Consensus of the Majority Is Not Truth
“The inferior reasoning of crowds is based, just as is the reasoning of a high order, on the association of ideas, but between the ideas associated by crowds there are only apparent bonds of analogy or succession. The mode of reasoning of crowds resembles that of the Esquimaux who, knowing from experience that ice, a transparent body, melts in the mouth, concludes that glass, also a transparent body, should also melt in the mouth…The characteristics of the reasoning of crowds are the association of dissimilar things possessing a merely APPARENT connection between each other, and the IMMEDIATE GENERALIZATION of particular cases. It is arguments of this kind that are always presented to crowds by those who know how to manage them. They are the only arguments by which crowds are to be influenced. A chain of logical argumentation is totally incomprehensible to crowds…”
~ Gustav LeBon, The Crowd (1895)
In other words, the Philosopher Kings recognize the irrational logic of the group and exploit it to their advantage.
Appeal to authority vs. reason.
This would make for an excellent discussion on how this phenomenon manifests itself in the institutional church. Please share your comments below.