- Appeal to consequences
Appeal to consequences, also known as argumentum ad consequentiam (
Latin: "argument to the consequences"), is an argumentthat concludes a premise(typically a belief) to be either true or false based on whether the premise leads to desirable or undesirable consequences. This is based on an appeal to emotionand is a form of logical fallacy, since the desirability of a consequence does not address the truth valueof the premise. Moreover, in categorizing consequences as either desirable or undesirable, such arguments inherently contain subjective points of view.
logic, appeal to consequences refers only to arguments which assert a premise's truth value("true or false") based on the consequences; appeal to consequences does not refer to arguments that address a premise's desirability ("good or bad", or "right or wrong") instead of its truth value. Therefore, an argument based on appeal to consequences is valid in ethics, and in fact such arguments are the cornerstones of many moral theories, particularly related to consequentialism.
An argument based on "appeal to consequences" generally has one of two forms [ [http://www.fallacyfiles.org/adconseq.html FallacyFiles.org - Appeal to Consequences] ] :
:If P, then Q will occur.:Q is desirable.:Therefore, P is true.
It is closely related to
wishful thinkingin its construction.
Piis probably a rational number: being rational would make it more elegant."
Real estatemarkets will continue to rise this year: home owners enjoy the capital gains."
Humans will travel faster than light: faster-than-lighttravel would be beneficial for space travel."
:If P, then Q will occur.:Q is undesirable.:Therefore, P is false.
Appeal to force (argumentum ad baculum) is a special instance of this form.
This form somewhat resembles
modus tollensbut is both different and fallacious, since "Q is undesirable" is not equivalent to "Q is false".
axiom of choicemust be wrong because it implies the Banach-Tarski paradox, meaning that geometry contradicts common sense."
Wikipediais seldom wrong: it would not be a reliable source if it contained many errors."
Atheismmust be erroneous: it denies eternal happiness after death." (see Pascal's Wager)
Free willmust exist: if it didn't, we would all be machines."
* "If the six men win, it will mean that the police are guilty of perjury, that they are guilty of violence and threats, that the confessions were invented and improperly admitted in evidence and the convictions were erroneous... This is such an appalling vista that every sensible person in the land would say that it cannot be right that these actions should go any further." Lord Denning in his judgment on the
Veljko Milkovic's 'Cart with Pendulum' must be fraudulent, because it contradicts the Laws of Action and Reaction.
Appeal to fear
Argumentum ad hominem"circumstantial" form
List of logical fallacies
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