Name-calling Versus Identification
Most, if not all, of my critics and their ideological supporters, including some of my blog readers or people sympathetic with my philosophy/ideology, attacked and/or criticized me for inserting name-calls into some of my my blog arguments. I say, they missed the point and that they’ve simply committed the fallacy of “the seen and the unseen.”
Yes, most of my critics and blog readers see that some of my blogs contain some fiery, combative adjectives and terms like “a bunch of idiots”, “stupid leftists”, “Filipino Freefarters”, “misguided statists”, “brainless” or “unthinking collectivists”, etc. However, they simply missed the “unseen”.
When writing a political blog against a certain issue supported by some of the country’s modern-day statists, I need to identify the kind of people or gangs or groups behind such an issue. I need to pick out and define the nature of the ideology that motivates these people. My purpose is not simply to explain the effects or consequences of their beliefs, advocacy or social programs, but also to explain why they embrace such a belief or ideology. Thus, one of my goals as a blogger is to identify that which makes some people “a bunch of idiots”, “misguided statists” or “brainless leftists”.
There were times in the past that I had to drop names, but it was only in retaliation to a rude or unthinking critic or commenter. For instance, the Filipino Freethinkers, a group of post-modern neo-mystics and statists, attacked my blogsite and called me names and unprintable labels (some of them are not part of the English dictionary) after I criticized their pro-RH bill stand. That’s when I wrote the following blog entitled “Freethinkers or Freefarters?” that enraged some of the most devoted disciples and inner-circle members of that collective. (You may check how these statist creatures reacted to the blog on the comment section here.)
I was officially at war with the Filipino Freefarters after posting a critical blog entitled Filipino Freethinkers Versus Reason. The collective’s most passionate followers went berserk because of that post and then they started trolling my blogsite, calling me unprintable names and employing some intimidating tactic. I deleted some of their emotional comments because they’re not even appropriate for adult readers.
Perhaps the biggest blow to the questionable credibility of that statist collective was a blog article entitled The Highly Appalling Plagiarism of the Filipino Freefarters, wherein I exposed the unprofessional, anti-reason, irrational plagiarism committed by one of the group’s most applauded bloggers.
I was provoked, and I believe had all the rights and justification to defend my stance and arguments against the irrational, illogical, anti-intellectual gibberish of my critics who had made ‘name-calling’ the most important ingredient of their arguments. I cannot think of any instance or debate or online conversation wherein I cast the first stone. No, that’s not my style. I only use ‘adjectives’ when it is morally and intellectually justifiable- and that’s when I’m provoked.
There were many instances wherein my critics forced me to respond to their provocation. However, there were some instances wherein I had to speak about an issue when no one dared to speak, like when I called some pro-RH bill Ateneo and UP professors “a bunch of idiots”. However, in my blog I clearly, sufficiently explained why those college tutors were a bunch of idiots.
The following are the instances wherein I believe I have to resort to identification (not name-calling):
- When a critic/commenter initiates the provocation, as when he starts calling me “names” without even presenting his arguments.
- When a critic/commenter assumes that he already knows my stance or my arguments and then uses it as the basis of his baseless, unfounded attacks and name-calling.
- When a critic/commenter resorts to strawman argument and continues to do so despite being informed of his/her dishonesty.
- When a critic/commenter has no plan to argue but to troll.
- When a critic/commenter is so dishonest that he is determined to twist my arguments and refuses to properly argue his case.
- When a critic/commenter starts to make unfounded, baseless claims like when he says “your argument is high fallacious” or “I’ve already debunked your arguments” without backing such a claim with facts and arguments.
- When it appears that it is already impossible to argue with a critic/commenter because of his dishonesty, fault, misrepresentation, context-dropping and the like.
As to name-calling, here’s what I said to a blog commenter in the past:
Name-calling per se (that is, without justification or showing any evidence to support one’s claim) is bad. In any discourse or debate, we have to identify our opponent- what is it that motivates him- why does he act or think in such a way- what’s the fundamental premise of his beliefs or arguments. Thus,identification is necessary no matter how harsh it may appear to the other party. When one is faced with an opponent, one has to identify the latter’s beliefs or ideology. The rule here is: know thy self and know thy enemy. This simply means that the “real” enemy is not the person, but the belief or ideology. One must not confuse an entity or a person with an ideology. The first is the “motivated”, as he embodies or acts on a particular premise, ideology or belief. The second is the motivator or the source of motivation.
Thus, what I mean is that an “identification” of a person’s belief or ideology is a form of moral judgment. Judge and be ready to be judged: this is the rule in a rational society. One must not hesitate to make a moral judgment.
My anti-reproductive health bill articles clearly show that I did not resort to name-calling (if one knows the proper meaning of this concept). I simply identified the ideological or philosophical “motivation” of my opponents—their belief system or that which motivates them to dogmatically cling on to their pro-RH bill position.
I am motivated by my pro-free market and pro-reason convictions. I don’t believe in welfare-statism or nanny statism. The pro-RH bill mob, which I strongly detest, is motivated by its knee-jerk belief that the government must provide the people, especially the poor, with their needs, that we are our brothers’ keepers, and that we must collectively contribute to the promotion of the common good or the greater good.
It is true that I used the term “neo-Nazism” to describe the ideology of these pro-RH bill fanatics. Observe that it is not the individual or the mob that I identified here, but the ideology. This is the difference between name-calling and identification. Name-calling is directed at the individual target regardless of his/her beliefs or motivation. Identification does the opposite; its purpose is to identify or to pick out that which motivates or moves the individual. Name-calling is an irrational, illogical method of argumentation, while identification is hinged on the concept or principle of causality, or the concept of cause and effect. In this contentious RH bill debate, the arguments and advocacy being espoused by the pro-RH bill mob is the effect of a cause: the statist/neo-Nazi ideology.