Argumentum ad populum

“Everybody is doing it.”

This argumentum ad populum asserts that, since the majority of people believes an argument or chooses a particular course of action, the argument must be true, or the course of action must be followed, or the decision must be the best choice. For instance, “85% of consumers purchase IBM computers rather than Macintosh; all those people can’t be wrong. IBM must make the best computers.” Popular acceptance of any argument does not prove it to be valid, nor does popular use of any product necessarily prove it is the best one. After all, 85% of people may once have thought planet earth was flat, but that majority’s belief didn’t mean the earth really was flat when they believed it! Keep this in mind, and remember that everybody should avoid this type of logical fallacy.

The Plain Truth Fallacy

The Plain Truth Fallacy; (also, the Simple Truth fallacy, Salience Bias, the KISS Principle [Keep it Short and Simple / Keep it Simple, Stupid], the Monocausal Fallacy; the Executive Summary): A fallacy of logos favouring familiar, singular, summarised or easily comprehensible data, examples, explanations and evidence over those that are more complex and unfamiliar but much closer to the truth. E.g., “Ooooh, look at all those equations and formulas!  Just boil it down to the Simple Truth,” or “I don’t want your damned philosophy lesson!  Just tell me the Plain Truth about why this is happening.”  A more sophisticated version of this fallacy arbitrarily proposes, as did 18th century Scottish rhetorician John Campbell, that the Truth is always simple by nature and only malicious enemies of  Truth would ever seek to make it complicated. (See also, The Snow Job, and Over-explanation.) The opposite of this is the postmodern fallacy of Ineffability or Complexity (also, Truthiness; Post-Truth),, arbitrarily declaring that today’s world is so complex that there is no truth, or that Truth (capital-T), if indeed such a thing exists, is unknowable except perhaps by God or the Messiah and is thus forever inaccessible and irrelevant to us mere mortals, making any cogent argument from logos impossible. See also the Big Lie, and Paralysis of Analysis.