Logical  Fallacy: a error in reasoning
  (adj)     (noun)

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Statement #151 Discussion

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Below is the statement as it appears with the fallacy marked as correct. You can see the totals of most frequent responses to this statement. And after reading the any discussion going on below, you can select your choice(s) for the correct answer. For now, whoever posts each statement can update corrections.
This bank has some problems with corruption. But there's nothing going on here that doesn't go on in all the other banks.
Appeal to Common Practice
Category: Fallacies of Relevance (Red Herrings)

The Appeal to Common Practice is a fallacy with the following structure:

  1. X is a common action.
  2. Therefore X is correct/moral/justified/reasonable, etc.
The basic idea behind the fallacy is that the fact that most people do X is used as "evidence" to support the action or practice. It is a fallacy because the mere fact that most people do something does not make it correct, moral, justified, or reasonable.

An appeal to fair play, which might seem to be an appeal to common practice, need not be a fallacy. For example, a woman working in an office might say "the men who do the same job as me get paid more than I do, so it would be right for me to get paid the same as them." This would not be a fallacy as long as there was no relevant difference between her and the men (in terms of ability, experience, hours worked, etc.). More formally:

  1. It is common practice to treat people of type Y in manner X and to treat people of type Z in a different manner.
  2. There is no relevant difference between people of type Y and type Z.
  3. Therefore people of type Z should be treated in manner X, too.
This argument rests heavily on the principle of relevant difference. On this principle two people, A and B, can only be treated differently if and only if there is a relevant difference between them. For example, it would be fine for me to give a better grade to A than B if A did better work than B. However, it would be wrong of me to give A a better grade than B simply because A has red hair and B has blonde hair.

There might be some cases in which the fact that most people accept X as moral entails that X is moral. For example, one view of morality is that morality is relative to the practices of a culture, time, person, etc. If what is moral is determined by what is commonly practiced, then this argument:

  1. Most people do X.
  2. Therefore X is morally correct.
would not be a fallacy. This would however entail some odd results. For example, imagine that there are only 100 people on earth. 60 of them do not steal or cheat and 40 do. At this time, stealing and cheating would be wrong. The next day, a natural disaster kills 30 of the 60 people who do not cheat or steal. Now it is morally correct to cheat and steal. Thus, it would be possible to change the moral order of the world to one’s view simply by eliminating those who disagree.

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 877 Total Answer Attempts   66%
 576 Correctly Popped Fallacies
 301 Incorrectly Un/Popped
posted by wikiworldorder     
( Random Image )

Most Common Responses

576 - Appeal to Common Practice
27 - Biased Generalization
22 - Hasty Generalization
20 - Relativist Fallacy
19 - Appeal to Popularity
16 - Ignoring a Common Cause
15 - Guilt by Association
15 - Begging the Question
12 - Misleading Vividness
10 - Burden of Proof
9 - Appeal to Emotion
9 - Poisoning the Well
9 - Ad Hominem Tu Quoque
8 - Fallacy of Division
8 - Appeal to the Consequences of a Belief
8 - Slippery Slope
7 - Appeal to Ridicule
7 - Ad Hominem
7 - Appeal to Belief
7 - Gambler's Fallacy
6 - Red Herring
6 - Special Pleading
6 - Appeal to Tradition
6 - False Dilemma
5 - Middle Ground
5 - Circumstantial Ad Hominem
5 - Post Hoc
4 - Appeal to Authority
4 - Confusing Cause and Effect
4 - Fallacy of Composition
3 - Appeal to Fear
3 - Appeal to Pity
3 - Personal Attack
2 - Peer Pressure
2 - Genetic Fallacy
1 - Appeal to Novelty
1 - Appeal to Flattery

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* Fallacious statements are usually paired with a random image of a person who never spoke those words.
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