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Is this a fallacy, if so which one is it?

jp16103
Posts: 4
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12/29/2013 6:18:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I was having a debate about the death penalty with a friend and he said to me "you wouldn't think that way if your daughter was brutally murdered and raped". Was that statement a fallacy, if so which one? (examples of other fallacies: ad hominem, ad ignorantiam, etc.).
sadolite
Posts: 8,834
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12/29/2013 6:24:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I don't think it would be a fallacy for most. Wouldn't be for me. There is always the exception who would rather punish the tax payer by keeping them alive.
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jopo
Posts: 509
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12/30/2013 5:00:22 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/29/2013 6:18:51 PM, jp16103 wrote:
I was having a debate about the death penalty with a friend and he said to me "you wouldn't think that way if your daughter was brutally murdered and raped". Was that statement a fallacy, if so which one? (examples of other fallacies: ad hominem, ad ignorantiam, etc.). :

I think this could be seen as an extension of a tu quoque (the "you too" fallacy) because I see it as rejecting the actually principle of your arguments. For example, if I was arguing with a friend that smoking was wrong and going in to all these facts and my friend simply pointed out that I smoke (I don't actually but :P) that attack would be a way of jumping around my arguments - essentially they dodge having to actually attack your points by shifting the perspective of the debate from the facts. Thoughts?
http://www.fallacyfiles.org...
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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12/30/2013 5:59:47 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
It's probably both an appeal to emotion, and a Tu Quoque. But as has already been said, these are informal fallacies, and not necessarily something which falsifies the argument. An appeal to emotion is justified in some situations, for example. Tu Quoque is harder to justify, though I've seen others who have stated it is acceptable, and it is only provable that it is an informal fallacy.

In other words, all of the above! Just point out why it is wrong, rather than which specific fallacy it is. :P
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philochristos
Posts: 2,614
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12/30/2013 9:30:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/29/2013 6:18:51 PM, jp16103 wrote:
I was having a debate about the death penalty with a friend and he said to me "you wouldn't think that way if your daughter was brutally murdered and raped". Was that statement a fallacy, if so which one? (examples of other fallacies: ad hominem, ad ignorantiam, etc.).

I think it's an ad homimen fallacy. Presumably, you had just given an argument. Your friend, instead of attacking the argument, basically attacked you. He claims that if you were in a hairy eyeballed situation, you'd think differently. That may be a true description of you and your behavior, but it says nothing at all about the soundness of the argument you just gave. People are, after all, often inconsistent, and we do sometimes allow our emotions to skew our objectivity. So even if it's true that, because of your emotional involvement with your daughter, you might come to some other conclusion, but your behavior and psychology don't tell us anything about the truth of the position you hold now or about the soundness of the arguments you have for the position you hold now. So I think this is an ad homimen fallacy.
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