讲道理:争做模范楷模,杜绝人身攻击

讲道理:争做模范楷模,杜绝人身攻击

Author 1, Article 3, Date: 9/16/2016.

(本贴参加OCAA征文大赛“俄亥俄华裔谈美国总统大选”)

文章概述

最近在OCAA主群里,热情的群友围绕美国大选讨论地热火朝天。虽然群主David Chen全力鼓励和保护自由言论,让大家尽可能可以无拘无束地发表观点。但是洋洋洒洒地一番唇枪舌战之后,总会发生一方疑似伤害另一方感情的事情,涉嫌人身攻击。即使在世界各地隆重庆祝每逢佳节倍思亲地中秋团圆夜,OCAA主群内的也难免发生个别群友间的口水战。对此,某些热心的群友,为了帮自己支持的对象仗义执言,不辞劳苦地翻出了神圣的群规和David之前在群里分享的关于人身攻击科学定义的教学材料。本文基于David分享的那篇教学文章,对原文(英文)进行了翻译和部分解读。

分析数据

Fallacy: Personal Attack

分析方法

人工加机器翻译。

分析结果

([ ]内为作者注释。原文(英文)和翻译(中文)交替给出)

Also Known as: Ad Hominem Abusive.

又叫对人不对事的辱骂

Description of Personal Attack

什么是人身攻击

A personal attack is committed when a person substitutes abusive remarks for evidence when attacking another person’s claim or claims. This line of “reasoning” is fallacious because the attack is directed at the person making the claim and not the claim itself. The truth value of a claim is independent of the person making the claim. After all, no matter how repugnant an individual might be, he or she can still make true claims.

当一个人攻击另一个人的主张(观点,意见等)时,用辱骂替代证据,人生攻击就发生了。这样地“推理”是谬误的,因为攻击是针对发表观点的人,而不是观点本身。观点真正的价值是独立于发表观点的人存在的。毕竟,无论一个人多么讨厌,他或她仍然可以表达正确的观点。

Not all ad Hominems are fallacious. In some cases, an individual’s characteristics can have a bearing on the question of the veracity of her claims. For example, if someone is shown to be a pathological liar, then what he says can be considered to be unreliable. However, such attacks are weak, since even pathological liars might speak the truth on occasion.

并不是所有的对人不对事都是错误的。在某些情况下,一个人的性格特点可以对她观点的真实性产生重大影响。例如,如果某人被指出是病态撒谎者,那么他说的东西可以被认为是不可靠的。然而,这样的指责是站不住脚的,因为在某些场合即使病态撒谎者也可能说真话。

In general, it is best to focus one’s attention on the content of the claim and not on who made the claim. It is the content that determines the truth of the claim and not the characteristics of the person making the claim.

一般来说,最好是将我们的注意力集中在观点的内容,而不是谁说了这个观点。决定观点真实性的是内容而不是发表观点人的性格特点。

 

Examples of Personal Attack

人身攻击的例子

“This theory about a potential cure for cancer has been introduced by a doctor who is a known lesbian feminist. I don’t see why we should extend an invitation for her to speak at the World Conference on Cancer.”

“这个关于对癌症有潜在疗效的理论已经被一位医生介绍过了,一个知名的同性恋女权主义者。我看不出我们为什么应该邀请她在世界癌症大会上发言。”

[That is a personal attack. The fact that she is a lesbian feminist has nothing to do with her cancer research.

To correct it, the speaker can take lesbian feminist out and provide a reason related to cancer research, such as”testing this theory in a lab setting has failed to produce any meaningful results.”]

 

“Bill says that we should give tax breaks to companies. But he is untrustworthy, so it must be wrong to do that.”

“Bill说,我们应该对企业给予税收优惠。但他是不可靠的,所以这么做一定是错的。”

[Attacking one’s character is a personal attack. Bill may be untrustworthy by some people, but it is still a personal attack because one’s belief that Bill is untrustworthy has nothing to do with the legitimacy of giving tax breaks to companies.

The speaker can correct it by saying “previous tax breaks to company have resulted in a significant loss of revenue on the state level which stressed state budget for development.”]

 

“That claim cannot be true. Dan believes it, and we know how morally repulsive he is.”

“这种说法不可能是真实的。Dan这么认为,而我们知道他是多么道德上令人讨厌。”

[Attacking one’s character is personal attack because one’s belief that Dan is morally repulsive has nothing to do with the truth of the claim. In other words, a morally repulsive might tell the truth on occasion.

To correct it, the speaker should provide enough grounds to show why the claim can’t be true.]

 

“Jane says that drug use is morally wrong, but she is just a goody-two shoes Christian, so we don’t have to listen to her.”

”Jane说,吸毒在道德上是错误的, 但她只是装作一本正经的基督教,所以我们没有听她的。”

[Attacking one’s belief is personal attack.]

 

Bill: “I don’t think it is a good idea to cut social programs.”

Bill:“我不认为削减社会福利项目是个好主意。”

Jill: “Why not?”

Jill:“为什么不是?”

Bill: “Well, many people do not get a fair start in life and hence need some help. After all, some people have wealthy parents and have it fairly easy. Others are born into poverty and…”

Bill:“很多人生命得不到公平的开始,因此需要一些帮助。毕竟,有些人父母很有钱和相当容易(就可以获得这些有钱)。其他人出生于贫困并且……”

Jill: “You just say that stuff because you have a soft heart and an equally soft head.”

Jill:“你刚刚这么说,因为你有一个柔软的心和一个同样软的脑袋(脑子有问题)。”

[Using abusive words directly on someone is personal attack. In this case, the abusive words are “you have a soft head”.]

PA Cheat Sheet

Informal Structure of ad Hominem

Person L says argument A. Person L’s circumstance or character is not satisfactory.

Argument A is not a good argument.

Source: http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/person.html


Exercises

Can you explain why following arguments are personal attacks?

  1. A prosecutor asks the judge to not admit the testimony of a burglar because burglars are not trustworthy.
  2. Francis Bacon’s philosophy should be dismissed since Bacon was removed from his chancellorship for dishonesty.
  3. Prof. Smith says to Prof. White, “You are much too hard on your students,” and Prof. White replies, “But certainly you are not the one to say so. Just last week I heard several of your students complaining.”
  4. I can’t see that we should listen to Governor Smith’s proposal to increase the sales tax on automobiles. He has spent the last twenty years in state government and is hardly an unbiased source.

References

  1. ad hominem — Wikipedia
  2. Personal Attack — changingminds.org
  3. Personal attack — lander.edu
  4. Fallacy: Personal Attack – Nizkor
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