Troll MO

Several regular room members of furtherleft have been developing a definition of trolls for newcomers.
  • One that shows a lack of ability to successfully combat an argument with the use of legitimate methods…
  • One that inhibits factual and logical arguments by provoking others…
  • One that denies the existence of facts or statistics even when a reputable source is presented…
  • One whose argument has a foundation that is based solely on known logical fallacies…
We would appreciate your comments!
Some trolls are not just trolls, by the way.  Several who come here daily have been engaging in systematic attacks on the room to try to drive it out of existence.  I call them orcs.  They are usually Young Republicans.  They live in the bowels the earth unless they emerge here.  They are also known as Karl Rove’s brownshirts. You can see their user names in Just Who ARE Those Trolls.  You can read the story of the last year at
Trolls use adhominem attacks to try to discredit someone they see as an enemy, rather than engage directly with them in debate.  When they make assertions, they are never able to back them up with facts or scientific analysis of any type.  When they are confronted with these by those they have engaged, they refuse to look at them or will not follow through and discredit the research at the source.
What is an adhominem attack?

Description of Ad Hominem

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. Bob: “I believe that abortion is morally wrong.” Shawn: “Of course you would say that, you’re a priest.” Bob: “What about the arguments I gave to support my position?” Shawn: “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.”

Where can I learn more about logical fallacies?

Here are a couple of links to get you started…