Sunday, December 27, 2009

AZU 101: Ad hominem

If you wish to become a member of AZU, you must master the art of "ad hominem." Below is definition of ad hominem:

An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "argument toward the person" or "argument against the person") is an argument which links the validity of a premise to an irrelevant characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise.[1]

Structure of the argument

An ad hominem argument has the basic form:

Person 1 makes claim X
There is something objectionable about Person 1
Therefore claim X is false

The first premise is called a 'factual claim' and is the pivot point of much debate. The contention is referred to as an 'inferential claim' and represents the reasoning process. There are two types of inferential claim, explicit and implicit. The fallacy does not represent a valid form of reasoning because even if you accept both co-premises, that does not guarantee the truthfulness of the contention. This can also be thought of as the argument having an un-stated co-premise.

As an example,You may see a member of AZU responding to a blog post or an article. You'll likely see a reference to Wikisposure as the basis of not believing the article. Or take, for example, Stitches 77's infamous attack on Child Victim Advocate Patty Wetterling. The ad hominem chart now looks like this:

Patty Wetterling states sex offender laws need reform
Stitches 77 claims Patty Wetterling has a sex offender son
Therefore, sex offender laws do not need reform (PS KILL ALL SEX OFFENDERS* [*except AZURSOs)

Such errors in logic are standard at Absolutely Zero Understanding. Is it any wonder Stitches and Co. never debate the facts?

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