Using our reason usually gives us reliable knowledge. However in everyday speech and people commit errors in reasoning, known as fallacies.
When parents respond to children, “Because I say so!” or, “Do as your father tells you!” this is an example of the ad hominem fallacy at work. The ad hominem fallacy is when a person is either supported or attacked. Here, the authority of the parent is used to persuade the child rather than an actual justification being given.
When politicians attack or support each other rather than the content of their policies, they commit the ad hominem fallacy. Alastair Cambpell’s recent appeal that “Tony Blair is an honorable man” was a way of supporting him, the person rather than supporting his decision to go to war in Iraq. To see this watch…
In the first minute of this clip UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom attacks Gordon Brown. Pay attention to the use of language.