Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fact or Emotion?

From a conversation I read:

"C" -
"K" works for an insurance co. that has to know this law inside and out.
"L" & "F," though well intended and passionate, are simply reciting what they've heard or read from liberal talking points... And such sources are notorious for being void of facts.

"L" -
Actually I interned at a place that dealt with insurance issues for a year and picked up a good deal of knowledge first hand... but nice ad hominem.

Methinks "L" doesn't really know what ad hominem means. By definition, an ad hominem attack is against the person in an attempt to distract from the facts. C here addresses the fact that the points made by L are simply borrowed phrases from other sources. Sources that are known for being factually errant. 
  • This cannot possibly be an ad hominem against L - the point is made against the source material and not L directly or indirectly. 
  • This cannot possibly be an ad hominem against L's sources, as they are known to be in error.  
  • Statement of fact on K's employment and the connection to required knowledge on the topic is the exact opposite of an ad hominem. It is a statement of fact and use of the same concept as what a court might call an "expert witness."

To be fair, L was still in high school at the time, and her claim to have worked with insurance-related issues was volunteer work at a government entity that helped people with denied TennCare claims. All this agency does is advise people on how to get their claims paid. Not at all pertinent to the issue at hand. Meanwhile, K had worked with a company which required direct knowledge of the issue at hand. K had held employment at this company for a decade. Establishment of this sort of credibility is exactly what is done in courts of law for the purpose of determining whose testimony is fact, and whose testimony is simply emotion. 

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