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From Dakota Jack <>
Subject Re: [ANNOUNCEMENT] Apache Struts offers "Shale" for JSF
Date Sat, 17 Dec 2005 18:17:33 GMT
Some instruction for you, Sean:  I hope this helps.  If not, it cannot hurt.
Description of Poisoning the Well

This sort of "reasoning" involves trying to discredit what a person might
later claim by presenting unfavorable information (be it true or false)
about the person. This "argument" has the following form:

   1. Unfavorable information (be it true or false) about person A is
   2. Therefore any claims person A makes will be false.

This sort of "reasoning" is obviously fallacious. The person making such an
attack is hoping that the unfavorable information will bias listeners
against the person in question and hence that they will reject any claims he
might make. However, merely presenting unfavorable information about a
person (even if it is true) hardly counts as evidence against the claims
he/she might make. This is especially clear when Poisoning the Well is
looked at as a form of ad Homimem in which the attack is made prior to the
person even making the claim or claims. The following example clearly shows
that this sort of "reasoning" is quite poor.

Before Class:
Bill: "Boy, that professor is a real jerk. I think he is some sort of
eurocentric fascist."
Jill: "Yeah."

During Class:
Prof. Jones: "...and so we see that there was never any 'Golden Age of
Matriarchy' in 1895 in America."

After Class:
Bill: "See what I mean?"
Jill: "Yeah. There must have been a Golden Age of Matriarchy, since that
jerk said there wasn't."

Examples of Poisoning the Well

   1. "Don't listen to him, he's a scoundrel."
   2. "Before turning the floor over to my opponent, I ask you to
   remember that those who oppose my plans do not have the best wishes of the
   university at heart."
   3. You are told, prior to meeting him, that your friend's boyfriend is
   a decadent wastrel. When you meet him, everything you hear him say is

Description of Straw Man

The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's
actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented
version of that position. This sort of "reasoning" has the following

   1. Person A has position X.
   2. Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X).
   3. Person B attacks position Y.
   4. Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.

This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because attacking a distorted version
of a position simply does not constitute an attack on the position itself.
One might as well expect an attack on a poor drawing of a person to hurt the
Examples of Straw Man

   1. Prof. Jones: "The university just cut our yearly budget by
   Prof. Smith: "What are we going to do?"
   Prof. Brown: "I think we should eliminate one of the teaching
   assistant positions. That would take care of it."
   Prof. Jones: "We could reduce our scheduled raises instead."
   Prof. Brown: " I can't understand why you want to bleed us dry like
   that, Jones."
   2. "Senator Jones says that we should not fund the attack submarine
   program. I disagree entirely. I can't understand why he wants to leave us
   defenseless like that."
   3. Bill and Jill are arguing about cleaning out their closets:
   Jill: "We should clean out the closets. They are getting a bit messy."

   Bill: "Why, we just went through those closets last year. Do we have
   to clean them out everyday?"
   Jill: "I never said anything about cleaning them out every day. You
   just want too keep all your junk forever, which is just ridiculous."

Also Known as: Ad Hominem Abusive.
Description of Personal Attack

A personal attack is committed when a person substitutes abusive remarks for
evidence when attacking another person's claim or claims. This line of
"reasoning" is fallacious because the attack is directed at the person
making the claim and not the claim itself. The truth value of a claim is
independent of the person making the claim. After all, no matter how
repugnant an individual might be, he or she can still make true claims.

Not all ad Hominems are fallacious. In some cases, an individual's
characteristics can have a bearing on the question of the veracity of her
claims. For example, if someone is shown to be a pathological liar, then
what he says can be considered to be unreliable. However, such attacks are
weak, since even pathological liars might speak the truth on occasion.

In general, it is best to focus one's attention on the content of the claim
and not on who made the claim. It is the content that determines the truth
of the claim and not the characteristics of the person making the claim.
Examples of Personal Attack

   1. In a school debate, Bill claims that the President's economic plan
   is unrealistic. His opponent, a professor, retorts by saying "the freshman
   has his facts wrong."
   2. "This theory about a potential cure for cancer has been introduced
   by a doctor who is a known lesbian feminist. I don't see why we should
   extend an invitation for her to speak at the World Conference on Cancer."
   3. "Bill says that we should give tax breaks to companies. But he is
   untrustworthy, so it must be wrong to do that."
   4. "That claim cannot be true. Dave believes it, and we know how
   morally repulsive he is."
   5. "Bill claims that Jane would be a good treasurer. However I find
   Bill's behavior offensive, so I'm not going to vote for Jill."
   6. "Jane says that drug use is morally wrong, but she is just a
   goody-two shoes Christian, so we don't have to listen to her."
   7. Bill: "I don't think it is a good idea to cut social programs."
   Jill: "Why not?"
   Bill: "Well, many people do not get a fair start in life and hence
   need some help. After all, some people have wealthy parents and have it
   fairly easy. Others are born into poverty and..."
   Jill: "You just say that stuff because you have a soft heart and an
   equally soft head."

Also Known as: Appeal to Mockery, The Horse Laugh.
Description of Appeal to Ridicule

The Appeal to Ridicule is a fallacy in which ridicule or mockery is
substituted for evidence in an "argument." This line of "reasoning" has the
following form:

   1. X, which is some form of ridicule is presented (typically directed
   at the claim).
   2. Therefore claim C is false.

This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because mocking a claim does not show
that it is false. This is especially clear in the following example: "1+1=2!
That's the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard!"

It should be noted that showing that a claim is ridiculous through the use
of legitimate methods (such as a non fallacious argument) can make it
reasonable to reject the claim. One form of this line of reasoning is known
as a "reductio ad absurdum" ("reducing to absurdity"). In this sort of
argument, the idea is to show that a contradiction (a statement that must be
false) or an absurd result follows from a claim. For example: "Bill claims
that a member of a minority group cannot be a racist. However, this is
absurd. Think about this: white males are a minority in the world. Given
Bill's claim, it would follow that no white males could be racists. Hence,
the Klan, Nazis, and white supremists are not racist organizations."

Since the claim that the Klan, Nazis, and white supremists are not racist
organizations is clearly absurd, it can be concluded that the claim that a
member of a minority cannot be a racist is false.
Examples of Appeal to Ridicule

   1. "Sure my worthy opponent claims that we should lower tuition, but
   that is just laughable."
   2. "Support the ERA? Sure, when the women start paying for the drinks!
   Hah! Hah!"
   3. "Those wacky conservatives! They think a strong military is the key
   to peace!"

Translated from Latin to English, "Ad Hominem" means "against the man" or
"against the person."

An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or
argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author
of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy
involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making
the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character,
circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this
attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in
question is making (or presenting). This type of "argument" has the
following form:

   1. Person A makes claim X.
   2. Person B makes an attack on person A.
   3. Therefore A's claim is false.

The reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the
character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not (in most cases) have
a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of
the argument being made).
Example of Ad Hominem

   1. Bill: "I believe that abortion is morally wrong."
   Dave: "Of course you would say that, you're a priest."
   Bill: "What about the arguments I gave to support my position?"
   Dave: "Those don't count. Like I said, you're a priest, so you have to
   say that abortion is wrong. Further, you are just a lackey to the Pope, so I
   can't believe what you say."

Description of Ad Hominem Tu Quoque

This fallacy is committed when it is concluded that a person's claim is
false because 1) it is inconsistent with something else a person has said or
2) what a person says is inconsistent with her actions. This type of
"argument" has the following form:

   1. Person A makes claim X.
   2. Person B asserts that A's actions or past claims are inconsistent
   with the truth of claim X.
   3. Therefore X is false.

The fact that a person makes inconsistent claims does not make any
particular claim he makes false (although of any pair of inconsistent claims
only one can be true - but both can be false). Also, the fact that a
person's claims are not consistent with his actions might indicate that the
person is a hypocrite but this does not prove his claims are false.
Examples of Ad Hominem Tu Quoque

   1. Bill: "Smoking is very unhealthy and leads to all sorts of
   problems. So take my advice and never start."
   Jill: "Well, I certainly don't want to get cancer."
   Bill: "I'm going to get a smoke. Want to join me Dave?"
   Jill: "Well, I guess smoking can't be that bad. After all, Bill
   2. Jill: "I think the gun control bill shouldn't be supported because
   it won't be effective and will waste money."
   Bill: "Well, just last month you supported the bill. So I guess you're
   wrong now."
   3. Peter: "Based on the arguments I have presented, it is evident that
   it is morally wrong to use animals for food or clothing."
   Bill: "But you are wearing a leather jacket and you have a roast beef
   sandwich in your hand! How can you say that using animals for food and
   clothing is wrong!"

Description of Appeal to Emotion

An Appeal to Emotion is a fallacy with the following structure:

   1. Favorable emotions are associated with X.
   2. Therefore, X is true.

This fallacy is committed when someone manipulates peoples' emotions in
order to get them to accept a claim as being true. More formally, this sort
of "reasoning" involves the substitution of various means of producing
strong emotions in place of evidence for a claim. If the favorable emotions
associated with X influence the person to accept X as true because they
"feel good about X," then he has fallen prey to the fallacy.

This sort of "reasoning" is very common in politics and it serves as the
basis for a large portion of modern advertising. Most political speeches are
aimed at generating feelings in people so that these feelings will get them
to vote or act a certain way. in the case of advertising, the commercials
are aimed at evoking emotions that will influence people to buy certain
products. In most cases, such speeches and commercials are notoriously free
of real evidence.

This sort of "reasoning" is quite evidently fallacious. It is fallacious
because using various tactics to incite emotions in people does not serve as
evidence for a claim. For example, if a person were able to inspire in a
person an incredible hatred of the claim that 1+1 = 2 and then inspired the
person to love the claim that 1+1 = 3, it would hardly follow that the claim
that 1+1 = 3 would be adequately supported.

It should be noted that in many cases it is not particularly obvious that
the person committing the fallacy is attempting to support a claim. In many
cases, the user of the fallacy will appear to be attempting to move people
to take an action, such as buying a product or fighting in a war. However,
it is possible to determine what sort of claim the person is actually
attempting to support. In such cases one needs to ask "what sort of claim is
this person attempting to get people to accept and act on?" Determining this
claim (or claims) might take some work. However, in many cases it will be
quite evident. For example, if a political leader is attempting to convince
her followers to participate in certain acts of violence by the use of a
hate speech, then her claim would be "you should participate in these acts
of violence." In this case, the "evidence" would be the hatred evoked in the
followers. This hatred would serve to make them favorable inclined towards
the claim that they should engage in the acts of violence. As another
example, a beer commercial might show happy, scantily clad men and women
prancing about a beach, guzzling beer. In this case the claim would be "you
should buy this beer." The "evidence" would be the excitement evoked by
seeing the beautiful people guzzling the beer.

This fallacy is actually an extremely effective persuasive device. As many
people have argued, peoples' emotions often carry much more force than their
reason. Logical argumentation is often difficult and time consuming and it
rarely has the power to spurn people to action. It is the power of this
fallacy that explains its great popularity and wide usage. However, it is
still a fallacy.

In all fairness it must be noted that the use of tactics to inspire emotions
is an important skill. Without an appeal to peoples' emotions, it is often
difficult to get them to take action or to perform at their best. For
example, no good coach presents her team with syllogisms before the big
game. Instead she inspires them with emotional terms and attempts to "fire"
them up. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. However, it is not any
acceptable form of argumentation. As long as one is able to clearly
distinguish between what inspires emotions and what justifies a claim, one
is unlikely to fall prey to this fallacy.

As a final point, in many cases it will be difficult to distinguish an
Appeal to Emotion from some other fallacies and in many cases multiple
fallacies may be committed. For example, many Ad
will be very similar to Appeals to Emotion and, in some cases, both
fallacies will be committed. As an example, a leader might attempt to invoke
hatred of a person to inspire his followers to accept that they should
reject her claims. The same attack could function as an Appeal to Emotion
and a Personal Attack<>.
In the first case, the attack would be aimed at making the followers feel
very favorable about rejecting her claims. In the second case, the attack
would be aimed at making the followers reject the person's claims because of
some perceived (or imagined) defect in her character.

This fallacy is related to the Appeal to
Despite the differences between these two fallacies, they are both
united by the fact that they involve appeals to emotions. In both cases the
fallacies aim at getting people to accept claims based on how they or others
feel about the claims and not based on evidence for the claims.

Another way to look at these two fallacies is as follows

Appeal to Popularity<>

   1. Most people approve of X.
   2. So, I should approve of X, too.
   3. Since I approve of X, X must be true.

Appeal to Emotion

   1. I approve of X.
   2. Therefore, X is true.

On this view, in an Appeal to
claim is accepted because most people approve of the claim. In the
of an Appeal to Emotion the claim is accepted because the individual
approves of the claim because of the emotion of approval he feels in regards
to the claim.
Examples of Appeal to Emotion

   1. The new PowerTangerine computer gives you the power you need. If
   you buy one, people will envy your power. They will look up to you and wish
   they were just like you. You will know the true joy of power.
   2. The new UltraSkinny diet will make you feel great. No longer be
   troubled by your weight. Enjoy the admiring stares of the opposite sex.
   Revel in your new freedom from fat. You will know true happiness if you try
   our diet!
   3. Bill goes to hear a politician speak. The politician tells the
   crowd about the evils of the government and the need to throw out the
   peoople who are currently in office. After hearing the speach, Bill is full
   of hatred for the current politicians. Because of this, he feels good about
   getting rid of the old politicians and accepts that it is the right thing to
   do because of how he feels.

On 12/16/05, Sean Schofield <> wrote:
> FYI Dakota Jack is a troll.  Please don't encourage him, even if you
> agree with his position.
> sean
> On 12/16/05, Patrick Lightbody <> wrote:
> > This sounds familiar :)
> >
> > I definitely would recommend changing the slides and title of the
> > presentation. Just yesterday I ran in to this:
> >
> >
> >
> > Changing the title to something like "Shale: the Struts Component
> > Framework" would certainly clear this up. We need to be firm and clear
> > on the idea that Struts has many sub-projects, and two major
> > frameworks: an Action framework and a Component framework.
> >
> > Patrick
> >
> > On 12/16/05, Dakota Jack <> wrote:
> > > With some people like Craig McClanahan delivering talks at significant
> > > conferences entitled with contrary ideas like "Is Shale the next
> Struts",
> > > you might excuse people for thinking that this "subproject" ruse is
> > > baloney.  I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday and I have read
> all
> > > about the Trojan Horse.
> > >
> > > On 12/15/05, Craig McClanahan <> wrote:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > By the way, the original decision to incorporate Shale as a
> subproject
> > > > occurred nearly 11 months ago:
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > -- Paul
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Craig
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > "You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it float on its
> back."
> > > ~Dakota Jack~
> > >
> > >
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> > To unsubscribe, e-mail:
> > For additional commands, e-mail:
> >
> >
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe, e-mail:
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"You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it float on its back."
~Dakota Jack~

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