Subject: Re: Kent, why do you use free software From: Erik Naggum <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2002 02:25:32 GMT Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <email@example.com> * Thomas Bushnell, BSG > If free software is such a harmful dangerous thing, Kent, then why do > you use it to read and post news? * Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen > Isn't that a rather ad hominem line of discussion? * Thomas Bushnell, BSG | It would be ad hominem if it were offered to prove that Kent's ideas are | wrong. | | Actually, I suspect Kent of (minor) hypocrisy, telling us that we | should all pay for software we use, that if we don't, it's valueless, | and the like. I don't think he really believes that. And what is "suspect Kent of (minor) hypocrisy" if not ad hominem? You are intellectually dishonest, Thomas Bushnell. I have said so before. This _is_ an ad hominem argument because what you say is strongly reduced in value when you display such flagrant inability to think clearly and stay clear of your amazingly dirty tricks, the above being one of them. I am actually deeply saddened that you choose to attack Kent with this crap -- he has shown us that he is much more sensitive to such treatment than I am, whom you have attacked with similar vitriol in the past, but that at least seems to have abated. But at the very least, be honest about your choise of ad hominem attacks -- or the "hypocrisy" label is a lot closer to home. Incidentally, that someone can find some "hypocrisy" in the _person_ of somebody else is not only an ad hominem argument, it is useless as such. It is impossible to avoid all forms of hypocrisy as seen by others, for several reasons: some other person may "see things" because of his mental state, which makes him seek hypocrisy because he is himself a hypocrite, and to a hypocrite, the hypocrisy of others is _really_ bad; some nutjob may well misconstrue an argument that something is undesirable or harmful and completely ignore the issue of proportion to its desirability and go environmentalist on an issue; some nutjob may also well misconstrue an argument against something to be against something else which everybody would think is good, and therefore attack the person for hypocrisy based on his own lack of thinking skills; even otherwise reasonable people may fail to grasp the argument if they _first_ look for hypocrisy. Moreover, if you "establish" that somebody is a hypocrite, what do you do with this new information -- if _not_ to use it to ignore what somebody says, or to make them feel bad, or some other destructive purposes? If you want to ignore what somebody says, at the very least, have the decency to accept responsibility for this stupidity on your own -- do not try to blame your victim. But then again, if you are not into blaming your victim, chances are you would also be smart enough to figure out that an argument that someone makes about the harmfulness of something does not mean that the person who makes the argument is not trying to get out of it, has chosen the best of all possible alternatives, has more values that needs attention, so the choice between Windows-bad and Linux-bad is that Linux is the least bad. Calling this "hypocrisy" is such an idiotic thing to do that I would argue that anyone who brings up hypocrisy to attack someone has failed to grasp what a public forum is about and has also made it clear that he no longer first listens and then judges, he only judges. In other words, make an hypocrisy argument and be doomed. /// -- In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none. In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.