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Ad Homimen Is Not a Valid Argument

Tweet [1]

A friend sent me this Twitter post by Jeremy Horpedahl [2]. (I’m not, and never have been, on Twitter.) Dr. Horpedahl criticizes me for sharing a video of a young woman being arrested [3] recently at an anti-lockdown protest in London’s Bishops Park. My alleged offense springs from the fact that the video was uploaded to YouTube by an organization called “Subject Access.”

Having never before heard of “Subject Access,” I know nothing about this organization and, honestly, did not notice – until Dr. Horpedahl’s tweet drew my attention to it – the source of the video. Because Dr. Horpedahl, in his tweet, described “Subject Access” as a “disinformation” group, I naturally wondered if I’d been duped by a video that’s fake or inaccurate.

Nope. It’s accurate. This arrest seems very much to have occurred just as the video presents it. The Telegraph has a photo of the woman being dragged away by police [4] – a photo that is consistent with the video that I shared.

Because The Telegraph is gated, here’s a screen shot of the Telegraph page, taken by me at 6:27am EST, on Monday, March 8th, 2021:

I’m prepared to believe that “Subject Access” is a shady source. Again, I’d never before heard of it. But whether “Subject Access” is shady, shoddy, or sterling is here irrelevant. The arrest took place, apparently as the video shows.

Dr. Horpedahl’s criticism of my sharing the video – and, by implication, of the video itself – is ad hominem. If I err – as, no doubt, I often do – I’m happy to be corrected. But I do not accept ad hominem arguments or assertions as valid. It’s not for nothing that we describe¬†ad hominem¬†argumentation as fallacious.

If substantive information about this arrest comes to light that casts legitimate doubt on its presentation as an instance of Covid tyranny, I’ll listen and revise my estimation of the reported event. But, again, the arrest seems to be real and to have occurred as shown in the video. The fact that the video was uploaded to YouTube by an organization that Dr. Horpedahl alleges, perhaps correctly, is shady changes nothing about the underlying reality. And what matters for my purposes is only the underlying reality.

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