What is a Logical Fallacy?
Logical fallacies are flawed logic; or rhetorical arguments that involve fatal errors that destroys its soundness, leading to an inaccurate and potentially harmful inference.
The fallacy of hasty generalization; also known as hasty induction or overextension, is a form of jumping to a conclusion with little or no evidence. This fallacy has the potential to spread disinformation and stereotypes. The fallacy of hasty generalization is very prevalent in our society today; and has contributed to the rise in social media-induced suicide.
On social media, many people equate their lives to those of others. On social media, some people often equate their development to that of their high school classmates or university course mates. For many people, social media has become a yardstick with which to evaluate their performance. You may believe that your friends’ lives are fully fulfilled; however, the only proof you have is a few photographs and status updates; which is insufficient to understand the complexity of a person’s life. They are not providing the truth; because the filtered image of themselves that they share on social media may not fully reflect their daily lives.
It is crucial that you identify the fallacy of hasty generalization even in your inner conversation – conversation with yourself. Do not compare yourself with anyone, for the evidence you have may not be crucial for your development. Therefore, create your own blueprint, develop yourself mindfully; and align yourself with those who have the abilities and experiences to hasten your development.
Argumentum Ad Hominem
There are different aspects of this fallacy; all of which are targeted at smearing ‘the man’.
Poisoning the well
The ad hominem fallacy is when adverse information is presented to an audience with the aim of smearing or discrediting an opponent.
Guilt by association
Guilt by association ad hominem attacks a source because of the similarity between the views of someone making an argument and other proponents of the argument.
The abusive ad hominem
The term “ad hominem” is sometimes used to refer to abusive language which is not directly connected to an argument over a particular proposition.
This fallacy typically refers to rhetorical strategy where the speaker attacks the character, motive, or other aspects of the person rather than sticking to the argument.
Circumstantial ad hominem points out that someone is in circumstances (for instance, their job, wealth, property, or relations) such that they are disposed to take a particular position.
Ad hominem tu quoque (literally: “You also”) is a response to a personal attack (or ad hominem argument) that itself is a personal attack.
The ad hominem fallacy is capable of hindering your personal and career growth. Do not bring others down on your way up. Before attacking people’s personalities, you must understand that he who throws stones must not live in a glass house. Be courteous in your dealings with people.
Appeal to Tradition
Also known as “argumentum ad antiquitam,” is a fallacy where an idea is assumed to be correct because it is correlated with some past or present tradition.
This is common among some Nigerians. Appeal to tradition is where you find yourself acting without thinking and defend your actions because it is part of your tradition.
While it may be true that success was built on many traditions, it is not the traditions itself that breeds success. You must break away from the tradition of doing things because it has always been done that way.
This mindset limits your growth by burying you in the status quo.
Appeal to Ignorance
Also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam or as an argument from ignorance involves claiming that something is true or false based on a lack of evidence.
When you liken this fallacy to finding yourself in a place where you feel you are the best, you will understand how limiting it can be to settle where you find yourself.
“In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”
Therefore, because there is no evidence of higher efficient individuals in your organization does not make you the best it just means there is no one willing to compete with you. Therefore, continuously seek areas to develop yourself.
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