An Argument for Arguing Well

The first of a three-part series for Catholic World Report, addressing three common intellectual errors.  First up: Ad Hominem.

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  • Joseph

    I’m screwed. Lol.

  • Andy, Bad Person

    Wow, those comments devolved quickly, and unironically, into “Enough about the article, let’s talk about you, Mark.”

    • chezami

      Well, yeah. But my assumption is that that is my fault. I am apparently personally irritating enough that people can’t get past that. So: something I need to work on. Basic teacher’s motto: If they’re not learning, you’re not teaching.

      • disqus_PA4psPJkIt

        (My usual moniker here is JB):

        “Basic teacher’s motto: If they’re not learning, you’re not teaching.”

        That’s a noble thought, but it’s not always true. Some students are either unable or unwilling to learn, or both:

      • Andy, Bad Person

        Fair enough. I rarely self-examine because it’s prideful to marvel at my own perfection, but I can see why the lowly like you might want to work on that.

        More seriously, I’d love to hear your take on the Genetic Fallacy next week. I have a hard time distinguishing it from Ad Hominem, probably because they’re pretty closely related.

      • Rebecca Fuentes

        Considering all the irritations across the (sweeping) Catholic blogosphere, you don’t rate on my irritat-o-meter. I appreciate the explanation of this, since I don’t have a background in debate, Latin, or logic, something I’m trying to correct in my own children’s education. You’ve instructed the ignorant today.

    • Paxton Reis

      The comment section of blogs and articles is to be approached with caution and perhaps avoided.

  • ivan_the_mad

    “Peter’s ‘Hey! We’re not drunk! It’s only nine o’clock in the morning!’ became the first in a long line of arguments for the Holy Spirit”

    This is why I read your stuff, Mark. And I’m totally stealing that. Also, one of the Gnostic Gospels records James as chiming in and saying “But come back in an hour, and we will be!”