The time has come. Brennen’s plea to the internet on ad hominem fallacies is insufficient. A stronger rule is needed.
Look, I get it. It’s fun to feel smart. It’s nice to think there’s some everyday use for the time spent reading that book on logic a few years ago. The one that you didn’t actually finish but still have your bookmark in where you left off and are totally going to pick it back up one day. It makes you feel like you caught your debate partner in a bear trap, that you’ve proven you are more correct (or at least more intellectually honest) than them.
Sadly, that superior feeling you’ve got is probably undeserved. The cute, possibly Latin, assault you’ve launched may not apply to the situation. If you’re lucky, it might almost apply, but your desire to score some points as an intellectual has likely clouded your judgment. In other words: There’s a good chance you’re doing it wrong.
So I propose to you these rules. Rules that I will do my best to follow as well. They’re for our own good.
- If you are not sure what that logical fallacy means, don’t use it.
- You are not sure what that logical fallacy means.
- If you think you’re sure, refer to rule #2.