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Comment: Ad Hominem Fallacy

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Ad Hominem Fallacy

Ad Hominem fallacy

These attacks on Cenk in this particular thread are the classical ad hominem fallacy – confusing the messenger with the message. Yes Cenk is socialist. Yes, Cenk is statist. Yes Cenk is a big government totalitarian but does not realize it. Cenk mistakenly thinks it is just a matter of getting the right people to wield that totalitarian government power and all will be good, rather than the danger of having such power to begin with. Yes Cenk is a hypocrite on many issues. Yes Cenk is wrong on most issues. Yes, Cenk does not understand economics. Yes Cenk has been rude to libertarian guests. Yes, Cenk does not understand the philosophy of liberty. Yes, the consequences of Cenk’s statism are dangerous. But Cenk is not the focus of this original post. None of Cenk’s faults makes the Israeli government’s actions either moral or immoral, productive or destructive.

The focus of this post is the actions of Israeli government (which like Cenk is also a socialist, statist entity, and one of the largest welfare recipients of the US government.) The attacks on Cenk are merely an irrational distraction away from the issue of the government’s actions. No matter how horrible or great the speaker is, that neither makes the government of Israel’s action better or worse. It simply distracts from that issue – hence the Ad hominem fallacy.

We see people fall into the same fallacy on many posts – attacking the speaker rather than focusing on the issue, the message. Even if the message of the particular issue of the post is dead on correct, some folks ignore the message completely and simply knee-jerk launch into an ad hominem diatribe against the speaker completely distracting from the topic of the post itself. Here it is Cenk, but we have recently seen the same ad hominem fallacy applied to Limbaugh, Kucinich, Ingraham, Levin, Rand Paul, etc. even when the particular message on the specific issue of the post is dead on 100% correct. I too have fallen into such a fallacy at times. It is easy to do, but still a logical fallacy.

Let it not be said that we did nothing.-Ron Paul
Stand up for what you believe in, even if you stand alone.-Sophia Magdalena Scholl