Just For Spite


Today’s Logical Fallacy is called The Appeal to Spite. This is another emotion-based fallacy wherein spite is used in place of actual evidence.

Since some of you are still skittish about X’s, today’s X will be portrayed by Tribbles. Yes, I’m a Star Trek geek but they ARE cute, fuzzy and non-threatening. Unless you’re a Romulan. If you ARE Romulan then you have my sincere apologies for the offense.

Appeal to Spite has the following format:

1) Claim Tribbles (x) is presented with the goal of generating spite

2) Therefor Claim C is true (or false dependent on the desired result of Tribbles)

Again, an emotion is not evidence. Evidence must be testable and the same result must be shown within the statistical  limits of the experiment. This is generally plus or minus a fraction of one percent if I am remembering correctly from my psychological statistics course.

A real world example would look something like this:

Boss: “Dave has been doing an excellent job lately. We’re talking about promoting him”.

Person Who Wants The Promotion (Presenting Claim Tribbles): Wow. A promotion? After Dave flubbed that presentation a few months back and cost you a multi-million dollar contract?”

Boss: Well, I guess we shouldn’t promote Dave after all.

In this example The Claimant Presenting Tribbles (x) is inspiring spite in order to undermine Dave’s promotion so he can have it for himself. Dave may or may not have flubbed a presentation and the client may or may not have declined the contract because of it There is no definitive evidence to support Claim Tribbles. The Claimant is simply throwing something out to undermine Dave.

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