This week we discussed the latin phrase "Ad Hominem". The students in my classes often amaze me; however, I also have respect for them. One third grader demonstrated knowledge and critical thinking when we discussed this phrase, ad hominem.
The Latin phrase simply means, "to the man". In more precise terms, it means an "argument against the person". It is not when a person makes a case against the ideas the person is presenting. Many times political advertisements and speeches reflect emotional reactions to the other candidate rather than presenting a coherent evaluation of the issues. People voting for a person based on their feelings, sometimes make uninformed choices. Ad hominem appeals, made by candidates, effectively persuade people who do not think critically.
I challenged my students to listen to the political candidates. I hope they will begin to notice the difference in appeals made ad hominem and those rationally presenting sound ideas based on reliable information.
Listen to claims made by candidates... are they stating reliable information or are they expressing ideas ad hominem?
Pearls take time to form; likewise, our words should be chosen carefully and with thought.