One of the logical fallacies under the Propaganda category our Grade 7 & 8s learn about is the “Appeal to Fear“. This fallacy plays on peoples fears in order to change their minds or behaviour. During this Ontario election season we can observe examples of candidates and parties using this logical fallacy. At a leaders debate in Guelph, the fear of children being sexually abused was used to support the Ontario sex-ed curriculum. I have had political fundraisers lead with, We cannot have another four years of increasing debt. Whatever Appeal to Fear is used, we need to step back and assess how we may be being manipulated. In politics our fears are connected to the worldview we have. For example I think the current sex-ed curriculum can harm children whereas this politician in Guelph views it as protective. I view debt as a form of slavery others view it as part and parcel of providing important services.
Thankfully God address fear in His Word. He says, “And fear not them who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matt. 10:28.
When we start with the fear of God based in reality and a reverence for His Word we will be far less susceptible to the Appeal to Fear fallacy. I encourage you to talk with your family about everyday examples of this fallacy you see all around.