Argument by Laziness (Uninformed Opinion)

A person makes a statement or gives an opinion on an issue without having researched or studied the topic being discussed. When asked to defend his position, the individual demonstrates a willful ignorance with such responses as "I just know." Nevertheless, the person is often offended if someone challenges his statement or does not agree with it because of lack of evidence, as if his opinion is as valid as anyone else's.

Reference: http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html#laziness

Example:

Nikola: You know, I'm really worried about the problem with global warming. There have been articles in the newspaper almost every day where they say that the environment and the weather are changing even more quickly than they had predicted a few years ago. At the rate the polar icecaps are melting, some scientists think there will be no ice at all there in the summers in the next year or two. Those icecaps are a major factor in the weather patterns. But so many people and governments are not willing to do anything to try to fix it. What are we going to do?

Briana: Don't worry about it. The whole thing is just a hoax to scare people into doing things the scientists and the government want us to do. They figure if they make us worry about that, then we won't pay attention to all the other stuff they are doing wrong like taxes and all the wars and things like abortion. I don't believe a bit of it.

Nikola: Don't you read all the articles in the papers? How can you think that's all just made up? Did you watch Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" last year when it was on TV? He gave pretty clear evidence that global warming is real.

Briana: I don't have time to read all that junk. And I didn't watch that movie either. I didn't like Gore when he was Vice-President, and I wouldn't believe anything he said anyway.

Nikola: Then what do you base your opinion on that's it's all a fake if you haven't seen any of the information?

Briana: I don't need anything to convince me. I just know. It's common sense. My opinion is just as good as yours. It's a free country. I can believe what I want !

NB: For some people, ignorance is bliss. In some cases, it's a way of life. When people have very strong personal views that they have built their life around and become comfortable with, they are reluctant to change. Any information that makes them question their beliefs makes them uncomfortable, so they simply avoid listening to it. A common way to justify such opinions is to resort to the logical fallacy Argument by Cliche - the most common one being "It's a free country."

Contemporary Media Examples
 
Return to the Fallacy List