Two Major Fallacious Arguments: 1) Ad Hominem and 2) Ad Populum

12 Petals
by 12 Petals

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Hope you enjoy watching this interesting video clip on these themes (From start to Minute 1:35). For these two major fallacies, please share your specific examples helpful to everyone here.

Two of the most common non-rational appeals are these two argumentum.

1)  Fallacy Ad Hominem: This Latin phrase means "argument against the person" (attacking the person instead of arguing his point in case).  The person’s argument or claim is completely rejected by attacking the character and/or credibility of the person instead of arguing her/his point in case. Moreover, the attack is used as evidence against the claim or argument of this person. The validity (truth) of claim or argument remains unchallenged and uncertain.

2)  Fallacy Ad Populum: This Latin phrase means "appeal to the people" (a certain stance is true because the majority believes so). This argumentum appeals to the majority and/or popularity. It simply concludes a claim or argument to be true for the reason that many or all people consider it true.  The basis of this fallacy is that when the sheer numbers of people who agree to a claim or an argument is large, then the assertion must be true. This fallacy is also referred to as the "appeal to emotion" since emotional appeals often influence the people as a whole.

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Majid Baradar

Ari, thank you for great contribution

by Majid Baradar on

Thank you very much for your fine contribution. All the fallacies you mentioned were great ones to reflect on.

The blog’s call for the examples was clarified. Thank you again and best, Majid 

Ari Siletz

3) Tying (complex question)

by Ari Siletz on


"Do you support Islam and pedophilia?"


4) Selective reading. Taking on only the opponents weakest points and ignoring his strongest arguments.  "So what does it prove that the two say similar things on TV ?" The opponent had also shown that the two had exchanged emails regarding cooperation.  


5) Disproof by association. The murdering IRI wants to change Iran's currency, so we must oppose this policy for no other reason."


6) Pious fraud: "Shah's accomplishments mean nothing because he had political prisoners."


7) Failure to state. Relentlessly asking yes/no questions to avoid stating a premise that could be defeated in two way argument. "Please answer yes or no, is it OK to shoot people?" Attacker won't respond to, say, self-defense shooting rebuttal, but repeats the same yes/no question.


Many more...(Which reminds me, argument by laziness: "Never bothered to read what you wrote, but here's a rebuttal based on what I think(or hope) you may have said."


C'mon Rachel,

by Bavafa on

You know what Faux News is all about and just can't accept it for what they are.