a logical fallacy!

Ad Hominem Definition: According to P.L.E., “ad hominem is the fallacy of attacking the character or circumstances of an individual who is advancing a statement or an argument instead of trying to disprove the truth of the statement or the soundness of the argument. Often the argument is characterized simply as a personal attack.”

Link for definition: http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/person.html

Definition paraphrased: Basically you have someone that has a claim but someone else comes up and instead of disputing the claim, they attack the person with the claim.  Therefore, the assumption or belief is that the person with the claim must be wrong.

Example #1 Link for ad hominem: http://www.fallacyfiles.org/adhomine.html
Example #1: William Bennett…, leader… of the antirap campaign…, [has] had no trouble finding antipolice and antiwomen lyrics to quote in support of [his] claim that "nothing less is at stake than civilization" if rappers are not rendered silent. So odious are the lyrics that rarely do politicians or journalists stop to ask what qualifies Bennett to lead a moralistic crusade on behalf of America's minority youth. Not only has he opposed funding for the nation's leader in quality children's programming (the Public Broadcasting Corporation), he has urged that "illegitimate" babies be taken from their mothers and put in orphanages.


Explanation #1: The example above is an Ad Homine fallacy. This is considered an ad homine fallacy because Glassner does not care about what Bennett has to say about rap and how it affects civilization. Glassner is saying that Bennett cannot criticize rap music because of certain positions he took on other claims or campaigns like, having a baby taken from his or her mother if the mother is not married to the father of the baby and putting the child in an orphanage instead. Basically, instead of Glassner listening to what Bennett is saying he turns his attention to characteristics about Bennett, which he feels make him unqualified to disapprove of rap music.


Example #2 link of Ad Hominem Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAajXlhvGqA

Explanation #2: If you noticed towards the end discussion in the video the fallacy is towards Kent Hovind instead of it being towards Kent’s science seminars.  The action figure with the green leaf on did not want to use any of Kent Hovind’s science seminars in his presentations because Kent is a convicted liar and a fraud. In other words, the action figure with the green leaf on paid no attention to what the action figure in the jogging suit said about seminars, but instead attacked Kent’s character of convictions instead of the science seminars.


Example #3 of Ad Hominem Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebT1Oo6yDMI

Explanation #3: In this video Ad Hominem “Argument against the Man” Ad Hominem is explained very matter of factly.  You have person A who claim X, then person B attacks person A and the assumption is that person A must be wrong.  It is quite easy to understand from this one what type of a fallacy an Ad Hominem is, and it happens in politics all of the time.  It's pretty much just ignoring the actual points of the argument and attacking the person instead.  I think it's pretty much a way of discrediting the opposing person; in an attempt to make the person doing it look better, therefore, having more credibility.  This is probably because they don't have much of an answer themselves nor do they have much credibility themselves.  I do hope after seeing this video that you can see that this is more of a personal attack and it is messed up argumentation. 


Example #4 Link for ad hominem: http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ad-hominem

Example #4: After Sally presents an eloquent and compelling case for a more equitable taxation system, Sam asks the audience whether we should believe anything from a woman who isn’t married, was once arrested, and smells a bit weird.

Explanation #4: Sam does not even attempt to discuss Sally’s tax plan. Instead, Sam asserts that Sally’s marital status, arrest record, and body odor make Sally’s arguments invalid or unreliable. Instead of intelligently refuting the argument, Sam attacks Sally’s personal attributes.

Group Project on Logical Fallacies completed by: Cameron Bouromand, Tonisha Clark, Candice Kennerly, & Robin Welker