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Informal Fallacies

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In the eight of the last ten seasons of the English premier league, whenever Manchester united football club has won the League; the Economy has exhibited a remarkable improvement. So a win of the English premier league by Manchester united football club makes the economy improve (Paulos 2001).

We should all support the war because many of our men and women in uniform have died defending our country.

B. False appeal to fear

Appeal to fear is also known as an appeal to force, Ad, Baculum or scarce tactic. It is administered in the form of a threat. The threat may be physical, emotional or spiritual. The appeal to fear argument can be broken down into two parts.

A claim intended to induce fear (A).

A claim (B) that is true, but need not to be related to (A)

Example

“Please, look at my contract presentation favorably; we will chat in the evening during the end year party. I’ve been invited by my father who is your managing director.” 

The line of the argument presented above is fallacious because creating fear in a person does not provide evidence for a claim. In the argument above, it may be sensible to ensure the managing director’s son is awarded the contract because the director may make your work life unbearable or at worst fire you. However, this does not justify that the director’s son deserves to be awarded the contract. There may be better deserving contracts in this case. However, the director’s son uses fear as a method of persuasion (Larkin 1989). 

Fear is often used as a motivator. It has the potential of leading to other irrational emotions that can bounce back on the persuader for instance dislike and hate. Fear appeals do not gain more than compliance. Intellectual and emotional agreements are in most cases never gained.

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