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Impact of fallacies on rational thinking

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  1. Introduction
  2. Appeal to ignorance
  3. Argumentum ad ignorantiam
  4. Conclusion

A fallacy is a defect weakening a particular argument or a form of reasoning error (Garssen & Meuffels, 2009). It pertains to arguments specifically or reasoning used in an effort to lay rational basis or ground for an opinion or view. Correct arguments follow the sound reason principles through formal rules provided by logic. Logically incorrect arguments as a result of including false ideas or violating formal rules of logic may lead to fallacious arguments causing false conclusions (Garssen & Meuffels, 2009). Where each simple idea or term bears a precise meaning, they may not be termed as either false or true until something is said about them. Fallacies are present in everyday situations of life, even in governments, as suggested by Evans. The American government lends money with the aim of profiting but ends up losing while Britain gains ?The American creditor lends his money according to the terms of interest, he should dispose off his stock, he must sacrifice on every ?100 or at least ?50, whilst the British creditor gains nearly as much? (Evans11). This paper discusses the fallacies occurring in everyday life, argumentum ad ignorantiam (appeal to ignorance), and how a layman's rational thinking is affected by fallacy. The paper also discusses the reasons for appeal to ignorance fallacy which is deliberately committed by people; in that, individuals' create stories that they are not sure of but only tell them to assume a certain significance in the society.
The appeal to ignorance fallacy is based on the premise of lacking conclusive evidence for a particular issue and as such an arguer's conclusion should be readily accepted. An example is in the argument of God's existence. For centuries, the existence of God has been debated with no researcher providing irrefutable proof on the issue. An arguer on either side of whether God exists or not lacks evidence to support his claim and hence a conclusion is made on the basis of lacking evidence. This is seen in the encounter between science and theology where Newman, a theologist who attempted to take the image of God as a topic contributing to speculation, ended in absolute failure (Thomsen, 2009), there was no proof produced. The fallacy came in because of the need for proof, hence some people now don't pay attention even to the bishop - ?a man of good behavior, of great boldness in his faith, especially apt to teach, indeed possessing those qualities which are specifically commended in a bishop or deacon? (Thomsen, 2009). The bishop allowed himself to be swayed from his faith for the need of proof. This clearly shows how misleading fallacies can be even to people of faith creating doubt to believers today.

[...] Rational thinking regarding the appeal to ignorance fallacy may also seem unrealistic as some of the issues relating to this fallacy may not be concluded based on logic and rational thinking. The existence of God for instance, is an issue of faith hence may not be easily concluded through rational thinking. Other times, people commit fallacies to gain support for their views and also lead people into carrying out their desires. There have been cases where fallacies have resulted in death due to being easily swayed by another person's thoughts. [...]

[...] Fallacies Thesis Statement Fallacies have become part of life weighing heavily on decisions people make thus affecting their rational thinking, beliefs behavior and reactions to different situations. People should not heed to fallacies but have a clear mind in order to make sound decisions. A fallacy is a defect weakening a particular argument or a form of reasoning error (Garssen & Meuffels, 2009). It pertains to arguments specifically or reasoning used in an effort to lay rational basis or ground for an opinion or view. [...]

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