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The Beauty of Personal Attacks

Updated on July 14, 2020
Ericdierker profile image

Political Science, Philosophy, Business were majors and minors in undergrad. Post areas in Law, Security, Insurance and Theology.

Just Soothing

Hike near Mt. Miguel.
Hike near Mt. Miguel. | Source


If you want you can “win” with the beauty of personal attacks. Personal attacks are standard in life. Please let me know I am relevant to the conversation by personally attacking me. That means you care. A personal attack is when the argument is cogent and the best defense against it is diminishing or attacking the character of another. It works. People just go that way. “He is lying because he is a liar”. Not because what he said was false or even wrong. That needs to sink in.

You do not like someone like a coworker. Perhaps no matter what they did you would hate it. And they buy your sister flowers on mother’s day. You will hate the flowers. So to cover up your childish thoughts you personally attack the coworker. Somehow now you are justified in hating the flowers. “How can it be that simple” you ask. You hate a politician and he lays a wreath for a WWII soldier. You hate the wreath. Yes it is that simple.

Now if I defend the laying of the wreath you have to call me names because you are without real justification. Yes, step two is really that simple.

Oh unless you think that we leave out those that are justified in both their assertion and the personal attack perhaps we over think it. If you are right or wrong in your argument or in your personal attack it really makes no difference. The fact that my mother is fat is almost irrelevant to you calling her fat. And does my fat mother have anything to do with me beating you in chess. If I cheated at chess against you, would that justify calling my mother fat? No it does not.

Personal attacks are appropriate in certain circumstances. One is like a misdirection. If an argument is too complex then a personal attack can make the person asserting lose track or miss things. If that circumstance is to prevent an injustice or further violence it is appropriate. And If you think that justifies you being nasty on Facebook you are mistaken in so many ways. I have yet to witness peace being accomplished by nasty Facebook entries – and neither have you. Many a hurt feeling and spreading of hate but not peace elsewhere or in the mind of the person personally attacking. It is a nasty virus.

Kind of a Personal Attack Song


Actually slithering away.
Actually slithering away. | Source

Syndrome? What?

Here is one for you. Personal attacks of any mention are attacks on the character of another. In court you cannot bring character trait into evidence. (like all good legal stuff, the rule has more holes in it than your kitchen colander.) So if in my defense I point out what great character I have, you can now attack it. Of course in a defamation suit you almost have to raise the issue.

So if I have been in 10 bar fights where I used a bottle to conk heads and I was in the bar when the victim was struck in the head with a bottle. Should my character of such bad behavior be allowed into the case against me? If you knew about the previous 10 times you would not even hear the matter and just vote to convict. Human nature which is wholly illogical. Because I rolled 8 ten times does not mean at all that I will roll 8 this time. The odds simply do not change because of repetition. The fact the sun came up this morning for the 44 billionth time does not mean it will tomorrow even though it is part of the characteristics of a sun. I know the sun does not do the rising so attack me as being dumb.

You do not like the politician because of her last four decisions. But the one today makes plenty of sense. Still you may personally attack her just because you hate her for previous matters. One of my favorites is attacking a politician as an idiot. I mean one that got elected by many, many people. That is just funny. Another is attacking there choices as you would do better. You see those are not issue based. Those are illogical hate based.

Now if I call your mother fat, you know I am just playing around. I am joshing you. Because of my character I do not personally attack your mom or you by way of her. But if I really hated you that would be a whole new scenario. Haters hate.

They have a syndrome now that is real. It is based on the idea of hating someone personally so much that you are deranged. Well they do not need a “syndrome” to label that as hate. There is no cause and effect of hate. It is within the hater. A choice that never goes well. Seriously mention down in the comments if you have even one example otherwise, even if it is just hearsay.


Another Fall.
Another Fall. | Source


Is Silence an Admission?

Now a real beautiful personal attack is not blatant, it is near subliminal. Even with my mask on I can signal that you are an idiot with my eyes. My four children are good at this because I taught them how to make faces. And one exercise is just using eyes. I did this because I noticed pouty faces suggesting I was mean needed to be understood as a choice to personally attack me to get what they want.

Causing a feeling of guilt is an excellent method of personal attack. It is best used as a counter-attack. You suggest I am stupid and so I exclaim that you are mean because you always personally attack me. A back handed compliment may achieve the same. “You are so good at arguing you always make me feel bad about my opinions.”

Here is a most beautiful personal attack; “Good job, you made your point this time without personally attacking me like usual.”

Nowadays playing a victim is too often just a personal attack. Look what you have done to me, now you cannot argue against me. Neat trick, especially when the action was not your own. Attacking someones group is very effective. And remember it is not the accuracy of the attack it is the horribleness of the action attacked.

Look here now. Religion is awesome in my view. If you do not believe me look at the food banks in this time of need. Donations into a church provide food for those in need. And wow is it easy to attack someone for their religion. I am supposed to lose the argument because of the inquisition hundreds of years ago. Genocide of indigenous is another one from half a millennium ago.

Bottom Line

Just me maybe, but I think the majority of people feel uneasy with personal attacks. They are the quiet ones who simply choose not to attack back. My perspective is straight forward, if you engage in a personal attack, I won the underlying argument. End of story. I do not need to state it. I do not have to declare it, it is just an “is”.

Evangelists, both secular and religious, use personal attacks. They are failures and need to go back to the drawing board of love. You do not win love by personally attacking another. You may gain some followers but only those who hate others. But let us be clear it is just human nature.


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