Rising Popularity of the Logical Fallacy on Social Media
I’m so beyond tired of seeing posts on Facebook that compare one tragic incident to another, and claim that people care more about one thing than they do about something else. This is so wrong on so many levels.
Measuring “The Sad”
There is no measurement that can accurately portray who is more upset about what. This is for a few different reasons. First of all, feelings are insubstantial. If you could measure sadness in grams and ounces, maybe it would hold some weight, but you can’t. You also have to consider the extremely biased media coverage that is given to certain events. The fact that the general public as a whole is tragically uninformed is not a basis to proclaim that one man’s death was more “cared about” than another man’s death.
Another reason you cannot measure a person’s empathy is because people simply feel. We are presented with a situation and we have an emotional reaction to it. We don’t hear a tragic story and automatically think, “Well that sucks, but it’s not so bad as what happened to someone else, right? So who cares?” Nobody is like that unless they are a sociopath. Anyone, when properly informed, will respond with a similar level of empathy and sadness toward a tragic event, no matter what it is or who was involved.
Grief Should Remain Unscrutinized
When I was younger, I experienced several deaths that seemed unfair and wrong. The suffering I endured cannot be expressed in words, and neither can the suffering of the families of countless victims. I personally don’t think the media should stick its nose into that sort of grief as it unfolds, but unfortunately, this is what happens. Everyone’s grief is legitimate, and can never be compared to someone else’s. Furthermore, it should NEVER be belittled based on the fact that the details surrounding their traumatic experience are supposedly worth more media attention than something else, and anyone who thinks that’s okay should be ashamed of themselves.
Facebook’s Logical Fallacies Encourage Media Sensationalism
Another issue with this rising trend of logical fallacy on Facebook is that you really can’t compare two unlike situations. Everything is different, happens for different reasons, and is covered by the media because of sensationalism – not to elicit an emotional outcry that will ultimately serve to change society for the better. You may think it’s absurd that someone is upset about one thing they hear, while you are upset about something else, but these are two separate events, and every person is moved by different things because of their own life experiences.
This type of argument is absurd, and often used to try and push people’s views toward a particular agenda. It makes no sense and when you parrot these ideas you end up looking like someone who cannot think for yourself. I’m going to give a list of examples to help explain my point.
Rainbows vs. Fireworks at the White House
First of all, the White House was decked out in rainbow lights when the Supreme Court made a life-altering decision for thousands of American citizens to uphold their human rights. But many people took this small symbol of social change as a challenge when a week later, the White House didn’t put up red, white, and blue lights to celebrate Independence Day.
The real question here is, has the White House EVER put up red, white, and blue lights to celebrate Independence Day? Not even once, have they? According to this logic, should the American LGBT(etc.) community become enraged that they didn’t get fireworks displayed all throughout the nation to commemorate the momentous occasion? These two events are completely unrelated. Independence Day gets fireworks, barbeques, songs, performances, documentaries, alcohol, parties, and respect, and gays get pretty lights. Deal with it!
Death vs. Death and Racism
Another ridiculous thing I see a whole lot of is people comparing the deaths of different people. People are murdered frequently, and many people are getting offended by the fact that police brutality may hog some of the limelight over, say, a white marine getting murdered two and a half years ago.
Okay, let’s just stop right there. Systemic racism is a huge problem that oppresses and harms black people on a daily basis. They can’t go a day without remembering they are black and that most people in their country look down on them. And then, when the police racially profile them and go too far, enough that the media decides it would make a sensationalistic story that will put their network on the map, these horrific crimes against humanity are belittled and compared to a completely unrelated event. So a marine once got murdered by a minority. Does that mean that racism and police brutality are okay, because all black people might potentially murder a marine?
It makes no sense. They’re not even in the same category. Well, unless you want to use your argument to justify racism and police brutality.
Yes, it is absolutely wrong and disgusting and fucked up that anybody should be murdered, by the police or otherwise. It is horrific, tragic, and evil. But they cannot be compared. The marine who was murdered will likely have a huge media following, if not across the nation then at least in his home state, and he even has a holiday to commemorate his actions and courage for his service to the nation. Minorities who are profiled by the police as a threat, treated brutally, and murdered, just have rednecks on social media getting angry that their death made the newspaper. It’s actually pretty racist.
Attacks On Planned Parenthood
Something that has been really making me shake my head is the latest trend of attacking Planned Parenthood and comparing it to the brutal act of trophy hunting. Many people have the crazy idea that Planned Parenthood’s sole purpose is to harvest the organs of unborn children and sell them for a profit. Based on this ridiculous lie, begun by a slur campaign from hell determined to get rid of social programs that help poor women, many sheeple are crying out that Planned Parenthood is more evil than animal abuse and we should feel guilty for caring more about animals than we do about people. They are flabbergasted that society hasn’t shut down this program once and for all despite the fact that many are outraged over trophy hunting.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense that these people would prefer seeing animals abused and children born into families where they aren’t wanted, leading to abuse, trauma, neglect, drug use, and a cycle of poverty they may never be able to break out of. Generally, this lifestyle is responsible for higher crime rates and a lower quality of life for the families they are born into. So using the same logic, people who compare the lion to Planned Parenthood apparently prefer child abuse over animal abuse. Bravo. If you don’t understand what I mean, watch this clip. It explains my point perfectly.
More than anything, Planned Parenthood is an organization that helps poor women that nobody else cares about. They provide health care and screenings for women who could never afford it otherwise. It is a phenomenal organization, and although a tiny fraction of their profit may be spent on performing abortions when needed, like, say, if a woman is raped and her pregnancy may cause complications that would kill her because of a traumatizing event she had no control over, they will help her and give her the option to donate the stem cells to science so that maybe her unborn child could have a hand in curing cancer. Pretty evil, right?
I don’t agree with murder in any form, it’s awful. But I don’t see all the people trying to shut down Planned Parenthood offering to adopt out all the kids they think they’re saving or start a better program for helping impoverished women and their unborn children. The poor babies would just end up born into a hellish cycle that nobody in their right mind would ask for and grow up judged and condemned by the same people who supposedly “saved” them. Sure, adoption sounds nice, but when is the last time you went to your local orphanage and brought home someone to love? It rarely happens, and either way, the unwanted children are put into a hellish foster care cycle, condemned by society, and surrounded by dysfunction, substance abuse, and pain.
Women in Planned Parenthood are too poor to survive on their own, so obviously it’s a great idea to throw an innocent child into the mix. It’s not like being poor is one of the most stressful things a person could go through, and it’s not like people take that stress out on their children and abuse them. I mean, who do those bastards who give a shit about trophy hunting think they are, caring about a lion when 3% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue goes toward abortion?!
The argument makes no sense, and was started by a classist and sexist organization that wants to continue oppressing women. You want to hop on the band wagon? Go for it. But it’s a pretty ignorant argument. At least make sure your argument isn’t a logical fallacy.
Responses To Brutality Toward Animals
There are few things more appalling than the brutal treatment of animals. Most people know this, but for some reason, they don’t like to dwell or admit to it, because they are guilty of benefiting from the exploitation and abuse of animals on a daily basis.
Recently, news of a wild lion’s torture has come into the mainstream media and elicited a (reasonably) negative response. People are upset and disgusted by its treatment, and finally it seems that animals are getting representation for their suffering in the mainstream media.
But wait, not so fast. People who want to continue utilizing animals without guilt can’t seem to let this one slide. Why should people pay attention to the savage treatment of animals without being made to feel guilty for not caring that people in the USA are murdered too? And that Planned Parenthood still dares to grace the earth on its distorted mission to help impoverished women in horrific cycles of abuse to receive health care?
I just do not see how any of these things are related. Animal abuse is an evil thing. Period. It is not something that you can compare to other evils in the world. Evil is simply evil, and chances are, everyone is just as upset about the brutal treatment of Cecil the Lion as they are about every other fucked up thing that happens in this world. Let it go and show some respect for suffering!
Nobody should be forced to suffer, animal or otherwise, and these arguments are completely illogical. If you want to argue against Planned Parenthood, get your facts straight and argue against the organization. Don’t bring someone else’s torture into it and belittle their suffering to make your stupid point!
The Media Thrives Off Your Ignorance and Outrage
We have to accept that none of us control the media. Everyone with two brain cells and a soul will be outraged when they hear horrible stories, no matter who or what they involve. The media chooses to exploit these stories for their own sensationalist agendas. The news isn’t here to inform the public, it’s here to get ratings, compete with other news broadcasters, and push yellow journalism to its limits to try and get a good story. The more controversy they elicit, the more viewers they can usher into their corner, and the more money they make.
It’s not only manipulative, but it makes people look like sheeple, parrot the thoughts of the broadcasters who bring them this news, and keeps them in the dark about other issues going on. News stations try and get the most shocking story with the most controversial angles possible so that people will start a “dialogue” and refer to their news broadcasting station for all the details. They withhold things and reveal them as they see fit to keep viewers on the hook as the masses begin formulating their opinions about what happened. We are spoon-fed little tidbits that put us right where they want us – glued to the limited amount of information they have chosen to give us and desperate to learn more.
When we don’t know the whole story, we make assumptions. We become the kings of the logical fallacy and start making connections that make no sense to justify an argument that ultimately falls in favor of racism, animal abuse, and sexism. These ridiculous arguments aren’t made because they are convincing and rational, they are made because they push the agendas of the people who put them out there and want to keep the world stuck in the stone age. If you’re okay with that, great, but I just thought I should warn you, you’re making an ass of yourself and belittling a lot of things that matter. If you have a cause, get your facts straight and fight for it the right way. WithOUT getting logical fallacy involved.