Question

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Jason Mathias

Can someone help me out with all the fallacies and manipulation tactics in this argument? As well as the moral dilemma.

(Person 1 and person 2 live together. Person 1 pays all the bills, person 2 does all the home chores)

Person 2: My friend invited me to go to an amusement park so I am going. 

Person 1: I have a personal choice of not exposing myself to lots of strangers during a deadly pandemic. 

Person 2: Well what about my friend Angelina, she goes out all the time around lots of people. Therefore, Its safe to go out around lots of people and we should because its human and living life. 

Person 1: You are still not respecting my wishes. 

Person 2: You will be fine, you are vaccinated so you have absolutely nothing to worry about so I am going to go out and be with lots of people and then come home where you are. 

Person 1: No, please don't that is not in line with my values and my personal choices. 

Person 2: Well I need to come home I need my clothes and a car and to make you food and everything else. 

Person 1: No, please don't go out and be around lots of people. 

Person 2: Im doing it for your son, he wants to have fun so I am taking him out to an amusement park. 

Person 1: Please don't, these are not necessities they are wants and in my opinion its irresponsible. 

Person 2: Ive given up my whole life for you staying home, I want to go out and do fun things. 

Person 1: I don't mind if we live our normal lives and go out to eat but only outside. But its a pandemic and we need to be responsible about it. 

Person 2: Why cant you just be normal, why did I have to be with the weird guy. 

Person 1: Its your irresponsible friends the keep inviting you out everywhere so screw them they dont care about me or my values. 

Person 2: How selfish trying to make me not be able to go! This is abuse you are such a jerk! 

Person 1: No, its you who is being manipulative trying to manipulate me and manipulation is abuse. 

asked on Saturday, Jul 17, 2021 09:32:44 PM by Jason Mathias

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Jason Mathias writes:

Person 1 does not want person 2 to be exposed to 1000's of strangers, because person 2 lives with person 1 and person 1 sees it as person 2 bringing back 1000's of peoples germs into the house where he lives during a global pandemic. 

posted on Saturday, Jul 17, 2021 09:46:22 PM

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Answers

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Rationalissimus of the Elenchus
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This is for the most part a series of opinions. Different people will have different levels of anxiety about reopening, for many reasons. That said, there are some implicit arguments here that could qualify as fallacious or unpersuasive.

Well what about my friend Angelina, she goes out all the time around lots of people. Therefore, Its safe to go out around lots of people and we should because its human and living life. 

The person reasons that, because their friend does X all the time and was not harmed, X is safe for anyone who does it. This is a hasty generalization because it is not a given that their friend's experience can be generalised out to the entire population. Secondly, it may be considered the 'human' and 'normal' thing to freely socialise...but shouldn't we reconsider what our 'nature' compels us to do if the circumstances call for it? The premise there is unsupported and requires buttressing.

You will be fine, you are vaccinated so you have absolutely nothing to worry about

Not a fallacy but if I have to nitpick, technically you can catch COVID while vaccinated - even twice - so there might be something to worry about. However, the risk of contraction is low, the risk of illness even lower, and the risk of death lowest. So one could argue it is irrational to be fearful of going outside. Nevertheless, perhaps the first person has some personal circumstances that make the possibility of contracting COVID a more pressing concern.

Why cant you just be normal, why did I have to be with the weird guy. 

This is an appeal to normality. Yes, it may be 'normal' to go outside a lot, but as I wrote above, it makes sense to reevaluate our life choices when the evidence begins to suggest so. For instance, if we are told that typical socialising could lead to the spread of deadly disease. That said, the risk of COVID for causing serious harm also needs to be considered properly (if it isn't killing anyone, for example, is it worth keeping restrictions and suffering through the loss of livelihood and mental health instability?)

At the end, both person 1 and person 2 commit relevance fallacies (abusive ad hominem) by accusing each other of abuse, thus diverting the conversation away from whether they should go outside, and towards whether one is psychologically dominating the other (and, from what we've read, both of these are rather baseless - this exchange is an example of people with different priors regarding reopening).

So, mostly unsupported opinion, with some potential fallacious reasoning and an exaggerated premise.

answered on Sunday, Jul 18, 2021 05:16:55 AM by Rationalissimus of the Elenchus

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Kostas Oikonomou writes:

I agree with your analysis, except for the "abusive ad hominem" part. At that point the argument was that person 1 has no right to control person 2 (because nagging about going out is a way of pressure) and of course it goes the other way around with person 2 imposing the risk of exposing person 1 to the virus despite his will. The accusation was not about whether the pandemic is dangerous or not but whether one should control the other, so I don't think the abuse-accusation is irrelevant (so as to warrant "ad hominem"). But I think instead of the word "abuse", a more proper word would be "control" - both person 1 and 2 tried to impose something the other person didn't like.

There's no right and wrong to that. Either one or the other has to compromise or conflict cannot be resolved and if no one accepts to be controlled, the only solution is to separate (to not share the same space). So, I don't think it's "unsupported opinion", just different "wants" and different level of fear and different prioritization of things("going out and having fun" vs
"risk of catching the virus").

posted on Sunday, Jul 18, 2021 07:25:56 AM
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Rationalissimus of the Elenchus
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This isn't a logical syllogism or formation, how could their be fallacies? I don't care... just wondering why you think there'd be any "fallacies". 

There's a whole lot of normative statements about what people "ought" to want. If person 1 has been vaccinated, and is pretty healthy, they don't have much to worry about. CDC guidelines (as of right now) state that it is safe to go out in public and enjoy yourself, IF you are vaccinated. Is person 2 also vaccinated?  If that's the case, then it seems to me p1 should be perfectly happy with p2 going to the amusement park. Your "values" seem to be that nobody should go out in public, because you have some irrational fear.  If both of you are vaccinated, your probability of dying is similar to somebody being eaten by an alligator just because they visit Florida. In my opinion it just isn't a rational fear, but that's just my opinion.

Marking 

answered on Sunday, Jul 18, 2021 02:45:44 PM by Rationalissimus of the Elenchus

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