Accused of a fallacy? Suspect a fallacy? Ask Dr. Bo and the community!

Quickly register to comment, ask and respond to questions, and get FREE access to our passive online course on cognitive biases!

one moment please...

Self-Righteousness Fallacy

Description: Assuming that just because your intentions are good, you have the truth or facts on your side. Also see righteousness fallacy.

Logical Form:

You make claim X.

You have good intentions.

Therefore, X is true.

Example #1:

Ricki: Do you think aborted fetuses have feelings?

Jenni: Any honorable and kind person would have to say they do have feelings. So yes.

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

Example #2:

Of course, God exists. Our purpose here on earth is to convert as many people as possible to our religion, so they aren't tortured for eternity. What can be nobler than that?

Explanation: While the idea of rescuing people from an eternity of suffering would a very noble pursuit, the good intention does not validate the assumptions being made—that a) God exists, b) Hell exists, c) it is our purpose to save people from Hell, d) God would send people to Hell (assuming God exists), etc. This example can also be seen as begging the question.

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


This a logical fallacy frequently used on the Internet. No academic sources could be found.

Registered User Comments

Sunday, July 28, 2019 - 06:45:05 AM
Let's try it here! :)

Example 3:
"How do you feel about about supporting the killing of innocent human beings?"

"I support a woman's right to choose, so my support of abortion can't possibly be support of something so heinous."

login to reply
2 replies
0 votes
Reply To Comment

Jennifer Harmon
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 - 01:13:56 PM
The framing of this question is problematic because it presupposes the developing fetus is a human being--yes?

login to reply
0 votes
Reply To Comment

Tim Eason
Monday, November 11, 2019 - 01:56:32 PM
@Jennifer Harmon: also implies a continuum fallacy by referring to a fetus as a “human being” even though it may exist anywhere from zygote to fully formed fetus. Additionally creates a straw man by labeling a pro choice side as “pro abortion”

login to reply
0 votes
Reply To Comment

Become a Logical Fallacy Master. Choose Your Poison.

Logically Fallacious is one of the most comprehensive collections of logical fallacies with all original examples and easy to understand descriptions; perfect for educators, debaters, or anyone who wants to improve his or her reasoning skills.

Get the book, Logically Fallacious by Bo Bennett, PhD by selecting one of the following options:

Not Much of a Reader? No Problem!

Enroll in the Mastering Logical Fallacies Online Course. Over 10 hours of video and interactive learning. Go beyond the book!

Enroll in the Fallacy-A-Day Passive Course. Sit back and learn fallacies the easy way—in just a few minutes per day, via e-mail delivery.

Have a podcast or know someone who does? Putting on a conference? Dr. Bennett is available for interviews and public speaking events. Contact him directly here.

About Archieboy Holdings, LLC. Privacy Policy Other Books Written by Bo
 Website Software Copyright 2019, Archieboy Holdings, LLC.