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Relevance Fallacies of Pressure

 

 

Whenever a logical fallacy is committed, the fallacy has its roots in Agrippa's trilemma which is simply the fact that the foundation of all human thought (without Divine revelation) is one of three unhappy possibilities. These three possibilities are infinite regression, circular reasoning, or bare assertions without any evidence.

 

Relevance Fallacies of Pressure (using pressure rather than reason)

  • Logical Fallacy of Appeal to the People / Appeal to the Public / Argumentum Ad Populum / Ad Numerum / Bandwagon / Appeal to Common Belief / Appeal to Popularity / Appeal to Mass Opinion / Appeal to Numbers / Arguing by the Numbers / Argument by Consensus / Consensus Gentium / Appeal to the Gallery / Appeal to the Majority / Appeal to the Masses / Appeal to the Mob / Appeal to the Mob Instinct / Appeal to the Multitude: 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 in that it creates pressure to be part of the "in crowd." 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. EXAMPLE "There's really no disagreement among reputable scientists when it comes to evolution." EXAMPLE The use of polls to sway public opinion is an example of this fallacy.
  • Fake Consensus: occurs when consensus is claimed, yet the consensus is gotten through intimidation, firings, and other random acts of terrorism. This is both the tactic of message control and the logical fallacy of bandwagon. The idea is to create the illusion of consensus as a way of creating pressure. First, artificial means are used to eliminate anyone who speaks against the sacred cow, and then the fact that all dissenters have been banned is used as proof for the sacred cow. EXAMPLE It is often claimed that there is a consensus among scientists regarding absolute belief in the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story. However, that so-called consensus has been gained by nefarious means. (reference)
  • Packing the House Fallacy: occurs when an audience is chosen that will be supportive to one side of an issue as opposed to other sides. EXAMPLE When Bill Nye and Ken Ham scheduled a debate, both sides of the debate moved quickly to buy tickets. The tickets sold out within minutes.
  • Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Self-Interest / Appeal to Desire / Appeal to Personal Interest / Homily Ad Hominem (type of): occurs when an appeal is made to the personal the likes, interests, preferences, prejudices, predispositions, fears, etc. of others so they will accept the conclusion and self-interest is the reason for believing something to be true. This is a fallacy only when those personal interests are not relevant to the truth or falsity of the argument. Argument from consequences is a negative form of this fallacy. There is a positive form where something is believed because of what will be gained by believing. EXAMPLE "Jesus exists because if you don't believe this you will go to Hell." Obviously, this appeal is seldom made in this way, but the same type of argument is made in a more subtle way. The fact is that Jesus Christ speaks through Scripture. If God gives you a Scripture, and you quote it, whoever you are talking to will hear His Voice. They may not acknowledge Him, but they will hear Him. Any time you speak by the Holy Spirit, whoever hears you is hearing Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:3) So the reason for believing that Jesus exists is because we are hearing Him speak. And faith comes by hearing and hearing by the rhema (utterance) of God. EXAMPLE "I believe in Jesus because I want to go to Heaven." Your desire to go to Heaven can't make Jesus exist. You believe in Jesus because you know Him. You continue to listen to His Voice leading you because you have come to trust Him. EXAMPLE "I don't believe in God. I'm not going to follow any God Who wants to restrict my passions." Many unbelieving people are not this honest. God reveals that those who love darkness refuse to come to the light. 
  • Marginalization: The logical fallacy of marginalizing is an extreme form of the bandwagon fallacy that occurs when it is implied that people holding a certain viewpoint are a fringe group and that their viewpoint is therefore false. As with all bandwagon fallacies, this one uses popular opinion (or implied popular opinion) as the measure of what is true rather than using evidence and logic. Marginalization is a kind of peer pressure. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, arguing against Creation Science: "Here tonight, we're gonna have two stories and we can compare Mr. Ham's story to a story from what I will call the story from the outside, from mainstream science. . . . the story from the outside, from mainstream science. . . . This is what geologists on the outside do. . .Now out there in regular academic pursuits, regular geology" . . . "if as asserted here at this facility . . . Ken Ham's Creation Model . . . There are billions of people in the world who are devoutly religious. They have to be compatible because those same people embrace science. The exception is you, Mr. Ham, and that's the problem for me. You want us [the entire population of the world other than Ken Ham?] to take your word for what's written in this ancient text to be more compelling than what we see around us. . . . science, I mean in the mainstream" Bill Nye, arguing against Creation science, is using the logical fallacy of bandwagon with a particular twist known as marginalization. The very term, "mainstream science," implies there is a mainstream group. This implies anyone who disagrees with what those folks say is the minority and should just fall in line with the old ideas. This censoring of disagreement within the scientific community was a difficult picture for Bill Nye to paint while still maintaining that Bill Nye's definition of science is open to new ideas. However, Bill Nye did irrationally maintain both mutually exclusive views throughout the debate, which is the logical fallacy of internal inconsistency. He was plainly holding two mutually exclusive, conflicting, views at the same time.
  • Appeal to Rugged Individualism / Appeal to the Minority: occurs when an appeal is made to the personal the likes, interests, preferences, prejudices, predispositions, fears, etc. of a small nonconforming group (perhaps even one person) so they will accept the conclusion. This is a kind of appeal to the people but to a very select group that doesn’t go with the flow. It is a kind of peer pressure.
  • Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Common Folk / Plain Folks / Appeal to the Common Man / Argumentum Ad Populum: occurs when a person tries to appear more like the people he or she is trying to convince of some conclusion rather than supplying true premises in support of the conclusion. EXAMPLE "While secularists sleep well-funded creationists are on the march in Europe." says Peter C Kjrgaard Those "well-funded creationists" fighting against the poor "REAL scientists" who only have billions of dollars in government grants and almost total control of every conceivable form of communication: public schools, all forms of media, and organizations similar to the ACLU. Appeal to common folks is a kind of peer pressure.
  • Applying Time Pressure: occurs when time pressure is used as a negotiating technique. "Make up your mind. My clock is ticking." We tend to do this to ourselves more than having it come from the outside. It is unwise to go ahead with a decision if you can't get peace about it.
  • Contrarian Argument Fallacy Abuse: occurs when a bandwagon fallacy is defended by labeling those who disagree as contrarians and accusing them of the contrarian argument fallacy. This is an example of a fallacy fallacy, a bandwagon fallacy, marginalizing, appeal to tradition, and an ad hominem fallacy. Rather than examining all sides of the issue, one side is defined as true because the majority supports it. Just because most scientists, most theologians, or most lawyers believe something, that doesn’t make it true. Every true breakthrough in technology comes from someone thinking something new.
  • Logical Fallacy of Peer Pressure: occurs when pressure is brought to bear by actions or speech to squeeze you into the same mold as the pressuring people. Peer pressure differs from appeal to the people/bandwagon in that peer pressure works based on a desire to fit in where appeal to the people/bandwagon works by appearing to prove a truth when no real proof has been offered. Peer pressure doesn't care about truth. It cares about fitting in and being accepted. EXAMPLE “Virtually all earth scientists accept that the Universe is approximately 13.7 billion years old. It would be wise for you to believe them because they will be able to eliminate your career. And, even if they don’t, it is miserable working when you are socially ostracized.” There is no consensus, so that part is a lie. The fact that most scientists accept this story is largely due to coercion, and artificial attempts to get false consensus. Even the most dogmatic believers of this story are not able to present objective and empirical evidence as to why they believe. Every so-called evidence falls apart under scrutiny.
  • Social Conformance: occurs when fitting in and getting along requires irrational thinking. EXAMPLE Tremendous pressure is brought against young people (and older people) to disobey the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit urges us to keep our language clean, speak of our experiences with Christ, walk in holiness, and spend time in the Scripture and in prayer. Social conformance pushes against all of these. EXAMPLE “Let’s go to a movie. Which one would you like to see?” It had better be socially acceptable, even if it is downright evil. EXAMPLE There is tremendous social pressure brought against those who disagree with the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story on most college campuses. Arguments that are brought for the story are easily shown to be irrational. Yet most students do conform.
  • Cool Idolatry Fallacy: occurs when reality and truth are defined as what fits into the approval of others, what is considered cool. The cool god is a puny god. This is a type of the appeal to bribery fallacy. From a person who is deceived by this fallacy, the necessary changes are just added to the inner fake-reality or worldview, and they seem to be part of reality. There is usually no attempt to lie in order to fit in. This behavior comes naturally and is outside of consciousness. EXAMPLE A teenager wants to fit in with everyone else, and all his friends are doing drugs. EXAMPLE A college student wants to go into the sciences, but it is difficult to get a degree in the sciences without believing in the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story. The student has never thought of the fact that students are simply learning the story so they can be tested on it in the same way they might learn about the mythical Greek gods. The tests are developed to see if they understand the stories not as confirmation that the stories are true. (This is not to say that there are no professors that are anti-theists or anti-creationists.) EXAMPLE Scientists who want to fit in and not be ostracized and marginalized must believe in the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story. Here is an example. Keep in mind that it is difficult to know one’s own motives let alone the motives of someone else.
  • Appeal to Common Practice / Everybody’s Doing It: occurs when peer pressure and what people are doing around you has an influence on your own thoughts, words, and actions. This is related to the Cool Idolatry fallacy. EXAMPLE You know that the speed limit is absolute and you want to obey the laws, but everyone else goes seven miles over. Pretty soon, you find yourself going seven miles over as a regular way of driving. EXAMPLE At first, you hate the taste of alcohol and have no desire to drink it; but all your friends go out drinking, and you don’t want to be left out. In a short time, drinking is just part of your life.
  • Logical Fallacy of Snob Appeal / Snob Approach / Appeal to Snobbery: occurs when a certain conclusion is supported by a premise that implies that you will be more popular or people will think better of you because you believe the conclusion or take action as a result of the conclusion. EXAMPLE "You have to be kidding. You believe the Bible? Do you realize how silly that sounds. I was hoping you would be a little bit more sophisticated."
  • Logical Fallacy of Proof by Intimidation: occurs when any of the many forms of intimidation are used rather than a rational reason. One is to cloud the issue with jargon or confuse with technicalese and complexity in order to intimidate the audience into compliance lest they be shown to be ignorant--sort of an emperor's new clothes technique. Another is to demonstrate that those who don't bow down to the sacred cow story will be ostracized or lose their jobs. It would be nice if people were more civilized, but this goes on a lot. Intimidation can also be generated by implying stupidity unless you agree, a very common tactic of those supporting Atheism, Uniformitarianism, Naturalism, Materialism, Darwinism (molecules-to-man evolution), or old Earthism. People using these techniques often don't understand the words they are saying, but they have memorized them to use them to try to win debates. EXAMPLE Slaughter of the Dissidents: "Philip Bishop is a professor of exercise physiology at the University of Alabama. He has over 300 publications in refereed journals and conference publications, and was recommended for early tenure. When the University learned that he informed his students that his field provides abundant evidence for intelligent design, they forbade him from doing so. On the other hand, William Provine of Cornell boasts that the percentage of theists among his students drops from 75% at the beginning of the course to 50% at the end."
  • Forestalling Disagreement: occurs when tactics are used to make raising an objection seem to be contrarian or otherwise embarrassing, and thus to try to keep others from disagreeing. EXAMPLE “The only way you can deny evolution [meaning molecules to man] and/or the age of the Earth [meaning billions of years] is the blatantly turn a blind eye to proven fact.” There is no proven fact, and this is simply bluster to forestall disagreement.
  • Appeal to Patriotism: occurs when truth is determined by what makes one feel and look patriotic. Often, the term, "unpatriotic," is used. EXAMPLE "This new bill is the law of the land. It’s unpatriotic to think that it’s a bad bill." When a law promotes sin, it’s a bad bill. EXAMPLE “The Supreme Court has passed Roe versus Wade. That should be the end of the discussion. To oppose abortion is unpatriotic.” Courts become corrupt in a country that drifts away from God. We know that by revelation. And what some politician declares to be patriotism does not have any effect on what God calls right and good.


Author/Compiler
Last updated: Sep, 2014
 
 


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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