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Appeal To Poverty (argumentum ad lazarum)

October 8th, 2009

Appeal To Poverty ( argumentum ad lazarum )

classification : informal – appeals to motives in place of support

When it is assumed that a position is correct because it is held by the poor.

Foundations

Named after Lazarus, a beggar in a New Testament parable who receives his reward in the afterlife. This argument rests upon the apparent poverty of those involved, and trying to conclude that this poverty someone increases the likelihood that those people are correct or moral. But poverty is not relevant to the question.

Examples

He’s poor, but honest.

The working classes respect family and community ties. Therefore: Respect for family and community ties is virtuous.

Priests and nuns are more likely to possess insight into the meaning of life because they have given up the distractions of wealth.

Other Names

argumentum ad lazarum

Note: The opposite of the appeal to poverty is the appeal to wealth.

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Categories: Logic