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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

I want to get a few opinions on this logical fallacy.

 

I don't think it is always a fallacy, because, yes, you should attack an argument or opinion, but in the end, a person came up with, or just uses, that argument or opinion and a personal attack doesn't seem so bad anymore, because, if an argument is attacked, isn't the person that used it attacked as well, even if only because he used that argument, and even if in a less direct manner?

 

And sometimes a person's conduct, or motives matter in a discussion and it changes their argument(s) or view on the situation - for example, hypocrisy - pretending to have beliefs, opinions, virtues, feelings, qualities, or standards that one does not actually have.

 

So, are personal attacks understandable at any point in a conversation? What do the staff members of this forum think, since "Personal attacks are not allowed under any circumstance." (Guidelines)

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Replies to This Discussion

Not really. Some arguments made are caused by lack of knowledge, so attacking the argument teaches instead of attacking the person which is denigrating.

 

If some fool wishes to continue harping on a fallacious point of view like some evangelistic christian bitch, then his point of view will be torn to shreds by the community.

 

If you can not use logic to assail the controversial argument, and you instead attack the person, you have lost. 

No, indirect attacks do not count as "personal". A personal attack is saying that the person who believes something is stupid or of a diminished intellectual capacity, or, of course all sorts of epithets such as bitches, dicks, retards, etc., etc. (you get the gist). For example in the Hitler vs Bush discussion, it would have been sufficient to say why one thinks the comparison s not a fair or valid on, it is not helpful to say that the person who believes that it's a valid comparison is a retard. It gives no information, and it DOES NOT discredit the validity of the comparison.
And, speaking as an administrator in this site, and someone who has spent a fair amount of time in this sort of forums, not having a strong stance against personal attacks would be disastrous for the site. We are not "rule nazis" and we won't suspend or eject people at the first violation, but we will issue warnings when we judge that it is warranted.

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