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Is this a logical fallacy?

 
Aaron
 
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Aaron
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14 May 2018 16:04
 

Hi, Everybody -

I hope I’m posting this in the correct place.

I’ve seen this line of argument a lot. Is there a logical fallacy this fall under?

An organization supports lgbt homeless youth. People criticize the organization because it doesn’t support all homeless people (or all homeless youth, or lgbt people of all ages). They say things like, “Why does the LGBT community need special services outside of any other homeless person?” and “why not open doors to any child in need of help? It’s pure hypocrisy. Lots of people are murdered for being themselves, this isn’t exclusive to homosexuals.” and “You can’t teach tolerance using intolerance. Teaching children to embrace themselves should be taught by embracing others. Excluding others because they are not gay is no better than excluding others because they are.”

Thanks for any help.

Aaron

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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14 May 2018 17:17
 

It’s a form of “moving the goalposts” or “demanding impossible perfection”.  You do something good, but people move the goalposts and demand something bigger or better.  You can’t solve everything, so you pick one issue to work on.  People criticize and try to undermine by saying you should go for a bigger goal.

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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14 May 2018 17:31
 

There are 1000’s of homeless organizations, so it’s not so much that they are excluding non-lgbt as it is that they are specializing in them. This can be political, they don’t get the right services for their needs, they get put down or shunned by religious orgs or zelots won’t support orgs that suppot them etc.. Or it could be personal, the org founders are lgbt or saving lbgt produces a more self-righteous high as they are a “poor” minority being oppressed by the bad majority etc..

 
 
Aaron
 
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Aaron
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14 May 2018 18:20
 
EN - 14 May 2018 05:17 PM

It’s a form of “moving the goalposts” or “demanding impossible perfection”.  You do something good, but people move the goalposts and demand something bigger or better.  You can’t solve everything, so you pick one issue to work on.  People criticize and try to undermine by saying you should go for a bigger goal.

Thank you. What’s interesting is why they demand something bigger or better. My sense is that they don’t truly care who’s being served, but rather using this argument because of their own homophobia, whether they know it or not. But I can’t be sure.

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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14 May 2018 20:24
 

It often seems nowadays that doing anything at all, including helping others, will bring criticism from some people.  Without knowing more about the people doing the criticizing, it would be hard to be sure what the motivation is.  However, if the criticisms are directed specifically at the fact that the organization is providing help to LGBT youth, then I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a homophobic aspect to it.  And they might come up with all kinds of arguments in trying to sound reasonable, the same types of justifications and excuses that racists use.

I think it is quite easy to see that there could be a need for such an organization, to help youth who may have particular needs, and for them to receive it from those who understand and are sensitive to what these are.


[Aaron:  I think your footer quote is missing the closing italics code, causing the posts following your initial one to appear in italics.]

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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15 May 2018 07:48
 

Take the argument in the OP far enough and every organization would have to help every cause!

 
Skipshot
 
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Skipshot
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15 May 2018 14:42
 

Is the organization public or private?  If public, then “inclusiveness” is part of the public charter and an argument may be made against it.  If it is private, then tell the naysayers to jump in the lake.

Otherwise, what EN wrote.

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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15 May 2018 23:27
 

I’m not positive if it’s a logical fallacy but it’s certainly unreasonable.

Non sequitur maybe since the conclusion doesn’t follow the premise. Making the perfect the enemy of the good comes to mind. Ingratitude.

 
sojourner
 
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sojourner
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16 May 2018 12:02
 

I think you could frame it as a very direct error in logical reasoning, or as a case where compelling arguments need to be provided. I think it depends on whether you’re looking for a negative or a positive. I.e., for a negative (and I choose bloops, razzies and lazzies because after Googling I think this is the usual terminology for “if all…” questions, btw - in this day and age, I always worry that words like that are some crazy slang word that I’ve never heard of, ha ha!):


If all bloops (homeless LGBT youth) are razzies (human) and all lazzies (volunteers with the organization) want to help bloops, then all lazzies do no want to help all razzies.


This statement is clearly false, but it’s so basically false that I don’t think it even gets a special name.


On the other hand, if you switch it to positive:


If all bloops (homeless LGBT youth) are razzies (human) and all lazzies (volunteers with the organization) want to help bloops, then all lazzies want to help all razzies.


Then I think the answer is ‘unknown’.


In that case, I think it’s a matter of providing compelling reasons for inclusion / exclusion criteria. Think of it this way - what are your intuitions about someone who wants to be pediatric oncologists vs. someone who wants to be an oncologists who only works with very wealthy patients. Both are using inclusion / exclusion criteria for the population they choose to help, but the rationale as to why speak to different value sets. One is simply a matter of specialized care that can be better tailored to a specific population via focusing on a particular subset of people. The other is probably based on who can pay more. So the reasons there are very important, I think.

[ Edited: 16 May 2018 12:06 by sojourner]
 
 
EN
 
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EN
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17 May 2018 04:33
 

Perhaps the examples in the OP are more rhetorical fallacies that logical ones.  They distract from the main point by introducing extraneous subject matter.

 
sojourner
 
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17 May 2018 07:09
 
EN - 17 May 2018 04:33 AM

Perhaps the examples in the OP are more rhetorical fallacies that logical ones.  They distract from the main point by introducing extraneous subject matter.


I think you have to be careful about calling any criticism ‘extraneous’ and therefore null and void without further explanation, though. What if the roles were reversed and it was a group that specialized only in straight youth and excluded LGBT youth? What would you make of it if they responded to criticisms by saying they were clearly extraneous?


I can see rare cases where perhaps you could make a morally acceptable case for that. For example, in a pinch, I would be willing to cut a white females hair, but not the hair of a black person or a guy - not because of discrimination but because seriously, it would be for their own well-being, as lord knows what I would end up doing to their hair. In almost any other scenario I would say that dynamic - offering something to someone specifically based on race - would be incredibly racist. If we’re talking untrained people giving haircuts, it is probably legit trying to save people from traumatically bad haircuts.


Similarly, a shelter that strongly recommended LGBT youth go to a different shelter could have non-discriminatory motives - feeling that specialized counseling and support services are important, and that they are unable to provide those; worrying about bullying from other residents, and so on. That would be an entirely different scenario than if they said they were a Christian shelter and didn’t accept LGBT youth unless they pledged not to engage in any same sex romantic activity from that day forward.


There is certainly criticism that is obviously bad faith, or (in my opinion) bizarrely esoteric Ivory Tower musings, or just crazy conspiracy theory stuff, that people have to ignore for pragmatic reasons - no person or group with any kind of public profile can answer every single criticism, from the person who accuses them of being a lizard person to the person who thinks that the architecture of their building is sexist because it’s too square or whatever. But to the degree possible, I think it’s important that people have solid arguments for what they’re doing, whether we are already in agreement with them or not.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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17 May 2018 08:02
 
NL. - 17 May 2018 07:09 AM
EN - 17 May 2018 04:33 AM

Perhaps the examples in the OP are more rhetorical fallacies that logical ones.  They distract from the main point by introducing extraneous subject matter.


I think you have to be careful about calling any criticism ‘extraneous’ and therefore null and void without further explanation, though. What if the roles were reversed and it was a group that specialized only in straight youth and excluded LGBT youth? What would you make of it if they responded to criticisms by saying they were clearly extraneous?

Different groups of people have different issues and different needs. Hispanics, blacks, females, Native Americans, etc., all have organizations dedicated to advocating for them.  I’m not sure Aaron meant that other groups were excluded - it’s just that if an organization is dedicated to LGBT youth, most straights aren’t going to want to go there for help.  I don’t have a problem with a group focusing on whites or straights - every group has its own issues.

 

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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17 May 2018 08:15
 
EN - 17 May 2018 08:02 AM
NL. - 17 May 2018 07:09 AM
EN - 17 May 2018 04:33 AM

Perhaps the examples in the OP are more rhetorical fallacies that logical ones.  They distract from the main point by introducing extraneous subject matter.


I think you have to be careful about calling any criticism ‘extraneous’ and therefore null and void without further explanation, though. What if the roles were reversed and it was a group that specialized only in straight youth and excluded LGBT youth? What would you make of it if they responded to criticisms by saying they were clearly extraneous?

Different groups of people have different issues and different needs. Hispanics, blacks, females, Native Americans, etc., all have organizations dedicated to advocating for them.  I’m not sure Aaron meant that other groups were excluded - it’s just that if an organization is dedicated to LGBT youth, most straights aren’t going to want to go there for help.  I don’t have a problem with a group focusing on whites or straights - every group has its own issues.

Is there any group that focuses on whites (other then supremacists)? And the downside is that this kind of division keeps people divided into tribes.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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17 May 2018 08:45
 
GAD - 17 May 2018 08:15 AM

Is there any group that focuses on whites (other then supremacists)? And the downside is that this kind of division keeps people divided into tribes.

The Daughters of the Confederacy???  I don’t know, I was just speaking hypothetically.  Tribalism is here to stay, IMHO. Might as well accommodate it - you can still be a member of a tribe and get along with the larger federation.

 
GAD
 
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GAD
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17 May 2018 09:00
 
EN - 17 May 2018 08:45 AM
GAD - 17 May 2018 08:15 AM

Is there any group that focuses on whites (other then supremacists)? And the downside is that this kind of division keeps people divided into tribes.

The Daughters of the Confederacy???  I don’t know, I was just speaking hypothetically.  Tribalism is here to stay, IMHO. Might as well accommodate it - you can still be a member of a tribe and get along with the larger federation.

Sure, except that every tribe wants special privileges and needs an enemy to fight against, that is why there are no white groups, it is seen as an outrage for the enemy to have support groups.

 
 
sojourner
 
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17 May 2018 09:31
 
EN - 17 May 2018 08:02 AM

I’m not sure Aaron meant that other groups were excluded - it’s just that if an organization is dedicated to LGBT youth, most straights aren’t going to want to go there for help.


True, that’s not entirely clear from his post, so I’m not sure if he meant it’s literally exclusive or just has a certain focus.

 
 
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