But Mom, EVERYone…….

20 Sep

“ But Mom, I’m the only kid in 4th grade who doesn’t have a cell phone!” 

How’s that for an appeal to faulty logic!

If Mom falls for it, her daughter will have successfully employed the  Mob Appeal fallacy (Ad Populum) to twist Mom’s arm.

Mom should take the time to encourage her daughter to THINK deeper by responding –

“ That’s not a good reason.  Convince me of why you, at age 9, should have a cell phone.  What practical reason can you advance?”

Bandwagon or Mob appeal often surfaces during elections.  Proponents of a candidate tend to make frequent appeals to the collective opinion of the majority in order to persuade you of the ‘ rightness’ of a view.

  • You should vote for John in the Student Council elections.  Everyone is going to.

A thoughtful person would retort – “Well maybe every one is making a poor choice.  What are John’s plans for the school?  How has he followed through on previous campaign promises? “

A few years ago, a British newspaper ran a headline after President Bush was re-elected, something to the effect of “ How could 100 million Americans be so wrong!”   The implication seemed to be a NOT-so-veiled accusation that those who voted for George W. Bush just went along with the crowd and did not have a valid reason for re-electing him. If that’s true, then we have an example of Mob Appeal.    

Remember  – just because a majority of people act or think a certain way says nothing about rightness or wrongness.  All one can conclude is that a lot of people acted/thought thus.

Reasonable and thoughtful people at least make AN EFFORT to find a rational justification for believing what they do.  If you can’t articulate WHY you think something, you haven’t thought deep enough.

But take heart, your going along with the crowd is what McDonald’ s banks on!.  Thanks in part to enough non-rational consumers, they do a good business!.

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