Dr. William Hamblin (in response to James White of A&O Ministries)
Ad hominem does not mean making insulting remarks, as you seem to think. My saying
you are an anti-Mormon is not an ad hominem. If I were to say, "you are an
anti-Mormon, therefore your views are wrong", that would be an ad Hominem. Ad
hominem is a logical fallacy. It occurs when one argues as follows:
X is a Mormon
Mormons are evil
Therefore, X's argument is wrong.
It ignores the evidence and analysis that X presents for his case. Even if X is
evil, it does not mean his evidence and analysis are incorrect. This is the ad
hominem fallacy. The classic example in the anti-Mormon world is: "Show
me a non-Mormon archaeologist who believes in the Book of Mormon." The ad
hominem is that Mormon archaeologists, *because they are Mormon* cannot present evidence
and analysis on this matter. Only non-Mormon views are permissible. In fact,
you engage in the ad hominem when you dismiss all the analysis of modern scholars
*because* they are [allegedly] liberals.