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Fallacy of Opposition

Description: Asserting that those who disagree with you must be wrong and not thinking straight, primarily based on the fact that they are the opposition.

Logical Form:

Person 1 is asserting X.

Person 1 is the opposition.

Therefore, X must be wrong.

Example #1:

President Trump said that he was proud of the children who participated in this year's Special Olympics. Those kids are a bunch of losers.

Explanation: This is an extreme example of a very real example that we have all seen since around early 2016. Those who passionately hate Trump, reflexively disagree with everything he says and does, associating the truth of his statement with the feelings they have for him. This is not reasonable thinking.

Example #2:

The Democrats support more aggressive gun control laws. Can you believe they want to deny repeat offenders and those on the terrorist watch list their rights?

Explanation: Very often we see support for reasonable policies rejected based on the party that proposes such policies. We know this because research has been done in this area.

Tip: Rejecting information from an opponent known to lie, might be a reasonable heuristic, but it is not a good critical thinking technique.

References:

This a logical fallacy frequently used on the Internet. No academic sources could be found.

Questions about this fallacy? Ask our community!

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Roughly 95% of Americans don’t appear to have an ethical problem with animals being killed for food, yet all of us would have a serious problem with humans being killed for food. What does an animal lack that a human has that justifies killing the animal for food but not the human?

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