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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Unable To Refute All The Facts, Mayor Skibitsky Engages In Argumentum Ad Hominen

     The following text was copied from web link :  Mayor Skibitsky's name has been inserted into the text to illustrate his actions at last night's Town Council meeting.  When his back is up against a wall, and his position is refuted with facts and reports, he engages in the age old Ad Hominem Fallacy.   

      Argumentum ad hominem is the logical fallacy of attempting to undermine a speaker's argument by attacking the speaker instead of addressing the argument. The mere presence of a personal attack does not indicate ad hominem: the attack must be used for the purpose of undermining the argument, or otherwise the logical fallacy isn't there. It is not a logical fallacy to attack someone; the fallacy comes from assuming that a personal attack is also necessarily an attack on that person's arguments.  
     Mayor Skibitsky commits the Ad Hominem Fallacy when he introduces irrelevant personal premisses about his opponent. Such red herrings may successfully distract the opponent or the audience from the topic of the debate.
     Moreover, in some contexts the phrase "ad hominem" may refer to an ethical lapse, rather than a logical mistake, as it may be a violation of debate etiquette to engage in personalities.
     For instance, the charge of "ad hominem" is often raised during American political campaigns, but is seldom logically warranted. We vote for, elect, and are governed by politicians, not platforms; in fact, political platforms are primarily symbolic and seldom enacted. So, personal criticisms are logically relevant to deciding who to vote for. Of course, such criticisms may be logically relevant but factually mistaken, or wrong in some other non-logical way.

Abusive : Abusive ad hominem (also called personal abuse or personal attacks) usually involves insulting or belittling one's opponent in order to attack his claim or invalidate his argument, but can also involve pointing out factual but apparent character flaws or actions that are irrelevant to the opponent's argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and negative facts about the opponent's personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent's arguments or assertions.

Circumstantial: A Circumstantial Ad Hominem is one in which some irrelevant personal circumstance surrounding the opponent is offered as evidence against the opponent's position.

     To poison the well is to commit a pre-emptive ad hominem strike against an argumentative opponent. As with regular ad hominems, the well may be poisoned in either an abusive or circumstantial way.
     Anyone bold enough to enter a debate which begins with a well-poisoning either steps into an insult, or an attack upon one's personal integrity. As with standard ad hominems, the debate is likely to cease to be about its nominal topic and become a debate about the arguer.
     However, what sets Poisoning the Well apart from the standard Ad Hominem is the fact that the poisoning is done before the opponent has a chance to make a case.
     Poisoning the Well is not, strictly speaking, a logical fallacy since it is not a type of argument. Rather, it is a logical boobytrap set by the poisoner to tempt the unwary audience into committing an ad hominem fallacy. As with all forms of the ad hominem, one should keep in mind that an argument can and must stand or fall on its own, regardless of who makes it.  

     Mayor Skibitsky, don't shoot the messenger, attack the message.  When the facts are presented, don't engage in  commiting the Ad Hominem Fallacy.  Stick to the facts.


  1. Mayor Skibitsky is totally over matched by Greg Kasko's intellect.

  2. Kasko is a screwball.

  3. What a bunch of misdirection rhetoric! And YOU are committing the same Argumentum ad hominem against the Mayor right here. You attack HIM and not the argument. Hypocrite!

  4. The Fact of The MatterWednesday, August 17, 2011

    Committing it here? If you read the facts previously presented in other stories on this blog, that refute the Mayor's statement's, you will find that there is no need to attack his character.

    The facts speak for themselves. The Mayor, at last night's Town Council Meeting, chose to attack the character of the person debating the issues instead of the actual issues.

    Outside of politics the Mayor is a admirable man I'm sure. However, get past the picture taking, handshaking, ribbon cuttings, and baby kissing, a mayor should be held responsible and questioned when he misleads the public by neglecting to present all the facts.

    By presenting only the facts that support his biased position, the mayor misleads the public.

    Last night, a hypocritical Mayor admonished a resident for referring to members of the Town Council as "Musketeers" when referring to their unconditional allegiance to the Mayor. Later the Mayor then attacks the character of another resident. If the Mayor is going to ask one resident to refrain from engaging in character assassination, he should practice what he preaches.

  5. I just saw this on There's no reason to change the light location at this point.

    Where's the smoking gun that Kasko and Carluccio have been taking about these past few months? I just viewed the traffic report it said:

    "The HAWK crosswalk meets all three purposes for which it was intended. It provides a safe crossing for pedestrians, particularly school-age children, it minimizes traffic delays, and it does not create cut-through traffic on nearby residential streets. In consideration of all of the above, the WPD concludes that the HAWK crosswalk is effective in achieving its goals."

    Later on it goes onto say, there are positives and negatives for any location as Central is a busy road with 25,000 cars per day. What was all this noise about the past few months?

  6. There is nothing admirable about the Mayor. But you can be sure his sin will find him out. Mayor you need to turn from your wicked ways.

  7. It is unfortunate that some members of the public are so easily distracted from the issues.Everyone agrees that a light to help pedestrians cross the street is better than no light.When the decision to place this light mid-block Was made the Hawke did not exist. When the decision was made, it was also decided to cull-de-sac two streets.One of the benefits of the Hawke is to avoid the problem of cut-through traffic which is exactly why the Town planned for cull-de-sacs.The original plan was for a light at the corner.
    The Mayor has never answered why mid-block was chosen. He has never produced any report ,made at the time the decision was made,saying that mid-block was safer.
    The present 30page report is a waste of tax money.
    A.John Blake