.

MH: It is the ad hominem section, so jokes about hunter high schools and the like are exactly what is called for, if someone feels like they need attacking. And is MH proposing that every word has a meaning which is rigidly attached to one spelling of that word? Can he explain how such an attachment occurs?