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Is there a name for this fallacy?

Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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6/16/2013 12:20:25 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Someone says that "x" has a similar quality to "y", therefore, a rule that applies to "x" should apply to "y".

For example, someone says:

"It is not fair that they cannot sell Bacardi to kids, but they are allowed to sell Pepsi to kids....They are both drinks!"

"It makes no sense to say that we can buy flowers at the store, but not marijuana or opium....They are both plants!"

Is there a particular name for this fallacy? Thank you.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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6/16/2013 1:56:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
False equivalence
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Poetaster
Posts: 587
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6/16/2013 1:57:30 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/16/2013 12:20:25 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Someone says that "x" has a similar quality to "y", therefore, a rule that applies to "x" should apply to "y".

For example, someone says:

"It is not fair that they cannot sell Bacardi to kids, but they are allowed to sell Pepsi to kids....They are both drinks!"

"It makes no sense to say that we can buy flowers at the store, but not marijuana or opium....They are both plants!"

Is there a particular name for this fallacy? Thank you.

This seems to an exercise in "illicit conversion", where statements that only hold for a subset of a certain category are generalized to the whole category. Syllogistically, this will take the form of affirming the consequent.

E.G.
If a drink is bad for kids, then it is still a drink.
Pepsi is a drink.
Therefore, it is bad for kids.

Looks like a classic case of good ol' consequent-affirming. Being a drink is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for a beverage to be considered "bad for kids".
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Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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6/16/2013 6:21:05 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
It's not a fallacy per se, but is an enthymeme I would say, as it misses the premise "if anything with x is bad, then y, which contains x, is bad"

Or something along those lines. A logical example:

"Why are they saying you cannot have lobbying by corporations in parliament, but saying it is fine to have lobbying by unions? Those lefties have a double standard!"

It's logical if true. However, one can say that the reason why corporations cannot lobby is unique to industry (corporations do not represent workers for example).
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the_croftmeister
Posts: 678
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6/18/2013 3:11:17 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/16/2013 6:21:05 AM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
It's not a fallacy per se, but is an enthymeme I would say, as it misses the premise "if anything with x is bad, then y, which contains x, is bad"

Or something along those lines. A logical example:

"Why are they saying you cannot have lobbying by corporations in parliament, but saying it is fine to have lobbying by unions? Those lefties have a double standard!"

It's logical if true. However, one can say that the reason why corporations cannot lobby is unique to industry (corporations do not represent workers for example).

Your statement 'it's logical if true' confuses me, what do you mean by that?
philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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6/18/2013 9:17:11 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/16/2013 12:20:25 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Someone says that "x" has a similar quality to "y", therefore, a rule that applies to "x" should apply to "y".

For example, someone says:

"It is not fair that they cannot sell Bacardi to kids, but they are allowed to sell Pepsi to kids....They are both drinks!"

"It makes no sense to say that we can buy flowers at the store, but not marijuana or opium....They are both plants!"

Is there a particular name for this fallacy? Thank you.

It's an informal fallacy, and informal fallacies often go by different names. I would call this a "false analogy." There are legitimate analogies. Whatever the property is that they have in common, it has to be relevant to the general rule or principle. Otherwise it's a fallacy.
"Not to know of what things one should demand demonstration, and of what one should not, argues want of education." ~Aristotle

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle