“Prejudices are what fools use for reason.” –Voltaire

Because superheroes stand out from the crowd, its important that they be able to justify and defend their beliefs in a sound and reasonable manner. Too often, the political discourse and social commentary that people buy into are full of fallacies, faulty lines of reasoning that rely on prejudice, fear, stereotypes, and ignorance. Each fallacy has a name, but what they all have in common is the fact that they are unsubstantiated, inflammatory, and are clouding the way to healthy and sound solutions for some of our worst problems.

At best, a faulty argument looks something like this:

Mary is a woman.

Mary likes brussels sprouts.

Thus, all women like brussels sprouts.

It’s faulty to assume that what is true for one person is true for all. Right now, there are people calling for drug testing for all people receiving government assistance through welfare and unemployment. The assumption is that people on assistance must be doing drugs and that their drug abuse is the cause of their poverty and unemployment. By proxy, all people who are employed and off assistance must therefore be drug free.

It is false to make assumptions about either party. Drug use and employment are not directly related, nor is poverty and drug use. Recent Hollywood cases have shown us that there are plenty of drug addicts with more than enough money to cover their habits and their bills.

Be a responsible Superhero. Rely on evidence and logic when sharing your ideas and beliefs. Qualify your statements, and divert to authorities when you don’t know. Above all, point out when someone else uses a fallacy to defend an unfounded conclusion. It’s the most powerful way to stop injustice from prevailing.