Logical  Fallacy: a error in reasoning
  (adj)     (noun)

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Statement #158 Discussion

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Below is the statement as it appears with the fallacy marked as correct. You can see the totals of most frequent responses to this statement. And after reading the any discussion going on below, you can select your choice(s) for the correct answer. For now, whoever posts each statement can update corrections.
The former dictator is an old, dying man. It's wrong to make him stand trial for these alleged offenses.
Appeal to Pity
Ad Misericordiam

Category: Fallacies of Relevance (Red Herrings) → Distracting Appeals

An Appeal to Pity is a fallacy in which a person substitutes a claim intended to create pity for evidence in an argument. The form of the "argument" is as follows:

  1. P is presented, with the intent to create pity.
  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.

It must be noted that there are cases in which claims that actually serve as evidence also evoke a feeling of pity. In such cases, the feeling of pity is still not evidence. The following is an example of a case in which a claim evokes pity and also serves as legitimate evidence:

Professor: "You missed the midterm, Bill."
Bill: "I know. I think you should let me take the makeup."
Professor: "Why?"
Bill: "I was hit by a truck on the way to the midterm. Since I had to go to the emergency room with a broken leg, I think I am entitled to a makeup."
Professor: "I'm sorry about the leg, Bill. Of course you can make it up."

The above example does not involve a fallacy. While the professor does feel sorry for Bill, she is justified in accepting Bill's claim that he deserves a makeup. After all getting run over by a truck would be a legitimate excuse for missing a test.

Click For Fallacy Description

 878 Total Answer Attempts   81%
 709 Correctly Popped Fallacies
 169 Incorrectly Un/Popped
posted by wikiworldorder     
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Most Common Responses

709 - Appeal to Pity
24 - Appeal to Emotion
16 - Special Pleading
14 - Red Herring
13 - Appeal to Spite
10 - Appeal to Ridicule
9 - Circumstantial Ad Hominem
6 - Appeal to Novelty
5 - Personal Attack
5 - Burden of Proof
4 - Hasty Generalization
4 - Appeal to Fear
4 - Begging the Question
4 - Appeal to Popularity
3 - Appeal to Belief
3 - Gambler's Fallacy
3 - Post Hoc
3 - Appeal to Authority
3 - Slippery Slope
3 - Appeal to the Consequences of a Belief
3 - Ignoring a Common Cause
3 - False Dilemma
3 - Biased Generalization
2 - Appeal to Common Practice
2 - Appeal to Flattery
2 - Guilt by Association
2 - Ad Hominem
2 - Ad Hominem Tu Quoque
2 - Appeal to Tradition
2 - Fallacy of Division
2 - Fallacy of Composition
2 - Genetic Fallacy
2 - Misleading Vividness
1 - Relativist Fallacy
1 - Poisoning the Well
1 - Confusing Cause and Effect
1 - Peer Pressure

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* Fallacious statements are usually paired with a random image of a person who never spoke those words.
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