Re: [Gimp-developer] What about switching from Gtk+ to Qt


And don't you dare say "But he started it!".

On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 12:14 PM, Patrick Horgan <phorgan1 gmail com> wrote:
On 08/05/2012 10:56 PM, gg wrote:
> ... elision by patrick ...
> Patrick, you refer to a pseudo encyclopaedia but fail to read the very
> first line:
> >> An ad hominem (Latin for "to the man") short for argumentum ad
> hominem, is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out
> a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it.
> Autotool, or whatever is a program, software. It is not a man and can
> not be the target of a _personal_ attack.

In a way you are correct, although in this case the use of the term is
directed at people not at software.  The latin does refer to man, but
it's the latin name for a particular style of rhetorical argument,
usually considered a logical fallacy in debate.  It's one where you
attack the opponent rather than the opponent's argument.

In this case the opponent of course would be the gnu auto-configuration
tools, and those who advocate for its use, the real target of the
attack.  By calling the tool suite by a pejorative name, it attacks
those who advocate for it, in essence saying that there must be
something wrong with them if they advocate for something which is so
detestable that it does not even deserve to be called by its name.
That's a pretty classical ad-hominem attack.

The author's use of the term is really intended to influence people, to
let them know that he's convinced that the software suite forces one
into a hell of use, and only someone who thought that was ok would
advocate for it.  (Obviously the software isn't going to care what it's
called, the title is directed toward the reader;)

This is in contrast of course to someone who knows the tools and the
contrasted tools well and can speak to the strengths and weaknesses of
each and come to a reasoned judgment.

All this is to say that it weakens your argument to use personal
attack.  It makes you look like you consider your argument weak, so must
resort to making your opponents, those who would support the tools, feel

My point is, that if someone doesn't consider their own argument strong
and must stoop to attacking those who support the opposing idea, I
figure it's not worth my time to read it.

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