A common error. Ad hominem is a form of fallacious reasoning along the lines of bad ergo wrong. Simply calling someone a numbskull does not constitute an ad hominem because it's not an argument. It's simply verbal abuse. "You're wrong for such and such reasons, you numbskull" is not ad hominem because being a numbskull is not given as a reason to think that the person is wrong. "You believe this or that, therefore you are a numbskull" is not ad hominem either. It's an argument, quite possibly a valid one, aimed to establish that someone is a numbskull. This really isn't complicated. Rudeness and verbal abuse are not surefire indicators of ad hominem.

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