[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Thursday, 2011-08-25

Thoughts on the ad hominem fallacy

Filed under: Society,The Internet — bblackmoor @ 10:48
Duty calls

When you are arguing with someone, try to remember that there is a difference between the person and their ideas. When you’ve made your point as well as you can, agree to disagree. Don’t ever say nasty things about the person. For one thing, it’s irrelevant, and it demonstrates that you have sloppy thinking. For another, particularly on the internet, you only see the other person through a very small window. There is a great deal more to the other person than just that they disagree with you on some political policy that neither of you has any control over, or some game rule that will never matter because you don’t play in each other’s games. The other person has an entire life outside of your insignificant disagreement with them. Basing your judgement of them on such scanty evidence is irrational. Assume that they have family and friends and lovers who respect them, just like you do.

And if they’re wrong, so what? Let them be wrong. You’re wrong sometimes, too.

edit: To clarify a point of confusion: this is not directed at anyone in particular, and I include myself among the target audience.