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Appeal to hate

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Cogito ergo sum
Logic and rhetoric
Icon logic.svg
Key articles
General logic
Bad logic
Not to be confused with ad iram, which accuses someone of being angry and thus untrustworthy.
The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretense was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one's will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic.
George Orwell, 1984

An appeal to hate is a logical fallacy that occurs when something is claimed to be true because (a) it is maddening or (b) its falsity would cause anger. Its inverse is the appeal to pity.

All poisoning the well arguments are an appeal to hate.

It is an emotional appeal and an informal fallacy.

Alternate names[edit]

  • argumentum ad odium
  • appeal to spite


If overlaying some text on a dead body:

P1: X is asserted in the context of maddening situation Y.
P2: (unstated) Anything asserted in a maddening context is true.
C: X is true.

If the listener hates the speaker:

P1: X is asserted by a maddening person Y.
P2: (unstated) Anything asserted by a maddening person is false.
C: X is false.


Just because something makes you mad does not mean that it is more or less true.


See also[edit]

External links[edit]