The argument from appeal to hatred of Howard.

Here’s a comment I received recently, in the context of talking about nuclear power.

“remember John Howard sold his soul to GW Bush, why would yoy [sic] trust anything he supports ?”

We see this occasionally in discussions about nuclear power. It’s the appeal to hatred of Howard, an argumentative technique, similar to a kind of contemporary derivative of the good old fashioned argumentum ad hominem, that goes something like this:

i) John Howard was actively interested in investigating the use of nuclear power in Australia, and was open to the idea.

ii) Of course, everybody obviously knows that Howard is literally the bloody Antichrist, or something.

iii) Ergo, nuclear power is bad.

You sometimes have the persuasive appeal to hatred of the GOP or hatred of Bush, or something similar, it works in exactly the same way.


About this entry