Thursday, December 22, 2005

Notice: Ad hominem

Now you might think that I'm about to give you all a stern lecture on being nice to each other. Well if you did think that, you were wrong. (You also wouldn't know me very well).

While I feel that personal attacks are not appropriate or beneficial in most circumstances, I also accept that often it just can't be helped, and that people sometimes just need to argue in this manner. I would also not want to be responsible for an excess of force that could be safely vented in this manner building up and resulting in, (for example), one Philosophy Club member going postal at a weekly meeting and literally killing off philosophy in Newcastle.

To this end the Ad Hominem area has been set aside so that people can partake in this activity, without causing a distraction from the other discussions that are ongoing in different threads on this blog. Obviously what people posting in here can get away with will be considerably more than in other areas of the blog. Please note that abuse, past a certain point, will still not be tolerated in other discussions.

5 comments:

michael said...

Sam, there is no intention of attacking anyone, it's just an easier way of saying that a point is not relevant/useful/funny, and thus deserves no attention while at the same time advising the discontinuity of such responses. If such responses must be taken seriously regardless of their content then randomness is obviously in vogue.

Fish.

Of course there is an alternative: to ignore such posts. But if they have not been objected to they may be taken as relevant/useful/funny.

MH said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Samuel Douglas said...

Now Michael, what makes you thing that I was referring to you specifically? I admit that some people might think you guilty of a bit of Ad hominem at time, but in your case I think it is usually just cheek, and mostly harmless. I certainly have never taken anything you said as being deliberatley malicious.

Nor do I take such responses particularly seriously. This is part of the rationale for my actions. Think about it.

Fish. FISH!

I have never been so insulted in my life! You are a bounder and a cad. GOOD DAY SIR!

michael said...

Thank you, come again.

Pete said...

Sam,
Yah I have to agree with Ming to some extent. Such responses like my telling Martin to fuck off are meant to make a certain point. (Something that Wittgenstein said about what is not being said might be appropriate here?)

When someone spouts off with something like that perhaps we should be asking ourselves something like "What is it that caused such them to carry on like an arsehole?". Then we might begin to understand the message that the "fuck off Martin" comment was meant to convey. For my part, I can say that when I posted a comment telling Martin to fuck off it was not designed as an off-handed response, dismissing his comments without due consideration. It was just that after reading his comments and considering my response and the resons behind it, I came to the conclusion that rather than explaining my reasoning, it would be much more straightforward and succinct to tell Martin to fuck off. After all telling Martin to fuck off accurately summarised my response. I can also say that it also carried a certain extra dramatic weight. I mean just consider the statement for a second, "Fuck off Martin", The way it rolls off the tougue, "Fuck off Martin"....much better than a long, contorted piece of reasoned rhetoric I think.

However as you said, you are the editor of this site. Hence in accord with your wishes I'll be reserving such responses for the ad hominem section in future. I'd also like to take this opportunity to be the first to put my weight behind the new ordering of the blog and use the new ad hominem section in the fashion that it was intended....