PERSONAL ATTACKS AND AD HOMINEM ARGUMENTS
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1.14 PERSONAL ATTACKS AND AD HOMINEM ARGUMENTS -- TYPES AND CATEGORIES OF ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR

==== Personal Attacks And Ad Hominem Arguments

MEANING: Attacks and arguments which are designed to discredit the person rather than countering the logic or reason of the person's position. These kinds of insulting attacks are often seen on newsgroups and are known as flames; when people send flames back and forth it is known as a flamewar.

MORE ABOUT PERSONAL ATTACKS AND AD HOMINEM ARGUMENTS: This is a common form of verbal abuse. We see this all the time on the Internet. For example, Person A in a newsgroup writes "Health care insurance has become increasingly expensive, its costs rising much faster than the rate of inflation." And Writer B responds, "You would say that since you are a hippie and don't want to take responsibility for paying your own bills." There could be good arguments against what Person A said such as health care is better, more procedures are being covered than were covered before etc. BUT Writer B decided to attack the character of person A instead. This attack was not an argument; it was a ploy to discredit Person A so that Person A's argument would be rejected by others in the newsgroup. I see this as a form of verbal abuse. And when someone like Writer B uses such an argument, Writer B has lost by default because Writer B did not play by the rules of reasonable discourse.

Flames do not meet the standard of netiquette and should not be treated as worthy of a reasonable response. I encourage anyone who has been subjected to this kind of verbal abuse (flames) on the Internet in newsgroups, discussion groups, mailing lists, in message threads, in emails, when using USENET or posting comments on a blog (weblog) to respond in this manner: "In your last response to my post (or email or comment) you engaged in a personal attack. You have tried to discredit my argument by discrediting me as a person. You have used the fallacy of an Ad Hominem attack rather than refute the logic or reason of what I said. Therefore, you have lost the discussion and I will not respond further to your posts."

=== Cyber Bullying: Are You A Victim?
=== A Description of Ad Hominem
=== Wikepedia Explanation of Ad Hominem


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