This is my blog. It is dedicated to the principles of Natural law — as our founders understood them (i.e. Locke, not Hobbs). It is further dedicated to the manner by which our founders applied their understanding of Natural Law to the foundation of this nation and its government. Comments are welcomed and encouraged. And you should feel free to disagree. I do not shy away from differing opinions. However, because this site is dedicated to Natural Law, and the principles of logic are a part of Natural Law, fallacious arguments are not going to be permitted on this board. If you disagree, you need to either make a sound, valid and rational argument supporting your position and/or present some sort of evidence to support it. There are three major examples that are especially egregious, and care should be taken to avoid them. They are:
First, ad hominem (or, ‘against the man’):
This is when someone assumes information cannot be correct because of its source. For example, if I cite something written from Adolf Hitler, and a reader claims it cannot be trusted because it came from Adolf Hitler, that is ad hominem. It is a mistake to assume that something must be wrong simply because of who said it. We must look at what is being said and show why it is wrong. After all, what if I say Hitler said the sky is blue and a reader claimed it can’t be true because it came from Hitler? In that case, Hitler would be correct and the reader would be wrong.
It is also ad hominem when a reader insults or attempts to destroy the character of another person. The example here is when we call someone a NAZI without providing a reasoned argument as to why the term should apply. If the insult is intended merely to taint or tarnish a person in the eyes of others, it is ad hominem.
Neither forms are based in logic; therefore, neither will be well received on this board.
Second, appeal to authority:
This is when a reader assumes something must be true because of the source (where the source is usually highly regarded). It is similar to ad hominem, only in reverse. For example: if a person says that something must be true because the Pope said so, even if the Pope was speaking about the Bible, it does not mean the Pope is correct. People are human, and we all make mistakes. This is why we cannot accept a person’s good reputation as evidence of truth anymore than we can assume bad reputation is evidence of falsehood.
Finally, unsupported assertion:
This is when a person makes a claim without providing anything to support it. One must provide a rational argument or some other form of evidence to support their claim. We cannot simply say something and just act as though it is true and must be accepted by others as true. This is not sound reasoning.
There are many other forms of fallacy, and you can find them here. Please understand, everyone is susceptible to making them. Even the most disciplined of philosophers make them from time to time. I will not censor a comment simply because it contains a fallacy. No, it is by learning where we go wrong and being corrected that we learn. This is why I welcome correction, myself. However, once a mistake is pointed out, and correction is offered, if the use of fallacious argument continues, that reader’s comments will not be allowed. This is because they are committing another fallacy, and, at that point, they are doing it intentionally (the fallacy of misdirection or unrelated issue).
The practices of Machiavelli and Alinsky simply will not be tolerated here. This board is meant to help people learn and understand, and the people who follow Machiavelli and Alinsky seek just the opposite: to confuse and deceive. They are natural enemies of Natural Law, and, consequently, of Liberty.