By Dr. Michael Cooper LaBossiere
This publication provides descriptions and examples of forty two universal casual fallacies: advert Hominem advert Hominem Tu Quoque attract the implications of a trust entice Authority attract trust attract universal perform entice Emotion entice worry attract Flattery attract Novelty entice Pity entice attractiveness entice Ridicule entice Spite entice culture Begging the query Biased Generalization Burden of facts Circumstantial advert Hominem Fallacy of Composition complicated reason and influence Fallacy of department fake difficulty Gambler’s Fallacy Genetic Fallacy Guilt via organization Hasty Generalization Ignoring a standard reason center flooring deceptive Vividness Peer strain own assault Poisoning the good put up Hoc Questionable reason pink Herring Relativist Fallacy Slippery Slope distinct Pleading highlight Straw guy Wrongs Make a correct
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2. Therefore claim C is true. This line of “reasoning” is fallacious because pity does not serve as evidence for a claim. This is extremely clear in the following case: “You must accept that 1+1=46, after all I’m dying…” While you may pity me because I am dying, it would hardly make my claim true. This fallacy differs from the Appeal to the Consequences of a Belief (ACB). In the ACB fallacy, a person is using the effects of a belief as a substitute for evidence. In the Appeal to Pity, it is the feelings of pity or sympathy that are substituted for evidence.
Without an appeal to peoples’ emotions, it is often difficult to get them to take action or to perform at their best. For example, no good coach presents her team with syllogisms before the big game. Instead she inspires them with emotional terms and attempts to “fire” them up. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. However, it is not any acceptable form of argumentation. As long as one is able to clearly distinguish between what inspires emotions and what justifies a claim, one is unlikely to fall prey to this fallacy.
On this principle two people, A and B, can only be treated differently if and only if there is a relevant difference between them. For example, it would be fine for me to give a better grade to A than B if A did better work than B. However, it would be wrong of me to give A a better grade than B simply because A has red hair and B has blonde hair. There might be some cases in which the fact that most people accept X as moral entails that X is moral. For example, one view of morality is that morality is relative to the practices of a culture, time, person, etc.