Appeal to Anger

a.k.a.; Argumentum ad iram

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The appeal to anger fallacy is committed when a person claims anger as evidence for the validity of a claim. This fallacy can also be known as an appeal to hatre, an appeal to hate, or an appeal to outrage. There are two types; one uses anger as support for an argument, and the other one uses it against an argument.

An example of an appeal to anger is as follows;
John says, “Snow is black.”
Jenny gets angry about this.
John sees that and says, “Your anger means I’m right.”
Jenny responds with, “No. Your statement angers me which means you’re wrong.”

John is appealing to Jenny’s anger to support his argument that snow is black. Jenny is appealing to that same anger to argue that snow is not black. Jenny’s emotional reaction to John’s original claim is not evidence for or against that claim. Both of them are guilty of having committed an appeal to anger.

Another example is as follows;
Joe thinks to himself, “I’m angered, outraged even, that people think differently than me. Therefore they need to think the same as me.”

Joe is committing an appeal to anger because his anger is not evidence that other people need to change the way they think. Using anger, or outrage, to support a claim is an appeal to anger, or outrage.

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