argumentum ad hominem


In ulterior motives, SB has written a post about being accused of harbouring ulterior motives in responding to a comment on blogs.

A discussion has followed up on ad hominem type of fallacy. This discussion is between an idiot I don’t allow to comment on my blog. Being stupid is bad enough, worse is when one is stupid and not know it.

I wrote in that post

A mere verbal abuse in the absence of an argument, however, is not ad hominem nor any kind of logical fallacy

then the idiot comes and writes

Nothing you maintain is stupid can only be true because you are an atheist who hallucinates that stupid can only apply anyone but you.

which is an ad hominem, since instead of responding to my argument, he makes his argument about my atheism and argues that as an atheist, my argument isn’t valid.

If in my response to him, I told him I don’t hallucinate but he is an idiot, I have not committed a fallacy for there is no inconsistency between his stupidity and my not hallucinating.

In examining the burden of proof in arguments, it has been found, per[?] Douglas Walton that

traditional informal fallacies like the petitio principii, argumentum ad hominem, and argumentum ad ignorantiam are revealed as

(a) not fallacies in many instances, but forms of plausible reasoning that can be reasonable arguments to shift a burden of proof, and

(b) extremely important types of criticism in argumentation that can have the legitimate function of shifting a burden or weight of evidence against, or in favor of presumptions in an argument.

I thought I should clear this up.

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

40 thoughts on “argumentum ad hominem

  1. You cannot clear up a brain intent on bathing in mud.

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  2. None so blind… 😉 You’ve always been most kind and decent in replies with/to me. I’m skittish on posting religious or political things but that doesn’t diminish my respect for your or our differences. If communicators can’t include critical thinking and civilly disagreeing without lame finger-pointing than it just isn’t a communicating worth having.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      you are one of the sweetest people I know. If anyone were to be unkind to you, I would do a occupy internet just for you

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      • Not so fast, I’m human and have plenty of flaws, lol. Seriously, the only hope I see for this earth of us is learning to communicate civilly and that will inherently encompass embracing disagreements and parking belief systems. I look at it this way, would I rather be right and go to war or get along. Seems an easy choice to me. Big cyber hug to you. Paulette ps. if you ever come across the pond to the So. Calif area you let me know.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. melouisef says:

    I love arguments on the blogs, check me there in the peanut gallery 😊

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  4. Tish Farrell says:

    Some people simply have no self-awareness, Noel, nor the ability to look at anything objectively, let alone critically. I’m not sure that trying to have a civilised exchange of views will ever penetrate minds so closed and uncultivated. They are at one level of restricted consciousness, and you are on another where your mind and heart are questing for wisdom and new ideas and ways of appraising the world, looking at how we can be our best and live as productively as possible in the time allowed us on this good earth. Sometimes some stones are best left unturned? Or at least if you’ve had quick peek, then returned to original position pdq. I admire your attempts to communicate nonetheless 🙂

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  5. Ahh! The infamous SOM! What a total a-hole. An angry, bigoted, VERY stupid, a-hole. He really should not be allowed to comment on any blog where humans are posting as all his Neanderthal-ish brain can do is hurl rude ugly insults at the grown-ups around him. Some children really never learn to play nice with others, and SOM is definitely one of those children.

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  6. john zande says:

    SOM is not someone to get upset with, or take seriously… He’s a circus act, you know that.

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  7. aguywithoutboxers says:

    My Nairobi brother, very concise and honest refutes. Nice job, buddy! )

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  8. […] awesome Makagutu and I discussed it a little on a prior post. He expertly condensed his thoughts on his blog, and so I’d like to share my thoughts more broadly about ad hominem and what it […]

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