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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.

References:

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



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