"Ad hominem" has never, ever
meant "insult" and no matter what popular usage does with it I will never stop shouting from the rooftops that it never will. I am so sick and tired of defining the term for people who cheerfully and deliberately ignore me that I can't even bring myself to do it again save by copying and pasting:
Ad hominem does not mean making insulting remarks, as you seem to think. My saying you are an anti-Mormon is not an ad hominem. If I were to say, "you are an anti-Mormon, therefore your views are wrong", that would be an ad Hominem. Ad hominem is a logical fallacy. It occurs when one argues as follows:
X is a Mormon
Mormons are evil
Therefore, X's argument is wrong.
It ignores the evidence and analysis that X presents for his case. Even if X is evil, it does not mean his evidence and analysis are incorrect. This is the ad hominem fallacy. The classic example in the anti-Mormon world is: "Show me a non-Mormon archaeologist who believes in the Book of Mormon." The ad hominem is that Mormon archaeologists, *because they are Mormon* cannot present evidence and analysis on this matter. Only non-Mormon views are permissible. In fact, you engage in the ad hominem when you dismiss all the analysis of modern scholars *because* they are [allegedly] liberals.
You can check it at Wikipedia if you still don't believe it.
Just making a personal attack is mudslinging
. An ad hominem
attack is a personal attack MADE TO REFUTE AN ARGUMENT THAT CANNOT BE REFUTED BY THE ALLEGATION EVEN IF THE ALLEGATION IS TRUE.
I have shown too much mercy to this in the past and God willing I will now show none toward any board members in the future. From now on every time I see anyone ever
misusing the term they're getting negative rep points immediately. Count on it. If you want to talk about put-downs or personal remarks, don't resort to a pointlessly and pretentiously obscure misuse of a term in a dead language to mean it. Just say "put-down" or "personal remark". I can tolerate only so much wrongheadedness and affectation from people who have already been repeatedly corrected. Misuse the term, get negative reps. Count on it.