Monday, 29 March 2010

Carlotta and the ad hominem attacks

I have already remarked that I find it a bit thick to be accused by the author of the Dare to Know blog of having blood on my hands and being responsible for the suicide and sterility of young people who have been compelled to attend school. Having posted a personal attack on me, Carlotta then followed it up with this,

"I don't want to get bogged down in unproductive debate with this particular individual who has repeatedly demonstrated an incapacity to argue with a due respect for reality, the rules of logic or with much integrity,"

Harsh words indeed! But what I find utterly astonishing is that she then comments here, saying,

"Go easy on the ad hominems,"

The correct time to reproach somebody for making an ad hominem attack is probably before you have attempted to implicate him in the sterility or death of your friends and accused him of lacking integrity, not after! I can only assume that this complaint about ad hominem attacks was meant humorously. Nothing would please me more than to avoid getting bogged down in an unproductive debate with this lunatic, but I can hardly be expected to ignore it when an open Internet site is mentioning my name in connection with causing suicide and sterility!

(For those who are scratching their heads at this point and wondering what this is all about, the argumentum ad hominem is a logical fallacy whereby one avoids debating rationally and resorts to personal attacks. For example, rather than debating the continued significance of Bevan V Shears 1911, one might instead say, " I refuse to debate with this person because he has repeatedly demonstrated an incapacity to argue with a due respect for reality, the rules of logic or even much integrity". This, in a nutshell, is the argumentum ad hominem.)


  1. sterility?

    Mrs Anon

  2. Indeed yes, Mrs. Anon. There is no end to my villainy! You surely don't think that I would be content with simply hounding vulnerable young women to their deaths? After beginning the post by warning me and Ed balls that we would have blood on our hands if the CSF Bill were to be passed, Carlotta talked of some of the evil effects of schools that she had witnessed, the sort of things that home educated children would endure if forced to return to school. She said of a particular school, apparently typical of many,

    "There were many other smiling depressives, and pupils who ended up with personality disorders of one sort or another, usually narcissism. At least one of the anorexics has nearly died of the disorder many times during her life so far. She is also sterile."

  3. Mmmmm...that is intersting though, Simon about the anorexia.

    I know several teenage anorexics (girls and boys). All go to school, none are home educated. I know my experience is limited to my personal contacts, though they are reasonably extensive, but it would be another fascinating area of research, to find if there is a (causal)connection between anorexia and unhappiness at school.

    Calling you potentially responsible for such evils is a silly piece of logic. However, there is something worth investigating here, I think.

    As you may remember, my 18 yo dd has autism. Commonly 'co-morbid' with autism in teenaged girls with HFA or Asperger's are several serious conditions, including anorexia and other forms of self-harm, depression, suicidal tendancies etc. The fact that my dd has NO mental health issues associated with her condition was remarked on by her consultant neuro-psychologist as 'extraordinary' and 'probably due to her having been home educated' throughout (apart from a brief period at age 5). She actually said that she had never met a teenage girl with autism with such a level of healthy self-esteem.

    This leads me to wonder whether, at least for some children already vulnerable in some way, as with autism, being home educated might well be saving their lives.

    It's worth researching, isn't it?

    Mrs Anon

  4. I think you are almost certainly right about this Mrs. Anon. I have, as I have perhaps mentioned, helped parents who wished to home educate children on the autistic spectrum against the wishes of their local authorities. I am pretty sure that if my daughter were in such a case, I would probably not have dreamed of sending her to school. It is quite possible that school is bad for such children.

    I honestly don't think though that this is the target of the new law. Obviously we can't know until it actually happens, but I don't see this as an attempt to prevent the parents of children with special educational needs from educating their own children. If I thought that, then I would be the first to attack Ed Balls and Graham Badman!

  5. But parents of children with special needs already appear to have more problems with LAs than others. Actually giving the LA the powers many already act as though they have is only likely to make their situation worse. This is only based on comments and requests for help on email lists though. Have you noticed any difference in treatment of children with SENs on email lists Mrs Anon? It doesn't sound as though it has been an issue for you.

  6. It was not an issue for us because her dx came later and she was not in the clutches of a school for long.

    Friends with children with SEN's who have had the dx since birth or who have had statements whilst at school have had many more difficulties with the LA, even when thir educational provision has been excellent and in any case, many times better than the school from which they were withdrawn.

    I expect this would get worse with the proposed changes because there is already a presumption that parents are not the experts about their child's condition, is which puzzling. The majority of parents of children with SEN's know their kids' needs inside out and there is no one better motivated for them to 'do well' educationally.

    Mrs Anon

    Mrs Anon