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Logical Fallacy of Appeal to the People / Argumentum ad populum / Bandwagon / Appeal to Common Belief / Peer Pressure


 
 

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to the People / Argumentum ad populum / Bandwagon / Appeal to Common Belief / Peer Pressure

The logical fallacy of appeal to the people occurs when someone references the popularity of a statement to support the truth of the statement. The truth is rarely popular. The logical fallacy of appeal to the people is irrational thinking. It is used because it is very persuasive. Don’t be swayed by it and don’t use it to try to persuade people to come to Christ. Those who come to Christ because they think the majority are coming to Christ will also turn from Christ if they become convinced that the majority are turning from Him.

Examples of the Logical Fallacy of Appeal to the People / Argumentum ad populum / Bandwagon / Appeal to Common Belief / Peer Pressure / group think

“Everybody’s doing it.”

"There's really no disagreement among reputable scientists when it comes to evolution."

"According to mainstream science, the Earth is 4.6 billion years old. Therefore, the Earth is 4.6 billion years old."

Note that the premise is true, but what mainstream science proclaims to be true is often later changed, so the conclusion doesn't follow from the premise. Of course, this is even more deceptive if conclusion is not explicitly stated—if it is only implied. Not all that long ago, it could truthfully be said, "According to mainstream science, the Sun and stars travel around the stationary Earth." This was based on observation and theoretical reasoning. Now we know that the Earth spins and the Earth goes around the Sun. In the case of the 4.6-billion-year-old Earth, mainstream science is on very shaky ground.

"According to the scientific consensus, evolution is established science. (This premise is untrue because consensus means that all scientists would agree—there would be no scientist who would not agree, and that is not true) Therefore, evolution is established science."

This conclusion is false but is usually not explicitly stated—it is only implied.

"The vast majority of scientists agree with the Big Bang Theory. Therefore, the Big Bang happened."

This conclusion is unsupported by the appeal to majority.

"All reputable scientists agree that evolution is fact. (Of course, they are saying that they don’t consider any scientist who disagrees to be reputable, so this is circular reasoning as well as argumentum ad populum.) Therefore, evolution is fact."

Rather than looking for proof of evolution, they are demonstrating that most people in a select group believe in it.

“Virtually all of earth scientists accept that the universe is approximately 13.7 billion years old; it is wise to believe them because they will be able to present objective and empirical evidence as to why they believe.”

Note that this last example is only slightly modified from a website that is dedicated to teaching logic with an Atheist slant. It is not given as an example of fallacy but as something that is put forward as something that makes sense--how sad. The problem is that there is no evidence presented for the claim. And the scientific arguments against it are compelling and ought to be heard, though, just as in the days when Galileo said that the Sun was not going around the Earth, it is very difficult to change the group think of the reigning paradigm among scientists. In addition, we have a more authoritative word, than science. God says that, at least from the vantage point of the Earth, the Universe is about 6,000 years old. However, there may have been a way, either supernatural or natural, that God allowed billions of years to pass in other areas of the Universe while little or no time passed on the Earth. He has been known to even move the Sun backwards and to make the Sun stand still relative to the Earth, so He is not limited in that respect.



Author/Compiler
Last updated: Aug, 2014
 
 

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to the People / Argumentum ad populum / Bandwagon / Appeal to Common Belief / Peer Pressure



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There are 17 sub-topics of "Relevance Fallacies of Pressure"

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to the People / Argumentum ad populum / Bandwagon / Appeal to Common Belief / Peer Pressure

Logical Fallacy of Fake Consensus

Packing the House Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Self-Interest / Appeal to Desire / Appeal to Personal Interest / Homily Ad Hominem (type of)

Logical Fallacy of Marginalizing

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Rugged Individualism / Appeal to the Minority / Authority of the Select Few

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Common Folk / Plain Folks / Appeal to the Common Man / Argumentum Ad Populum

Logical Fallacy of Applying Time Pressure

Contrarian Argument Fallacy Abuse

Logical Fallacy of Peer Pressure

Social Conformance Fallacy

Cool Idolatry Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Common Practice / "Everybody’s Doing It"

Logical Fallacy of Snob Appeal / Snob Approach

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Intimidation / Argument from Intimidation

Forestalling Disagreement Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Patriotism

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