Ad Hominem

by Ben Perreira

I enjoy competition more than almost anything. I love to compete in sports and I love to debate. There is a point in competition when you know you’ve defeated your opponent. In tennis it could be when he loses his composure when you’ve taken a lead. He is broken.

In debate, you know you’ve won when your opponent uses the ad hominem argument – the personal attack. Your points are strong and he decides to beat you he must say things that are related to your appearance, lifestyle, income, etc. This is the equivalent of a baseball player using steroids. You can justify it however you want, but it is cheating and it is certainly a way to concede a spirited conversation.