Attack Ideas – not the people that hold them!

I heard this first at Uncommon Descent from blog-tsar, Dave Springer. I think it is a reasonable aspiration. Do we at TSZ fall short? Is it possible to attack the ideas of Donald Trump without being disparaging about the person of Donald Trump? I’ll admit to a lapse there. But in general, I think contributors support their claims and naked ad hominem seems rare here to me. Please correct me in comments if your mileage differs.

This post was provoked by this comment from phoodoo. It’s a difficult area for me, being born white, male, and British. Is it possible to safely navigate between justified criticism of the speech or actions of a cultural, ethnic, religious group and personal attacks that could be described as racist? Is there a bright line between free speech and hate speech?

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61 thoughts on “Attack Ideas – not the people that hold them!

  1. I have a friend whose political views are to the right of mine (he was ambivalent on Brexit as the process unfolded) and last time I saw him he was enthusiastic about a book he was reading Twelve Rules for Life: an Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson. I was reminded about Peterson on seeing an article in the Guardian on-line. Anyone read the book? I see it’s number 10 on the bestseller list still, two years after publication.

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  2. phoodoo: Well that’s lovely. Especially for everyone else who might use this forum. I am sure they will be very interested in you repeating the same thing over and over and over…

    This forum is mostly one group of people repeating the same things over and over. Just look at your posts from five years ago. Exactly the same as today.

    phoodoo: Perhaps you could also just occasionally type a series of exclamation points or the letter B. That would be fascinating for other to read.

    Your concern for others on this forum is at odds with your lack of concern for your fellow humans in camps. Just step out of your office and walk to the barbed wire section, you’ll see them there.

    phoodoo: And then go cry with the unwanted. Alan thinks it’s me who wants to destroy this site. Clever you. Is that your mom calling Gunther?

    Still waiting for your first OP of some substance. I’ve posted many, in support of discussion on this site. Have you?

    And if by ‘destroying this site’ you mean ‘calling out Nazis when I see them’ then that’s fine by me.

    phoodoo: Maybe sometime you can at least be funny? Original? Not you?

    It’s clear that many people despise you here. It only seems to be you that has a problem with me calling you out on your support for modern day Nazis.

    Nazis complaining about stalking! What snowflake!s!

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  3. phoodoo: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB

    Aww look at the baby smelling its own poop.

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  4. Ideas?

    Worth having? Worth discussing? Worth getting a broader perspective? Where does TSZ go wrong with female participants?

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  5. Gregory: No one can attack you because 1) sealion, and 2) IDist. Nuf said. Computer science training alone surely validates his confidence in that, right?

    So you come down on the side of Swamidass. The irony.

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  6. Alan Fox: Is it possible to attack the ideas of Donald Trump without being disparaging about the person of Donald Trump? I’ll admit to a lapse there.

    The problem with Donald Trump is that he is all person. It is not possible to attack his ideas, as he does not have any.

    +1
  7. Erik: The problem with Donald Trump is that he is all person. It is not possible to attack his ideas, as he does not have any.

    Drawing deep from my optimism well, I think Trump the person is no longer a problem.

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