Why Abusive Comments Don't Form Good Arguments

In other-words, disagree with me, but be an adult about it, and certainly don’t follow U.S. politicians when you are trying to form a good argument.

Has anyone ever noticed that comments on opinion articles on the internet tend to digress into name-calling and personal attacks? I recently wrote an opinion piece here on Whatculture, and the conversation has been awesome. As I am writing, there are currently 11 likes, 42 tweets, a Google +1, and a whopping 38 comments, a feature that seems to be catching on and one I think that has been a pretty successful article, and I€™m glad to see that it is getting some attention from readers. I typically check up on CNN every day for serious stories in politics and news. Here in the USA, we are in the middle of another seemingly endless political cycle, and with the miracle that is the internet, readers comment, striking back against articles and opinion pieces they disagree with. Sure, every so often you get someone that agrees with a piece, but the majority of commenter€™s are dissenters. I think that€™s why I like the Facebook and Twitter system so much€”it gives a voice to the €œnon-haters€ with the €œlike€ and €œtweet€ buttons. Name calling is a sign of something a bit disturbing with internet communication. It€™s nothing new, as we have all experienced it since childhood. Yet the attacks continue with people of ages young and young-at-heart as though we were all still children. I studied philosophy for two years, and there is a fallacy called Ad Hominem, which in argumentation means that a statement or fact is being negated or attacked by abusing or pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of a person making a statement. A simple example of Ad Hominem is: €œYou aren€™t qualified to be president because you cheated on your wife.€ In this case, the qualifications of being president have nothing to do with personal problems. It is possible and quite likely probable that personally unfaithful spouses can be excellent leaders. I don€™t have to like them personally or agree with their lifestyle decisions, but their ability to lead should be judged on the merits of their leadership, not because we judge them for their personal decisions. In a similar matter, readers cannot justifiably say that I am uneducated in the world of comics or an A-1 Nutjob because they disagree with me. The two just don€™t follow logically (yes, I am channeling my inner Spock right now). My opinion piece was on the ten worst comic-book movie castings of all time. I did some research, I made my list, and I wrote an opinion piece. A few of the comments are actually constructive, and they don€™t attack or abuse the author (me), but the abuses that do arrive are oftentimes hilarious. One person accused me of having a €œterrible mental condition of silliness€ for my opinions, which, I must admit, made me chuckle a bit. Another comment €œshamed€ me because I disliked an actor for a role. Others slammed my article because it simply disagreed with their opinion. I€™m not hurt by these comments, but how much verbal violence is really necessary or appropriate when having an educated conversation about film? I want to make it absolutely clear that I am not upset by the negative comments on my article. Rather, I am quite encouraged, just as every writer that generates such rabid conversation should rejoice for being a success. I do, however, want to challenge my readers to defend their positions with more thought and consideration, because the baseless attacks I currently see are childish, and they diminish the larger conversation of effective electronic communication over the internet. In other-words, disagree with me, but be an adult about it, and certainly don€™t follow U.S. politicians when you are trying to form a good argument. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y&feature=youtu.be

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28 year old male likes long walks on the beaches and romantic dinners in the...whoa...wrong posting. Greetings all! If you are reading this, you probably want to know a thing or two about me. I am indeed a 28 year old dude from Oregon, I'm happily married, and I am a creative professional that does graphic design and photography to try (keyword is try) to make money in this crazy world we live in. I'm totally insane about film and the arts, and I have some pretty strong political/religious/social opinions as well. I draw quite a bit of inspiration from film, and often use it as a lens for viewing the world. On this site, you’ll catch me writing about a variety of, well, stuff, and you can agree, disagree, or be indifferent, but any way you look at it, I love a good argument (I forgot to mention that I studied philosophy for two years, so argumentation, as long as it is good, gets me all excited). Happy blogging to all!