Fallacy – Adhominem: attacking the arguer instead of the argument.

When the Pharisees were plotting to arrest Jesus and put him to death, the man named Nicodemus, the one who visited Jesus by night (Jn 3), stood and challenged the proceedings, saying, “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” This was a brave attempt to intervene in the lawless goals of the Pharisees by bringing the rulers back to a place of sensibility. But they would have none of that.

When your desires are not in line with law, and if you are determined to follow your desires, you will use any fallacy available to get around the truth.

The Pharisees responded to Nicodemus with the Ad-hominem fallacy, charging, “Are you from Galilee too?” This was a veiled charge that perhaps Nicodemus was one of them, a closet disciple of Jesus. The Pharisees knew the requirements of the law but for the moment the law could be set aside in order to get rid of Jesus. And any honest person who is willing to stop or slow down the plot could become a victim as well.

Apparently the discussion ended there. Nicodemus could see it was fruitless to try and bring reason to these unreasonable leaders.

Lesson: Make sure you follow truth. Let truth guide your desires. And should you be off track and in jeopardy of committing a grave sin, listen to the one that tries to bring you back to reality. If the message is reasonable and you are tempted to discredit the messenger, be honest and get right.

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