Despicable, yes. But, sick fucktard?

Shalini over on Scientia Natura sure carries fervent anti-appeasment to extremes sometimes.

I do empathisize with her frustration at devious anti-science religious agendas, though I think that vicious name-calling is to sink to their level. Where appropriate, call their ideas "ridiculous", call their behavior "despicable", but personalized insults are merely fallacious ad hominems that can weaken one's argument.

In response to the video of Lee Strobel's interview of Anthony Flew, she says in Lee Strobel is a sick fucktard: "Watch how the theistard nitwit exploits an old man to further his crackpot, vile, despicable Jesus agenda."


I responded there but decided that I want to emphasize parts of my comment by posting it here rather than just burying it there:

"Several things irritate me about religionists: illogical thinking, scriptural regurgiquoting, and their tendency to resort to crowing ad hominem attacks and assorted fallacies of logic in place of facts.

I think that creationist appropriation of Anthony Flew in an emotional attempt to pander to theistic sensibilities (emotionalities not sensible abilities) is despicable.

The video could be used in a course on how *not* to conduct an interview if you don't want to lead a witness. (I grant you that this is exactly what Strobel wanted to do.) Talk about leading questions!

Flew comes across as sweet and fuddled, but he does stick to the parts of his position that he has thought out.

Flew's getting confused about the questions for which he was not prepared merely makes Strobel look worse and renders Flew's shift of philosophy less credible. They certainly induced him to demonstrate that his book writing days are long past.

However, I think that "sick fucktard" is a little strong. (You can't imagine how little I like defending creationists.)

They show their predictably poor judgement by *not* editing those segments out. But what more could you expect from mythoholics?

I imagine that the religionist nutters, like anonymous above, are doing the rounds posting their fake loving platitudes and apologies for nefarianism."

I just coined 'nefarianism', though someone has probably beaten me to it. Anyway, it's meant to signify an -ism based on a preference for nefarious tactics. It struck me as highly appropriate in this context because it is downright subversive to take advantage of failing faculties. Disgusting behavior. Disgusting.



evanescent said...

"but personalized insults are merely fallacious ad hominems that can weaken one's argument."

Hi Salient, just a note to say thanks for stopping by at my blog, and I really like yours!

Quick point: an ad hominem is only a fallacy if one counter-argues by using personal attacks.

Insulting someone isn't an ad hominem in the fallacious sense of the word. It's only fallacious if one says "So and so's argument is rubbish because he's stupid!" or something like that.

Whereas if you say "So and so's argument is flawed because he begs the question; I think he's stupid", is not fallacious.

Although I agree, if you use such vitriolic language it can lower the seriousness and professionalism of your material. It is something that I have cut out altogether on my blog, whereas when I first started I would swear and use personal insults quite a lot.

salient said...

I *do* agree that not all ad hominems are fallacious. If an individual arguing for evolution were to say that lawyer Phillip E. Johnson is not qualified to judge evolutionary theory, that would not be a fallacy. Saying he's not qualified because he's an 'idiot' would be fallacious, even if he were also an idiot.