Monday, October 26, 2015

Filigreed Fallacies

What error drives our eyes and ears amiss?
Until I know this sure uncertainty
I'll entertain the offered fallacyThe Comedy of Errors (2.2.195-97). 

It is sometimes tempting to accept things we intuitively perceive to be untrue (sure uncertainties) simply because it is easier to sacrifice critical thinking for comfortable ignorance.  It is easy for many of us to believe that wearing a designer outfit, driving a flashy car, or drinking only the finest champagne can transform us into classier people. 

We are so bombarded by suggestive images that many people fail to recognize them.  If you’re like me, you may be dying to refute faulty claims, but what if you are not particularly knowledgeable about the topic under discussion?

Recognizing logical fallacies is an essential skill to help deconstruct political jargon and marketing ploys that hinder objective thought (Also see Purdue Owl for a list of common fallacies).

In the U.S., women were denied the right to vote until 1920, partially because of the large amount of negative propaganda that portrayed voting women as anti-domestic.  It goes without saying that argument is invaluable to humanity.

Images like the above suffragist mob worked as an emotional appeal (pathos) that implied if women were granted the right to vote, they would mercilessly subjugate men and abandon their household duties!

Contrary to popular opinion, argument does not have to be confrontational. We all see the world through biased lenses, and alternative perspectives have helped to loosen the stranglehold of stale notions that stifle progressive change.

Learning how to identify the most common logical fallacies will help you in every facet of life, from deconstructing emotional rhetoric to acknowledging the subtle power of effective marketing.  Obtain your freedom from sure uncertainties by both resisting and reasoning with alluring fallacies.  

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