Indian Books on Religion

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Logical Fallacies And The News

When you are watching the local news and something catastrophic happens, the people reporting the news are always try to draw the conclusion as to why this happened. And they usually use fallacies to do this. One of the one misconceptions that the news ran with was after 9/11, they made it seem like all Muslims were terrorist because all of the hijackers were Muslims. This is not true, the fact is that less than one percent of Muslims are terrorists but the news made every American scared of these people.

That is how the news uses fallacies to scare the people into thinking that things that just aren’t true. Fear is one of the main things that using fallacies does for the newscasters. They also like to report the news before they even get all of the facts checked on the story. They think if they report it first then they will get all of the coverage but that is not how news works, you need to have all the facts before you report but they like to report then as questions later. This is what is called argumentum ex culo, which means just make stuff up.

Another logical fallacy that the news like to use in their news stories is to use people of power to back up their stories. The argumentum ad verecundiam is the word for this kind of fallacy. It means that they will bring in experts that will back up there stories no matter how true or false the facts that they are trying to cover. You have probably seen this when people are trying to argue about gay marriage and how it is bad and is going to ruin traditional marriages. They bring in these kind of people to help them justify what they want to report but are too afraid to do it themselves.

Back in the 80s you probably heard about news outlets using overgeneralization with the AIDS epidemic. They tried to use one group of people to blame for the AIDS epidemic, homosexuals. While during that time they did have a higher rate of infection but there were other heterosexual people infected with the disease. They singled out the homosexual community because they saw what they were doing as wrong and need someone to blame. This kind of fallacy happens all the time and unless the news starts coming up with fallacy that actually make sense, we are doomed to see the world as they do.


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