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Argumetnum ad Hominem  
Posted by slimer on October 22 2007, 21:24 » Uploaded 24/10/07 09:50  

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Argumentum ad hominem or argument to the person is used when person A states X, and B claims A is not credible so X is false. Opposed to argumentum ad hominem is the appeal to authority, in which any given X is always true - based on assumption that whoever states X is credible.

The use of argumentum ad hominem is most common to political argumentation, when questioning one`s credibility is a legitime form of political argumentation. It can only be expressed freely and plural when freedom of speech is in effect.

The abuse of argumenting to person is probably the most easily used shortcut to gaining advantage in conflicts of any kind. Lets have for example a man in his midlife, who has a wife and recently they got a baby. Man and his child are involved in a conflict regarding getting attention from her. Now the man could at any time use argumentum ad hominem to discredit the baby only inasmuch to get a little more attention from his woman. But the baby cant actually make any arguments so it would feel normal that you dont go telling your spouse how noisy, ugly and smelly babies are, just to gain some more attention. So in such a case use of argumentum ad hominem is clearly abuse towards a person (a new born child) who actually cant argue back at all.

We can in fact find abuse of argumentum ad hominem in our daily lives and probably use it routinely. It is the most commonly accepted form of cannibalism amongst all societies. Mostly such abuse is newer penalised - it is commonly rewarded. A person who persistanly indulges in abusing argumentation to person often gains reputation to be the authoroty by tradition and as such they can then start using appeal to authority to object anything. So there is an interesting corellation between ad hominem and appealing to authority and can be wieved as both being each others oposite but on the other hand we can find relations from ad hominem to authority ar vice versa.

The conclusion is that all authority is based on ad hominem argumentation and to discredit people randomly is the only way to gain as mch authority as possible in any given situation. We can deduce even that al true argumentation (which ad hominem is not always) is in long run supressed by arguments of authority, so all other argumentation is futile and can not prevail. It is often said “arguments failed and violence has broken” and in fact it always is this way.


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