Re: Zero-tolerance rules

From: Chris Hibbert (
Date: Tue Jan 01 2002 - 15:49:04 MST

Peter C. McCluskey <> Wrote:
>I would support a zero-tolerance policy towards ad hominem attacks.
>If the rule were clearly restricted to dealing with arguments of the
>type "X is stupid, therefore the policy he is advocating is wrong",

And John Clark responded:
> Ok, but what about "the policy X is advocating is stupid, very very stupid,
> therefore X is stupid".

In my view, you stop short of the kind of ad hominem we don't want to
see here by saying instead "policy Y won't work because of j, k, and l."
 There's no need to claim that the proponent of Y lacks intelligence.
Insult their proposals and their statements. When you can't stop
yourself from attacking the person, it's time to take a break.

> There is a threshold, if you say things that are
> stupid enough there is only one logical conclusion one can make. I mean,
> how else can you judge the intelligence of a person other than what they
> say or do?

If you believe that the conclusion is that obvious, then there should be
no need to tell the rest of us.


Currently reading:  Pauline Maier, "American Scripture: Making the 
        Declaration of Independence"; Karen Michalson, "Enemy Glory", 
        Harold McGee, "On Food and Cooking"
Chris Hibbert

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