Argumentum ad lazarum

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Appeal to poverty or Argumentum ad lazarum is the fallacy that somebody is better, wiser, or more likely to be correct because they are poor.


  • "Mother Teresa's self-imposed poverty helped her lead a virtuous life helping others."
  • "Only if you give up the true distractions of today's materialistic society can you find God's true wisdom."


It should be self-evident that the poor aren't necessarily good and that the rich aren't necessarily evil. Some rich people use their fortune and prestige to support charities and benefit humanity; some poor people become common miscreants (and in exceptional cases, such as Mother Teresa's, they abuse powers that aren't tied to money). Whether any special knowledge or wisdom arises from poverty or the asceticism of certain religious followers has yet to be demonstrated.

See Also[edit]

v · d Logical fallacies
v · d Formal fallacies
Propositional logic   Affirming a disjunct · Affirming the consequent · Argument from fallacy · False dilemma · Denying the antecedent
Quantificational logic   Existential fallacy · Illicit conversion · Proof by example · Quantifier shift
Syllogistic   Affirmative conclusion from a negative premise · Exclusive premises · Necessity · Four-term fallacy · Illicit major · Illicit minor · Undistributed middle

v · d Faulty generalisations
General   Begging the question · Gambler's fallacy · Slippery slope · Equivocation · argumentum verbosium
Distribution fallacies   Fallacy of composition · Fallacy of division
Data mining   Cherry picking · Accident fallacy · Spotlight fallacy · Hasty generalization · Special pleading
Causation fallacies   Post hoc ergo propter hoc · Retrospective determinism · Suppressed correlative · Wrong direction
Ontological fallacies   Fallacy of reification · Pathetic fallacy · Loki's Wager
v · d False relevance
Appeals   Appeal to authority · Appeal to consequences · Appeal to emotion · Appeal to motive · Appeal to novelty · Appeal to tradition · Appeal to pity · Appeal to popularity · Appeal to poverty · Appeal to spite · Appeal to wealth · Sentimental fallacy · Argumentum ad baculum
Ad hominem   Ad hominem abusive · Reductio ad Hitlerum · Judgmental language · Straw man · Tu quoque · Poisoning the well
Genetic Fallacies   Genetic fallacy · Association fallacy · Appeal to tradition · Texas sharpshooter fallacy