All people named Matt are terrorists
So we should put all people named Matt should be put in jail
This is actually a great argument, assuming one thing
That the first statement is true
If all Matts are terrorists, the we should lock them up!
Protect ourselves from the Matts!
This is the problem with so many of the celebrity bloggers, vloggers, and various influencers.
Their arguments are like that one
They seem perfectly reasonable
And they would be
IF the foundation of the argument, that first statement, were true
Now if you go out and investigate, you’ll find that there are plenty of Matts who are not terrorists. Then this argument I’ve made is false. It is directly contradicted by evidence.
Same with many claims by those celebrity influencers
If you investigate what they claim, you find many of their arguments rest on a disputable if not outright false foundation
But that takes time
Not just on their part, but on our part.
We can’t just listen to arguments, think them reasonable, and proceed assuming they are true.
Especially arguments where we already agree with the conclusion
It’s very easy to take any argument that is a confirmation of our beliefs at face value
It’s a dangerous trap we all fall into.
I know I do.
I feel that something is reasonable in my own mind
I assume that I can trust my conclusions to be true.
But it’s on me to verify those conclusions, to prove facts and see if the conclusion can be justified or if the foundations of my beliefs are faulty
One of the most important concepts here is the convergence of evidence.
Don’t trust one source for all your information
Review sources broadly
Review from multiple perspectives
Consider the depth of the knowledge
Then you should form your conclusions
Then you can trust them
Painting is “so illogical” by Shelli Finch. Buy a print here