It's not wrangling. It's explanation. Simply calling someone a fool may be rude, it may be insulting but it isn't a fallacy.
I think you're ignoring the fact that, invariably, people are being called "fools" as part of an implication that they've just advanced a bad argument.
When you tell someone that they're an idiot, and as part of that you either implicitly or explicitly use their idiocy to justify the dismissal of their argument, then you are committing argumentum ad hominem.
Very rarely, here, do people call each other names as part of agreement with their argument. Any time that someone is being called a "fool", they're invariably being told that they're wrong, too, and that is the argumentum ad hominem, no question about it. When you say "you're wrong because you're an idiot", that's the fallacy of argumentum ad hominem.
If you throw in the world "fool" your answer doesn't become any less right. You can't say that an incidental comment turns a valid response into a fallacious response.
I'm not saying that it does. But if I write the following post:
quote:You're wrong because Lewis discovered such-and-such in his landmark paper "Lewis et al., The Effect of Stuff on the Other Thing, Journal of Stuff (2006)". You've completely misrepresented my argument to you and debated with a strawman. You're also wrong because you're an idiot.
I see essentially three arguments in there; the evidentiary argument (the evidence contradicts you), the structural argument (you've failed to support your own position because your arguments were fallacious) and the ad hominem argument (you're wrong because of your loathsome personal qualities.)
The last of those arguments is fallacious. It's the argumentum ad hominem. That can, to some degree, be ignored because of the fact that my post contains two other arguments that are not fallacious, but we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that I've combined three arguments, one fallacious, into a single post.
The former is a fallacy, the latter is quite definitely not.
I think it's bad logic, at least, to imply that one bad argument or one mistake - or even one act of dishonesty - makes someone a fool or a liar.
Some amount of goading is necessary to hold someone's attention, to keep them coming back with posts, to get them to respond to your arguments rather than simply ignoring them. But, strictly speaking, those kinds of personal attacks do constitute argumentum ad hominem, because the implication is that someone's statements can be dismissed simply because the speaker is a moron, or is assumed to have some other loathsome personal quality. (You're a creationist. You're a Christian. You're an atheist. Etc.)
I repeat my point - an incidental comment cannot be a fallacy because it is not an attempt to rebut an argument.
In my experience that's how they're being invariably used - "I don't have to explain how your assertions are wrong, because we've established that you're an idiot." That does constitute argumentum ad hominem. That a post may additionally contain legitimate rebuttals against a point in addition doesn't change the fact that the post also contains a fallacious ad hominem argument.
In other words you didn't mean it to address a relevant point.
I meant all along to address a specific deficiency of your argument, and I've succeeded in doing so. Maybe you got a little lost along the way but my point from the get-go a few posts back has always been that you're nominally correct that just calling somebody a "fool" isn't strictly argumentum ad hominem, but that's irrelevant since invariably, people are being called names in order to discredit their arguments.
That is ad hominem, and I think we both agree on that.
You've given me absolutely no reason to assume that anything I've said is wrong.
It was never my intent to show that you are wrong, because you're not wrong. You just overlooked something, and I have attempted to correct your oversight. I believe I have done so, since now you appear to agree with me.
It's funny. You're using words in English, I can see that clearly - what I can't see is how any of that addresses any of the issues I raised in response to you.
So essentially your whole point is that you infer ad hominem in many uses of "fool" or similar comments. But you won't even give a fictional example of the sort of thing you're referring to - let alone an actual example.
If you're determined to be so obtuse that you'll deny that people call people "fool" in response to arguments that they hope to discredit, there's absolutely no example - fictional or authentic - I can present that you simply won't be more obtuse in response to.
Like I said - you can either read plain statements in English, or you can be deliberately obtuse to their obvious context and meaning. It would be pretty weird indeed for someone to agree with another person's argument and yet call them a moron at the end of it. (That's usually done in jest.)