11 October 2008

A stupid comment

You're a pseudo-intellectual and you're spouting crap

Hey, it's better than being a real dumbfuck, which you are.

Serously, this is called an ad hominem is the logical fallacy of attempting to undermine a speaker's argument by attacking the speaker instead of addressing 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. Put briefly, ad hominem is "You are an ignorant person, therefore your arguments are wrong" or "X says Y, therefore anything else X says is wrong". 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.

This type of tactic shows that one is losing the argument or just can't back up their argument since they can't address the issues, but must attack the person saying it.

So-- "Hey, dumbfuck, your argument is incorrect because of reasons A, B, C, and D" is not an ad hominem. The mere presence of a personal attack does not indicate ad hominem: the attack must be used for the purpose of undermining the argument, or otherwise the logical fallacy isn't there.

So, "you're an idiot to believe that the Second Amendment includes self-defence since the term is conspicuously absent" or you are an ignorant person and can't understand what I am saying may be insulting, but they are not ad hominem arguments.