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#1 2017-06-29 16:52:25

Forum Mod
From: UK
Joined: 2015-02-18
Posts: 2,640

Hypocrisy as a counter-argument

This subforum has been too quiet for too long. Let's

Wikipedia wrote:

[The] appeal to hypocrisy is an informal logical fallacy that intends to discredit the validity of the opponent's logical argument by asserting the opponent's failure to act consistently in accordance with its conclusion(s).

[This] "argument" follows the pattern:

1. Person A makes claim X.
2. Person B asserts that A's actions or past claims are inconsistent with the truth of claim X.
3. Therefore X is false.

It is often used as a red herring tactic and is a special case of the ad hominem fallacy.

TL;DR: it is false logic to deny what someone says simply because it makes them a hypocrite.

I find it hard to agree with this. I accept that hypocrisy doesn't make a person's claim less valid, but for me it brings into question that person's right to make that point. How dare they condemn something they themselves have done, or reprimand others for that same action?

I suppose I deny that point from a moral standing. What is their opinion worth if they haven't stuck to their morals, and why should we respect that opinion or respond to it?

Their very words arrive bathed in the blood of their sin and must not be heeded, lest they plague the mind and turn it towards sin. - Gandalf, 12th Year of the Third Age of Arda, Shire Reckoning

~ How do you respond to hypocrisy?

One bot to rule them all, one bot to find them. One bot to bring them all... and with this cliché blind them.


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#2 2017-06-29 17:53:10

Corn Man 🌽
From: Ohio, USA
Joined: 2015-02-15
Posts: 5,840

Re: Hypocrisy as a counter-argument

Tomahawk wrote:

How dare they condemn something they themselves have done, or reprimand others for that same action?

Because they've learned from their actions. They can speak from experience.

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#3 2017-06-29 18:08:04, last edited by Mieaz (2017-06-29 18:09:05)

Joined: 2016-10-14
Posts: 499

Re: Hypocrisy as a counter-argument

I don't rly care about hypocrisy, I just consider it and think about it like you said "Why would they say that?", and then pay more attention to actual thing they said.

It might be even good thing, someone who makes mistakes obviously has more experience on that topic, the reason he made these mistakes are totally different story. I.e person who gets drunk every Friday will tell you not to drink alcohol, just because he is addicted doesn't mean he doesn't know that he is doing wrong thing. Edit: what JaWapa said

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#4 2017-06-29 22:43:21

Joined: 2015-02-15
Posts: 6,675

Re: Hypocrisy as a counter-argument

While hypocrisy on its own doesn't make a statement invalid, you would then have to question the inconsistency, the reason for which may potentially reveal something that does affect the statement's validity.


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#5 2017-06-30 13:49:22

Moderation Team
From: Hell
Joined: 2015-03-31
Posts: 3,776

Re: Hypocrisy as a counter-argument

For me, hypocrisy shows that the argument they are making isn't genuine, not that it isn't valid. Someone can make a good and valid point without truly believing in it them self which is what I consider hypocrisy to be.

There are 2 exceptions, that I can think of, for this though:

First of all, if their hypocrisy is due to a change in their opinion then their statement can still be valid. I hate the idea that we have to stick to our original opinions as, after all, isn't the purpose of an argument to change the opponents and spectators opinions on the subject. Sometimes going back on your own point is healthy in an argument if your point of view has changed.

Secondly, if your statement is circumstantial then I also believe it is okay to be a hypocrite. For example, a teacher that believes that no one should ever run in the school corridors is perfectly valid in running in the corridors to fetch medical help for a student.

I myself have recognised that I have been a hypocrite sometimes. This is often because my opinion on the subject has changed as I may have thought about the subject more. This would result in my actions of now being hypocritical of what I said previously. Another way in which I sometimes consider myself to be a hypocrite is when 2 of my opinions that I stand by strongly conflict with each other. An example of this is how I believe that no one should be allowed the take away the rights of another human being but I also believe in the death penalty for extreme cases. This is hypocritical because the death penalty takes away a human right which I am against yet I am still in support of it. My points for the death penalty are still valid despite my hypocrisy of being for all human rights.

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#6 2017-07-02 23:10:58

Wiki Mod
Joined: 2015-02-15
Posts: 10,353

Re: Hypocrisy as a counter-argument

The reason why hypocrisy is bad is not because it makes your argument is invalid. It's because it means you're excusing yourself from something you criticize others for.

If you criticize somebody else for something you previously did but don't do anymore, it's okay.

If you criticize something else for something you do, but recognize your own fault on the issue, it's also okay.

You also have to note that just because these standards are unbalanced and unfair doesn't mean they're invalid.

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