PDA

View Full Version : Ad hominem attacks from dissidents



Gos
May 12th, 2011, 07:04 PM
I too must salute Gos for the very careful and detailed way that he has dealt with all these points. It is a mark of his intellectual respect for the subject to confer that respect on this unappreciative troll.

As for you dennisn, your response to Gos is simply pathetic.
....Another example of what a rat you are...


Hey, while we're putting people on moderation for ad hominem attacks...?

----

UKSteve
May 12th, 2011, 07:14 PM
LOL

I realised after the event that might get you going Gos.

I'm sorry that was grossly unfair to Rats!:D Peoples behaviour (in this case dennisn) holds them open to reasonable characterisation.
Norman Finkelstein handles this issue of 'ad hominem' attacks and 'civility' very well. You should watch the two 45 min parts of 'American Radical'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McyF92_LCXo&feature=relmfu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mik0mFRjjKs&feature=relmfu

If someone's behaviour warrants them being called a shyster, huxster, liar, piece of garbage, then it is entirely acceptable.

Gos
May 12th, 2011, 07:35 PM
LOL

I realised after the event that might get you going Gos.

I'm sorry that was grossly unfair to Rats!:D


I'm serious, Steve. Cut it out.

I refuse to participate in this discussion if those who are ostensibly on "our side" are allowed to get away with blatant ad hominem attacks that we wouldn't tolerate from someone like dennisn.

----

UKSteve
May 12th, 2011, 07:37 PM
For goodness sake Gos don't derail things by getting obsessed by one small line in this whole thread. Watch 'American Radical' and calm down.

computergeek
May 12th, 2011, 07:47 PM
I think keeping the tone civil (if not cordial) is actually more conducive to effective discussion.

I will admit that I find myself "tuning out" of conversations (and speakers) that tend to ad hominem attack too frequently.

UKSteve
May 12th, 2011, 07:57 PM
Well, sadly it made not one iota of difference to dennisn's responses.
In fact, the first attack was dennisn's to accuse everyone here of partcipating in
this peanut-gallery [of] unfounded speculation.
I 'tuned out' of this thread intellectually the moment it became obvious that literally nothing posted would have any effect on dennisn, let alone even be acknowledged by dennisn. 10 pages of thread and dennisn's responses have not qualitatively changed. How long to wait? 50 more pages of polite to and fro? Enjoy yourselves.
I repeat, people whose behaviour and actions warrant it deserve to be characterised accordingly.

cdm
May 12th, 2011, 08:36 PM
I repeat, people whose behaviour and actions warrant it deserve to be characterised accordingly.

I agree. Matters are too serious, and we should reserve the right not to be polite. Refer to noumerous citations in the plays of Shakespeare, where the scoundrels receive the contempt they deserve. UKsteve is a compatriot of him and he has the right to act accordingly.
EDIT. We should respect the naive, the rude and the honest, but not the scoundrel

UKSteve
May 12th, 2011, 08:55 PM
Matters are too serious, and we should reserve the right not to be polite.

We should respect the naive, the rude and the honest, but not the scoundrel

You make an important point and very succinctly.

If a debate is genuine and honest, if the exchange of views and facts is mutually respected, then there will be no harsh words or characterisations.

Indeed, if the discussion is about flower arranging, or tea making or the relative merits of traffic lights and street furniture as opposed to the pedestrianised self regulating free flow approach, there would never be a place for emotive language even during severe disagreement.

But 'HIV/AIDS' - just like the Israel-Palestine conflict, Iraq occupation or Afghanistan war - is not a dispassionate subject and peoples lives are affected, damaged, even destroyed by the supremacy of one view over all others, and involves corruption, fraud, lies and simple bullying.

Polite conversation is simply not possible in the absence of honesty and respect from those whose only motivation is to ram home the line of orthodoxy.
Indeed, some of those who mistakenly get obsessed about 'civility' and alleged 'ad hominem' attacks, are themselves being deeply dishonest, moralistic and just as controlling as the side they supposedly disagree with, primarily because their own motivation is a personal one hiding behind a false notion.

Gos
May 12th, 2011, 08:55 PM
I agree [with UKSteve]. Matters are too serious, and we should reserve the right not to be polite. ...We should respect the naive, the rude and the honest, but not the scoundrel.

It doesn't matter whether it's deserved (and in dennisn's case I'm still not convinced that it is); what matters is that the behavior of people like UKSteve undermine the efforts of those of us who would prefer to have a more sober discussion, while embarrassing our entire movement.

Gos
May 12th, 2011, 09:03 PM
But 'HIV/AIDS' - just like the Israel-Palestine conflict, Iraq occupation or Afghanistan war - is not a dispassionate subject and peoples lives are affected, damaged, even destroyed by the supremacy of one view over all others, and involves corruption, fraud, lies and simple bullying.

...And of course, we all know just how much better all of these situations have become, and how much closer we are to resolution of these problems, as a result of abandoning sober discussion in favor of elevating the passions of all parties involved over all other considerations.

----

UKSteve
May 12th, 2011, 09:08 PM
It doesn't matter whether it's deserved (and in dennisn's case I'm still not convinced that it is); what matters is that the behavior of people like UKSteve undermine the efforts of those of us who would prefer to have a more sober discussion, while embarrassing our entire movement.


You are talking complete rubbish. In fact, your gripe is very personal and on that basis your dishonesty just makes me sigh.

'Embarrassing our whole movement'?

That is simply the nonsense of a complete windbag. Self-inflated egotistical garbage.
You wouldn't know an important political issue, and with whom to stand, if it smashed you in the face.
As someone who is personally quite apart from the vast majority of people whose lives have been pushed through a traumatic ringer by being labelled 'HIV+', you have some brass neck.
I don't expect you, as someone who already had a lifetime of health issues long before 'HIV', to fully appreciate the devastation for people labelled that way by a scientific fraud who have never had any previous health events, nor lifestyle factors causing immune issues, but at least I would expect you to have the ability to understand that before you bleat like some 'University Challenge' panelist on how we should be 'nice' to people who justify 25+ years of murder.

UKSteve
May 12th, 2011, 09:15 PM
...And of course, we all know just how much better all of these situations have become, and how much closer we are to resolution of these problems, as a result of abandoning sober discussion in favor of elevating the passions of all parties involved over all other considerations.

----
Your breathtaking naivity and politically crass lack of the slightest bit of nouse is astonishing.
You think the millions of hours of *very sober* discussions that have taken place, have had the slightest effect in resolving 44 years of murder, torture and illegal occupation of Palestine?
Honestly, Gos - if you are suggesting for one moment that is what has been absent and is needed, then don't go near Palestine, or anywhere outside among 4.5 million Palestinian refugees because you would risk a great deal more than just being called a stupid, ignorant twat.

Gos
May 12th, 2011, 09:20 PM
Let's please move any further discussion of ad hominem attacks (which is not relevant to the subject of this thread), to this thread (http://forums.questioningaids.com/showthread.php?t=7387) instead.

----

UKSteve
May 12th, 2011, 09:21 PM
Yes great idea which you should have done at the start.

jonathan barnett
May 12th, 2011, 09:45 PM
I hope QA members take this poll seriously. The moderators are ultimately accountable to the membership.

All of us on the Moderation Team find these kinds of posts help us to measure the pulse of the membership and to help guide our decisions about how the forums will operate.

UKSteve
May 12th, 2011, 10:19 PM
So long as it does not become a cover for censorship and the abandonment of common sense.
That this poll was created because of a handful of words in one long post in a thread of 10 pages is, in itself, very worrying in its artificial and false nature, and a motivation that is suspect. That it is a dangerous, personalised and thoroughly negative diversion from questioning aids I have no doubt.

Mike_Stewart
May 13th, 2011, 04:46 PM
If they attack you - ignore them.

Don't waste your time replying to someone who attacks you. If they do, forget it.

Go to another thread.

If you keep replying with more posts, your playing into their hands, the orthodox, and "Special K."

Kill em with kindness.

cdm
May 15th, 2011, 08:58 AM
Well, we must see the essence of this debate. I think it is mostly relevant of the problems of humanity as a whole. We must thank Gos, who had the idea to make it a thread.
At present, we have the very difficult task to delineate the matter, being difficult, due to the fact the various divergions obey to extremely opposite forces.
I want to try to express my opinion on this, although I fear that my effort to make my expression a balanced one, may restrict my true feelings and notions.

Society as a whole is full of different tastes of behaviors.
The healthy tastes are four, as we all know from our preliminary lessons
1. The salty
2. The acid
3. The bitter
4. The sweet
There are also some horrible tastes that no one can suffer, the foul, the pepper-like (burning -like), the perversions of taste etc, but these are at the limits of tolerable taste.

We know from experience that a sweet taste may cover a bitter one, as it happened especially in the past with a lot of drogue pills. So the true nature of such a pill is its bitterness, which intends to produce a cure or a relief. In an analogy there are behaviors, which, through their bitterness, may produce a cure in the behavior of someone. A mild bitterness to someone is not to respond to him. Although ignoring someone is one kind of contempt, that may help someone, sometimes ignoring others is the sign of an arrogance that ignores good behaviors. So it is not definitively good either to opt to ignore someone. For me ignoring someone is not always good, although most of us in the forum have a high esteem for such a behavior. When someone ignores you, you feel a kind of respect for this person, because subconsciously you may realize that he is actually -or he simply feels-superior than you.
But a more bitter behavior may be more effective and deeply curative for the soul of a scoundrel, or at least curative and purgative for the forum. Because if the scoundrel insists on his/her filthiness of his/her soul, he/she might leave. In the best case the scoundrel, or the good member that was wrongly attacked, might defend itself, alone or with the help of others, and would restore its fame. Unfortunately side effects of the function of democracy always exist. We know that Socrates was convicted by the Athenian democracy. We can not exclude error.
I believe that all kinds of taste should be allowed to exist in the forum, because all may be curative. There is a proverb in my country saying: THE TRUTH IS BITTER.
I would opt the
1. The sweet behavior for the naive and the timid
2. The acid behavior for the rude
3. The salty behavior for the ignorant
4. The bitter behavior for the scoundrel.

These are the good implications of the human behaviors. We have in this forum representatives of all these tastes. It is easy to be self -identified. So I guess that we should be let alone to be auto -moderated, and only the extreme cases should be moderated by the moderation team. This is the free operation of the society.
Honesty should be the number one virtue of the forum, and we should keep it intact and protected like we keep the eyes.

cdm
May 15th, 2011, 09:18 AM
The highest virtue that keeps us together is our love for the truth, and not the personal needs. The personal needs are the forces of gravity, that bring us here in the forum, that may be simulated to mother earth. But when we come in the forum, we stay only through this virtue. Otherwise we get what we need and we leave, this being nothing to be reproached about.
EDIT: We should make a completely open society. This is what the enemies of humanity are afraid of

jonathan barnett
May 15th, 2011, 11:29 AM
Off-topic and inflammatory posts have been deleted.

While we respect the argument that there may be a place for incivility in a debate or argument, we are making it very clear that the Forums at Questioning AIDS is not that place.

The QA Team has been lax about enforcing the Forum Guidelines (http://www.questioningaids.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=53&Itemid=75) and and as the owners of these forums, we are restating our commitment to enforce the following guidelines especially:




While debating and discussion is fine, we will not tolerate rudeness, insulting posts, personal attacks or purposelessly inflammatory posts.




Flaming will not be tolerated. Do not post any messages that harass, insult, belittle, threaten or flame another member. Debates are fine, but argue with the point, not the person.




Trolling will not be tolerated either. Do not come to this site with the purpose of starting a dispute. Note that a person disagreeing with your opinion is NOT trolling; keep it civil, even if you're sure the other person is wrong.

Please consider this fair warning that we will be pursuing a policy of zero tolerance for guideline violations. Because we cannot be here 24/7, repeat offenders will be put on moderated status so the moderators can do their jobs.

cdm
May 16th, 2011, 11:42 PM
It seems members of the forum have voted that civil behavior is better and more productive than incivil.
The reasons expressed why civility is thought to be better are mainly these:

1. Civility creates a healthy and calm environment, in order the discussion to proceed
2. Civility is a prerequisite of credibility.

I want to stand for a while on the second argument. What is credibility? The ability to be believed. Who asks for credibility? Someone in need to be believed. But where and by whom? In a world full of lies inhabited by mostly liars.
What does he seek through credibility? Acceptance.
If we analyze the previous questions and answers we see that there is not a single reference to truth. For me the credibility is not valuable to the truthful. Truth has not any need to be believed. It exists. Lies and liars seek to be believed. The truthful does not care to be believed, -if his reputation is not in danger.

John Bleau
May 17th, 2011, 12:17 AM
CDM, I understand your argument and it has merit. But it's a little like my Thursday dilemmas: Pawn to King 4 or Pawn to Queen 4? Sometimes one of them suits me, sometimes it's the other. Neither has a hold on absolute truth.

Our moderation was being challenged by incivility, some members & moderators were getting fed up, and after much debate, we decided to act. I don't know if this will turn into a permanent policy, though it looks that way, or if it's just a swing of the pendulum.

Anyway, a little anecdote for you all. I had a couple working for me in a submarine sandwich shop and they were sniping at each other. In front of her boyfriend, Susan asked me to intervene, saying "John, Louis seems to be in a bad mood; could you have a word with him?" - that sort of put me on the spot, being asked that right in front of him. At least I knew him well, but what Solomon-like solution would I come up with on such short notice??? I turned to Louis and asked him, point blank: "You in a bad mood, fuck face?" They both cracked up and the mood lightened instantly.

Gos
May 17th, 2011, 12:25 AM
For me the credibility is not valuable to the truthful. Truth has not any need to be believed. It exists. Lies and liars seek to be believed. The truthful does not care to be believed, -if his reputation is not in danger.


How about if his very life is in danger?

It just so happens that mine is, as are the lives of many of us who test false-positive due to health issues unrelated to HIV.

There's a HELL of a lot more than reputation at stake here, CDM. Speaking for myself, my reputation is the least of my concerns. If I gave a rat's ass about my reputation, I wouldn't broadcast publicly over the internet about all the unprotected sex I've had, and all the thousands of sexual encounters with strangers I've had, and all the other sordid little details of my life. It would be extremely easy to preserve my reputation at the expense of truth -- all I'd have to do is keep my damn mouth shut.

Your proposal that we should be willing to sacrifice credibility because the truth is on our side is extraordinarily naive. People don't listen to truth; they listen to credibility. I don't care how much truth you've got on your side, if you can't back it up with some credibility, you're screwed.

Which is why I so resent it when my fellow dissidents are willing to sacrifice credibility to indulge emotional outbursts, personal attacks, and other self-inflicted indignities. It may feel good to compare our adversaries to Nazis (and for what it's worth, there may even be some truth to it), but the only thing it ever gains us is the label of "crackpots".

----

cdm
May 17th, 2011, 06:20 AM
John Bleau thanks for all your kind words. My concern was to try to figure out where lies the other side of the pendulum. And I feel a kind of deep and uncontrollable fear of it. I wish your presence to the moderation team would be a guarantee not to stay to the other edge for long. Anyway the laws of nature are such that we will always travel from the one side to the other. We can not avoid it.
I don't know if you in America like the european cinema, but I was raised through this . There is a film by Ingmar Bergman called "Autumn Sonata". It describes the relationship of a famous mother (a pianist) and her neglected daughters during a visit to one's of them house, that happened to be a chance to reveal all their harshness one against the other, for their first time in their life, all the other of it being in strict emotional isolation that made the one of the two daughter to suffer from a mental illness. This film is showing quite eloquently the ending of an intellectually implemented restriction of feelings, that is usual in Swedish people. I was impressed by one of the final moments, where the elder daughter says to her mother. "I had to drink in order to find the courage to speak to you like this". If you still don't understand, I mean to say that harshness and incivility sometimes is the best gift to a community, as unfortunately is sometimes war itself. We must cease to fear and fight incivility. Besides we are in the internet. Nobody is in danger to hit each other with fists.:) Let us express ourselves. The adavantage of the internet is that, keeping your anonymity, your dignity is in danger only in your private room, where lies your pc.
This is one of the main reasons, and not the biggest of all, that I am against eponymous contributions. Dr Jeckyl is in society, but in the internet we must give a chance to Mr Hyde (to Capo di Mafia in my case) to fulfill all his broken dreams. This would be a riskless relief of Hyde.



Your proposal that we should be willing to sacrifice credibility because the truth is on our side is extraordinarily naive. People don't listen to truth; they listen to credibility. I don't care how much truth you've got on your side, if you can't back it up with some credibility, you're screwed.

Which is why I so resent it when my fellow dissidents are willing to sacrifice credibility to indulge emotional outbursts, personal attacks, and other self-inflicted indignities. It may feel good to compare our adversaries to Nazis (and for what it's worth, there may even be some truth to it), but the only thing it ever gains us is the label of "crackpots".
----

Now with you Gos. You misunderstood me and it is not your fault. I ought to complete all my notions in order to be integrated. I didn't mean to speak the truth in order to convince people. You are right in what you said.
I am not screwed yet, because I don't need to convince anyone. Truth has her own power and those who may receive her, they will. Those who refuse it, they will. And those who are unready to accept it, they will keep on preparing themselves or keep on be prepared to accept it one day or refuse it. I think your wrong is that you wish to win, and this is a basic mistake.
My ideal is not only to speak the truth. Besides Truth does not need my humble efforts to survive.
I seek, mainly, the awakening of consciousness. And consciousness is not truth. An awaken consciousness may find truth by itself and not by being convinced by the strength of arguments. A sleeping consciousness can not find the truth even by the best arguments offered.
Unfortunately, and I proceed to the reason we don't agree, physical, intellectual and emotional crises offer the chance to consciousness to awake. As far as I know the human nature, this is one of the mostly accepted methods.
If we cut our genitals we may appear more civil but we will have lost a lot of other things, to speak it up more frankly.

UKSteve
May 17th, 2011, 02:27 PM
'Credibility' is a very subjective term especially when used in this context.
Honesty just goes out of the window and ego and pique very clearly just bubble up to the surface. 'Do as I say because I know best' - shouldn't one or two people add that to their signatures?