Argumentum ad lazarum

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Argumentum ad lazarum or appeal to poverty is the informal fallacy of thinking that is right just because the person who said it is poor, or that the conclusion is wrong because the person who said it is rich. It is named after Lazarus, a beggar in a New Testament parable who gets rewarded in the afterlife.

This is often phrased as the statement, "poor, but honest."

The opposite is the argumentum ad crumenam.

Examples[change | change source]

  • Family-run farms are struggling to get by, so when they say that we need to help them, they must be on to something.
  • Homeless people say that it's hard to find places to live. Therefore it must be.
  • The monks have given up all material possessions. They must be enlightened.
  • All you need to know about the civil war in that country is that the rebels live in mud huts, while the general who sends troops against them sits in a fancy, air-conditioned office.

References[change | change source]