History Main / AdHominem

24th Jul '17 11:45:24 AM razorrozar7
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While [[{{Understatement}} Hitler certainly wasn't a nice person]], that in itself is unrelated to [[HitlerAteSugar the logical validity of any arguments he makes]]. This extends to a degree in situations where the ad hominem attack itself is ''related'' to the argument; if the supposition comes from a source that is known for fallibility or may have a reason to be biased, it should be treated with healthy skepticism, but not assumed to be false.

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While [[{{Understatement}} Hitler certainly wasn't a nice person]], person, that in itself is unrelated to [[HitlerAteSugar the logical validity of any arguments he makes]]. This extends to a degree in situations where the ad hominem attack itself is ''related'' to the argument; if the supposition comes from a source that is known for fallibility or may have a reason to be biased, it should be treated with healthy skepticism, but not assumed to be false.
8th Jun '17 9:41:47 AM garthvader
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Ad hominem is very often mistakenly claimed in cases where an argument's opponent attacks its proponent ''in addition to presenting a valid counterargument''. "You're stupid, therefore your argument is invalid" is an ''ad hominem''; "your argument is invalid, therefore you're stupid" (or "Your argument is invalid ''and'' you're stupid") is not. "You've used the '[[FourTermsFallacy Four Terms]]' fallacy, you stupid idiot, therefore you're using faulty logic" is not Ad Hominem (although it might be FallacyFallacy if done badly). "Mike has clearly put a lot of thought into whether we should buy a pool, but he ''is'' a convicted felon" is.

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Ad hominem is very often mistakenly claimed in cases where an argument's opponent attacks its proponent ''in addition to presenting a valid counterargument''. "You're stupid, therefore your argument is invalid" is an ''ad hominem''; "your argument is invalid, therefore you're stupid" (or "Your argument is invalid ''and'' you're stupid") is not. Similarly, some people seem to think that Ad Hominem is necessarily abusive, which it isn't. "You've used the '[[FourTermsFallacy Four Terms]]' fallacy, you stupid idiot, therefore you're using faulty logic" is not Ad Hominem (although it might be FallacyFallacy if done badly). "Mike has clearly put a lot of thought into whether we should buy a pool, but he ''is'' a convicted felon" is.
2nd Jun '17 8:28:17 PM coldrolxnd
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Ad hominem is very often mistakenly claimed in cases where an argument's opponent attacks its proponent ''in addition to presenting a valid counterargument''. "You're stupid, therefore your argument is invalid" is an ''ad hominem''; "your argument is invalid, therefore you're stupid" (or "Your argument is invalid ''and'' you're stupid") is not. Similarly, some people seem to think that Ad Hominem is necessarily abusive, which it isn't. "You've used the '[[FourTermsFallacy Four Terms]]' fallacy, you stupid idiot, therefore you're using faulty logic" is not Ad Hominem (although it might be FallacyFallacy if done badly). "Mike has clearly put a lot of thought into whether we should buy a pool, but he ''is'' a convicted felon" is.

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Ad hominem is very often mistakenly claimed in cases where an argument's opponent attacks its proponent ''in addition to presenting a valid counterargument''. "You're stupid, therefore your argument is invalid" is an ''ad hominem''; "your argument is invalid, therefore you're stupid" (or "Your argument is invalid ''and'' you're stupid") is not. Similarly, some people seem to think that Ad Hominem is necessarily abusive, which it isn't. "You've used the '[[FourTermsFallacy Four Terms]]' fallacy, you stupid idiot, therefore you're using faulty logic" is not Ad Hominem (although it might be FallacyFallacy if done badly). "Mike has clearly put a lot of thought into whether we should buy a pool, but he ''is'' a convicted felon" is.
17th May '17 7:56:59 PM garthvader
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Two specific cases of Tu Quoque are Whataboutism, where a criticism of a group by an external critic is deflected with a claim that something the critic's group is associated with is just as bad or worse, and ''ergo decedo'' ("therefore leave") where it is suggested that a criticism of a group by an ''internal'' source shows the critic is either ignorant, treacherous or ungrateful, taking its name from the usual conclusion that if they are not happy with "the way we do things," they should leave the group. The latter is basically the [[No True Scotsman]] fallacy used offensively.

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Two specific cases of Tu Quoque are Whataboutism, '''Whataboutism''', where a criticism of a group by an external critic is deflected with a claim that something the critic's group is associated with is just as bad or worse, and ''ergo decedo'' '''''ergo decedo''''' ("therefore leave") where it is suggested that a criticism of a group by an ''internal'' source shows the critic is either ignorant, treacherous or ungrateful, taking its name from the usual conclusion that if they are not happy with "the way we do things," they should leave the group. The latter is basically the [[No True Scotsman]] NoTrueScotsman fallacy used offensively.
17th May '17 7:54:02 PM garthvader
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Added DiffLines:

Two specific cases of Tu Quoque are Whataboutism, where a criticism of a group by an external critic is deflected with a claim that something the critic's group is associated with is just as bad or worse, and ''ergo decedo'' ("therefore leave") where it is suggested that a criticism of a group by an ''internal'' source shows the critic is either ignorant, treacherous or ungrateful, taking its name from the usual conclusion that if they are not happy with "the way we do things," they should leave the group. The latter is basically the [[No True Scotsman]] fallacy used offensively.
6th May '17 10:53:12 AM Luigifan
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-->-- DeadpanSnarker Dendrophilian of Website/YouTube

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-->-- DeadpanSnarker Dendrophilian '''Dendrophilian''' of Website/YouTube



While Hitler certainly wasn't a nice person, that in itself is unrelated to [[HitlerAteSugar the logical validity of any arguments he makes]]. This extends to a degree in situations where the ad hominem attack itself is ''related'' to the argument; if the supposition comes from a source that is known for fallibility or may have a reason to be biased, it should be treated with healthy skepticism, but not assumed to be false.

to:

While [[{{Understatement}} Hitler certainly wasn't a nice person, person]], that in itself is unrelated to [[HitlerAteSugar the logical validity of any arguments he makes]]. This extends to a degree in situations where the ad hominem attack itself is ''related'' to the argument; if the supposition comes from a source that is known for fallibility or may have a reason to be biased, it should be treated with healthy skepticism, but not assumed to be false.



* Most people can recognize a simplistic ad hominem attack as humorous, but that didn't stop [=DirecTv=] from flipping out at a spot by Time Warner asserting that "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anKkX1wvgBw DirecTv hates puppies]]"

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* Most people can recognize a simplistic ad hominem attack as humorous, but that didn't stop [=DirecTv=] from flipping out at a spot by Time Warner asserting that "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anKkX1wvgBw DirecTv hates puppies]]"puppies]]".



* This commonly comes up in any discussion of police or the military overstepping their boundaries, especially in any highly-charged case. If an investigation turns up nothing, regardless of whatever internal investigations were done, there will be cries of "They just want to cover for each other and hush it up!" Of course, the FallacyFallacy also applies-it may indeed be true that there was a cover-up. Real life examples should probably be left to the reader's imagination.
** ''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.

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* This commonly comes up in any discussion of police or the military overstepping their boundaries, especially in any highly-charged case. If an investigation turns up nothing, regardless of whatever internal investigations were done, there will be cries of "They just want to cover for each other and hush it up!" Of course, the FallacyFallacy also applies-it applies -- it may indeed be true that there was a cover-up. Real life examples should probably be left to the reader's imagination.
** ''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 ''was'' involved, though not in any legally binding fashion.
14th Mar '17 11:08:49 AM DavidDelony
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* Conservatives frequently accuse progressives of being intolerant and closed-minded toward conservative views when they accuse conservatives of being intolerant and closed-minded.
11th Mar '17 1:11:31 PM Fireblood
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* Attacking a person for having some character flaw that does not adversely affect or negate the things that he or she is famous for. Therefore, something like [[ItsNotSupposedToWinOscars "He's not the Pope!" or "He's not Jesus!"]] is not a valid comeback; at issue is not whether the person has a right to be famous, but whether he or she can be considered a good role model ''due'' to that fame (Pete Rose's gambling, Creator/MelGibson's alcoholism and racism).

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* Attacking a person for having some character flaw that does not adversely affect or negate the things that he or she is famous for. Therefore, something like [[ItsNotSupposedToWinOscars "He's not the Pope!" or "He's not Jesus!"]] is not a valid comeback; at issue is not whether the person has a right to be famous, but whether he or she can be considered a good role model ''due'' to that fame (Pete Rose's gambling, Creator/MelGibson's alcoholism and racism).antisemitism).



The fact that Bob is a smoker and drinker doesn't mean that he is wrong about the effects of those habits. Still confused? A better rebuttal would be to accept the premise that alcohol and smoking really are cancer risks, but then ask why Bob continues to do them. Perhaps Bob knows full well about the dangers of such addictions, but he may or may not be a hedonist with no sense of self-preservation, or it's just because he cannot or is yet to break from his very own addiction, hence why he continues to do it. Or because he is consciously or unconsciously suicidal, which makes his self-harm a logical consequence. Or he could know that he shouldn't be smoking, but [[WeakWilled not have the willpower to resist the temptation to do it]]. (Of course, if Bob mysteriously continues to survive and never even gets sick, Alice may have a point about his being wrong.)

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The fact that Bob is a smoker and drinker doesn't mean that he is wrong about the effects of those habits. Still confused? A better rebuttal would be to accept the premise that alcohol and smoking really are cancer risks, but then ask why Bob continues to do them. Perhaps Bob knows full well about the dangers of such addictions, but he may or may not be a hedonist with no sense of self-preservation, or it's just because he cannot or is yet to break from his very own addiction, hence why he continues to do it. Or because he is consciously or unconsciously suicidal, which makes his self-harm a logical consequence. Or he could know that he shouldn't be smoking, but [[WeakWilled not have the willpower to resist the temptation to do it]]. (Of course, if Bob mysteriously continues to survive and never even gets sick, Alice may have a point about his being wrong.)



Now, simply pointing out a contradiction in someone's arguments is not Ad Hominem Tu Quoque. A fallacy must be a component of a logical argument, and it is not an argument unless a conclusion is drawn from the observed contradiction. Therefore, Tu Quoque only applies when it is argued the opponent's argument ''is wrong because'' it contradicts a previous position they've held. Once again, [[SoundValidTrue his reasoning might be unsound, but that does not affect the truth value of his premises]]. Bob's new argument is not invalidated by any previous position he may have held.

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Now, simply pointing out a contradiction in someone's arguments is not Ad Hominem a Tu Quoque. A fallacy must be a component of a logical argument, and it is not an argument unless a conclusion is drawn from the observed contradiction. Therefore, Tu Quoque only applies when it is argued the opponent's argument ''is wrong because'' it contradicts a previous position they've held. Once again, [[SoundValidTrue his reasoning might be unsound, but that does not affect the truth value of his premises]]. Bob's new argument is not invalidated by any previous position he may have held.



* People facing ''ad hominem'' accusations of misogyny, racism or homophobia commonly respond with countercharges of [[DoesNotLikeMen misandry]], [[MalcolmXerox 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]], respectively, thereby fighting fallacy with fallacy.

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* People facing ''ad hominem'' accusations of misogyny, racism or homophobia commonly respond with countercharges of [[DoesNotLikeMen misandry]], [[MalcolmXerox reverse racism]][[note]]with 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]], respectively, thereby fighting fallacy with fallacy.



* About the earlier "You criticize X, but you're using something by X" argument: If this is used to discredit ''any'' facts he says, then it is wrong (for example, you support human rights but continue to use Apple products that you know were made through Chinese slave labor. That does not mean you are automatically wrong about your human rights opinions). If this is used to point out that the speaker's recommendations should not yet be trusted, then it isn't AHTQ. (For example, it is not a fallacy if you ask first why Luddites keep using computers instead of living without such things. If the conclusion is that "this hypocrite can't be trusted", then it can bring up a valid question. If this is used to mean "Luddites are completely wrong about everything", then it is AHTQ).

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* About the earlier "You criticize X, but you're using something by X" argument: If if this is used to discredit ''any'' facts he says, then it is wrong (for example, you support human rights but continue to use Apple products that you know were made through Chinese slave labor. That does not mean you are automatically wrong about your human rights opinions). If this is used to point out that the speaker's recommendations should not yet be trusted, then it isn't AHTQ. (For example, it is not a fallacy if you ask first why Luddites keep using computers instead of living without such things. If the conclusion is that "this hypocrite can't be trusted", then it can bring up a valid question. If this is used to mean "Luddites are completely wrong about everything", then it is AHTQ).



This is sometimes called a "tone" argument. When brought up on message boards, it's often called "tone trolling" if the post only complains of some other poster's "tone" without adding to a discussion. Since people are often passionate about things that affect them personally and ''cannot'' detach themselves from the associated feelings, this use of the fallacy is often summarised as "victory goes to whoever cares the least."

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This is sometimes called a "tone" argument. When brought up on message boards, it's often called "tone trolling" if the post only complains of some other poster's "tone" without adding to a discussion. Since people are often passionate about things that affect them personally and ''cannot'' detach themselves from the associated feelings, this use of the fallacy is often summarised summarized as "victory goes to whoever cares the least."
19th Feb '17 11:04:46 PM garthvader
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* Poisoning the Well: The attack on the person is intended to call into question ''everything'' they say.

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* Poisoning the Well: The A usually-preemptive attack on the person a source of information is intended to call into question ''everything'' they say.it says.



This fallacy can be one of two types, either discrediting the opponent before they even begin to make their argument, usually by a direct ad hominem against them-"And might I just remind the audience before Alice speaks that she is a convicted felon?"-or by calling the validity of their sources or standing into question after they have made their argument. More or less the converse of AppealToAuthority; here, the attempt is to make an audience reject a claim because of the speaker's alleged lack of authority.

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This fallacy can be one of two types, either discrediting the opponent before they even begin to make their argument, usually by a direct ad hominem against them-"And them - "And might I just remind the audience before Alice speaks that she is a convicted felon?"-or felon?" - or by calling the validity of their sources or standing into question after they have made their argument. More or less the converse of AppealToAuthority; here, the attempt is to make an audience reject a claim because of the speaker's alleged lack of authority.
13th Feb '17 7:55:45 PM Fireblood
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Added DiffLines:

* When the opponent complains of tone, but doesn't use this as an argument. For instance, they might find the way that the opponent presented it overly hostile, obnoxious, etc., while this isn't used as evidence of their argument being invalid. It would be best to carefully separate this out, however, so a tone argument isn't inferred.
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