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"The truth is out there "
Fallacies and Arguments
Appeal to Belief - This is used two ways in arguments about the Middle East. The first way is approximately as LaBossiere describes, "everyone else believes this" so it must be so. This is especially potent if your professor or newspaper editor believes it to be so, and if you had better believe it is true if you want your work published. It is a variant of appeal to popularity and appeal to ridicule.
As LaBossiere notes, believing does not make it so. You cannot vote on facts. In history, what people believe to be true, may be as important as what actually is true. Remember the Ash experiment - people became convinced that two totally different sized lines were the same size, because "everyone" believed it to be so.
In the Middle East it is used a second way, to say "All the people in this group believe A, whereas the people in that group believe B. Both 'narratives' are 'legitimate' and have to be accepted. But not all narratives are legitimate. There can be differences of opinion, but inventions, lies and rumors are not fact. "All the X's believe the land belongs to them" doesn't make it so.
Appeal to Popularity and Ridicule - Opinion of others is a powerful persuader. Remember the Ash experiment, in which subjects were convinced that two grossly dissimilar lines were the same length, because others insisted that they were. These are similar to Peer Pressure.
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