Originally Posted by Mal
Argumentum ad Hominem. A logical fallacy that clearly differentiates between attacking a person, and attacking their claim. Debate is all about attacking the claim of the opposing person, and usually someone only claims something if they believe it.
Argumentum ad Hominem (abusive and circumstantial): the fallacy of attacking the character or circumstances of an individual who is advancing a statement or an argument instead of trying to disprove the truth of the statement or the soundness of the argument. Often the argument is characterized simply as a personal attack.
The personal attack is also often termed an "ad personem argument": the statement or argument at issue is dropped from consideration or is ignored, and the locutor's character or circumstances are used to influence opinion.
The fallacy draws its appeal from the technique of "getting personal." The assumption is that what the locutor is saying is entirely or partially dictated by his character or special circumstances and so should be disregarded.
Notice it states the attack was the fallacy.
Okay, so yes you would be guilty of argumentum ad hominem for attacking me personally instead of addressing my statements. (thanks for giving me an academic term to back up my stance)
Funnily enough, since what we are talking about is the philosophy I base my life around (my morals), to attack the philosophy at all would be an attack on my character.
char·ac·ter [kar-ik-ter] Show IPA
1.the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.
one such feature or trait; characteristic.
moral or ethical quality: a man of fine, honorable character.
qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity: It takes character to face up to a bully.
reputation: a stain on one's character.
trait [treyt; Brit. also trey]
trait [treyt; Brit. also trey] Show IPA
a distinguishing characteristic or quality, especially of one's personal nature: bad traits of character.
a pen or pencil stroke.
a stroke, touch, or strain, as of some quality: a trait of pathos; a trait of ready wit.
Is there anything more distinguishing about a person than their beliefs?
Talk about a huge backfire in proof.