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Argumentum ad baculum

Argumentum ad baculum is a Latin phrase, meaning approximately "argument to the cudgel" or "appeal to the stick" or more generally describes an appeal to force. One participates in argumentum ad baculum when one points out the negative consequences of holding the contrary position. For example, many young people in the United States who opposed the Vietnam War were told that they should not hold such a view, because they would face discrimination from potential employers.

Since the Middle Ages, this form of argument has been identified as a logical fallacy by most philosophers, but some pragmatists have claimed that the argumentum ad baculum is not a logical fallacy, and further claim that many of our beliefs are based on this kind of reasoning.