dstebbins Posted November 16, 2018 Share Posted November 16, 2018 (edited) It's a fallacy where one argues that X is justified because Y, but the problem is that Y is created by the very people arguing that X is justified so they can have a justification for it. At first I thought the term "self-validation" could apply, but according to this webpage ... https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/pieces-mind/201407/self-validation ... that's a different concept. After that, I thought about using the term "self-justification," but while this fallacy may be a type of self-justification, that phrase encompasses every circumstance where you justify your own actions, even when your arguments are valid. Here's an example of the sort of fallacy I'm thinking of: In the USA, African Americans are, bar none, the most common victims of police brutality, especially in fatal encounters. Statistically, that fact is undisputed. However, to counter this, some police and advocates of them argue that police killings of black people is not out of racism per se, but rather, because black people are statistically more likely to commit violent crimes than whites. Thus, these people argue, black people are more likely to put police in an ultimatum where they realistically feel that it's kill or be killed. Now, obviously, that can be considered RAF (racist as sex) in its own right, so to back up their claims, they cite the arrest rates across the USA. Although blacks make up a disproportionate amount of police shootings in the USA, they also make up a disproportionate amount of violent crime arrests, and ... ... and this next part is very important ... ... the rate at which blacks are arrested for violent crimes is on par with the rate at which they get shot by police! https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/factcheck-black-americans-commit-crime Well, that all sounds well and good, except for one problem: The police - a.k.a. the very people killing the black people in these statistics - are the same people who decide who to arrest! Hell, that Channel 4 article doesn't even cite conviction rates! It only cites arrest rates! Quote 38.5 per cent of people arrested for murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault were black ... We’re talking about arrests not convictions Innocent until proven guilty?! Never heard of it! Another good example of this sort of fallacy at work comes from the novel "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." Specifically, this excerpt right here: Quote "I have decided to introduce the crystal ball a little earlier than I had planned," said Professor Trelawney, sitting with her back to the fire and gazing around. "The fates have informed me that your examination in June will concern the Orb, and I am anxious to give you sufficient practice." Hermione snorted. "Well, honestly... 'the fates have informed her' who sets the exam? She does! What an amazing prediction!" she said, not troubling to keep her voice low. Harry and Ron choked back laughs. So what exactly would this sort of logical fallacy be called? Where you argue your actions are justified based on evidence that you yourself have a lot of influence, if not total control, over. Edited November 17, 2018 by dstebbins Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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