Question Regarding a Fallacy
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08-11-2012, 06:03 PM (This post was last modified: 08-11-2012 06:07 PM by Misanthropik.)
Question Regarding a Fallacy
I'm assuming, based on pretty much nothing, that all (or at least most) fallacious lines of reasoning have been identified and given a fancy name. If that's the case, then perhaps someone here can help me put the correct name to a particular fallacy that I've encountered on more than a few occasions. The fallacy is presented thusly:

Person A to Person B: "You are acting irrationally; here is why: *Lengthy explanation*"

Person B to Person A: "What about you? You're being irrational too; here is why: *Lengthy explanation*"

Clearly Person B's response was an attempt to justify his/her own irrationality by addressing what they percieve to be irrationality on the part of Person A. But this is obviously fallacious, because even if Person A is being irrational, that in no way validates Person B's irrationality by making it rational. Person B is still irrational, regardless of how Person A conducts himself.

So, what fallacy is Person B presenting? Is it some kind of ad hominem? A red herring? Any help would be appreciated.

Note: (For the sake of the example presented, Person B is in the wrong; Person A is right. But ultimately, it doesn't matter who's right and who's wrong, because Person A's conduct is irrelevant to the validity of Person B's position)

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08-11-2012, 06:18 PM
RE: Question Regarding a Fallacy
It could be considered a red herring as it doesn't address any of the issues brought up in A's statement, and is an attempt to avoid answering the question.
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08-11-2012, 06:21 PM
RE: Question Regarding a Fallacy
Possibly, but at the same time, Person B attempts to justify their position by pointing out a similar fault (be it real or perceived) in Person A.

A "red hominem", perhaps? lol

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08-11-2012, 06:26 PM
RE: Question Regarding a Fallacy
... or an ad herring?

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08-11-2012, 06:28 PM
RE: Question Regarding a Fallacy
It's not really a justification; A's supposed irrationality is not an excuse for B's irrationality.

The scenario running through my head was a debate of some sort, where A criticized B's stances on certain issues, and B responded with a 'well, you do the same thing'. It's not an explanation or a defense, just a deflection. The correct thing for B to do would be to explain his thought process.
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08-11-2012, 06:37 PM
RE: Question Regarding a Fallacy
This all came about because there was a comment made in jest on Youtube, and the person who made the comment was unjustly attacked for it. When I stepped in and addressed the attacker, I explained to her - quite extensively - why being so hostile toward this person wasn't the most rational course of action to have taken, and after some time of being shown why she was wrong, she decided to fall back on the weak argument that I am somehow no better than her because I called her out. It was her final defense; a way to save face and uphold some sense of validity in her position.

I was going to address this directly, but she's not the brightest, and I was afraid that explaining why my conduct was irrelevant to her conduct would get us too far off track. Instead, I wondered if I could just sum it up quickly by putting a label on her nonsense.

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08-11-2012, 09:28 PM (This post was last modified: 08-11-2012 09:33 PM by Free.)
RE: Question Regarding a Fallacy
Since B failed to address the claims of A ....

Ignoratio elenchi (irrelevant conclusion, missing the point) – an argument that may in itself be valid, but does not address the issue in question.

B's response may be valid, but his response did not directly address what A claimed. B did not deal with the content provided by A.

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08-11-2012, 11:51 PM
RE: Question Regarding a Fallacy
Is it perhaps somewhat of a Tu Quoque fallacy?

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09-11-2012, 12:43 PM
RE: Question Regarding a Fallacy
(08-11-2012 11:51 PM)Near Wrote:  Is it perhaps somewhat of a Tu Quoque fallacy?

Perfect. Much obliged Big Grin

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