An argument or reaction directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
"vicious ad hominem attacks"
A theory is discarded not because of any evidence against it or lack of evidence for it, but because of the person who argues for it. Example:
A: The Government should enact minimum-wage legislation so that workers are not exploited.
B: Nonsense. You say that only because you cannot find a good job.
This is a very common logical fallacy I come across in conversation with nonbelievers. Many will say “What about the Crusades”! People like Cenk Uygur love to take the crusades out of context of course. The crusades say nothing about the truth and validity of Christianity. There’s extremism in Islam, but that doesn’t mean the Islam is false. It’s pratically an appeal to emotion fallacy because most ad hominem’s have a connection to person or worldview being attacked with it.
Examples of Ad hominems:
Hitler was a Catholic Therefore Christianity was false.
Stalin was atheist therefore atheism is false.
You’re only a Christian because you were raised Christian (genetic fallacy as well)
Crusades were done by Christian therefore Christianity is false
Islam has many horrible acts done its name therefore it’s false
Why is an ad hominem a fallacy?
Mainly because it appeals to emotions and because of the person representing the worldview you validate as false. Also it tries to discredit a worldview not based on evidence but based what a person has done or why a particular person doesn’t like another person. It says nothing of the truth of the religion because it’s emotional appeal of something you don’t like about the worldview. It’s normally used in a debate as a last resort if a debater who has no good arguments. You try to discredit the person’s argument because of the person not because of a fallacy or lack of evidence in the argument itself. It’s a fallacy because it’s an emotional appeal used to try and get people not to believe in a worldview based on what it teaches or what it has done. It says nothing of the truth of the religion or even reflects the evidence of a worldview.
A good example of an ad hominem attack would be the attack on the religion of Islam. If Islam taught to kill nonbelievers or apostates and I don’t like that it doesn’t mean Islam is false. Just because I don’t like what Islam teaches it doesn’t make the God of the Quran false by any means. It would just mean I don’t like its teachings, but it doesn’t attack the truth of Islam. This would be a great example of an ad hominem attack. If I wanted to falsify Islam, I would need actually evidence like how the Quran teaches that Christ was not Crucified, but is a historical fact according to new testament scholars. By the way if you say all the scholars are Christians and are bias you would be committing an ad hominem fallacy. This would be a piece of Islam that would help falsify Islam. Ad hominem fallacies tell us nothing of the truth of a worldview, so must be avoided in a debate or conversation about the existence of God.
Now that you have a good logical fallacy learned you can use it to point out faulty arguments against Christianity based on ad hominem attacks. This was the first article of my logical fallacy series. Stay alert of future articles for further logical fallacies to be learned to make you a better Christian Case worldview.
Please share this article with someone.
Follow me on Instagram @JMDapologetics
Follow me on Twitter @JMDapologetics.
Also please spread the news of this new apologetics Website.