I'm not sure if I'm asking the right question here, but I'm wondering if there is an actual fallacy to describe this situation.

1 Answer 1


What might work as a named fallacy is an appeal to consequences. Wikipedia describes it as follows:

Appeal to consequences, also known as argumentum ad consequentiam (Latin for "argument to the consequences"), is an argument that concludes a hypothesis (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 emotion and is a type of informal fallacy, since the desirability of a premise's consequence does not make the premise true. Moreover, in categorizing consequences as either desirable or undesirable, such arguments inherently contain subjective points of view.

The Logically Fallacious site describes it as:

Concluding that an idea or proposition is true or false because the consequences of it being true or false are desirable or undesirable. The fallacy lies in the fact that the desirability is not related to the truth value of the idea or proposition. This comes in two forms: the positive and negative.

According to Douglas Walton this argument though recognized from ancient times only began being listed as a fallacy in the nineteenth century: (page 251)

...argumentation from consequences was identified as a specific type of argument with a distinctive form in the ancient world, was known to the ancients as such, and does have a long history. However, it did not appear to be recognized as a fallacy in the ancient sources. That recognition as a fallacy appears to have come much later, in a nineteenth century logic textbook.


"Appeal to consequence", Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_consequences

"Appeal to Consequences", Logically Fallacious https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/26/Appeal-to-Consequences

Walton, D. (1999). Historical origins of argumentum ad consequentiam. Argumentation, 13(3), 251-264.

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