Since we’re not allowed to describe a person’s posts or arguments as “moronic”, I’m wondering what other words are we not allowed to use to describe a poster’s arguments.
Are we not allowed to use the terms “stupid”, “ignorant”, “simplistic”, “asinine”, “laughable”, or similar terms?
If so, why are they allowed while “moronic” is considered verboten.
I’m also confused why it’s considered out-of-line to classify another poster’s arguments as “moronic” since doing so is attacking the argument not the poster.
Edit: I should have said in the title “are not allowed” not “are allowed”. Would one of the of the mods please edit the title. Also anyone who wishes to tease me regarding the title feel free to. I certainly earned it.
I kinda feel like, if you need to ask this question, you should find a different messageboard. But that’s how I feel about a lot of threads in ATMB: they’re asked by people who view the board’s cardinal rule as too difficult to follow.
How about, instead of trying to skate right up to the line, you treat people in GD with respect, and don’t bother trying to characterize their arguments? As a bonus, Ibn, maybe you could stop your reductio ad absurdem schtick.
An occasional description of an argument as moronic, stupid, idiotic, etc., is not preferred, but is acceptable. When one poster begins to use one of those words to describe very large numbers of arguments with which that poster disagrees, it begins to look much more as though it is being used as a personal insult. Arguments can be seriiously flawed without demonstrating a serious lack of intelligence on the part of the author. The notion that most arguments demonstrate a lack of intelligence, rather than a difference of opinion, begins to present a view that is a lot more personal than we need in GD, (where it gets personal way to quickly, already.)
Attack the post not the poster is the cardinal rule of debating in GD, and your accusation that Ibn is somehow “being a jerk” by following the rules of the board is bull. Moreover, as the Dope tolerates lies, dishonesty, distortions and people who decide to be as difficult as possible despite not caring to learn the facts about an issue under dispute before arguing it, the idea that calling their arguments out is “being a jerk” but engaging in their behavior is valid is, put mildly, jabberwockian.
Thank Goddess that the rule is “don’t be a jerk” and not “play Pollyanna, or else.”. This is not a tea party and respect is earned, not awarded for walking through the door. We have certain actions listed as proscribed conduct. Failing to respect other posters, luckily, has never been on that list. Hopefully it never will be.
Shall I gasp and clutch my pearls as I point out that calling a poster’s arguments a “shtick” is not respectful and that you’re “trying to characterize his arguments”? Your claims are lessened more than a little bit when you engage in the same behavior you decry, literally one sentence to the next? Should you be Warned because you’ve made it clear that you don’t respect Ibn and you’ve negatively mischaracterized his arguments? And I point out that it’s a mischaracterization because the tactic that evidently has you being pearl-clutchingly disrespectful is that Ibn tends to point out logical flaws in people’s augments.
So the Dope as you envision it is a bastion of respect (except when you’re being disrespectful to other posters) and has no negative characterization of other people’s arguments (except when you negatively characterize other people’s arguments) and pointing out logical inconsistencies via analogy wouldn’t happen ether. It’s a good thing, then, that it’s simply what you’d like to see happen.
I’ll try to use other adjectives instead when I encounter stupid arguments.
However, when I encounter an argument that is stupid, displays gross ignorance about the subject, or does both, I see no reason not to refer to it as such.
I don’t think I have ever used the term “moronic” where it was unwarranted and I almost always, if not always explained my reasoning for using it in that post.
Also, I would say that anyone who thinks I use that phrase with every argument or poster I disagree with then that person hasn’t been paying attention.
To give one obvious example, Finn and I disagree very strongly when it comes to Israel yet neither of us have used such phrases to refer to the other’s arguments.
Finally, after I made one comment about how all politicians regularly dragged their wives around the campaign trail one poster specifically accused me of being sexist. The post accusing me of being sexist was reported and the mods said that the accusation of sexism was permissible.
I will freely admit that I think it’s a bit odd that calling someone a sexist for simply saying “all politicians drag their wives along the campaign trail” is not considered to be a personal insult and is considered kosher while calling a rather foolish post that displays extreme ignorance on a subject “moronic” requires mod action.
That said, Tom has a tough job and regularly has to make tricky calls so I’ll try to avoid using that term in the future.