Argument Ad Hominem: A Lesson On Logical Fallacies

Ad Hominem from Latin to English means ‘against the man’ or ‘against the person.’ An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the person presenting that claim or argument.

Meaning, you focus on the person instead of the content of what their saying. If Hitler sais, 1+1 = 2 , he is right. Just because he was a genocidal maniac who killed millions of people doesn't invalidate the math. Yes that is an extreme example, the point being our brain is built this way to naturally disagree with a person based on a preconceived bias about them. This falls under one of the 25 cognitive bias’s called ‘liking bias’ — we judge things based on the face value of how much we like or dislike a person.

For example, I love and admire Kanye West, so am I going to listen and believe everything Kanye West has to say. NO. I’M NOT. As long as I understand that no matter how much I like Kanye West it doesn't increase or decrease the chance he is accurate. The key word there is ACCURACY. Focus on accuracy.

If I read someones opinion whose is opposite to mine and they share dissimilar values and lifestyle choices, the average mind will naturally turn to ‘liking bias’ to discredit what they’re saying. Instead you have to put your mind in an open place to ask one simple question, is he/she accurate? If you can determine that, than you can get a positive lesson out of any person.

In the fitness world many admonish Arnold Schwarzenegger for steroid use or the affair he had. Kanye West has been the center of criticism and hate for over a decade for many for outbursts of so called arrogance and outlandish behaviours that have stirred controversy. With all that being said, you still you can’t take away from all the positive those two men have done and given to the world that very few people have accomplished and given. Focus on that.

If all you do is focus on the negative, than you never got anything for yourself! So even if you don’t care about the morality of being a cynical negative person that only criticisies, you’re not benefiting yourself. Because if you look at Arnold or Kanye’s life and took the 3 best things from them…what do you think would happen to your life?

“We only learn through mistakes but it’s a hell of a lot easier to learn through OTHER peoples mistakes.” ~ Warren Buffett

Self reflective writings & book summaries on philosophy, psychology and human behaviour.

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