The 'Enlightened Liberal' and the Argumentum ad Populum

Frank Ryan
Be it Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, or any horrific tragedy that strikes America, the apparent reaction is to respond with the predetermined agenda of the media and this administration, regardless of the reality of the crisis. The fallacy of their argument is the critical thinking error called argumentum ad populum, or an appeal to popular opinion.  Virtually all such appeals are illogical and destined to damage those groups intended to be helped.  You may feel better, but the disabled are worse off due to your "kindness". A typical reaction to an appeal to opinion is to enact very silly and counterproductive legislation that appeals to the majority.  Names such as "No Child Left Behind," "The PATRIOT Act," and "The Affordable Care Act" all are intended to invoke a popular and emotional appeal to poorly designed legislation. What may not be as commonly understood, however, is the trauma and pain that such legislation causes in the name of protection. In...(Read Full Post)

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