“Words are the tokens current and accepted for conceits, as moneys are for values”-Bacon
LSS is a passionate blog-why do it if we don’t believe in it? Yet sometimes the depths of human folly excite our scorn so much that our feelings escape the bounds of civilised language. We don’t mean to, but we do. Such was the case with our little post last Monday (LSS 26 4 2022) when we railed against the feckless squandering of antibiotics.
Well, the post has excited strong feelings. A lot of likes. But one with raised eyebrows from a supporter whose opinions we have valued for five decades. Thoughtful, it was-and valid. Because in its humble, LSS way it goes straight to the heart of what is happening in England and around the world right now.
Our correspondent objected to our use of the language we used to describe over eaters, characterising it as “fat-shaming” Aggressive, judgemental language, she said, which failed to address the real issues by sliding into schoolboy abuse. And then we had our lightbulb moment. Currently a prominent female Labour Politician has been accused by a powerful Tory newspaper of using her charms to distract our Prime Minister during his duties in the House of Commons. The attacks, which allude to an actress called Sharon Stone (who she?-ed) seemed to us at once puerile, witless and venal. They are an example of the ad hominem attack, a common logical fallacy to which we link here  Ad hominem is just Latin for calling names and is used when the speaker has no idea of how to counter his adversary’s facts and arguments (for the record, the politician in question regularly bests the Prime Minister in debate) And the matter goes deeper. For now that Elon Musk has bought Twitter, his opponents allege that the ad hominem style will now take over this huge platform, rendering it useless for intelligent debate.
Time will tell. But we at LSS have no time for intellectual laziness. As long as we go out on Twitter or anywhere else, we shall eschew the ad hominem style, and any other logical errors we can think of. And so-thanks to everyone who read Monday’s post. We welcome any further comments. Our first duty is to be read, true. But to be read intelligently. We leave the rest to the tabloids.
#angela rayner #boris johnson #daily mail # sharon stone #logical fallacies #antibiotic resistance