This is probably one of the most commonly used logical fallacies. Ad Hominem translates to “to the person”. This fallacy goes something like this:
Setting: History Classroom
Person A: The American Civil War was fought over slavery!
Person B: What do you know? You’re failing this class!
I chose this example because the claim in controversial and it made it easier to demonstrate the point. Notice how Person B’s response didn’t refute Person A’s claim. It makes you feel like Person A is wrong, but it’s not an argument. It doesn’t say WHY Person A is wrong, it just attacks Person A personally. A few funny quips to drive this point home:
- The World’s Biggest Idiot can say that the sky is blue, but that doesn’t make it green.
- Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut.
- A broken clock is still right twice a day.
- A moron on way too much LSD can tell you that 2+2=4, but that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong.
So that is the Ad Hominem fallacy. You’ll likely see it all the time now. Remember, attack the argument, not the arguer. Until next time!