I know my opinion on this will be wildly unpopular. I don’t care. Here it is anyways.
Appeal to emotion or argumentum ad passiones is a logical fallacy which uses the manipulation of the recipient’s emotions, rather than valid logic, to win an argument.
I think this fallacy is happening a lot in regards to Woody Allen and the claim against him of sexually abusing his child years ago when she was 7. People are assuming that he’s guilty due to an emotional fallacy rather than basing it on the facts of the case, which I will explain further below.
After reading both sides of the child sexual abuse claim against Woody Allen, and reading a third person’s viewpoint in an article as well, I am of the opinion that this is a textbook case of false accusation.
Here are the three articles that my opinion is mostly based on:
* Dylan Farrow’s Story, Dylan guest-writes her side of the story in an article by Nicholas Kristof.
* The Woody Allen Allegations: Not So Fast, an article by Robert B. Weide.
* Woody Allen Speaks Out, an article by Woody Allen writing his side of the story.
The claim against Woody Allen has many classic signs of false child abuse accusations: Coaching (determined by a team of professionals), the timing (divorce/custody case happening at the time of accusation), the denial of good evidence that shows no sexual abuse happened (coaching, physical and psych exam, the lie detector, Woody’s claustrophobia, similarity of the abuse claim to a Dory Previn song that Mia was familiar with, etc etc), the lack of any good evidence that any sexual abuse DID happen (there is mostly just Dylan’s vague emotional everlasting trauma claims), and the appeal to emotions in a deceptive way.
Emotionally, people are appalled at Woody’s current, and lasting, adult relationship/marriage with Soon-li. This is because they wrongly think he was her father at some point. He was not. She was however, the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and Andre Previn, and she was an adult when her and Woody met. He’s not even her foster or adopted father.
There is no incest in this case, but even with that out of the way, there some people who are convinced it was still incest and pedophilia for no good reason. That’s just a part of the emotional fallacies running wild all over this case. I think that the main emotional fallacy here, is that many people feel emotionally against ADULTS who have a large age difference between them (in this case, Soon-li, who is of a youngish adult age, and Woody, who is of a much older adult age). These appalled people wrongly are reminded of pedophilia (because that ALSO has an age difference). And that makes it easier for them to (wrongly) assume that Woody Allen is an incestuous sexual abuser of children.
Dylan’s writing is a mass of vague “oh, I’m so traumatized” cries. Her writing is almost entirely emotions only, without much in the way of claim details, and that emotional appeal is what she and her mother are trying for. It’s suspiciously similar to all the vague, unlikely, and ridiculous claims of sexual harassment within the atheist/skeptic communities and which many people who read here are familiar with.
There is also speculation that Dylan is/was mentally vulnerable, and that that was taken advantage of by her mother, Mia Farrow, who coached her to make false allegations against Woody Allen. At the age of seven, one is very impressionable and believing of one’s caretakers/parents. There is a good chance that Dylan has convinced herself of the story which her mother told her was true, over and over again. If she also has a mental condition, for example Borderline Personality Disorder (which is well known for the made up dramas and lies and delusions its sufferers believe in), then she will be very strongly convinced that her mother Mia’s tale is true and that she was abused as a young child.
Do read the three articles above if you have time. Robert B. Weide and Woody Allen’s articles are very logical, fact/evidence containing, and a lot more truthful sounding than the other side.