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Name-calling Versus Identification

June 29, 2011

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):

  1. When a critic/commenter initiates the provocation, as when he starts calling me “names” without even presenting his arguments.
  2. 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.
  3. When a critic/commenter resorts to strawman argument and continues to do so despite being informed of his/her dishonesty.
  4. When a critic/commenter has no plan to argue but to troll.
  5. When a critic/commenter is so dishonest that he is determined to twist my arguments and refuses to properly argue his case.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

RELATED POST:

The Evil of Open-Mindedness

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. GabbyD permalink
    June 29, 2011 3:38

    did u just make up this fallacy of the seen and the unseen? u cant just make up fallacies 🙂

    • June 29, 2011 3:38

      Just edited it… I’m still trying to figure out to be honest.

      The “fallacy of the seen and the unseen” is usually applied in the field of economics. It was first applied by Bastiat in his broken window fallacy.

      http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/15/the-seen-and-the-unseen-and-fed-policy/

  2. GabbyD permalink
    June 29, 2011 3:38

    thats the fallacy?

    then you’ve applied it incorrectly. the broken window fallacy is about “counterfactuals”. his point is, if u read ur link, that you cant judge the net benefts of X WITHOUT ALSO imagining a world where X didnt exist.

    • June 29, 2011 3:38

      No, it’s not. Apart from being applied in the field of economics, it’s also applies in the field of politics, like the unseen and seen effects of a political policy of program, the seen benefits of say, animal welfare law, and its unseen intended consequences.

      It is, in fact, contextual. A fallacy is not bound by or exclusive to a certain area or sector only. I can commit this fallacy by merely looking at the surface of any issue, argument, policy, etc. without giving a critical look into the latter’s content by applying logic and reason. One needs to get and understand the whole picture. In this case, one needs to know why I said those things and to know where I’m coming from.

    • GabbyD permalink
      June 29, 2011 3:38

      ha? of course fallacies can be used in different areas.

      thats NOT what we’re talking about.

      what we are talking about is the definition of “fallacy of seen and unseen”. you have just defined it differently TWO TIMES. decide on a definition. its either:

      a) broken window
      b) unforseen effects

      a and b ARE NOT THE SAME.

      • June 30, 2011 3:38

        My goodness! Definition? Do you know the broken window fallacy? It’s where the modern-day proponents of capitalism based the fallacy of the seen and the unseen. If you understand the broken window fallacy, you’d also understand the fallacy of the seen and the unseen. It’s in the book of Henry Hazlitt entitled “Economic in One Lesson”. Please consider reading this source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

        and this http://bastiat.org/en/twisatwins.html

        It’s not just unforeseen effects. It’s more than that, although that’s incomplete. Why did I use the fallacy of the seen in the unseen? Let me give you an example.

        Critic A saw that some of my articles contain critical, combative terms, which he thought were good examples of name-calls. He then concluded that I committed name-calling and that’s part of my style. The problem with Critic A’s fallacious judgment is that he didn’t give a critical look at the contents of my blog and merely relied on what he saw.

        Mind you, I observed this behavior from most of my critics or blog commenter. Perhaps your theory of “counterfactual”. What most of my critics missed is that most ideas like politics, economics, etc. require a process of thought. The problem with most of them is that they based their superficial judgment on what strike their eyes.

        You should understand that a fallacy is defined as usually “incorrect argumentation in reasoning resulting in a misconception or presumption.”

      • GabbyD permalink
        June 30, 2011 3:38

        “Why did I use the fallacy of the seen in the unseen? Let me give you an example….

        The problem with Critic A’s fallacious judgment is that he didn’t give a critical look at the contents of my blog and merely relied on what he saw.”

        OMG. that is NOT what the broken window fallacy is. pls read your own link.

        its about counterfactuals (which is not my “theory” -this is the definition of the broken window fallacy!

        let me spell it out for you. a window was broken. is that a good thing?

        you cant tell UNLESS you know what wouldve happened when the window HADNT BEEN BROKEN –> this is a counterfactual.

        you cant just make up your fallacies. this is why you have a closed/passive mind. you simply cant understand that you cannot make stuff up.

      • June 30, 2011 3:38

        “OMG. that is NOT what the broken window fallacy is. pls read your own link.”

        — Of course that’s not what the broken window fallacy is all about. Are you out of your mind? You should tell me why that’s not the fallacy of the seen and the unseen. Back your claim with arguments. You didn’t even know what this fallacy is all about and that you first accused me of inventing it.

        “its about counterfactuals (which is not my “theory” -this is the definition of the broken window fallacy!”

        — Again, you’re trying to invent things like what you did with your “bullyism.” And it seems that you’ve ignorantly misinterpreted the context of “counterfactual” from this source… http://mises.org/daily/2035 . That’s just the interpretation of the author from Mises.org.

        You said: “let me spell it out for you. a window was broken. is that a good thing? you cant tell UNLESS you know what wouldve happened when the window HADNT BEEN BROKEN –> this is a counterfactual.”

        LOLOLOL! It seems that you don’t understand the broken window fallacy. You’re just trying to pwn yourself again, comrade. Here a source… This is an except of Hazlitt’s Economic in One Lessson. https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/the-broken-window-fallacy/

        Here’s the story to pwn your utter ignorance:

        “A young hoodlum, say, heaves a brick through the window of a baker’s shop. The shopkeeper runs out furious, but the boy is gone. A crowd gathers, and begins to stare with quiet satisfaction at the gaping hole in the window and the shattered glass over the bread and pies. After a while the crowd feels the need for philosophic reflection. And several of its members are almost certain to remind each other or the baker that, after all, the misfortune has its bright side. It will make business for some glazier. As they begin to think of this they elaborate upon it. How much does a new plate glass window cost? Two hundred and fifty dollars? That will be quite a sum. After all, if windows were never broken, what would happen to the glass business? Then, of course, the thing is endless. The glazier will have $250 more to spend with other merchants, and these in turn will have $250 more to spend with still other merchants, and so ad infinitum. The smashed window will go on providing money and employment in ever-widening circles. The logical conclusion from all this would be, if the crowd drew it, that the little hoodlum who threw the brick, far from being a public menace, was a public benefactor.”

        Now explain your counterfactual… lol!

        Here are some of the illustrations of this fallacy:

        http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/the-seen-and-unseen-in-gun-control/

        http://www.safehaven.com/article/14162/government-bailouts-and-the-stock-market-the-seen-and-the-unseen

        http://www.quebecoislibre.org/11/110115-11.html

      • GabbyD permalink
        June 30, 2011 3:38

        seriously?

        you only quoted half the story. the idea is that the broken window will create a chain of observable spending. it will look like the economy is growing, hence public “benefactor”.

        but the question is: was that really a good thing? why not break ALL THE WINDOWS, if breaking 1 window is so good.

        see?

        geez, even your mises link understood it. why can’t u? it write:

        “Bastiat grasped that his analysis of the destructive effects of appropriation by invasion relied on a rather special type of comparing laissez-faire and interventionism, namely, on counterfactual comparisons. In his great essay “What is Seen and What is Not Seen,” Bastiat presented this insight as a counterfactual tale about a broken window. A boy breaks a pane of glass and the usual economic sophists gather to praise the accident because it keeps industry going. Bastiat (1964a, pp. 2f.) objects:

        see? the idea is that the sophists are wrong, because they didnt see the “unseen” counterfactual.

        see? you keep linking to things YOU DONT UNDERSTAND.

        this is definitely passive thinking at its worst.

        oh, yes. bully-ism is a term i coined myself. but thats ok coz i’m not stealing an idea, and COMPLETELY MISUNDERTANDING IT, like u and ur “seen and the unseen” riff.

      • June 30, 2011 3:38

        It’s good that you’re learning something here. Do you understand why the fallacy of the seen and the unseen is usually applied to describe some government economic policies? Why it is used to describe the Fed policies? It’s because of what the proponents of these policies don’t see and what real economists and political analysts see.

        I understand your point. But it does not always follow that a window be broken in order to apply this fallacy, although this does not constitute a departure from Bastiat’s fallacy. This is the reason I stated that it is “contextual”. I’m using the context of the “seen and the unseen”. In fact, it can be applied to the RH bill proposal and the MRT subsidy proposal in the government. A window need not be broken to particularly apply this fallacy.

        Contextually, I’m using this fallacy to describe what my critics don’t see, which they could have seen had they exerted some effort to know the content of my blog and know where I’m coming from. I’m borrowing it from Bastiat, so to speak. Capisce, comrade?

      • GabbyD permalink
        June 30, 2011 3:38

        “It’s good that you’re learning something here. ” OMG. i’m learning? this is stuff i already knew and have been trying to explain for the past 2 DAYS.

        see what i mean by passive minded/closed-minded bullying?

      • June 30, 2011 3:38

        Perhaps you need to reread my latest blog…

  3. GabbyD permalink
    June 29, 2011 3:38

    the real problem with this post, and ultimately you, isnt their fallacy.

    its yours.

    you believe that you are the only source of wisdom. their ideas/ideology have nothing to teach you. its intellectual closedmindedness, and bully-ism. you practically scream this here:
    ” 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.”

    so, YOU can explain their own beliefs to THEM, because YOU know BETTER.

    also, this sentence tells us more about how you believe the exchange of ideas is to be done: “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”

    retaliation? “at war”? this is your blog philosophy, kill or be killed.

    is this how u are in real life? if people disagree with you, then you seek to obliterate them?

    • June 30, 2011 3:38

      It’s because in every issue there’s right and wrong and that we have to make a moral judgment. I’m not saying that I’m the source of wisdom and I never said that. That’s a highly fallacious, if not malicious, statement.

      Of course leftist ideas and ideologies “have nothing to teach” me because they’re simply the subject of my criticism. It’s what I know about those ideas and ideologies. I’ve nothing to learn from them. Kindly back this statement of yours: “their ideas/ideology have nothing to teach you.”

      You said: “its intellectual closedmindedness, and bully-ism.”

      The problem with you is your incurable ignorance. It’s not about close-mindedness. The opposite of that- open-mindedness- means we have to accept their ideas no matter how evil they are- that we have to make a compromise. We cannot compromise basic moral principles. You mean to say I have to be open-minded with the policies and the advocacy of the leftists and statists? What do you mean by having an open-mind? That when a group of people seek to abrogate property rights and individual rights I have to be open-minded? That I have to be open-minded with the RH advocacy of some pro-population control statists?

      I don’t believe that open-mindedness has value at all. What I believe is an “active mind”. I don’t believe that I have to be close-minded when it comes to issues and ideas. I believe I need to have an active mind. That’s what you missed… and that’s because of your ignorance.

      Here’s an excellent line that critiques the openmind-closemind dichotomy:

      [There is a] dangerous little catch phrase which advises you to keep an “open mind.” This is a very ambiguous term—as demonstrated by a man who once accused a famous politician of having “a wide open mind.” That term is an anti-concept: it is usually taken to mean an objective, unbiased approach to ideas, but it is used as a call for perpetual skepticism, for holding no firm convictions and granting plausibility to anything. A “closed mind” is usually taken to mean the attitude of a man impervious to ideas, arguments, facts and logic, who clings stubbornly to some mixture of unwarranted assumptions, fashionable catch phrases, tribal prejudices—and emotions. But this is not a “closed” mind, it is a passive one. It is a mind that has dispensed with (or never acquired) the practice of thinking or judging, and feels threatened by any request to consider anything.

      What objectivity and the study of philosophy require is not an “open mind,” but an active mind—a mind able and eagerly willing to examine ideas, but to examine them critically. An active mind does not grant equal status to truth and falsehood; it does not remain floating forever in a stagnant vacuum of neutrality and uncertainty; by assuming the responsibility of judgment, it reaches firm convictions and holds to them. Since it is able to prove its convictions, an active mind achieves an unassailable certainty in confrontations with assailants—a certainty untainted by spots of blind faith, approximation, evasion and fear.

      Also, I never thought there’s a novel “fallacy” related to “open-minded-close-minded” dichotomy. It’s called appeal to be open-minded. This source states:

      All skeptics have heard this from someone at some point in a debate: “You need to be more open-minded” or “You’re too closed-minded”. This is presented as though it is actually a valid argument. In reality it just shows they have run out of arguments. They hide behind it to disguise the complete lack of any rational reason for you to accept what they are telling you. It’s the last resort of someone who has nothing – if they had evidence they would obviously present it.

      Even so, it can seem compelling, since calling someone closed-minded is pejorative. But it’s fallacious rhetoric: doubting something is not necessarily closed minded. In fact, the closed minded ones are the believers who insist some fantastic story is true despite a complete lack of evidence to support it. They are too closed minded to accept that their fantasy might be false.

      “retaliation? “at war”? this is your blog philosophy, kill or be killed.”

      This shows your naive understanding of things. Hilarious, I must say. Well, it’s because you’re an ignoramus of the first order. That was a “sarcastic” statement. I don’t regret using the “war” thing, because that’s what most of my FF critics said. A blog war. I am engaged in a battle of ideas. Yes, my purpose is to “kill” the evil ideology, if you want to insist on that word. I am engaged in the spread of an individualist ideology.

      Of course I need to identify that which motivates some people who support, espouse anti-reason, anti-rights, anti-freedom advocacy and causes. That’s an essential part of any form of expository paper. That’s the role of every political scientist or analyst or enthusiast. But that does not mean you’re trying to be the “source of wisdom”. That’s one example of non sequitor fallacy, comrade.

      First, you cannot give some objective, learned comment on some people’s strong support for a certain government policy or issue without understanding that which motivates them. Again, the key words here are “cause and effect”, comrade. In politics, everything is ideological and philosophical. You should understand this, comrade, and you should be thankful that I’m trying to personally educate you on some crucial issues.

      You might consider reading this: The Evil of Open-Mindedness

      • June 30, 2011 3:38

        By the way, GabbyD, you have some pending questions in my Hitler-PETA blog. You cannot get away with it. You may try to evade it, but you cannot evade the consequences of evading it.

    • GabbyD permalink
      June 30, 2011 3:38

      let me clarify “bully-ism”… its when you attack the people behind the ideas, not the ideas themselves, by calling them verbally assaulting them.

      this is why i dont think you have an “active mind”. you have a closed mind, or what rand says is a passive mind. (which is really the same thing, verbal semantics notwithstanding).

      i dont think ayn rand ever called people names and attacked them personally, in lieu of an actual argument against the idea. (if she did, she’s a bully too).

      i dont think rand support a bully-istic war either. she let her ideas stand on their own.

      • June 30, 2011 3:38

        “let me clarify “bully-ism”… its when you attack the people behind the ideas, not the ideas themselves, by calling them verbally assaulting them.”

        — That’s what most people do to expose the evil beliefs and ideas of others. If you call it “bullyism”, which is an apparent attempt at using Orwellian tricks, then so be it. Don’t you think “bullyism” is what you’re doing? You’re trying to invent a new anti-concept just to justify your ignorance and fallacious mentality? Such an anti-concept of “bullyism” only exists in your mind because that’s your personal invention. That’s the same dishonest trick employed by Naoimi Klein to attack Milton Friedman (although I’m not a Friedman fan). Klein invented what she pathetically calls “the shock doctrine” to attack Friedman’s economics. Apparently, it’s Klein’s utter stupidity that she exposed.

        “Verbally insulting them”… Well, some people, particularly the evil ones, deserve to be verbally insulted. You may call my style that way, but that’s OK.

        Lol to the rest of your comment.

        Ayn Rand’s comment on Libertarians:

        “For the record, I shall repeat what I have said many times before: I do not join or endorse any political group or movement. More specifically, I disapprove of, disagree with, and have no connection with, the latest aberration of some conservatives, the so-called “hippies of the right,” who attempt to snare the younger or more careless ones of my readers by claiming simultanteously to be followers of my philosophy and advocates of anarchism. Anyone offering such a combination confesses his inability to understand either. Anarchism is the most irrational, anti-intellectual notion ever spun by the concrete-bound, context-dropping, whim-worshiping fringe of the collectivist movement, where it properly belongs.”

        Also, my favorite economist Ludwig von Mises was combative in his attack on anarchism:

        “[Anarchists are] shallow-minded, dull, [and suffer from] illusions and self-deception.” — The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science, pp. 98-9.

        “A shallow-minded school of social philosophers, the anarchists, chose to ignore the matter by suggesting a stateless organization of mankind. They simply passed over the fact that men are not angels. They were too dull to realize that in the short run an individual or a group of individuals can certainly further their own interests at the expense of their own and all other peoples’ long-run interests. A society that is not prepared to thwart the attacks of such asocial and short-sighted aggressors is helpless and at the mercy of its least intelligent and most brutal members.” (p.98-99)

        You might consider this article written by Rand entitled: J.F.K.—High Class Beatnik?

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