Do you want to know what I think is one of the most common logical fallacies today? When people appeal to popular opinion as if it is infallible. This is a kissing cousin to those who regurgitate the talking points rhetoric of something they heard on youtube but haven't stopped to think of its validity.
I call this The Media Fallacy. More formally it is called Appeal to the People Fallacy. People are guilty of this when they argue a social or political issue, not on its merits, but with an emotional appeal to a popular view or slogan. I call it the media fallacy because the media is famous for introducing an issue, throwing out a few talking points, and then assuming they have dealt thoroughly with the issue. For some reason this is the depth of a lot of people's social opinions today. They have heard a few talking points on issues like homosexuality, abortion, freedom of religion, gun rights, etc... But they don't take the time to cross-examine those positions or hear their rebuttals.
Neitzsche once said something to the effect that public opinion is nothing more than private laziness. I couldn't agree more. One of the things I hate the worst is laziness. I get it that not everyone can sit down and read 3-4 hours a day 5 days a week. But do us all a favor and at least reserve your "humble" opinions until you have done the necessary research to think about them for more than 5 minutes.
C.S. Lewis once said, “Counting noses may be a great method of running a gov’t but it is no necessary criterion for truth.” Descartes was famous for saying, "I think therefore I am". Well if he lived today and was influenced by our culture he might quip, "I am televised therefore I am infallible". Majority vote doesn't equal truth. I wish we could put all these people back into 1940's Germany as Jews and ask them whether popular vote should dictate public issues!!!
I love apologetics but theology is my first love. It has become my hobby to specifically read those who are diametrically opposed to my sacred beliefs. I love to hear the other side of the argument from the horses' mouth. It helps me in the following ways:
- To be fair so as not to create straw-men.
- Influences me to have a more balanced view.
- It allows me to see more clearly why I still disagree with their position.
I would encourage you to take this approach with all topics in life; apologetics, theology, politics, etc... How else can cross-examining views help us?