1. Print advertisement is an area which commonly uses fallacies to persuade and convince people to patronize certain products. Fallacies are used not only to attract the attention of the consumers but also to convince people that their product is superior to other brands. One example is the commercial advertisement of Nicole Kidman of Omega Watch. The advertisement says “Nicole Kidman’s Choice.”
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This fallacy is known as Appeal to Authority. This advertisement obviously relies on the popularity of Nicole Kidman as an excellent actress to attempt to convince the people that she is also knowledgeable in the choice of watches. The advertisers hope that the people will associate Kidman’s expertise as a very good actress with being an authority in the choice of watches. In this case, though she may be skilled in acting and has earned her name and reputation as an actress, she is not an authority in determining which brand of watches has superior quality. It is, therefore, erroneous for the public to conclude that Omega is the best choice for watches simply because Nicole Kidman endorses it.
2. It is very noticeable that companies use popular celebrities to endorse their products. The advertisers rely on the popularity celebrities to support their claim that the product is good or that a politician is the best choice for president. The implied message is that since a celebrity is famous and she is a very good actress then it follows that what she says is true and we must believe her. The public, however, fails to see that there is no link between the actress’ expertise in acting and her choice of the politician or the product she is endorsing.
3. Argumentum ad Hominem is a kind of fallacy that attacks the character or the circumstances of an individual who is advancing a statement or an argument instead of trying to disprove the truth of the statement or the soundness of an argument. (“Argumentum Ad Hominem”, p.1) One particular example is the claim that we should not believe the advocacies of a politician in support of reproductive right because as a politician he or she will say anything just to get our votes. This fallacy is very popular because it dispenses with the difficult task of presenting evidence to support a claim. It is also very appealing to the people because it is more controversial.
In my case, I believe that the people I talk to are wise enough to determine if I am employing fallacies in my argument. Use of fallacies may momentarily convince a person but it does not follow that I can fool him forever. The best choice is always to present evidence to support my conclusion or to rebut the claims of the opposing side.
4. It is true that most people resort to Argumentum Ad Hominem. It is really not surprising because it is easier to attack the source of the argument rather than the argument itself. The impact of the use of this fallacy is immediately felt and the people can be easily convinced rather than presenting proofs to refute the arguments.
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