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Harrak...

Reader comment on item: Trouble in Londonistan
in response to reader comment: J.S the educated Western Mollah`to

Submitted by J.S. (Canada), Jul 20, 2006 at 18:16

When I do read your comments, I oftentimes find them amusing. You have a very creative and active imagination (not to mention colorful style of writing).

But, about ad hominem (it's Latin meaning "to the person") attacks -- some logic texts classify (group) an ad hominem attack with other diversionary tactics (for example, a "red herring" claim) -- these tactics fail to address the actual argument (they distract). So, for example, if someone says "I'm against that proposed raise in taxes" and someone else says, "You only say that because you're uneducated" that's a "to the person" attack -- it doesn't discuss whether or not a raise in taxes is warranted or not. Then, of course, you can have the abusive ad hominems -- these are the name-calling ones (as in, "you lying pig!" etc.)

Anyway, under certain circumstances a person CAN legitimately point out something about the speaker -- and it's not a diversion, it's not a distraction, it is a legitimate concern (thus, it's ad hominem, but not fallacious.) So if a mayor wants to re-zone section X of the town (turn a residential area into an industrial one), and a reporter points out that the mayor owns property in the area and the mayor stands to make a substantial profit by re-zoning the area -- this is not a fallacious ad-hominem attack. It's pertinent information. Thus, this "to the person" observation (ie., the mayor is interested in self enrichment) is relevant. All for now...

Submitting....

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