Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Ad Hominem

There are many logical fallacies that have been formally identified and you may profit from following the link and seeing a big long list.

A particularly common fallacy is called ad hominem. The linked Wikipedia article defines it as "attacking the arguer instead of the argument." There are sub-types, for example "Circumstantial ad hominem - stating that the arguers personal situation or perceived benefit from advancing a conclusion means that their conclusion is wrong," and "Traitorous critic fallacy (ergo decedo, 'thus leave') – a critic's perceived affiliation is portrayed as the underlying reason for the criticism and the critic is asked to stay away from the issue altogether."

We have a commenter who thinks it's clever to claim that we should ignore the information I linked to yesterday because the writer is often critical of Individual 1. That is an inane form of argument. You must assess the evidence the writer provides. Attacking the writer -- in this case because he has a consistent opinion, no less -- is not refutation. But suppose you want additional analyses to support the claim that Individual 1 has been laundering money for Russian mobsters for many years.

You might check out David Leonhardt in the New York Times. Or Sean Illing in Vox. Or maybe you'll be interested in what Craig Unger had to say in The New Republic. Or Adam Davidson in the New Yorker. Or Garrett M. Graff in Wired. Or even Michael Gerson, who is officially a conservative columnist, although as I say, that doesn't matter. And I could continue. Many people have looked at this and it's just completely obvious. Michael Cohen was totally mobbed up with the Russians and he was responsible for a lot of these deals. Which the Justice Department now knows all about.

Now it is true that all of these people are consistently critical of Individual 1. Why is that? It's because they know he is a criminal.

1 comment:

Don Quixote said...

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck and swims like a duck ...

And: Where there's smoke, there's fire.

I could go on but I won't. I will say this: There are about 325,000,000 Americans. We've finally gotten to the point where it was decided to pick the worst possible one to head the country.

That defines dysfunctionality. Our system has broken, as Ben Franklin knew it would eventually. It needs fixing. The installation in the White House of Shitler is the biggest symptom of our diagnosis.