We’ve all been guilty of being uncivil on the PWI forum, but lately it seems as if things have gotten particularly bad. There’s no point in naming names - we, collectively, have a problem.
Here are some “debate” tactics that prove nothing and contribute to bad feeling:
ad hominem: yelling, insults, etc. The key culprit lately.
reductio ad Hitlerum: comparing someone to Hitler for espousing a particular view.
argument by outrage: sort of self explanatory, but basically involves attempting to show how “wrong” an idea is because of how morally repugnant it is, which usually involves tying the idea into something Hitler believed. See above.
tu quoque: Generally, another form of ad hominem. There are valid and invalid forms of it. Read this:
The key to debating is to a) remain calm, b) have an idea, and c) support it with some sort of philosophical or evidentiary argumentation.
That is all.
Edit: Many of us here simply like to be offended and outraged. May I gently suggest that if this is the case, we please do it somewhere else?