Insults as a debating tactic

Trix said:

If philosophy is as phallocentric as this, where do Women fit in?

“Cynicism is the last temptation of intelligence.” Albert Camus

 I understand the necessity of passion in life. A lot of it is misdirected, however; If only more of that passion found itself [i]within[/i] the argument, within the close at hand, within the necessary...

“Keep holy your highest hope!” Zarathustra

You gotta be jokin’ Marshall, (when you said,)

“abusive people generally being incapable of a good argument (with notable exceptions e.g. Rafajafar for instance).”

Ralph Jam Jar is a complete wanker: an empty vessel who makes a lot of noise - but his sister is OK!

Heart, be still,
Surrender, suffer and be still!

“Ralph Jam Jar”?

What the fuck are YOU talking about? You make about as much sense as a japanese mint.

That’s a pun, if you couldn’t tell.

So to you insulting some one has to do with imposing your superiority and control over them? You obviously don’t use insults to prove a point like Rafa claims to (although, he’s probably just really insecure…or severly megalomaniacle), because you only insult those you consider yourself to be better than in some way.

So don’t feel guilty if you get so pissed that you kill some one. There’s a difference between emotion and action. Certainly it’s unhealthy to feel guilt about having an emotion, but there is nothing wrong with feeling guilting because you think you acted rashly on your emotions and hurt someone because of your crassness.

You blind fool! When I said that, “So don’t feel guilty ever of expressing emotions or losing control” I also said - The only time we draw the line is where we step upon another’s rights, in which case, if we hurt someone’s feelings and he expresses that or even if doesn’t, then we must say sorry, and in extreme cases since it would be a clear violation of another’s rights so we just don’t take anything to extreme.

But it seems you are either blind or have selective reading that you read only some lines and not the others otherwise you would not comment that, “So don’t feel guilty if you get so pissed that you kill some one.” Idiot!!!

I also mentioned that,
I think there’s a difference between insulting someone deliberately and just letting your emotions out.

But some people don’t seem to understand that from the voice in their words, others can tell immediately when someone is meaning to insult deliberately and when just letting their emotions out. When you just let your emotions out on a forum, no matter HOW INSULTING you 've been, the other person will NEVER hold a grudge against you, it’s a logical certainty, but if you insult deliberately, it will get through to the person immediately and he/she won’t forget it ever. So, don’t try to get smart here some of you, alright? When I mentioned that on our Hindi forums we let our emotions out, I DID NOT MEAN that we resort to DELIBERATE INSULTS :imp:

A deliberate insult differs from raw emotion in its INTENT. A deliberate insult is said with the clear intention to hurt or make someone look small. But raw emotion may be grossly insulting and yet will not hurt us or make us look small (but this raw emotion expression is within context of rights, our own and others’) For example: in a heated argument actual or otherwise, we will forget everything shouted upon us but we won’t forget even that little insult that was expressed deliberately with the intent to hurt us or make us look small.

wow, who would have thought that a thread on insults would have gotten so passionate??

anyway, hi marshall! haven’t seen you in a while,

i wasn’t really using that statement in the way that you have taken it. what i meant was, that to do philosophy, i don’t see how anyone can ‘timidly’ advance an idea or theory…you don’t just labour over something, only to come up with what appears on a polmemical scale as absurd, and then present it with only half-seriousness. i mean, we’re discussing the meaning of life here! (often) and hume’s call for modesty in philosophy is itself said with a high degree of self-assurance.

but, since you asked,

i don’t think philosophy has a role for women. much to its shame.

Go back to sleep you silly little boy!

Hi Trix. Who’s your favourite female philosopher?

Trix wrote:

/comfort trix

Well Trix, I’m delighted to say that I disagree with you. The feminist movement is laden with female philosophers in search of ontological freedom/authenticity. Have you ever heard of Foss’s and Griffin’s paper on invitational rhetoric? Invitational rhetoric is an approach to communication and debate that is ordered around understanding and acceptance as opposed to the more aggressive masculine form of interaction. There are many women particpating in, and contributing to the field of philosophy. With time, it will become more prevalent, as women have only recently begun to actively participate in higher education. There is the entire wealth of female culture and perspective that has yet to be fully realized on the world of philosophy.

And aside from the above, you must admit that your contributions to this site have added to the understanding of others, which categorically means women can have a place in philosophy (unless you’re lying about being a female of course) :wink: .

Mashall asked:

i don’t have one. do you?

thanks for the comfort and kind words matthew!

perhaps this comes down to a distinction of what equality is/should be. i believe that this is meant through incorporation, when in all areas there is a representative mixture of all the necessary views. i know there’s a philosophy of feminism. also, i know there’s a philosophy of engineering and of rastaf… (that religion from jamacia that i don’t know how to spell). this, to my knowledge, does not mean that mainstream academic philosophy incorporates all of these philosophies when arguing about contemporary issues/problems or classical thinkers. you can get a philosophy of whatever, but this segregationist approach does not create an inclusive learning environment. i actually feel more polarized by it. for instance, in my classical philosophy class, we were undoubtedly reading many texts by plato were we hear about how funny (b/c it’s degrading) to love a woman (vs loving a man) and other stuff about how silly it is to be a women (as they are so stupid). that plato wrote this doesn’t offend me – at all. that my prof didn’t address this at all, does. the response that i got when i asked why, was that this wasn’t a philosophy of feminism class. which i knew. what i thought was that, as it was a philosophy of the ancients worldview (essentially) and as they mentioned women, exploring this area can at the very least illuminate other areas. apparently, it can’t. and it gets trickier as the ages progress. i mean, everyone would like to think that the constant use of the word ‘man’ in modern philosophy is meant to signify the universal, all-encompassing human race. but, i think that on closer examination, it doesn’t really. man is man, and (here’s another thing) it exclusively applies to white european man.

the only consolation is that white european men were the only ones who take credit for most of western philosophy, and most con’t to do so today. as all philosophy is an on-going dialogue, to do philosophy one must dialogue with these narrow world views. it’s not something of terrible concern to me because i do think that a thorough examination of anyone can produce universal theories and maxims that are applicable to everyone. and as mark twain said, you write what you know. that’s all what thinkers of past, and present, can do. to ask them to incorporate other world views is rather impossible, no?

the other disciplines (as far as i have expereinced) have adapted seamlessly. other disciplines include: economics, pol sci, history and physics. so it is rather limited. but i didn’t find any, at all, exclusion based on gender or race from the material in those areas. also, i’m always intrigued by the fact that upper-year seminars in philosophy at my school (joint grad-undergrad intensive courses) are about 98% male. female philosophers of future? i’m not as confident as you that the discipline will be undergoing a huge equality change anytime soon.

Ad hominum attacks have no place in a formal debate situation. The reason is even if you are agruing with an “idiot,” unless the issue of debate is whether he or she is in fact an “idiot,” that declaration has absolutely nothing to do with the debate topic. The goal of an argument is never to defeat and/or publically humiliate your opponent, but to present the reasons for your position and provide enough counter examples to your oponents position. A person who commits an ad hominum attack really doesn’t help persuade the case they are trying to make. Rather, they send the message that they are not sufficiently secure with the topic of arguementation, and in order to paint themselves in better light they belittle their opponent.

Just because a person is an idiot doesn’t make them wrong all the time, neither does it make the nonidiot right all the time. A sound argument stands on its own, even if an idiot made it. The soundness and validity are based on the relationship of the premises to the conclusion alone. The proponent is rarely a premise for his/her own agrument. This may sound counterintiutive, but if murderer is tells you it is wrong to kill and she/he lists all the reasons for that position, the fact that he/she is a murder has nothing to do with whether or not it is wrong to kill. That he/she is a hypocrite is another matter entirely–one that should be dealt with as a separate issue once the debate is over.

With that out of the way, I know I’m guilty of committing the ad hominem fallacy on several different occasions. We all do at one point or another. We all make mistakes, the point is to recognize them and learn from them :slight_smile:

Here’s a great feminist philosopher–probably the very first: Mary Wollstonecraft. She wrote Vindication to the Rights of Men in the 1790. I encourage everyone who hasn’t read it to do so, especially if you happen to be male. One more thing, do not confuse her with her famous daughter Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein.

Beena, two questions
1, have you ever read Greg bateson? Or Wilhelm Reich? Lots of schizo-fun-ia there.

  1. Can you recommend a good translation of the Rg Vedas for me? I’m at a loss as to which version to read and I’d like to do some research on the Proto-Indo-Europeaness of the Vedas, especially Dumezil’s work on the tripartite function of society amongst The indo-european peoples AND the role of Indra in the societies

aleema is completely right. in a formal debate, you just DON’T use ad hominem assaults. they’re tasteless, useless, and “illegal” in the realms of formal debate. if you do make a personal attack, you sort of forfeit your credibility. i said something to this effect in the beginning.

and pope lanky whatever-your-name-is… i mean no disrespect to you when i say this, but your constant nay-saying and nit-picking isn’t always helpful …nor is it welcome. i see what you’re doing, and i can tell that you certainly have a brain, which is great… but some of your comments seem unnecessary.

before posting, ask yourself if you really have something to add. constant criticizing doesn’t make you a philosopher. anyone can quarrel over minute discrepancies in definitions. that’s nothing.

ehh… not at all what i said. look again. read the words for content, not for logical coherence. looking at things like a cold logician sometimes prevents you from seeing the “big picture”.

In carl sagan’s demon haunted world, he listed a bunch of flawed discourse techniques in his bologna detection kit. Ad hominem was one of them. Aside from the emotional implications, it’s just plain hollow in terms of furthering an argument, except for when it’s not, i.e. an argument about the speaker’s credibility. On the other hand, every discussion has an underlying ad hominem feel to it…existentially, everything you say that challenges MY experience of phenomena is a comment on me personally. “Hell is other people.” Sartre . The act of communicating to me at all implies that I need to be communicated with, or that there is a possible deficiency in my knowledge. Any logical statement inserted into my brain is a tacit ad hominem attack, in that it implies there is a space in my brain that needs filling or ameliorating. It implies I am not omnicient. All language comments on the receiver. So stop sidestepping the inevitable and just call a spade a spade…call me a fat stupid idiot and be done with it. (Don’t)

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

please share.

If there is lots of schizo fun in those reads above that you mention, isn’t it enough that YOU have read them? Why are you asking me? :smiley:

I don’t know anything about the Rig Vedas and nor would I be interested to know because they were written keeping in mind the life and times of the people at that time and their application today would be small if at all. But it seems to me that you would like to show people how learned you are by raising your flag on high here about the Vedas which many think highly of, when the topic is about ‘insults as a debating tactic.’ Go elsewhere and show people how learned you are, it doesn’t click with me.

Now, I’m not saying that all that the Vedas say is not right, some stuff there might be very good, but for that limited one or two insights in them, I’m not some fool to waste my time reading them, so I can’t recommend a translation to you. I’d much rather spend my time in the NOW! :smiley:

Wow. uh ok. well I’ll just put my questions away then. I checked out your website and I saw A whole mess of stuff about schizophrenia. It was fairly Interesting. I was simply trying to share with you books about schizophrenia that I have read.

Also, You seemed to know a lot about India, so I figured you might be able to answer a simple (and rather innocent) question for me. The whole point of my inquiry about Indo-European thought and folkways is to continue with my long term project to elucidate the ways in which those folkways and worldviews still influence our thinking, or in your terms “the NOW! :smiley:”. I’ve not actually read the Vedas, I would like to read them, but most of the versions I’ve come across seem to be academically weak. Therefore, I (not knowing much about India) asked you (who in the past several posts in this thread here have referenced your involvement with an Indian forum AND I’d also like to point out that the second part of your auto-onomastic is “jain” - a reference I assumed to be to the Hindu sect) about the Vedas.

Now, if I was a touch off base in assuming your knowledge about Indian religions, Pardon me. You have every right to throw me out and send my ass back to the dug-out.


Great posts Aleema and Matthew E.! I just bought a book by the Marquis De Sade which has a 60 page intro by Simon De Beauvoir. I can’t wait to read it. I am totally unacquainted with famous female philosophers but share Matthews sentiments in the matter. There might be fewer Ad Hominem attacks if females were to gain a leading role in philosophy. In any event, i will leave the Ad Hominem attacks to the politicians.