Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Don't make me hurt you again

Mark Shea has an interesting post up related to the logical fallacy and sin of ad hominem arguments, and how we quite often in an internet flame war treat the other side as not a human being, but as an object. I know I do this quite often; my intent in arguing online is often not for the person I'm arguing against (as I know I'll never convert anybody anyway) but rather so that lurkers (in old usenet slang, a lurker is somebody reading a flame war but not participating themselves) get both sides of the argument fleshed out as completely as possible.

To do this, I often take the role of the crazy boy against the bully. NEVER take one of my arguments online personally- they aren't intended for you alone; they are intended to make others think. If by some miracle I make you think as well, then fine and dandy, but that's not my purpose.

That, in combination with the need for more time to do what I need to do and the lack of odd spam in eastern pictographic character sets as of late, is the reason I have now turned off moderation. This means I won't be answering topics as quickly- but perhaps, just perhaps, I'll be answering them a bit more sanely. Or insanely, as the case may be.

12 comments:

Bill S said...

An ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person") short for argumentum ad hominem, is an argument made personally against an opponent instead of against their argument. Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as an informal fallacy, more precisely an irrelevance.

As an atheist trolling Christian blogs, I am familiar with and sometimes guilty of this fallacy. But, overall, I enjoy the exchange of ideas and am learning a lot about the shades of gray between Catholicism and atheism. I am inclined to believe that you can't throw the baby out with the bath water. Catholic morality makes Catholics live good lives and that is the baby. The bath water is the judgmental attitude they display toward those who don't live their lives in accordance with the Catholic way.

Theodore Seeber said...

Which is, after all, just about everybody isn't it?

The Church is a Hospital for Sinners, not a Disneyland with luxury spa for Saints.

I don't know any actual good Catholics- the New Evangelization needs to start in the pew next to us, not in the wider world.

Bill S said...

Is the New Evangelization a counter movement against the New Atheism? The latter has painted itself into a corner because it relies on Darwinian evolution and aggressively attacks anyone who challenges it. Proponents of intelligent design can definitively show massive flaws in Darwinian evolution and can point out life forms that could not possibly be the result of natural selection. This leaves me in the middle between the New Ateists and those who believe that the Chistian God is the intelligent designer. Both are wrong and the real truth has yet to be determined.

Theodore Seeber said...

The New Evangelization shouldn't start with Atheists. Nobody's quite sure what Pope Benedict meant by that term, but it seems to be that we need to marry our actions to our beliefs closer and use new media to reach a wider audience.

THAT process needs to start in the homilies and in the pew and in the laity, NOT externally to the Church. Once our behavior matches our values, THEN we won't need to evangelize at all- the old song "for they will know we are Christians by our love" will be plenty.

By an odd coincidence, today's CatholicTV vortex was on this very issue. I don't agree with Voris that the Bishops alone caused this mess, and I almost never agree with Michael Voris on hardly anything at all (especially his hatred of social justice- he very much is a RadTrad and even has dealings with the anti-Semite Radical Traditionalists) but I did find it interesting that I was listening to this literalist fundamental Catholic roasting of the Bishops while typing this.

Talk about an irrational point of view! Sometimes I wonder if RadTrads can think any more than Westboro Baptists.

But he is right in one thing- the *actions* are not matching the *words* quite often in Catholicism, and how can we preach a consistent world view without that? How can say Cardinal Dolan keep up his lawsuit on the HHS mandate while conveniently overlooking the Archcare labor union contract?

Bill S said...

Cardinal Dolan is stuck with both Archcare and the mandate. He's done all he can to fight against Americans' access to free contraceptives. He has to give it up and move onto other causes where the Church opposes our government. He has plenty to choose from because this country is built on principles that in many cases are in direct conflict of the whole idea of a Pope and a "universal" church.

Theodore Seeber said...

One place he really should start is secular worker's unions in religious institutions. I'm not as bothered by the Archcare contract as the fact that the union involved seems to be a franchise of the SEIU, which has many more problematic views from a Catholic Values standard than just this one health care contract. Perhaps we need to bring back the guilds.

Bill S said...

Do you really expect Catholic institutions to bring religious issues into labor talks?

If the union pushes for free contraception in their healthcare packages or coverage for same sex partners, etc., do you really expect that to be a bone of contention when trying to avoid a strike?

Theodore Seeber said...

I DO expect Catholic institutions to bring Catholic values into labor talks- including such Catholic values as a living wage, thrift, charity, and ownership of one's own means of production. No bishop should be signing a contract that contains items against Church teaching.

Theodore Seeber said...

And if it comes to a strike- then better the church shut down than violate central values.

Bill S said...

Violate rules against contraception? Ridiculous.

Theodore Seeber said...

So it is better for a religion to be a bunch of hypocrites? I thought that was what caused atheism in the first place.

Bill S said...

There is no way that the Catholic Church should be telling people that they can't have contraceptives covered in their healthcare packages. None whatsoever. Since supposedly celibate religious probably use them, the Church is being hypocritical for opposing it.

Creative Commons License
Oustside The Asylum by Ted Seeber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at http://outsidetheaustisticasylum.blogspot.com.