Now you may read the title of this article and think that I’m telling people not to make personal attacks, and while it’s not a good thing to do I’ve got a different perspective to provide on this today.
Ad hominem is defined as follows
“… An attack on the character of a person rather than his or her opinions in arguments.
Example: Green Peace’s strategies aren’t effective because they are all dirty, lazy hippies.”Source: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/logic_in_argumentative_writing/fallacies.html
Generally ad hominem attacks aren’t a good look, however I’ve had several encounters with people over the years who literally say the most insane things I’ve ever read in my life and when I say “What are you talking about, you’re literally crazy.” Their response is always “LAWL HA HA! You can’t even debate me, no counter arguments just ad hominem attacks!” like… dude you believe the moon landing was faked, nobody NEEDS to have a counter argument for that.
A great example of this I’ve had was an interaction I had on somebody’s Discord server several months ago. This person was talking about how they can use the Tor network to circumvent copyright laws and “nobody can sue me because on Tor they can’t find me! How can they sue me if they can’t find me lawl!” He then continued rambling about how all he needs to do is buy “a couple servers” and then he’ll be able to start his own YouTube alternative. He also believed that he could pirate ALL of the content on YouTube and rather than being sued or his website being taken down that YouTube would instead just lay down and accept defeat and copyright law would literally be abolished.
This person was essentially a very overzealous content-pirate. When I said “Okay whatever you say man, you’re crazy.” He pulled the “AD HOMINEM” card on me. Nobody needs to tell you why you can’t pirate all of YouTube’s content by using a web browser and magically never get caught. It’s common sense.
Common sense doesn’t need much explanation. Nobody needs to tell you why your insane ideas don’t need counter-arguments. This goes for right-wing people, left leaning people, and every group. Let common sense be your guide, if you argue against it everybody should ignore you and poke fun at you.