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

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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.
Jill: "He'd be a terrible coach for the team."
Bill: "He had his heart set on the job, and it would break if he didn't get it."
Jill: "I guess he'll do an adequate job."
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

 1,181 Total Answer Attempts   75%
 882 Correctly Popped Fallacies
 299 Incorrectly Un/Popped
( Random Image )

Most Common Responses

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

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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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