The percentage of a poll does not make either argument correct disregarding reason.

Asked by: KylePooley
  • The ad populum fallacy is the appeal to the popularity of a claim as a reason for accepting it.

    The number of people who believe a claim is irrelevant to its truth. Fifty million people can be wrong. In fact, millions of people have been wrong about many things: that the Earth is flat and motionless, for example, and that the stars are lights shining through holes in the sky.

    The ad populum fallacy is also referred to as the bandwagon fallacy, the appeal to the mob, the democratic fallacy, and the appeal to popularity.

    The ad populum fallacy is seductive because it appeals to our desire to belong and to conform, to our desire for security and safety. It is a common appeal in advertising and politics. A clever manipulator of the masses will try to seduce those who blithely assume that the majority is always right. Also seduced by this appeal will be the insecure, who may be made to feel guilty if they oppose the majority or feel strong by joining forces with large numbers of other uncritical thinkers.

    Examples of ad populum appeals:

    “TRY NEW, IMPROVED [fill in the blank with the name of any one of innumerable commercial products]. EVERYBODY’s USING IT!

    “Gods must exist, since every culture has some sort of belief in a higher being.”

    “The Bold and the Listless must be a great book. It’s been on the best seller list for 8 weeks.”

    “Arnold Killembetter’s movie "True Garbage" is the greatest movie of all time. No movie has made as much money as it did.”

    “The fact that the majority of our citizens support the death penalty proves that it is morally right.”

  • Majority Vote isn't nescessarily true answer

    Just because the majority of people believe something, doesn't make it true. Opinion poles show popular opinion, not just fact. If almost everyone in the world believed the world was flat, would it therefore be flat? No, it would still be round.
    The answer the majority of people believe is correct, is therefore not necessarily correct.

  • Specifically for this site, dependant on the population with specific views.

    This could then say that any poll could technically be unrealisable dependant upon that population has a great deal towards the truth, which we know shouldn't be.
    If we take Religion for example, 85% of the worlds population goes in favour to religion, if every person in the world puts in their part for "is God real?" Technically, 85% would be yes and 15% no.
    But with this great difference of percentage, surely the logical and correct answer would say that God is real, but this isn't the case.
    Hence why you should't just go by percentage, but your OWN reason and logic to form your OWN opinion.

  • Case In Point

    If your question on this website were going to decide this matter once and for all, the next person to post on this topic would potentially end up deciding the fate of all polls to come. I support the YES side, but am posting this on NO in order to prove my YES point.

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