Rhetorical Fallacies in Meme
Fig. 1 Terrorist Meme
This meme is insensitive and also commits a rhetorical fallacy. The picture has a man holding an RPG in one hand and a Qur’an. The meme is trying to play on the fact that Americans know very little about the Muslim faith. The creator of this meme is assuming that all Muslims are extremist terrorists that are trying to kill Americans. When in reality, the pure religion of Islam is a peaceful one. Furthermore, most of the terrorist attacks that take place on American soil are actually domestic attacks, meaning they are committed by Americans. The idea presented is a hasty generalization because it is true that people of the Islamic faith committed the attacks on 9/11/01, it does not mean that all attacks are carried out by Muslims.
Fig. 2 Al Gore climate change meme
In this photo, Al Gore’s face is photo shopped over someone who is stuck out in the freezing cold. This meme was in response to the very cold winter we had last year and the fact that Al Gore is famous for suggesting that the world needs to take step to prevent climate change. The meme uses a straw man argument, trying to make Al Gore seem incompetent about climate change simply because it was very cold last year. But in reality, climate change takes place over extremely long periods of time, and one cold winter does not prove or disprove that Al Gore is incorrect about climate change.
Fig. 3 Duck Dynasty Beard meme
This meme pictures Jace, a star from the hit show, Duck Dynasty. All of the people who are part of the family or work for the family have massive beards. I myself have a beard. The logical fallacy comes in when the creator makes the audience choose sides. Clearly, just because a man cannot grow a beard does not make this man a woman or a boy. The text is meant to show that men that grow beards are superior to those men that cannot or choose not to. This is an either/or fallacy because the meme is suggesting that men have beards and men without beards are not “real” men.