Thursday, March 18, 2010

The ad hominem approach

There is a simple form of argumentation known as ad hominem ("argument to the person"). Instead of responding to the issues, the ad hominem approach simply attacks the integrity of the other person. Is this valid argumentation? After all, even stupid people are sometimes right about some things, aren't they? So simply calling your opponent stupid, or hurling other insults at him, does nothing to prove that you are right, does it?

For some reason, LC, who earlier wrote a most unusal explanation of Genesis 1, has decided to turn to the ad hominem form of argument rather than address the obvious questions about his claims. Interestingly, LC's reply doesn't mention a single specific from my public writings, but rather, shares a canned list that he prepared four years ago!

Merle, thanks but I'm not interested so I won't go there. However, in anticipation of your response, I prepared the following and kept it waiting:

I skimmed your site a few days ago and, as I recall, it's the usual rehash of canards. About four years ago, I found I was running across so many guys with profiles like yours, I made a list and I haven't changed a word since. How many items, in general, apply to you?

-Raised in a loving Southern Baptist home.
-Indoctrinated by the fear of hell.
-Doubts the existence of God.
-Becomes rational materialist.
-Determines to enlighten the world about the evil, bloodthirsty, make-believe God.
-Believes humans can save themselves from self-destruction.
-Well-read and uses standard atheist canards.
-Uses derash Bible exegesis.
-Waffles on Jesus' existence.
-Truth outside a science lab is subjective, a matter of opinion.
-Confesses ignorance of true economics.
-Recoils at "tinfoil hat" New World Order.
-Denigrates "ancient" Jews' God but quick to label someone else as anti-semite.
-Uses Nazi Germany analogies.
-Likes to bluster and bully.
-Unless personally convinced, any argument is false.
-Requires constant support, approval of other atheists


Well folks, has LC done anything to prove that he is right and that I am wrong? Does copying a standard file designed to insult "guys with profiles like you" prove anything? Can LC do no better than argumentation by profiling?

My writings are a matter of public record. Everybody is welcome to read them, and see if I fit the profile that LC copied.

Also, the site is a matter of public record. Curious readers might want to check it out, to see if LC's profiling matches the writings there.

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