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Appeal to Emotion
"The truth is out there "
Fallacies and Arguments
Appeal to Emotion|
This is a favorite appeal of political partisans and it is best done with pictures, and misplaced appeals to compassion. Of course, emotion can include fear, spite, pity, satisfaction by flattery etc, all of which are listed separately by LaBossiere. Pictures of starving children, homeless people and war victims. The worst SS war criminal in Germany could look appealing and worthy of pity when he was dirty, hungry and in tatters. Saddam Hussein, the tyrant of Iraq, was pitiful when he was discovered in his hiding spot.
While emotional appeals to pity are sometimes based on legitimate grievances, we always have to ask if the proposed solution will ameliorate the problem or make it worse. The victims of Czarism were pitiful; the victims of Stalinism were beyond pity.
In the Middle East, revenge and spite have often been considered reasonable motives, and in fact they may be the "locomotive" of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These emotions are for "internal use." Flattery usually is applied to outsider third parties, "a liberal person like you should be appalled that..." Fear is featured prominently as well: "They'll get you next."
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