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Appeal to Force/Fear - Argumentum ad Baculum

The Appeal to Force

The Appeal to Force

This fallacy occurs when a person makes a threat of physical or psychological violence against others if they refuse to accept the conclusions offered. It can also happen when a person claims that accepting a conclusion or idea will lead to harm or disaster.

Children are more prone to this fallacy when they say, "If you don't agree, I'll punish you!"

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Appeal to Force/Fear - Argumentum ad Baculum

Appeal to Force/Fear - Argumentum ad Baculum

https://www.thoughtco.com/appeal-to-force-fear-250346

thoughtco.com

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Key Ideas

The Appeal to Force

This fallacy occurs when a person makes a threat of physical or psychological violence against others if they refuse to accept the conclusions offered. It can also happen when a person claims that accepting a conclusion or idea will lead to harm or disaster.

Children are more prone to this fallacy when they say, "If you don't agree, I'll punish you!"

An Examples of the Appeal to Force

Adults use the fallacy more subtly.

"If you don't support the spending bill to develop better airplanes, our enemies will think we are weak and will attack us at some point, killing millions." The person offering this argument is using psychological pressure to get agreement. There is no apparent connection between "our enemies" and the conclusion that it will be in the country's best interest.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Intention vs Action
Intention vs Action

In a world of constant, propaganda, and deceit, what we do matters more than our intentions.

What we actually do tells people about us, not what we keep saying or what we intend to do....

Good Intentions are not sufficient

The physical world is interacting with our actions, not our internal plans and intentions. 

We cannot shape society, or help people just by having noble intentions, without action.

Justifying Wrong Treatment

We treat people in certain ways and then justify the same. You are judged by what you do, and not for the reasons you give.

If our treatment isn't right, no amount of justification will serve any purpose.

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Hypostatization
Hypostatization

Hypostatization is also known as Concretism, or Reification and is a fallacy of ambiguity, where an abstract belief is treated as if it’s real and concrete.

It involves giv...

Personifying The Abstract

The Hypostatization Fallacy can be explained by studying the following statement: “The government has a hand in everybody's business and another in every person's pocket. By limiting such governmental pickpocketing, we can limit its incursions on our freedom.”

This assumes that the government is a person, having desires like humans, and can ‘loot’ us like a robber. The fact that is ignored is that the Government is not an entity by itself, but a collection of people. The metaphor of ‘pickpocketing’ also conjures a visual image of a pickpocket, evoking an emotional reaction.

When Metaphors Become Fallacies

Metaphors can become fallacies as they are taken too far, used too often, or understood mistakenly in the literal sense.

How we describe anything is very powerful as words and language can create lasting impressions in our minds. Language creates a smokescreen that interferes with our impression of reality.

Jumping into Conclusions
Jumping to conclusions is a common phenomenon, where people prematurely decide and finalize something, without having sufficient information or choosing not to consider it.
Jumping into Conclusions: Examples
  • Inference-observation confusion: An assumption made that may or may not be correct. Example: Concluding that a guy is rich, based on the car he drives.
  • Fortune-Telling: Assumption of knowing exactly what will happen in the future.
  • Mind Reading: Assuming based on how to have read someone's mind and concluded something which may not be true.
  • Extreme Extrapolation: Finding a minor clue and making something major out of it.
  • Overgeneralization: Copy-pasting a piece of knowledge over something that you think is related, but is not.
  • Labeling: Stereotyping a set of people based on their likes and dislikes.
Why We Jump to Conclusions

The reason people jump to conclusions is the fact that they find it easy.

Fact-checking and 100 percent accuracy on everything they see or observe consume way too much time for a normal person.

Taking mental shortcuts is the path most people choose to jump to conclusions.

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