Appeal to emotion

An appeal to emotion fallacy is something that most people might already be aware of, with out being aware of it.  Those Sarah Mclachlan commercials with the dogs.  The ones that make you either cry or want to change the channel are a prime example of an appeal to emotion. What this does is to use imagery or stories that stir up an emotional response in people in order to “prove the point”.  Sure these may be examples of what is being argued but just because something elicits and emotional response does not lend it to be a sound argument.

What I’m saying here isn’t that we shouldn’t change things because a fallacy is presented.  There may be other arguments in there that are valid.  In this example I believe we can agree that the mistreatment of animals is wrong.  However it’s not wrong because of the images and stories told.  It’s wrong because we shouldn’t cause undue suffering on them.  There is a whole separate debate on whether or not it’s right to eat animals but that’s not the argument we’re having here.

 

If you’re looking for a good resource on logical fallacies I recommend YourLogicalFallacyIs.com It’s been great helping me understand what the difference fallacies are and how they are applied.


Also published on Medium.

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