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Appeal to Closure

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(also known as:  appeal to justice)

Description: Accepting evidence on the basis of wanting closure—or to be done with the issue. While the desire for closure is a real psychological phenomenon that does have an effect on the well-being of individuals, using "closure" as a reason for accepting evidence that would otherwise not be accepted, is fallacious. This is similar to the argument from ignorance where one makes a claim based on the lack of information because not knowing is too psychologically uncomfortable. However, the appeal to closure focuses on accepting evidence and for the reason of closure.

Logical Form:

Evidence X is presented, and found to be insufficient (or evaluated with a heavy bias due to the desire for closure).

Closure is desired.

Therefore, evidence X is accepted.

Example #1:

After the terrorist attack on the city, the citizens were outraged and wanted justice. So they arrested a Muslim man with no alibi who looked suspicious then charged him with the crime.

Explanation: Unfortunately, unsolved crimes are bad politically for those in charge and based on the number and percentage of false arrests, it is clear that appealing to closure has some serious consequences for many innocent people.

Exception: It has been stated elsewhere that "agree to disagree" falls under the appeal to closure. This is not the case because agreeing to disagree does not mean that either party is accepting the evidence of the other, in fact, it's the opposite. People can agree to "move on" or "table the issue," for many logical reasons. This is similar to negotiation and compromise. When people compromise, they usually do not agree to accept evidence they wouldn't otherwise accept. For example, if an atheist and theist are debating the existence of the Biblical God, they wouldn't say, "Okay, I'll agree that some kind of creator god exists if you agree that this god does not currently interfere in the universe."

References:

This a logical fallacy frequently used on the Internet. No academic sources could be found.



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