Objecting Amiss

The Ad Hominem Fallacy

When I taught at a state college in Las Vegas, my students sometimes rejected the truth of the Bible because it was written by “uneducated shepherds.” What should we make of their objection?

First, as a matter of straight logic, in rejecting the Bible because of the standing of its authors, my students committed what’s called an ad hominem. “Ad hominem” literally means “to the body” or “to the man.” An ad hominem is a fallacy in which someone rejects a claim by attacking the person making the claim, instead of responding to the claim itself. Ad hominems are always fallacious since an attack on a person is irrelevant to the truth status of the person’s claim.

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is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics at Oklahoma Baptist University. He’s passionate about mentoring Christians in the life of the mind.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #66, Fall 2023 Copyright © 2024 Salvo | www.salvomag.com https://salvomag.com/article/salvo66/objecting-amiss

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