Philosophical Musings

Philosophical Musings

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Debate vs personal attacks

I have another criticism of the left.. no really, i do! I'm sure this is hard to believe.

The tactic is personal attacks. Many time in the forums we have a topic.. i know..expecting people to reply to the topic is very naive, but some don't understand the left's strategy.

You see, they employ what i'll call the '5 D's'.


Rather than reply to the topic in a reasoned manner, refuting any points with counter points & valid arguments, they will use the 5 d's. It is much easier, & they don't have to think. Say the topic is the debt. Rather than defend the debt, or explain why & how it is a good thing, they will accuse the poster of being a nazi or racist.. or ask why they hate women.. or say that the poster just wants to help rich people & they hate the poor.

This is very common. Any outside observer can go into almost every thread in forums like this & find good examples of this practice. Now some may object & say that conservatives do this too. That may very well be, but i am hard pressed to find examples of it, whereas with the left, it is legion.

But the main point here is personal attacks. Many leftist posters do not bother saying anything on the topic, but only smear the poster. ..and they are not refuting any points being made, but just attacking them. Here are just a few responses i've gotten to my posts recently. And if you look back in just this thread, you'll see countless other prime examples of this tactic, too.

'You're an idiot'.
'Your points about (insert topic) are sh**.'
'You're a stupid f***er.'

To me, this just shows the poster has given up with reason, & has to stoop to personal insults because his arguments are bankrupt. But that does not dissuade the left from doing this. Many times, they do it before offering any rebuttal.. most of the time, i would say.

It is one thing to dismiss an argument, or ridicule it, or point out fallacies in the reasoning.. it is another to ridicule the poster. Many on the left.. and i'm sure the right, don't seem to know or see the difference. I call it the 'i-don't-have-anything-to-say-but-i-can-still-ridicule' syndrome. They don't actually point out fallacies in logic, but just attack the poster. They seldom make any points of their own, but wait for 'gotcha!' phrases to attack.

Sometimes debates can get heated. Personal views are often held dear, & defended or promoted with great energy, dedication, & sincerity. I don't have a problem with that. I think exposing faulty logic or bad premises is fine. But the line is crossed when the poster is personally attacked or smeared..

Now another strange practice is when you point this out.. that personal attacks are not logic, they will say you are whining or complaining! Very bizarre. Pointing out fallacies in reason is 'whining' to them, it seems. I am not expecting things to change.. these practices are too deeply embedded into the leftist dogma.. it may take years of deprogramming for these flaws in reasoning to be repaired. I am merely pointing out the typical tactics that are often employed by the left.

So for those who only like the summary.. the one liner, bumper sticker version is this:

The left uses personal attacks rather than reason in their debates.
Emotion over reason!

the latter makes a better orwellian bumper sticker or party poster

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