January 29th, 2005

Illustmaker me

Ad hominem rant

danel4d requested a rant on what happens to be my favorite peeve in debates.

Ooh. Lots of nice stuff here already... hrm. The tendency of people in 'political' debates to attack the opponent rather than the argument? Like the whole Wah!Misogynist thing that's been popular lately, and the similar Wah!Evil, Wah!Terrorist, etc. HUh. No, I'm not very good at this.

Good G-d, yes. I'm happy to rant about this. Heck, I've been thinking about doing it anyway, ever since I read Intellectual Morons by Daniel Flynn, which--though it had some redeeming qualities--fell into this frankly intellectually moronic trap in chapter after chapter.

So let's get something straight: ad hominem attacks aren't logical fallacies because they're nasty or even because they're untrue. Ad hominem attacks are logical fallacies because they're illogical. And irrelevant. And, in my opinion, they are also very, very dangerous.

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