May 20th, 2013
(Latin, “appeal to the people”)
This type of argument is an oft-used fallacious argument where one will appeal to the popularity of a position as evidence of its truthfulness. For example, one may say that aliens must exist since so many people believe in them. This does not mean that one should not take into account the opinion of informed people and weigh their opinions into a decision, it simply means that it would be a logical fallacy to say that since so many people believe something, this makes it true. The argumentum ad populum is also an appeal to the emotions by creating enthusiasm and comfort in a belief while neglecting objective data.