Appeal to the minority

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If you're looking for a logical fallacy involving minority groups, see Appeal to identity.
Anti-conformity is no excuse for believing in bullshit..

An appeal to minority is a logical fallacy that occurs when something is asserted to be true because most people don't believe it. It is the opposite of an argumentum ad populum.

The fallacy is an appeal to authority and a conditional fallacy.

Alternate names[edit]

  • Authority of the select few
  • Snob appeal

Form[edit]

P1: X is a minority view (as compared to majority view Y).
P2: Minority views are more true than majority views.
C: X is more true than Y.

Examples[edit]

  • They laughed at Galileo, and they laugh at me. I must be right!
  • This goes against everything your parents, your teachers, and pretty much everyone else have always believed. It must be true!
  • Just like Copernicus, we in the Flat Earth Society are willing to defy the wrong-headed scientific orthodoxy of the mainstream scientific community.
  • Be original. Drink Dr. Pepper![1][note 1]
  • I liked this band before they became mainstream[2]
  • I support [country with widely condemned military actions] because I refuse to be a mindless cheerleader for [victim of previously said country's actions].
  • I do not support protecting the rights of [minority group] because companies do.

Irony[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Irony

An appeal to the minority is inherently limited. If someone successfully persuades other people that they are right, then their opinion would increasingly lose its minority status — and eventually would become majority opinion.

If this actually worked every time that someone used it, then this would cause an infinite loop. This loop would continue until only 2 theories existed, with equal followers, and would restart as soon as one person changed their mind.

Second-option bias[edit]

Second-option bias is the (supposed) prevalence of fringe/counterculture groups to assume that any widely-held opinion among the general population must be untrue, and therefore the prevailing contrary opinion must be right. Second-option bias often presumes that the general populace is stupid or informed by propaganda, which apparently makes their opinions incorrect.

Second-option bias is an especially fallacious form of appealing to the minority in that, while the "first option" may be false (or less than true), this does not automatically prove the "second option" true.

Example of second option bias are:

Second-option bias is related to choice-supportive bias,Wikipedia in which people will retroactively decide that choices they made were good choices.

Notes[edit]

  1. Isn't it funny how all those ads for products that let you be original tell you exactly how to be original?

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]