Re: META: Let's be clear about the ad hominem rule

From: Louis Newstrom (
Date: Wed Dec 12 2001 - 15:35:16 MST

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Clark" <>

> As I understand it an ad hominem is more than just name calling, it is an
appeal to
> personal considerations rather than to logic or reason; thus calling a
person a
> jackass is an ad hominem

"Ad hominem" is a logical fallicy which is disallowed under most rules of
debate. It says "because my opponent is <insulting characteristic> I won't
accept his statement". It's specifically disallowed in debates because it
is not a valid logical argument.

> thus I recommend striking "ad hominem" from list rules

I think the term "ad hominem" is quite appropriate for the extropians group.
It doesn't say "don't be rude"; it says "don't use this faulty line of
reasoning". Although the result may be the same, it is an appeal to logic,
rather than an appeal to society customs.

Louis Newstrom

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