I'm near the end of this book, which explains and documents how and why skeptical, critical thinking activities are "unnatural acts."
Here's a selection from the start of Chapter 8, "The Fallacy-Driven Life":
But, Carroll gets his terminology right. I can't mention the number of times I have pointed out that a global warming denier's claims should be pulled under the credibility microscope because he works for a place like the far-right think tank, the Heartland Institute. He notes, on that:
The ad hominem fallacy is often confused with the legitimate provision of evidence that a person is not to be trusted. Calling into question the reliability of a witness is relevant when the issue is whether to trust the witness. ... Good refutations of arguments try to undermine the accuracy, relevance, fairness, completeness, and sufficiency of reasons given to support a conclusion. ... The fallacy in the ad hominem argument is due to the irrelevant nature of the appeal made, not to its falsity.Regardless of one's political stripe, whether, libertarian, conservative, liberal or left-liberal, Carroll exhorts us to be more critical in our thinking about political events, scientific claims, sociological and psychological pronouncements and more.