CDZ A Hypocritical Line of Argumentation -- Appeal to Hypocrisy

Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by Xelor, May 20, 2017.

  1. Xelor
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    Xelor Gold Member

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    Do you know what the "they did it too" (or "they didn't do it either") line of argumentation is? It's a form of the ad hominem line of argumentation, and it's almost universally fallacious. It has a name: tu quoque. It's a simple form that superficially seems legit, so it's no surprise that folks who cannot or will not develop rigorous arguments use it. One doesn't need to be abjectly simple minded to employ it, but one does need to be quite a dolt to accept arguments based upon it.

    It is perhaps the most frequently heard approaches to argumentation that children discern on their own. I know with my four kids, every one of them used it until they learned that it is both a child's argument and rationally ineffective. As a child, I and my siblings also used it just as I'm sure everyone here did. When I was a kid, it got me nowhere with my parents and teachers.

    Did it work for you? Did you have parents fool enough to allow it to work for you? If so, I guess we know why you are still employing that approach. There's little question that, as a child, you, I and everyone else thought the tu quoque line prevailed, but in reality, it didn't. What was going on was that, as a child, we simply didn't have the intellectual acuity to understand the absurdity of the "you too" line, and our parents knew that just as I knew it when my own kids tried using it. Consequently, the matter ended with an ineluctable parental fiat and that was that.

    Politicians use it. They do because people, constituents allow them to do so and don't rebuke them when they do so. People here use it. I won't speculate on why people here use it. Whatever the reason, it's time to cease and desist with that childishness.
     
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  2. Mac1958
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    Mac1958 Diamond Member

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    I agree that it's time that it ends, but deflection is such a core and impulsive behavior of partisan ideologues that I'm sure it's not going anywhere.

    Not to mention other standard behaviors that both "sides" share, such as distortion, personal insults, name-calling, hyperbole, straw man arguments and outright lies.

    It's a form of intellectual dishonesty, so as to why people use it, it's simply an indication that they feel they have no other usable response at that moment. Perhaps because they know the other person is correct and don't possess the self esteem to admit it, perhaps they simply lack the intellectual elasticity to create a substantive argument at that moment. Commitment to an ideology certainly limits options, so partisans can only paint with half a palette.

    Partisans are ideologically prohibited from "giving an inch", so rather than just simply concede a point, they feel they have to play games, such as deflection.
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  3. JakeStarkey
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    JakeStarkey Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    All sides use this fallacy quite often here as deflection.
     
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  4. Xelor
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    Xelor Gold Member

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    Hmmm....I've felt that way on occasion. When I have, I just keep mum, better that than to say something irrational and prove I had nothing of merit to say.
     
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  5. Mac1958
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    Mac1958 Diamond Member

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    Yeah. I've reached a point, especially on this board, where it's just better to turn the other cheek. I don't see the point of having a "conversation" that isn't rooted in a simple intellectual honesty. People can disagree without playing games.
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  6. Xelor
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    Xelor Gold Member

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    That individuals on both side so. I just finished reading an OP wherein tu quoque "reasoning" formed the whole basis of the OP-er's case. I thought, "Really? You're going to create a thread and base it around a fallacious line of argument from square one." That's what inspired this thread.
     
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