February 26, 2023 9:07 pm at 9:07 pm #2169431SQUARE_ROOTParticipant
What Many People Do Not Understand by SQUARE_ROOT
Many people, especially people who comment on web sites, do not understand that personal attacks DO NOT PROVE ANYTHING.
In the secular world, people who are the most intelligent and the most highly-educated already know this. Now for two examples:
Rueven says that aliyah to Eretz HaKodesh is a chiyuv in our times.
To prove his point, he quotes from various Torah books.
Shimon says to Reuven:
Why should I listen to you? Ten years ago, I saw you eat traif!
Shimon fails to understand that even if his accusation against Reuven is 100% true, that does not prove that Reuven is wrong, because personal attacks DO NOT PROVE ANYTHING, and because truth is always true, regardless of who says it.
Levi says that a person who has a toothache can go to a dentist on Shabbos.
To prove his point, he quotes from various Torah books.
Yehudah says to Levi:
Why should I listen to you?
Ten years ago, I saw you eat peanuts without a berachah!
Yehudah fails to understand that even if his accusation against Levi is 100% true, that does not prove that Levi is wrong, because personal attacks DO NOT PROVE ANYTHING, and because truth is always true, regardless of who says it.
The correct way to disagree with someone is to prove that his facts are not true, or that his facts are not accurate, or prove that his logic is not valid. Insults or ridicule against the person making the argument DOES NOT PROVE ANYTHING, because truth is always true, regardless of who says it.
PS: In the secular world, personal attacks are called Ad Hominem attacks.February 27, 2023 12:46 am at 12:46 am #2169473
well put, especially for online discussions. There is even less to gain here by questioning someone motives and putting people down, so we will be better served by responding to the logic.
That said, ad hominems got a bad name, especially in modernity, as so many people conduct baseless attacks on their opponents in the “free speech”/”everything goes” environment.
How do Jews deal with it? On one hand, we generally avoid ad hominems against Talmidei Chachomim – a lot of Gemorah discussions are based on someone reporting what he heard from his teacher’s teacher – and integrity of that is not questioned. On the other hand, we clearly check integrity of a witness, and discard his opinion when he is shown to be not kosher – especially
if his behave is trief in the area that is being discussed.
an example of inappropriate ad hominem – R Yohanan commenting on Resh Lakish’ knowledge of sword making. examples of inappropriate ad hominems – discussions (Avraham, Moshe) with Hashem, insisting that He should do according to what He promised.February 27, 2023 11:54 am at 11:54 am #2169570mentsch1Participant
The sophisticated commenters here know what an ad hominem is
The issue at hand is not the truth but a willingness to engage
Many people can speak the truth. But you don’t see us giving much credence to (l’ havdil, even though he is technically Jewish )conservative commentators such as milo. He often speaks the truth. But he’s always distasteful about the way he goes about doing it.
If you want to raise certain points based on things that you’ve read in the name of CW. Here’s a thought. Just raise the relative point. I for one have little interest in engaging the merits of a person who shows such arrogance to charedi rabbanum.February 27, 2023 11:55 am at 11:55 am #21695711a2b3cParticipant
Disgusting that YWN lets comments such as “Always Ask Questions”‘s on a “yeshiva” site. Reminds me of the Rabbi who reads Richard Dawkins for his book club.February 27, 2023 3:47 pm at 3:47 pm #2169680Avram in MDParticipant
I suspect AAQ had some typos in his post and meant “appropriate” instead of “inappropriate”.February 27, 2023 3:47 pm at 3:47 pm #2169678Avram in MDParticipant
“In the secular world, people who are the most intelligent and the most highly-educated already know this.”
I agree with you regarding ad hominem arguments; however, why are you juxtaposing the frum community unfavorably with the secular world? Do you think that the “most intelligent and most highly-educated” frum people don’t understand logical fallacies? Or that secular online forums are not rife with ad hominem attacks?February 27, 2023 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm #2169808yechiellParticipant
they understand quite well – it’s just that they don’t have a good reply, and they know it, so they lash out with personal attacks and name-calling.February 28, 2023 8:04 am at 8:04 am #21698731a2b3cParticipant
Avram in MD and Always Ask Questions – if I was wrong, I apologise, and may Hashem Yisborach bless you בכל טוב.February 28, 2023 8:05 am at 8:05 am #2169866fallsburgerParticipant
The secular world understands ad hominem attacks? That is what they print in secular newspapers and what they show on secular news networks. And askibg questions in a yeshiva is certainly admirable if they are the right kind of questions and show respect and not impudence.February 28, 2023 11:59 am at 11:59 am #2169900funnyboneParticipant
There’s something that Chananya Weissman doesn’t get.
The frum yeshivish community isn’t interested in being lectured to by a kippah seruga YU graduate whose hashkafos don’t align with ours and wouldn’t even accept a shidduch resume at 45+ because of his “fardreid shittos!”February 28, 2023 11:59 am at 11:59 am #2169911
Avram, thanks for correcting. Last “inappropriate” on discussions with Hashem was meant to be opposite, of course. R Yohanan’s remark to Resh Lakish seems to be inappropriate given that it lead to death and insanity of both … If there are other opinion, I’ll be happy to listen.
1a2b3c, thanks for the brochos!
This is a good example how ad hominems start – you see one typo or unclear thought (and there are lots of them in an informal formal) – and make assumptions about the person you do not know personally. If you were to hear the same from your hevrusa, you would just correct him without thinking much. Humanity will eventually develop better attitudes towards online discussions. As an example, I see my kids easily doing quality shopping online. They quickly take review in – which ones are fake, which ones are by not knowledgeable or stable people, etc.
We have an example of this in Hagada: both chacham and rasha say lachem “to you”. Difference is that chacham’s other words are respectful and knowledgeable. I would not be surprised that chacham would get dental injuries in a modern online forum.February 28, 2023 11:59 am at 11:59 am #2169912
fallsburger > The secular world understands ad hominem attacks?
of course, you are right about average behavior. MSNBC and Foxnews comments ain’t better than YWN. But WSJ (sometimes) are. When Gemora says “yesh chochma b’goyim” did not mean that any drunk in the street is worthy listening to. When Rambam learnt Aristotle, he did not mean that any Greek is worth reading.
What SQRT means, I think, that we can find examples of people having proper behaviors and they are worth emulating.February 28, 2023 9:59 pm at 9:59 pm #2170159kaltlitvakParticipant
what is the deal with the wall street journal. i know like, ten people who hold of it to no endFebruary 28, 2023 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm #2170186
WSJ? A paper that follows some journalistic standards. As the target audience are people making business decisions based on what they read there, there is some minimal incentive to avoid total lies like some other ones.March 1, 2023 11:31 am at 11:31 am #2170360☢️ Rand0m3x 🎲Participant
If you want to raise certain points based on things that you’ve read in the name of CW.
I didn’t think of Chananya Weissman… (I’m not here much, though.)
(As for the WSJ, people will hold of anything that leans conservative.)
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.