Sunday, February 26, 2017

"The Unpopular"

            “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it is who is going to stop me.” When Ayn Rand spoke these words, she was expressing herself by swaying away from the norm. She had a plan and although some may judge her or even persecute her she was going to stand up for herself and what she believed. She was going to be her own person and was not going to let others get in her way. This is a perfect example of the fallacy rugged individualism.

            If we break down these words, rugged individualism, we get the words “determined independence,” which is exactly what this fallacy is about. Rugged individualism “attempts to support a position by appealing to the opinion of a small (but opinionated) group of people, or even of a single person" (Thompson, B.). This fallacy says that because something is unpopular it should be accepted. In other words, by going against the norm an individual is able to better express him/herself.

            Generally speaking, majority of people accept things not because they are unpopular but because they are popular. When things are unpopular, there is probable reasoning behind it. For example, people do not wear socks on their hands because socks were designed to be worn on the feet.  Perhaps something is not popular because it is dangerous or unpleasant, like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute or eating pickle and banana salad. Many times there is no gain in doing that of which is unpopular and having the desire to work alone, without the assistance of others. This is why the fallacy of rugged individualism is a flaw in reasoning.


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