Logical Gal – Holiday Expectations and the Mob Appeal Fallacy

23 Dec

Here’s a common fallacy for you!

  • Everybody celebrates Christmas by ____________(you fill in the blank)
  • Therefore, I must celebrate the same way

This is a pressure-producing example of Mob Appeal

The only way to rescue oneself from misery is to ask some questions:

  • Why must you be like everyone else?
  • How do you know ‘they’ are doing Christmas the ‘correct way’?
  • What would happen if your celebration were different?
  • Is it an absolute truth that the majority always knows what is right?

I almost succumbed to the Ad Populum Fallacy at various times this month of December:

  • In my new school, I noticed that teachers started to gift their colleagues with little goodies – Should I do as well?
  • In our new house in the woods, I considered whether I should put the traditional electric candles in the windows (no neighbors to see them) – Must I keep up this tradition?
  • Our Frasier Fir was glorious just as it sat in our living room– naked in it’s tree stand  – Must we decorate it?
  • So many musical offerings are listed in our local paper this time of year –  Should we not attend at least one to be truly in the Christmas spirit?
  • And what about clothes and jewelry with Christmas themes?  Every gal seems to be sporting those holiday earrings or sweaters or pins or …… I don’t like schmaltzy stuff.  Do I have to get with the program?

So as a Christmas present to you and to me: I grant us all the right to think for ourselves and to make decisions based on values grounded in Truth.  And for those matters that are mere convention and often inconsequential, it really doesn’t matter what you do.  If you DO find yourself going along with convention because you want to blend in, then at least admit it to yourself, laugh and lighten up!

Question:  what burdensome practice can you drop since you no longer have to toe the line and do what you think everyone else is doing?

If everyone is doing it, it must be right.

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