Originally written on September 13, 2015 for for Keiser University’s Critical Thinking class.
What to believe? When a person believes negative about themselves, most of the time they have an irrational belief system. One thing that irrational beliefs and fallacies have in common is that, whether leading to depression or not, this person is actually believing something that is not true.
Whether the beliefs are based on twisted facts, folklore, superstitions, unkind words, etc., believing something that is untrue ultimately has a negative effect on the mind even if what is believed does not seem harmful. For example: Adolf Hitler indoctrinated the German people to believe that killing the undesirables (mentally ill and those who could not contribute to society) and Jews was good for Germany and the rest of the world; it was a world cleansing.
Many of the German people, Nazi Army, and the SS actually believed Hitler, to be honest, many of the killings actually benefited the soldiers (they were able to loot). Many of these Germans believed something that was not true and gave their life defending irrational beliefs and fallacies. When the human killing machines of Germany went out to do their job, their conscience was seared. Believing that killing Jews and undesirables was good forced them to make exceptions justifying all of the other atrocities performed by them; thus, believing Hitler’s fallacies and irrational beliefs actually did more cognitive harm than just forcing them to murder.
Based on the above scenario, we as society need to be able to think critically making sure we do not fall privy to believing errors. Fallacies and errors are presented to us, the United States public every day, whether they be political, business orientated (TV commercials, radio station ads, billboards, etc.) or any other kind of media. We as good citizens need to be able to use logic and reason to be able to sift through all of the paparazzi (facts, fine print, twisted facts and glamour) of these everyday errors and decide which ones to believe and not; are these truths that are supposed to be truths actually truths, or just ploys to gain business or attention? Think critically and in the long run live a better life.