Appeal to emotion

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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal cartoon illustrating the fallacy of appeal to emotion.

An appeal to emotion is an argument tactic which attempts to circumvent rational thought in the hopes of supporting a conclusion with an emotional response.

Example

  • "Aren't you afraid to go to hell when you die?"

The above statement appeals to the listener's emotion of fear, but begs the question by assuming that hell exists in the first place.

The first objection to the statement is whether or not Hitler was an atheist, which tends to be an argument from ignorance, due to the fact that Hitler was a devout catholic. The second issue with the statement is that it makes a link between atheism and Nazism via an enthymeme.

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