geoduck wrote:I love it.
Mr. 3.14 hates ad hominem attacks so much that he peppers all his posts with hilariously exaggerated name calling.
For the millionth billionth time. An ad hominem
attack is a form of fallacious argumentation. It goes like this:
claims that Catholic schools should not be required to provide coverage for birth control pills as a part of its student health care package.
provides supporting arguments a
, and c
counters that X
is himself a Catholic and a man.
4. Therefore, X
cannot be right.
This is an ad hominem
fallacy, because Y
has, rather than addressing X's
arguments, simply attacked X's
credibility to make the argument. However, since the merit of X's
claim is presented in a
, and c
, credibility is more-or-less a non-issue here. X
is not asking us to believe assertions. He's providing arguments
for his position. So in this situation, attacking X's
credibility is fallacious. It has no bearing whatever on whether a
, and c
are valid. What is wanted is counterargument explaining why a
, and c
fail. Undermining X
does nothing, since the assertion stands on a
, and c
Another example. Suppose that Smith has acalculia. And suppose that Smith claims that 2+2=4, because 2+1=3, and 3+1=4, and by substitution, we get 2+1+1=4, and 1+1=2, therefore 2+2=4. An ad hominem
attack might go thusly: Smith has acalculia, therefore Smith can't do math, therefore he must be wrong when he claims that 2+2=4, and therefore 2+2≠4. It doesn't really matter how
Smith was able to give a good explanation, despite having acalculia (he might have memorized the explanation), the point is that his cognitive inability to perform arithmetic functions is the reason we say he has acalculia. We can't infer that the arithmetic calculations he does make are wrong because he has acalculia--that's getting the inference backwards. At an absolute minimum, he could've gotten the right answers by coincidence! There is no reason why a person afflicted with acalculia couldn't produce correct arithmetic assertions from time to time. Therefore, attempting to undermine his arguments by pointing to the fact that he has acalculia is an ad hominem
So, what is the point? The point is that ad hominem is not the same thing as name calling
, you dolt. And I'm sick of morons thinking that ad hominem
is just a fancy way of saying "name-calling." Yes, it's true that ad hominem
fallacies tend very frequently to involve putting someone down, but to be an actual ad hominem
fallacy, the put-downs need to be premises in a fallacious argument. The foul is not being impolite; the foul is failed inference. Simply calling someone an unflattering name is not
, I repeat, IS NOT
an ad hominem
fallacy. Dig? An ad hominem
attack is a form of fallacious argumentation. Name-calling is not argumentation, much less fallacious argumentation. To repeat: AD HOMINEM ≠ NAME CALLING!!!
I mean, if all that ad hominem
meant were name-calling, then why wouldn't we just call it
"name-calling," rather than trotting out a Latin term? Criminy. Fucking kids these days. If you don't know what the words mean, then either look them up or don't use them--take your pick.
geoduck wrote:Oh, and FWIW, I've never visited a public university that didn't have shit chained up left and right.
Then post pictures. Seriously, I am so sick of the argument that UMN is not bad, because other schools have the same problems. Firstly, they don't. Every other school I've ever seen looks like a freaking utopian garden compared to the utter garbage heap that is UMN. Secondly, if you think otherwise, then post your own goddamn pictures. And with that, I'm officially retiring from TLS.
I'm far too busy to keep teaching basic logical inference to people insisting on trotting out Latin terms they don't understand, and this is too far afield of the intended topic. And on the intended topic, there's plenty of information here already for anyone interested. For reference, I believe it's page 3 of this thread where you'll find the photos of the school. Somewhere else, you'll find a youtube link of a video of the school-issued laptop booting up. I've provided numerous undisputed facts about the school, which you can find scattered throughout the thread, if you are contemplating attending this total joke
of a law school.
To summarize: there's been an extraordinary number of fallacious arguments (ad hominem
and otherwise) offered to counter the evidence I've provided. For the most part, it boils down to either one of four categories:
(1) Other schools aren't that much better;
(2) The crappiness of the school is endurable;
(3) The physical condition of the school is secondary to the quality of the curriculum;
(4) You're just angry because the school personally screwed you.
I've given perfectly sound responses to these retarded rebuttals, which I've more-or-less had to repeat each time some moronic UMN-defender has ambled along to repeat some variation or other of these "defenses":
(1) I've given lists
of things that are uniquely
bad about UMN. That is, they are problems that other schools do not
also suffer (show me another school that has a bare electrical wire dangling out of a hole in the cement ceiling of a classroom, and I'll gladly retract this).
(2) People who have extraordinarily high tolerances for crappy environments are not really denying the crappiness of the environment, but rather attesting to their idiosyncratically high tolerance. Good for them. Since I have provided a large quantity of objective documentation about what the environment is actually like, such subjective assessments, however valuable in other contexts, sort of go by the wayside. Looking at a picture of a garbage heap and telling other people that it's not such a bad garbage heap doesn't really add any information. They're looking at
the picture of the garbage heap, and they can judge for themselves. To repeat, the pictures of the garbage heap that is UMN can be found on page 3 of this thread. When people say it's "not that bad," it is therefore a little puzzling how they expect this to be on point, given that you're looking at a picture of a thing that is that bad
, and no one has ever claimed that these photos were tampered with or otherwise illegitimate.
(3) You can find scattered throughout this thread repeated comments from UMN apologists that the physical disrepair of the school is secondary to the strength of its curriculum. While I have never denied that the faculty is excellent, the curriculum is utterly ruined by the incompetent administrators. I've given numerous facts supporting this position. On this point, some people have tried to combine rebuttals of the category (1) and (3) types, claiming that the problems with UMN's curriculum are just as bad at other schools. This is simply not the case. The simplest example is that last year, UMN had to change a required 1L course from graded to P/F after threats of walk-outs and widespread student protest. I've never heard of any other school changing its core curriculum grading policy mid-semester, due to student outrage. So there's something that is (a) unique to UMN, (b) not related to the physical dilapidation of the school, and (c) pretty goddamn significant evidence of incompetent administration. Note: Some people have had the audacity to suggest that this is actually a good
thing, since it shows that the admin is listening to the students. This suggestion is retarded. Why? It gives credit
to the admin for remedying their colosal blunder in the face of nearly unanimous student and faculty
complaints. They chose to change the curriculum mid-semester, because this was less bad than the alternative. They made a totally idiotic decision in the first place, and then they chose a remedy that merely mitigated the badness of their decision--you don't get points
for this! Indeed, the school's policies, from the required laptops to signing-up-for-classes, is almost entirely devoid of common sense at every step--there is not a single policy that couldn't be significantly improved by some straightforward and obvious changes. I truly believe that the administrators of the school suffer from severe cognitive disabilities--this is not hyperbole, I actually, honestly, truly believe that the deans of this "fair" institution must
be mentally handicapped. One look at the "student handbook," and I'm sure any reasonable person would agree.
(4) Here's where the ad hominem
comes into play. Even granting that I am miffed that the school screwed me personally, I've bounced back just fine (I got another
3.8 last Fall, and this time I got two
"book awards." Note: a "book award" is given to the one student with the highest score in a course), and despite my rebounding nicely from the procedural injustices I suffered first semester, I still
continue to think that the school sucks. Indeed, my thinking that the school sucks has very little to do with my being personally screwed at this point, although I think it is yet-more-evidence of a severely incompetent administration. Moreover, I thought the school sucked before
it personally screwed me. And there are a large number of students who weren't personally screwed, who also think that the school sucks. And even if
that weren't enough, I've actually pointed to undisputed facts about the school, and provided physical documentation to back up my claims. When I claimed that the $1275 computer (which UMN forces us to purchase at a huge markup) is slow and buggy, I videotaped it booting up (it took more than five minutes to get past the "Welcome" screen and load MS Word). When I claimed that the place was crumbling to rubble, and someone disagreed, I provided photographs of the place. Even if I had a personal axe to grind, such vendetta would hardly make a lick of difference. I wasn't claiming
that the school is broken and falling apart, I showed
the school, broken and falling apart. Some idiot claiming that the admin are "not completely incompetent" is offering a subjective assessment. The fact that they screwed up so badly that they had to change their grading policy mid-semester due widespread dissatisfaction among students and faculty
is not a subjective assessment. It's what happened! When people ask you to discount facts
, on the basis that the purveyor of those facts has an interest in purveying those facts, then that
is a classic ad hominem
To conclude: I wish the 0Ls the best of luck in their applications. I hope that my efforts at warning you about UMN Law have proved helpful and informative. I certainly wish that someone had given me this information when I was a 0L--it would have saved me from making the biggest mistake of my life. I can't say as I regret anything quite so much as I regret coming to UMN Law--and that's no exaggeration. My goal here has been imply to put information out there that might be helpful to prospective students. It bugs me to no end that a handful of people, blinded by "school pride," have felt the need to come here to obfuscate and confuse issues in order to "save the sullied name" of UMN Law. At any rate, UMN Law been the
single worst experience of my life, thanks to an unfathomably incompetent group of administrators. If you're thinking about coming here, I really cannot stress strongly enough what a huge mistake that would be. It certainly was for me. Here's hoping you won't have to go through it yourselves, or if you do, then here's hoping it's not quite as horrible for you as it's been for me.
And with that, finding all foes thoroughly vanquished, I officially retire from TLS.