Moral Equivalence, ad hominem, ad populum, scapegoating, and tanstaafl

Musicvid wrote on 9/8/2020, 2:59 PM

There are a number of logical fallacies that people employ in attempting to sway public opinion, discredit an opponent, lay blame, and attempt to get something for nothing. Here are a few; how many can you identify in the recent spat of posts referring to a particular Vegas reseller?

  • Moral Equivalence -- "Promoting a minor mistake or oversight as a major moral failure, crime, or abomination to gain attention, favor, or an advantage." A devastating form of accusation often used to manipulate children and sway election polls, for example.
  • ad hominem - "Attacking the character, demeanor, or credibility of another party rather than addressing the issue or argument at hand." We see a lot of this on the internet.
  • ad populum -  The "bandwagon" argument. "If it is popular, colloquial, and invokes a higher, unquestioned principle, then it must be right."
  • Scapegoating - "Now I've got you, you son of a bitch." One of Vegas' independent resellers made a mistake, so Vegas Creative Software must have committed a crime? Get real.
  • TANSTAAFL - Look it up. You don't always get what you deserve, but you always deserve what you get. I haven't seen so much huckstering since the carnival at the county fair, or the local mercado right after Sunday services.