Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Ad Hominem

Giles takes me to task for being disrespectful to the higher echelons of the Brit blogosphere. He argues that my detecting Brit class-prejudice in the twaddle published by these illustrious folks is an Ad Hominem smear.

Gandalf replies to my earlier post, but not as impressively as before; ongoing disagreement from myself and from (in the higher echelons of the blogosphere) Tim Worstall seem to have tempted him into the public debater’s habit of playing the man, not the ball. Those on the left who disagree with his conclusions? Marxists. Libertarians? Young and naive. The remainder? Typically british class-ridden moaning minnies. And all of these people despise policemen. They don’t disagree with the current police policy, or believe it’s been misapplied in this case - they loathe and despise the person who happened to carry it out.

"Play the player, not the ball" is a Brit name for the Ad Hominem argument that is so loved by lefties ("Bushitler" etc.), which is defined so:

1. A makes claim B;
2. there is something objectionable about A,
3. therefore claim B is false.

My argument was rather different:

1. (Following 7/7, the higher echelon of the Brit blogosphere) claims, along with Brit Marxists, that (Brit "Plods" are ruthless killers and that the Brit state is a bigger threat than terrorists).
2. These claims are demonstrably false and differ markedly from US reaction to 9/11.
3. And here's why I think 1 is occurring.

My step 3 is a deductive argument, based on data.

Of course, falsely accusing someone of Ad Hominem is, er, Ad Hominem. And seeing hierarchies in the democratic blogosphere might just hint at unconscious class prejudice...