Appeals to Motive
The fallacies in this section have in common the practise of appealing to emotions or other psychological factors. In this way, they do not provide reasons for belief.
This form of argument is also known as argumentum ad baculum. "Baculum" is Latin for "stick". The listener is told that unpleasant consequences will follow if they do not agree with the advocate. In other words: "Agree with me, or else." The old adage, "walk softly and carry a big stick", also comes to mind. "An argument always attempts to prove that the conclusion is worth of belief. Trustworthy arguments do this by providing clear and reasonable support for the conclusion. They rely solely on the power of reason. Whenever an argument relies on any other type of power to support its conclusion, it commits the fallacy of appeal to force. The most obvious sort of force is the physical threat of violence. The argument distracts us from a critical review and evaluation of its premises and conclusion by putting us into a defensive position." (Stratton, Critical Thinking for College Students, p. 169.)
Traditionally known as argumentum ad misericordiam, in this fallacious argument it is implied that agreement should be forthcoming out of sympathy for the pitiful state of the one making the argument or of someone related to the argument in some way. It is often categorized as ignoratio elenchi, i.e. a fallacy of irrelevance. "Instead of defending an argument on its merits, this fallacy evades the pertinent issues and makes a purely emotional appeal. Too often a person who is unable to cite relevant facts in support of his claims may resort to a plea for sympathy." (Sahakian, Ideas of the Great Philosophers, p. 16-7.)
Also known as argumentum ad consequentiam, in this form of argument the author points to the disagreeable consequences of holding a particular belief in order to show that this belief is false. "In an argumentum ad consequentiam the premises deal only with the consequences that are likely to ensue from accepting the conclusion, and not with its truth. Logically speaking, it is entirely irrelevant that certain undesirable consequences might derive from the rejection of a thesis, or certain benefits accrue from its acceptance." (Rescher, 1964, p. 82.) By this description, the appeal to consequence would be categorized as a fallacy of irrelevance.
Loaded or emotive terms are used to attach value or moral goodness to believing the proposition. It is the use of language to create a preconception in the audience. "When a proposition for discussion is stated in connotative or prejudicial language... the "deck is stacked" against the viewpoint that opposes the proposition." (Warnick and Inch, Critical Thinking and Communication: p. 62)
A proposition is argued to be true because it is widely held to be true or is held to be true by some important segment of the population. "Because many or most people believe A, A must be true." We'll call this consensus gentium the "Appeal to Popularity". 2) Additionally, the argumentum ad populum has been used more literally as "appeal to the people" or "appeal to the gallery". In this version, it refers to a direct emotional and rhetorical appeal to the people standing in judgment. For example, when a politician turns to the crowd, looks them in the eye, and begins, "I implore you...", or, "I know that we all agree that...", take note. Appeals of this sort may resort to the argument from pity or to the audience's presumed shared values. Strictly speaking, appealing to "the people" need not be fallacious, but only when the logic (or lack of logic) of the appeal is problematic.