Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Definition of Ad Hominem

A certain someone whom I decline to address directly because life is too short to waste on foolishness appears to not understand the definition of 'ad hominem'. Not that I gave a rat's, um, tushie, but for the sake of my regular readers who must read through countless regurgitations of the same pointless drivel, I present the following definitional interlude as a service:

Person A makes claim X. Person B makes an attack on person A. 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

Bill: "I believe that abortion is morally wrong."
Dave: "Of course you would say that, you're a priest."
Bill: "What about the arguments I gave to support my position?"
Dave: "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."

Read slowly, rinse, wash, repeat, then consider devoting your time to something worthwhile...

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