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Righteousness Fallacy

Description: Assuming that just because a person's intentions are good, they have the truth or facts on their side. Also see self-righteousness fallacy.

Logical Form:

Person 1 made claim X.

Person 1 has good intentions.

Therefore, X is true.

Example #1:

Ricki: Do you think aborted fetuses have feelings?

Jenni: I follow the lead of my grandmother who is the most honorable and kind person I know. She says they do have feelings.

Explanation: Jenni's grandmother might be the queen of honor with kindness oozing from her orthopedic shoes, but these qualities are independent of one's ability to know facts or come to an accurate conclusion based on available data.

Example #2:

The president wants to bomb that country because he thinks they are preparing to launch a nuclear attack against us. I know the president wants to do the right thing for the good of the American people, so if he says there have nukes, they have nukes!

Explanation: The good intentions of the president are separate from the president's ability to get solid intelligence on foreign affairs. If we are convinced of the president's good intentions, the best we can do is claim that we believe that the president believes he is doing the right thing.

Exception: This relates to facts, not subjective truth. We can use the idea of righteousness to conclude how we feel about a person.

References:

This is an original logical fallacy named by the author.



Registered User Comments

Steve
Friday, January 11, 2019 - 02:52:39 PM
The examples for this fallacy and many others on this website are blatantly biased, especially anti-religion, and poor in general. It illustrates that the authors of this website fall victim to what they preach and why people can't trust the internet.

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Bo Bennett, PhD
Friday, January 11, 2019 - 03:02:48 PM
Hi Steve,

I do my best to include examples with liberal/conservative/religious/non-religious positions. I spent many years arguing with fundamentalist Christians, so my database of fallacious arguments more heavily leans in that direction. In no way does this make the examples "poor" in that they all exemplify the fallacy named. None of my work is fallacious (i.e., what I "preach") and I invite you to provide one example where I am committing a fallacy (not purposely as in every single example).

I agree with you on one point; people can't "trust the internet," but I am making no such request. The content in this site and in this book has been well vetted and is to academic sources when available. This site is about giving people the tools to know what they can trust and what they can't. If you already made up your mind that you can't trust the information on this site because some examples you read seemed to go against your sacred beliefs, then you need the information on this site more than you know.

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