This is something I feel needs to be said as of recent events. For those that don't know what Motive Fallacy is keep reading and I will happily explain. To make it clear, I have not been a victum of this type of ploy. I have simply noticed it, that is all. Please take a full read, I know it is a lot but I believe it to be important.
What it is
To put it simply, it is a ploy used in debates to win against the opponent. Unfortunately it is not the proper way to win a debate. Instead of getting to the root of the problem and debating it in a civil manner, one person will decide to look into what their opponent gains with hopes of winning from motives of their opponent.
For example... Let's pretend that we are discussing which channel on TV is better (I know, silly, bear with it) and you work for say America's HBO. You decide that HBO really is your favourite Channel, and so you suggest that one. Should your opponent automatically jump up and say 'You are only saying that because you work for them' that is Motive Fallacy. Whether you work for them or not, that does not mean that you are in-fact wrong.
Of course those involved in the debate want to win. Whether your opponent has something to gain from their side of the debate or not, pointing it out does not automatically make you right in any type of debate. To be honest, it only makes you look silly. It does not suffice to show that their point of view is false. If it did, entering into a debate would be self-defeating because attempting to win would immediately show your position to be wrong. To refute their view you need to show what is wrong with their case, not what is wrong with their motives. Show the facts, explain them.
What a ploy
Unfortunatly this ploy is universal, it happens everywhere in our daily lives. The positive side to that is simply pointing it out, though sometimes mean, can be effective in getting people to stop. In politics, Motive Fallacy is a big thing. They can easily win the debate by this tactic. (to be honest, I always wonder how people who only argue about motives get elected in the first place IRL...) Of course winning is their main goal. With that said, I am commiting a Motive Fallacy to counter a motive fallacy. Haha~
Those willing to change the subject of the debate to motives can easily be accused of having bad motives behind their point of view. I would even be brave enough to say that usually the first person who comits a motive fallacy is the one who wants to 'win-at-all-costs no matter how right-or-wrong'. Though that is not always the case. Think about it, an honest person who knows the truth and can prove they are right has no need to bring the opponents motives into play, do they? I would say no but I suppose that is also not -always- the case, just the common situation.
Japan will not grow with this kind of ploy in debate. It will do the opposite, stop Japan from making any real progress. If people cannot debate a topic with different view points, we can never know which side will actually help Japan or improve the topic of debate. The one side of a debate using Motive Fallacy could in-fact be the worst choice, and therefore we did not pick the option that benefits Japan, just the less hated one due to motive fallacy alone. This will only stunt our growth. I would also like to point out that good things can be done with bad motives.
Let's take war as an example. Say a President decided to start a war because somebody from the other country called them a rude name. Well yes his motives would be terrible right? Kill thousands of people over such a silly thing. But what if (even though bad motives) there were slaves and people imprisoned in that country? The war may have been initially started because of bad motives, but it saved many people's lives!
With evidence and good reason, bad or good motives, the end result should always be chosen based on facts that show which option is better.
I have been away from eJapan for a while now due to IRL reasons which don't need to be discussed publicly. I was very disappointed when catching up on the forums to see this kind of silly ploy all over debates. If you cannot prove that your oppnent is wrong through facts then maybe he is right. Bringing out motives to win a debate and gain side benefits is just sadning. I will start pointing out Motive Fallacy for those you cannot recognize it. I hope that once pointed out or noticed, people will disregard those comments and not let them be a factor in deciding any debate.
Hopefully now that I have written this article it will stop, and those commiting the Fallacy will be able to accept it as is, a mistake. There is no reason to accuse people of false motives during debate, and there is no reason for the person you accuse to think any less of you from this point on. Yes, motive fallacy tends to make people not like you, but we are all grown up enough to forgive and forget.
When I was eBorn almost 7 months ago motives were rarely brought into play, and I would like to see this again. As I have said, it is disappointing to see friends, rivals, people I don't even really know, commiting Motive Fallacy.
When is it okay
Should we have a debate purely on the motives from a government offical, then it is proper to discuss it. However as I stated before, it needs to be supported heavily by evidence.
For example, lets say we find a government official not doing their duty right or stealing government funds for personal use. The person who noticed this should put together evidence and make a proposal to debate about it. During this type of debate where motives are the topic, it would be perfectly fine. Though only about the first person, and nobody discussing whether it was right or wrong. (always talk to the person in private about it before accusing!)
Stop changing the subject, get to the point!