Have you ever been in an argument with someone, and they bring up something that you do that is hypocritical? And then you’re like, “Well, that doesn’t have anything to do with the argument!”
If so, you’ve been the victim of the appeal to hypocrisy fallacy. In this blog post, we’ll look at examples of the appeal to hypocrisy fallacy and how to avoid it in your arguments.
Appeal To Hypocrisy Examples
Like ad hominem, an appeal to hypocrisy is a fallacy committed when someone criticizes another person or group by claiming they are behaving hypocritically. In other words, the individual highlights the inconsistency between what the other person says they believe and what that person does.
Here are examples that can approve your ability to spot when people commit this logical fallacy.
“You can’t lecture me about eating healthy when you eat fast food all the time!”
This is a fallacious appeal to hypocrisy because whether or not the person lecturing you about eating healthy eats fast food has no bearing on the validity of their argument. Just because someone is a hypocrite doesn’t mean that they’re wrong about what they’re saying.
“The government can’t tell me what to do with my body! They’re always starting wars and killing innocent people!”
This is another example of a fallacious appeal to hypocrisy. Whether or not the government is hypocritical in its actions has no bearing on the validity of the individual’s argument.
“You can’t discuss family values’ importance and then cheat on your wife.”
In this example, the person appeals to hypocrisy to point out that they do not act consistently to support their words. By cheating on his wife, the person contradicts his claim that family values are important.
“You always tell me I need to be more assertive and go after what I want, but when I try to do that, you get mad at me.”
In this example, the speaker appeals to hypocrisy to show that the other person’s actions do not match what they have been saying. The speaker has been told by the other person that she needs to be more assertive, but when she tries to do that, the other person gets mad.
“Well, I didn’t know it was wrong at the time.”
A person trying to deflect your criticism by pointing out that they have also cheated on their taxes in the past is a perfect example of tu quoque. However, just because someone has done something in the past doesn’t mean that it’s not wrong.
Types Of Appeal To Hypocrisy
There are two main types of appeals to hypocrisy
A personal appeal to hypocrisy happens when an individual attacks another person’s character instead of their argument. This fallacy is often seen in political debates when one candidate accuses another of hypocrisy. However, it can also happen in everyday conversations between friends and family members.
A general appeal to hypocrisy happens when someone attempts to discredit an entire group of people by claiming they are behaving hypocritically. For example, someone might say that all politicians are hypocritical because they often say one thing and do another.
Or, someone might say that all religious people are hypocritical because they don’t always practice what they preach. These claims are fallacious because they paint an entire group with a broad brush without any evidence to support them.
How Can You Avoid It?
The best way to avoid the Appeal to Hypocrisy Fallacy is always to back up your claims with evidence. If you’re accused of being hypocritical, have a solid explanation for why you hold both positions.
For example, if you’re pro-choice but against abortion, you could explain that you believe women have a right to choose what happens to their bodies but that abortion is wrong because it ends a human life. You won’t be guilty of hypocrisy if you can explain why you hold both positions.
The next time you’re in an argument, someone tries to use hypocrisy against you, don’t fall for it! Remember, just because someone is a hypocrite doesn’t mean they’re wrong. Do your best to stay focused on the issue and avoid getting sidetracked by fallacious appeals to hypocrisy.
Hello, everyone! I am Cathy A. and I am the Chief Author and Editor at WriteArgumentativeEssays.com. I overlook all the guides and blogs being written on the website about argumentative essay writing.