Ad Hominem Argument

1193 Words5 Pages
This dreadful little video could have been much better had its creator had control over his emotions, better manners, and a more serious grasp of academic debate. Those who want an example of serious academic debate can find it on the web by Goggling the Russell-Coppleston debate (link: That debate was between two noted scholars and was carried on the BBC. God’s existence was the topic. Though it occurred during the 1950s, it is still more valuable than this video. It’s an educational exchange between civilized men with quite different views.
The emotional and personal character of this present video is disturbing. Those who find it worth cheering should take a closer look at your own thinking. Personal attacks have no place in academic debate designed to distinguish truth from error. Emotion may play a rhetorical role in argument, but not a logical one. An invalid argument remains invalid no matter how hard a person screams, and a valid argument remains valid even if spoken in a whisper. Consequently, I find the
…show more content…
Each subtype has a well-defined form as a recognizable type of argument (Walton 1998). The method for identifying and evaluating ad hominem arguments worked out in Ad Hominem Arguments (Walton 1998) uses a set of argumentation schemes (forms of argument) for each distinctive subtype of ad hominem argument recognized, as well as a set of appropriate critical questions that match each scheme. The following is the argumentation scheme for the direct, or so-called abusive, form of the ad hominem argument-called the ethotic type of ad hominem argument by Brinton (1985) and myself (Walton 1998). The variable “a” stands for an arguer, and the variable “A” stands for an
Open Document