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  1. #21
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    My personal belief is that emotional manipulation is unethical, but I know it won't end because so many people are susceptible to it.

    You make an interesting point about Holocaust victims. Perhaps I view my examples differently because they are advocating for a particular political position whereas I have never run into anyone trying to advocate for a political position using photos of Holocaust victims. I'm not sure. I'll have to think about it.
    Then Emmett Till is an excellent example. In the 1950s, the young Till was lynched for something along the lines of speaking to or flirting with a white woman. He was beaten and tied to a watermill to slowly die. His mother insisted on an open casket and wanted pictures of Till used to show the horror of racism and the position of blacks in the 1950s South (and, to some degree, across the nation). You can find the pictures online, but I warn you, they are horrific.

    This is clearly someone fighting for a political position.

    It also affected me deeply the first time I saw it. In fact, I've long held people should be required to see Till's face. It is my go-to image when I think of bigotry of any kind.

    Emotional appeals are usually a weaker form of argument, but I'm not sure they are inherently immoral (except in certain circumstances). They may even have a place: regard for the suffering of others is not necessarily a bad thing when making a decision. Rather, the end they promote makes them moral or immoral. Abortion is, in my opinion, a less important issue and easier to argue the benefits of than, say, racism or global warming. There is basically consensus that global warming is bad (even those who don't believe in it would say, if it were real, it is a bad thing) and Nazism is bad and racism is bad. Not so for abortion.

    Similarly, aborted children represent more complex equations for suffering and gain than global warming or racism. Does the fetus even feel? What about the overpopulation issue? What did the mother gain?

    This sounds a bit ends justifies the means, but it doesn't mean I necessarily condone the any means necessary position. But that's another discussion.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    In my experience, emotional messages lead to people screaming at each other rather than to people reaching greater understanding (assuming people with opposing view points are involved). This doesn't seem useful to me.
    Well then, here's a proposition for you... is it possible to really understand Nazism if you have not seen the photos of the stacked bodies in the death camps?

  3. #23
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    In my experience, emotional messages lead to people screaming at each other rather than to people reaching greater understanding (assuming people with opposing view points are involved). This doesn't seem useful to me.
    I think this has more to do with the people involved then the message.
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