History Main / AdHominem

22nd Jan '17 4:26:47 PM MasterofGalaxies4628
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22nd Jan '17 4:26:33 PM MasterofGalaxies4628
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* Direct-An attack directly on the person making the argument themselves.
* Circumstantial-The attack is on the circumstances surrounding the person making the argument.
* Poisoning the Well-The attack on the person is intended to call into question ''everything'' they say.
* Tu Quoque-The attack is that the [[StrawHypocrite person making the argument does the same thing they're arguing against themselves]], or that they, at some previous time, held a different opinion.

to:

* Direct-An Direct: An attack directly on the person making the argument themselves.
* Circumstantial-The Circumstantial: The attack is on the circumstances surrounding the person making the argument.
* Poisoning the Well-The Well: The attack on the person is intended to call into question ''everything'' they say.
* Tu Quoque-The Quoque: The attack is that the [[StrawHypocrite person making the argument does the same thing they're arguing against themselves]], or that they, at some previous time, held a different opinion.



* Style Over Substance-The attack is not on the ''person'' making the argument, but on ''the manner in which they presented it''.

to:

* Style Over Substance-The Substance: The attack is not on the ''person'' making the argument, but on ''the manner in which they presented it''.
it''.

A good discussion of the ''ad hominem'' fallacy on the Internet may be found [[http://archive.today/UBJGx on the website of one Stephen Bond]]. See also DontShootTheMessage, HitlerAteSugar, NoYou, HypocriteHasAPoint.



!! '''Direct ad hominem''':

to:

!! '''Direct [[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Direct Ad Hominem]]
!!'''Direct
ad hominem''':
hominem'''



-->UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler: This is an irresponsible fiscal policy because the budget deficit is too great.
-->Politician: I won't listen to you! [[GodwinsLaw You're Hitler]]!

to:

-->UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler: -->'''UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler:''' This is an irresponsible fiscal policy because the budget deficit is too great.
-->Politician:
great.\\
'''Politician:'''
I won't listen to you! [[GodwinsLaw You're Hitler]]!



--> The [[LuridTalesOfDoom Weekly World News]] says that UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington was the first president of the United States.

It would be quite logically sound to say "why should we take their word for it; they're unreliable and biased!" It is not sound, however, to say that the above statement ''must'' be false, because despite the fact that the Weekly World News was noted for being full of made-up stories, UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington ''was'' the first President of the United States-and this was common knowledge long before ''Weekly World News'' existed.

!!! Examples:

to:

--> The -->The [[LuridTalesOfDoom Weekly World News]] says that UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington was the first president of the United States.

It would be quite logically sound to say "why "Why should we take their word for it; they're it? They're unreliable and biased!" It is not sound, however, to say that the above statement ''must'' be false, because despite the fact that the Weekly World News was noted for being full of made-up stories, UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington ''was'' the first President of the United States-and this was common knowledge long before ''Weekly World News'' existed.

!!! Examples:!!!Examples:



** Related: Politics in general - "You're a liberal/conservative, what do you know?"

!!! Looks like this fallacy but is not:

to:

** Related: Politics in general - "You're a liberal/conservative, liberal/conservative/any-other-group-I'm-opposed-to, what do you know?"

!!! Looks !!!Looks like this fallacy but is not:



----
!! '''Circumstantial ad hominem''':

to:

----
!! '''Circumstantial
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Circumstantial Ad Hominem]]
!!'''Circumstantial
ad hominem''':hominem'''



-->'''Bob:''' "This bill will be expensive and will not work, therefore you should vote against it."
-->'''Alice:''' "Bob is employed by a company which stands to lose money from this bill, therefore Bob will lose money and perhaps his job if this bill passes. ''Of course'' he would oppose it."

!!! Looks like this fallacy, but is not:
* If an individual is supposed to be in a position that ''requires'' them to be objective, such as a judge or a journalist, pointing out a conflict of interest is a valid argument ''against their claimed objectivity'', but does not, in itself, demonstrate any claim they have made is false.
* When used to argue that a person may deserve a higher degree of suspicion than others due to some relevant circumstance. For example, I can logically conclude that someone who's been accused of embezzlement is a bad person to hire for my bank, and it's obviously relevant when I'm making a decision under uncertainty about who to hire.

to:

-->'''Bob:''' "This bill will be expensive and will not work, therefore you should vote against it."
-->'''Alice:'''
"\\
'''Alice:'''
"Bob is employed by a company which stands to lose money from this bill, therefore Bob will lose money and perhaps his job if this bill passes. ''Of course'' he would oppose it."

!!! Looks like this fallacy, but is not:
* If an individual is supposed to be in a position that ''requires'' them to be objective, such as a judge or a journalist, pointing out a conflict of interest is a valid argument ''against their claimed objectivity'', but does not, in itself, demonstrate any claim they have made is false.
* When used to argue that a person may deserve a higher degree of suspicion than others due to some relevant circumstance. For example, I can logically conclude that someone who's been accused of embezzlement is a bad person to hire for my bank, and it's obviously relevant when I'm making a decision under uncertainty about who to hire.
"



----
!! '''Poisoning the Well''':

to:

----
!! '''Poisoning

!!!Looks like this fallacy, but is not:
* If an individual is supposed to be in a position that ''requires'' them to be objective, such as a judge or a journalist, pointing out a conflict of interest is a valid argument ''against their claimed objectivity'', but does not, in itself, demonstrate any claim they have made is false.
* When used to argue that a person may deserve a higher degree of suspicion than others due to some relevant circumstance. For example, you can logically conclude that someone who's been accused of embezzlement is a bad person to hire for your bank, and it's obviously relevant when you're making a decision under uncertainty about who to hire.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Poisoning
the Well''':Well]]
!!'''Poisoning the Well'''



--> "You'll find Bob talks about law an awful lot for a guy who got his degree from Eastern Iowa State University."

to:

--> "You'll -->"You'll find Bob talks about law an awful lot for a guy who got his degree from Eastern Iowa State University."



** Men can't talk about abortion because they don't get pregnant. [[note]] But they are born; fetuses are male as well as female. [[/note]]
** American whites can't talk about slavery because they never experienced it. [[note]] Jews (who are usually considered white) experienced an equally long amount of time as slaves in Babylon and various other places, making the antisemitism present in some black radical circles [[WeAreStrugglingTogether even more ridiculous]]. [[/note]]
** Rich people who help poor people can't truly sympathize with whom they're helping, so they must be doing it for some selfish reason. [[note]] Rich people aren't incapable of altruism, or of the rational belief that a society free of poverty is best for everyone and demanded by justice. Some rich people used to be poor as well.[[/note]]

to:

** Men can't talk about abortion because they don't get pregnant. [[note]] But [[note]]But they are born; fetuses are male as well as female. female.[[/note]]
** American whites can't talk about slavery because they never experienced it. [[note]] Jews [[note]]Jews (who are usually considered white) experienced an equally long amount of time as slaves in Babylon and various other places, making the antisemitism present in some black radical circles [[WeAreStrugglingTogether even more ridiculous]]. ridiculous]].[[/note]]
** Rich people who help poor people can't truly sympathize with whom they're helping, so they must be doing it for some selfish reason. [[note]] Rich [[note]]Rich people aren't incapable of altruism, or of the rational belief that a society free of poverty is best for everyone and demanded by justice. Some rich people used to be poor as well.[[/note]]



----
!!'''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_quoque Tu quoque]]''' ("You, too!"):
Another type of Ad Hominem, Tu Quoque refers to the attempt to deny an argument by asserting that the person presenting the argument either suffers from the same flaw (i.e. they do not practice what they preach) or has held an opposing view in the past. The fact that such a person is a {{hypocrite}} if he criticizes others for bearing the same flaw he does in his personal life is actually not related to actual objective facts about said flaw or his line of reasoning in condemning that flaw.

-->'''Bob:''' "Smoking and alcoholism are well-known as risks for cancer."
-->'''Alice:''' "But you yourself smoke and drink a lot! You're wrong!"

to:

----

%%!!!Looks like this fallacy but is not:
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tu Quoque]]
!!'''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_quoque Tu quoque]]''' ("You, too!"):
("[[AltumVidetur You, too!]]")
Another type of Ad Hominem, Tu Quoque refers to the attempt to deny an argument by asserting that the person presenting the argument either suffers from the same flaw (i.e. they do not practice what they preach) or has held an opposing view in the past. The fact that such a person is a {{hypocrite}} if he criticizes others for bearing the same flaw he does in his personal life [[HypocriteHasAPoint is actually not related to actual objective facts about said flaw or his line of reasoning in condemning that flaw.

flaw]].

-->'''Bob:''' "Smoking and alcoholism are well-known as risks for cancer."
-->'''Alice:'''
"\\
'''Alice:'''
"But you yourself smoke and drink a lot! You're wrong!"



Another example is how (former) drug addicts who have suffered for their drug usage can also be very well qualified in admonishing others to not get started in harmful, expensive, illegal, and addictive substances (sometimes even more so due to personal experience and physical proof of the damage incurred by the drug addiction). They may be challenged on this point only if they adopt a holier-than-thou attitude and [[BlatantLies act as if they were never addicted at all]], or make self-serving excuses ("I was manipulated by TheAggressiveDrugDealer, while ''you'' made the stupid decision to do drugs yourself.").

-->'''Bob:''' "This bill will be expensive and will not work, therefore you should vote against it."
-->'''Alice:''' "But you supported the bill last month!"

to:

Another example is how (former) drug addicts who have suffered for their drug usage can also be very well qualified in admonishing others to not get started in harmful, expensive, illegal, and addictive substances (sometimes even more so due to personal experience and physical proof of the damage incurred by the drug addiction). They may be challenged on this point only if they adopt a holier-than-thou HolierThanThou attitude and [[BlatantLies act as if they were never addicted at all]], or make [[NeverMyFault self-serving excuses excuses]] ("I was manipulated by TheAggressiveDrugDealer, while ''you'' made the stupid decision to do drugs yourself.").

-->'''Bob:''' "This bill will be expensive and will not work, therefore you should vote against it."
-->'''Alice:'''
"\\
'''Alice:'''
"But you supported the bill last month!"



--> When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?

to:

--> When -->When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?



--> '''Healy:''' You're a fucking cheat.
--> '''Atherton:''' When in Rome, dear boy...

to:

--> '''Healy:''' -->'''Healy:''' You're a fucking cheat.
-->
cheat.\\
'''Atherton:''' When in Rome, dear boy...



* When fanfic writer pstibbons was called out for writing a fanfic whose only purpose was to have Hermione torture and humiliate [[RonTheDeathEater Ron]], he cited an earlier work of his where Ron is brutally murdered by Harry, claiming that since people didn't raise a fuss back then, they are clearly sexist. [[note]]Several people did, in fact, complain about Ron's treatment in that fic as well, but since Ron's death at Harry's hand was merely referenced in a single off-hand sentence, compared to an entire fic devoted to it, it didn't draw nearly as much attention.[[/note]]
* UsefulNotes/RichardDawkins in ''The God Delusion'' illustrated a striking example used by a member of the Cult of John Frum, a real-world CargoCult. The cults have numerous forms, such as those that proclaim Frum is the King of America and that he will come in an apocalyptic cataclysm with deliverance and tons of material goods. A researcher asked a believer, "Isn't nineteen years a long time to wait for John Frum?" The believer replied, "If the white man can wait two thousand years for Jesus Christ..."

to:

* When fanfic writer pstibbons was called out for writing a ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' fanfic whose only purpose was to have Hermione torture and humiliate [[RonTheDeathEater Ron]], he cited an earlier work of his where Ron is brutally murdered by Harry, claiming that since people didn't raise a fuss back then, they are clearly sexist. sexist.[[note]]Several people did, in fact, complain about Ron's treatment in that fic as well, but since Ron's death at Harry's hand was merely referenced in a single off-hand sentence, compared to an entire fic devoted to it, it didn't draw nearly as much attention.[[/note]]
* UsefulNotes/RichardDawkins in ''The God Delusion'' illustrated a striking example used by a member of the Cult of John Frum, a real-world CargoCult. The cults have numerous forms, such as those that proclaim Frum is the King of America and that he will come in an apocalyptic cataclysm with deliverance and tons of material goods. A researcher asked a believer, "Isn't nineteen 19 years a long time to wait for John Frum?" The believer replied, "If the white man can wait two thousand years for Jesus Christ..."



!!! Looks like this fallacy but is not:
* DoubleThink. At first, ignoring the speaker's hypocrisy seems to mean accepting any contradictory actions he performs. However, accepting Tu Quoque as a fallacy does not mean accepting all DoubleThink spewed out by hypocrites and abusers of ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem as logically valid. Tu Quoque is when the speaker's hypocrisy is used to discredit any objective real-world facts he says, but Doublethink means accepting all logically fallacious contradictions he says.

to:

!!! Looks !!!Looks like this fallacy but is not:
* DoubleThink.{{Doublethink}}. At first, ignoring the speaker's hypocrisy seems to mean accepting any contradictory actions he performs. However, accepting Tu Quoque as a fallacy does not mean accepting all DoubleThink {{Doublethink}} spewed out by hypocrites and abusers of ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem as logically valid. Tu Quoque is when the speaker's hypocrisy is used to discredit any objective real-world facts he says, but Doublethink {{Doublethink}} means accepting all logically fallacious contradictions he says.



----
!! '''Style Over Substance'''
!!! Also called:
* If You Can't Say Something Nice
* Appeal To Brevity
* Too long; Didn't read ([=tl;dr=] or "teal deer")

to:

----
!! '''Style
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Style Over Substance]]
!!'''Style
Over Substance'''
!!! Also !!!Also called:
* [[Disney/{{Bambi}} If You Can't Say Something Nice
Nice...]]
* Appeal To to Brevity
* [[MemeticMutation Too long; Didn't read read]] ([=tl;dr=] or "teal deer")



Note that saying "Your argument is presented poorly, therefore I will not read/ listen to it," is ''not'' a logical fallacy, unless you also state that the argument they were making is false because of its poor presentation. Also, someone can actually ''be'' a SockPuppet, but one needs to be careful of who is labeled and why, as this has become a rather popular way on internet forums to discredit dissenting beliefs and vetting attempts.

!!! Looks like this fallacy but is not:

to:

Note that saying "Your argument is presented poorly, therefore I will not read/ listen read/listen to it," is ''not'' a logical fallacy, unless you also state that the argument they were making is false because of its poor presentation. Also, someone can actually ''be'' a SockPuppet, but one needs to be careful of who is labeled and why, as this has become a rather popular way on internet forums to discredit dissenting beliefs and vetting attempts.

!!! Looks !!!Looks like this fallacy but is not:





A good discussion of the ''ad hominem'' fallacy on the Internet may be found [[http://archive.today/UBJGx on the website of one Stephen Bond]]. See also YouFailLogicForever and HitlerAteSugar.

to:

\n\nA good discussion of the ''ad hominem'' fallacy on the Internet may be found [[http://archive.today/UBJGx on the website of one Stephen Bond]]. See also YouFailLogicForever and HitlerAteSugar.[[/folder]]



--> ''[[YourMother Yer mum]] 'ad all a them phalluses!''

to:

--> ''[[YourMother
----
-->''[[YourMom
Yer mum]] 'ad all a them phalluses!''
23rd Dec '16 11:18:14 AM garthvader
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* If an individual is supposed to be in a position that ''requires'' them to be objective, such as a judge or a journalist, pointing out a conflict of interest is a valid argument, especially if they haven't properly disclosed their affiliation.

to:

* If an individual is supposed to be in a position that ''requires'' them to be objective, such as a judge or a journalist, pointing out a conflict of interest is a valid argument, especially if they haven't properly disclosed argument ''against their affiliation.claimed objectivity'', but does not, in itself, demonstrate any claim they have made is false.



* Pointing out that a person is too emotionally invested in something to be objective.
-->Colonel Mustard: "It couldn't have been Miss Scarlet!"
-->Professor Plum: "You would say that because you love her, but face facts. She had the revolver which has been fired, she hated Boddy, she was seen entering the Ballroom where Boddy was shot, and there are bloody footprints of high heels matching her shoes next to the corpse."

to:

* Pointing out that a person is too emotionally invested in something to be objective.
-->Colonel Mustard: "It couldn't have been Miss Scarlet!"
-->Professor Plum: "You would say that because you love her, but face facts. She had the revolver which has been fired, she hated Boddy, she was seen entering the Ballroom where Boddy was shot, and there are bloody footprints of high heels matching her shoes next to the corpse."



A more valid counterattack would be to use the speaker's hypocrisy to bring up a ''valid'' point about the speaker's credibility in itself, without denying any facts he says; you can use this to attempt to prove that the speaker is a hypocrite or a lying ManipulativeBastard ''without'' committing a fallacy. If the hypocrisy is logically connected to possibility of lying, then it is not AHTQ, but if hypocrisy is used to automatically mean [[CryingWolf discrediting any real-world facts he attempts to say]], then it is AHTQ.
23rd Dec '16 11:12:11 AM garthvader
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* When it is in response to an explicit or implicit appeal to the authority of the speaker:
-->"I studied law at Harvard, and I can see that this law is clearly unconstitutional."
-->"You studied law at Harvard, but you never got a degree."
** The validity of this counterargument can be summarized thus: "Your credentials aren't as impressive as you say, so you're going to have to prove that rather than tell us to take your word for it."
** Additionally, SuperDoc, OpenHeartDentistry, and OmnidisciplinaryScientist are averted in real life, while NotThatKindOfDoctor is not. This is a response to an implicit or explicit appeal to an illegitimate authority.
--->'''Dr. Smith:''' Procainamide is clearly indicated in this patient.
--->'''Dr. Jones:''' Nonsense, he should receive amiodarone.
--->'''Patient:''' With all due respect, Doctor Smith, you hold a [=PhD=] in biochemistry, and Doctor Jones, you are a gastroenterologist. I'm waiting for my cardiologist.
23rd Dec '16 11:09:31 AM garthvader
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* When an insult is present but is [[http://community.livejournal.com/wrongworddammit/283991.html not used as a component of a logical argument]]. Simply saying "You are an idiot, because your logic is fallacious" is not polite, but unless there's a "therefore" step to a conclusion, it is not a fallacy. On the other hand, "Your logic is fallacious, because you are an idiot" is.

to:

* When an insult is present but is [[http://community.livejournal.com/wrongworddammit/283991.html not used as a component of a logical argument]]. Simply saying "You are an idiot, because your logic is fallacious" idiot" is not polite, but unless there's a "therefore" step to a conclusion, it is not a fallacy. On the other hand, "Your "you are an idiot, therefore your logic is fallacious, because you are an idiot" fallacious" is.
23rd Dec '16 11:07:16 AM garthvader
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Direct ad-hominism is never uglier than when it's based on crude stereotypes, backed up by a disingenuous EverybodyKnowsThat point of view.

-->'''Bob:''' Evolution is a flawed theory because if the complex behaviors some animals display, such as bees Waggle Dance, were a result of the trial and error process that is natural selection, most of them would've died off before evolving into their current forms.
-->'''Alice:''' [[PopculturalOsmosis But we've all seen the movies!]] Everybody knows you creationists are ignorant bigots!"

(Likewise: "I don't have to listen to a nigger" or "You have no business telling me that, because you're a woman and [[StayInTheKitchen your place is in the home]].")
13th Dec '16 12:46:08 AM jpomz
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** ''Series/TheDailyShow'' had a great example of one on their March 31st, 2014 episode. Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey as of the time of writing (April 2014), was embattled in a scandal regarding blocking a bridge out of spite. Governor Christie announced the result of an inquiry done by his own hand-picked legal team. The report exonerated Christie. Jon Stewart dismissed the report just on the grounds that it came from Christie's office. That is a clear case of this fallacy. However, it would be a case of the FallacyFallacy to say that Jon's ad hominem ''proves'' Governor Christie is in the clear, as it's certainly reasonable to be suspicious.

to:

** ''Series/TheDailyShow'' had a great example of one on their March 31st, 2014 episode. Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey as of the time of writing (April 2014), was embattled in a scandal regarding blocking a bridge out of spite. Governor Christie announced the result of an inquiry done by his own hand-picked legal team. The report exonerated Christie. Jon Stewart dismissed the report just on the grounds that it came from Christie's office. That is a clear case of this fallacy. However, it would be a case of the FallacyFallacy to say that Jon's ad hominem ''proves'' Governor Christie is in the clear, as it's certainly reasonable to be suspicious. Especially after it was later proved he was involved, though not in any legally binding fashion.
22nd Nov '16 9:36:36 AM Gideoncrawle
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* This is a favorite technique of men's rights activists who claim that feminists are [[DoesNotLikeMen "misandric"]].
** And its close relatives [[MalcolmXerox "reverse racism"]] and [[HetIsEw "heterophobia"]]. There are probably others for other forms of oppression too.

to:

* This is a favorite technique People facing ''ad hominem'' accusations of men's rights activists who claim that feminists are misogyny, racism or homophobia commonly respond with countercharges of [[DoesNotLikeMen "misandric"]].
** And its close relatives
misandry]], [[MalcolmXerox "reverse racism"]] reverse racism]][[note]]with the [[BeggingTheQuestion dubious]] implication that racism has default and reverse states, as opposed to a single state that appears whenever someone denigrates a racial group other than their own[[/note]] and [[HetIsEw "heterophobia"]]. There are probably others for other forms of oppression too.
heterophobia]], respectively, thereby fighting fallacy with fallacy.
14th Aug '16 8:08:34 AM Morgenthaler
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Added DiffLines:

%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1452266899092104700
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
%%
[[quoteright:350:[[Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ad_hominem.png]]]]
20th Jun '16 11:26:23 PM ArtemisPal
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-->'''Bob:''' Evolution is a flawed theory because [[AppealToIgnorance no amount of natural selection could possibly result in so many complex and intricate life-forms.]]

to:

-->'''Bob:''' Evolution is a flawed theory because [[AppealToIgnorance no amount if the complex behaviors some animals display, such as bees Waggle Dance, were a result of the trial and error process that is natural selection could possibly result in so many complex and intricate life-forms.]]selection, most of them would've died off before evolving into their current forms.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.AdHominem