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

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Statement #188 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.
It is fine to incarcerate people solely for what they put into their own bodies. It is very common for governments to do this.
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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 824 Total Answer Attempts   71%
 584 Correctly Popped Fallacies
 240 Incorrectly Un/Popped
posted by wikiworldorder     
( Random Image )

Most Common Responses

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

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