Author Topic: Logical Fallacy - Blaming the Victim  (Read 1288 times)

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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Logical Fallacy - Blaming the Victim
« Reply #45 on: April 20, 2017, 08:00:17 AM »
The fact that any particular incident may have been the victim's fault is not relevant to whether blaming the victim is a fallacy.

All As are B. This B is a C. Therefore all As are C.  That is a logical fallacy.  The fact that some As are Cs doesn't alter the fact that the statement is a fallacy.

A fallacy doesn't mean it's wrong it means it is not proof.

Even assuming that's a correct syllogism of the argument (which I do not), that argument is not fallacious because it is blaming the victim; it is a non-sequitur.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 08:03:57 AM by The Latinist »
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Offline gmalivuk

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Re: Logical Fallacy - Blaming the Victim
« Reply #46 on: April 20, 2017, 08:46:17 AM »
Perhaps it is a difference between Australian and American usage, but to me the word should implies obligation.have  I would never use it the way you say that you are.

If I say "You should see a movie" does that create an obligation? What about "you should pay your taxes", does that appropriately reflect any duty or does it imply choice? "You should get new brake pads"?

Maybe it is a product of the cultural differences. I would be very unlikely to see "should" when directed towards me, as anything other than a recommendation.

Equally, you "should have seen it", "should have paid your taxes" or "should have gotten new break pads" do not imply recommendation or preference. No blame is implied without a separate provision creating the duty (in the case of taxes) - I suppose that depends on whether you take the position that if you failed to take advice that you deserve to suffer the consequences (where as I would say it's a calculated risk, not something deserved).

Yeah, I see both "accordingly" in DG's post as logically invalid leaps, somewhat akin to an is-ought fallacy in the sense that there *is* something you could have done to avoid a consequence therefore you *ought to* have done that thing.

There are times when a "should have" merely asserts an action that might have prevented a later negative event, but I think more often (especially when referring to someone other than the speaker) it suggests that the action was a good idea at the time and that failing to do it was a bad idea at the time.

It assigns blame, in other words.

Again, you ought to do a thing only if you want to avoid the consequence. That does not mean that you deserve to suffer harm. It's a bad idea to stand on the top rung of a ladder, that does not mean that a person who does so deserves to be a quadriplegic (whether is it good or bad, it "is"). I don't know where you get that value judgement of "deserving" an outcome.

Further, Is-ought is not a logical fallacy. It is a philosophical position. It's a suggestion that people superimpose that which "is" inherently correct and the way it "ought to" be.  However, in the above scenario we are looking purely at the relationship between the events - not whether the outcome is good or bad. There is of course an unstated presumption that the "victim" wanted to avoid being a victim. The closest we get is the naturalistic fallacy (i.e if it's natural it's good) - but I make no such assertion about good or bad (nether saying it is good nor bad that the person gets dragged from the plane), only identifying the things that were within the power of the victim and should have been done by the victim (assuming they wanted to reduce the risk of harm). 

In fact any suggestion of deserving would be "illogical", since it presupposes the unstated and unsupported proposition of "justice" and "deserving".

"Could" does not avoid this issue  because the could advances the assumption that there was a thing within their power that could have prevented or reduced the harm., and they chose not to do it. The judgement comes from the assumption that if there is a thing you can do to reduce your risk of harm, you have a duty to do so (victim blaming), it is proposed that we maintain a "lily-white victim" (where we must never turn our minds to the lawful actions of the victim, and thinks they could or should have done if they didn't want to be harmed). As above, I reject this as the "just-world fallacy" (nothing justifies this,therefore we must not think about what the victim did or could have done). It's a false dilemma.

We can both, apportion blame where it is due and advise the victim of what could and should be done to protect themselves in future (assuming they want to do so).
Why do you keep talking about what people deserve? I never said "should have" implies deserving the consequences. I explicitly said the opposite. The fact that something is (partly) my fault doesn't imply that I deserve all the consequences.

I'm saying, "A implies B, but B doesn't imply C," and you seem to think you're countering that by saying, "A doesn't imply B, because clearly A doesn't imply C."

I don't think "should have" generally implies duty, and "should" definitely doesn't, but it is still normative and carries more judgment than "could". We only use"should" like this for things agents do, not for things inanimate objects do. Therefore, "should have" must carry some meaning beyond simply, "Things would have turned out better if this had been the case."
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Offline estockly

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Re: Logical Fallacy - Blaming the Victim
« Reply #47 on: April 20, 2017, 11:32:51 AM »
The fact that any particular incident may have been the victim's fault is not relevant to whether blaming the victim is a fallacy.

All As are B. This B is a C. Therefore all As are C.  That is a logical fallacy.  The fact that some As are Cs doesn't alter the fact that the statement is a fallacy.

A fallacy doesn't mean it's wrong it means it is not proof.

Even assuming that's a correct syllogism of the argument (which I do not), that argument is not fallacious because it is blaming the victim; it is a non-sequitur.

That is not a syllogism of this argument, that was a basic example of a logical fallacy.

The point is that a fallacious argument is not necessarily false. One could make an argument from authority that is true. One could use an ad-hominem to support a claim that is true.

Logical fallacies simply don't, logically, prove the claim.

Even if the victim is a fault, partially or wholely, victim blaming, per se, is still a logical fallacy when it's used to support a claim.

Accusing someone of victim blaming is not, in and of itself, a logical fallacy (although it could be if it were used to support a claim: This victim is blameless because x is always victim blaming and x blames this victim)

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Offline DG

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Re: Logical Fallacy - Blaming the Victim
« Reply #48 on: April 20, 2017, 06:35:06 PM »
Perhaps it is a difference between Australian and American usage, but to me the word should implies obligation.have  I would never use it the way you say that you are.

If I say "You should see a movie" does that create an obligation? What about "you should pay your taxes", does that appropriately reflect any duty or does it imply choice? "You should get new brake pads"?

Maybe it is a product of the cultural differences. I would be very unlikely to see "should" when directed towards me, as anything other than a recommendation.

Equally, you "should have seen it", "should have paid your taxes" or "should have gotten new break pads" do not imply recommendation or preference. No blame is implied without a separate provision creating the duty (in the case of taxes) - I suppose that depends on whether you take the position that if you failed to take advice that you deserve to suffer the consequences (where as I would say it's a calculated risk, not something deserved).

Yeah, I see both "accordingly" in DG's post as logically invalid leaps, somewhat akin to an is-ought fallacy in the sense that there *is* something you could have done to avoid a consequence therefore you *ought to* have done that thing.

There are times when a "should have" merely asserts an action that might have prevented a later negative event, but I think more often (especially when referring to someone other than the speaker) it suggests that the action was a good idea at the time and that failing to do it was a bad idea at the time.

It assigns blame, in other words.

Again, you ought to do a thing only if you want to avoid the consequence. That does not mean that you deserve to suffer harm. It's a bad idea to stand on the top rung of a ladder, that does not mean that a person who does so deserves to be a quadriplegic (whether is it good or bad, it "is"). I don't know where you get that value judgement of "deserving" an outcome.

Further, Is-ought is not a logical fallacy. It is a philosophical position. It's a suggestion that people superimpose that which "is" inherently correct and the way it "ought to" be.  However, in the above scenario we are looking purely at the relationship between the events - not whether the outcome is good or bad. There is of course an unstated presumption that the "victim" wanted to avoid being a victim. The closest we get is the naturalistic fallacy (i.e if it's natural it's good) - but I make no such assertion about good or bad (nether saying it is good nor bad that the person gets dragged from the plane), only identifying the things that were within the power of the victim and should have been done by the victim (assuming they wanted to reduce the risk of harm). 

In fact any suggestion of deserving would be "illogical", since it presupposes the unstated and unsupported proposition of "justice" and "deserving".

"Could" does not avoid this issue  because the could advances the assumption that there was a thing within their power that could have prevented or reduced the harm., and they chose not to do it. The judgement comes from the assumption that if there is a thing you can do to reduce your risk of harm, you have a duty to do so (victim blaming), it is proposed that we maintain a "lily-white victim" (where we must never turn our minds to the lawful actions of the victim, and thinks they could or should have done if they didn't want to be harmed). As above, I reject this as the "just-world fallacy" (nothing justifies this,therefore we must not think about what the victim did or could have done). It's a false dilemma.

We can both, apportion blame where it is due and advise the victim of what could and should be done to protect themselves in future (assuming they want to do so).
Why do you keep talking about what people deserve? I never said "should have" implies deserving the consequences. I explicitly said the opposite. The fact that something is (partly) my fault doesn't imply that I deserve all the consequences.

I'm saying, "A implies B, but B doesn't imply C," and you seem to think you're countering that by saying, "A doesn't imply B, because clearly A doesn't imply C."

I don't think "should have" generally implies duty, and "should" definitely doesn't, but it is still normative and carries more judgment than "could". We only use"should" like this for things agents do, not for things inanimate objects do. Therefore, "should have" must carry some meaning beyond simply, "Things would have turned out better if this had been the case."

It does carry more judgement (as a matter of legal or social norms, but judgement is not relevant to logic), but not the imposition of blame or fault (again a social norm, and nothing to do with logic). Hence my observation that sympathy is reduced (a social consequence of the assumption of risk, but of no logical relevant), but no consequential increase in fault (or blame for suffering - also not relevant to logic).

If I am speeding along, and a dog runs out onto the road, I swerve and hit a tree killing myself. I would suggest that there's no blame (because there's no duty of self preservation). "Should have avoided the tree" and "should have driven at a speed that the driver could safely control the vehicle" remain logically true (without imposing fault - again the lack of duty).

If I harm someone else, because I swerve at hit an oncoming car, I may be at fault for the harm to those others (legally and morally - as I owe them a duty of care) and the sympathy I receive for my injuries in that crash may be reduced (because of my assumption of risk). But I am not to at fault for the injuries I suffer because I have no duty to avoid assuming risk.

Equally, I am less sympathetic to a person who loses their wealth trying to help a Nigerian prince smuggle money out of their country than I am a lonely person who loses their wealth trying to help a "partner" who has deceived them. Yet neither is "at fault". All of the wrongdoing is with the person taking the money under false pretenses in breach of their duties (although, I suspect there is a certain amount of wrongdoing on the part of a person trying to engage in money laundering).

I don't understand how you get from "should have done done something to mitigate risk" to fault or blame, without imposing a duty. Unless you presuppose that the advice of a preferred option imposes a duty to comply with that advice.

I can judge a person as being less deserving of sympathy without determining that they are to blame or are at fault for the wrongdoing of another person (where they are the victim of that other person), and I can certainly do so without limiting the responsibility that that other person must carry for their wrong doing. Of course, this has nothing to do with the "logical fallacy" identified in this thread.
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Logical Fallacy - Blaming the Victim
« Reply #49 on: April 20, 2017, 07:35:37 PM »
DG: Are you Australian?  I ask because we've already established that there is a difference in how Americans and Australians use the word "should."  The answer to your underlined statement is that the word "should" does not just impart "advice" but implies obligation.  You may use the word differently, but you should be aware that if you tell an American that he "should have" done something, you will be telling him that he had an obligation or duty to do do it, not merely that it would have resulted in a better outcome.
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Re: Logical Fallacy - Blaming the Victim
« Reply #50 on: April 20, 2017, 08:02:01 PM »
DG: Are you Australian?  I ask because we've already established that there is a difference in how Americans and Australians use the word "should."  The answer to your underlined statement is that the word "should" does not just impart "advice" but implies obligation.  You may use the word differently, but you should be aware that if you tell an American that he "should have" done something, you will be telling him that he had an obligation or duty to do do it, not merely that it would have resulted in a better outcome.

Sorry, I was a snarky reply based on "Why do you keep talking about what people deserve? I never said "should have" implies deserving the consequences. I explicitly said the opposite. The fact that something is (partly) my fault doesn't imply that I deserve all the consequences."

I was trying to understand how it related to the original point about logic.

Additionally, I didn't understand how "could have done something to protect yourself" (which does not have the "should" issue) resolves the victim-blaming issue. In particular "you could have driven more slowly" (to refer to my above example) seems to avoid the "duty" issue of could/should - but I dare say would still be alleged to be victim-blaming. Perhaps I am mistaken.   
 
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Re: Logical Fallacy - Blaming the Victim
« Reply #51 on: April 21, 2017, 04:06:17 PM »

However, I think that it is a touchy topic for the rogues because many times, people blame the cancer patient for not eating organic, not using supplements that they believe prevent cancer, not getting acupuncture, etc.  I think the rogues were coming at it from the perspective that it is a horrible thing when you have a bunch of loons saying that you brought it on yourself for not using whatever woo they believe in.

  Thank you for getting back on topic about what the rogues were getting at about victim blaming.  I was a poster boy for healthy lifestyle until cancer.  Blame me for getting old. Instead I should have taken unsolicited advice. "Hey, Have you tried turmeric?"  CBD dude!  "Have I got the guru for you." 
  The United incident is a poor analogy. The passenger was not a victim in the same sense as a toddler with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  If there was a victim it was the rent a cop that had orders from the 'man' to drag the guy off the plane. 
  The common practice among many airlines to wait until you are seated to ask you to leave was a fight waiting to happen.  Possession is nine tenths as they say.  How hard would it be to have all the seating arranged before boarding?  Once you set down and fart in the cushion you might think you have the right to the seat.  If you are chosen in the lottery then no one else will defend you because they are glad it wasn't them. 

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Re: Logical Fallacy - Blaming the Victim
« Reply #52 on: April 21, 2017, 07:53:57 PM »
  The common practice among many airlines to wait until you are seated to ask you to leave was a fight waiting to happen.  Possession is nine tenths as they say.  How hard would it be to have all the seating arranged before boarding?  Once you set down and fart in the cushion you might think you have the right to the seat.  If you are chosen in the lottery then no one else will defend you because they are glad it wasn't them.

Wow, you really need to stop reading whatever news you're reading.  The fact is that in virtually ALL cases voluntary and involuntary boarding decisions are made before boarding, Mainly because of this exact situation.  To say that it's 'common practice' is just flat out wrong.

Neither is it a lottery.  Saying it's a lottery implies randomness, and there isn't any randomness in it.  All airlines use a specific formula.

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Offline estockly

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Re: Logical Fallacy - Blaming the Victim
« Reply #53 on: April 21, 2017, 09:11:23 PM »
  The common practice among many airlines to wait until you are seated to ask you to leave was a fight waiting to happen.  Possession is nine tenths as they say.  How hard would it be to have all the seating arranged before boarding?  Once you set down and fart in the cushion you might think you have the right to the seat.  If you are chosen in the lottery then no one else will defend you because they are glad it wasn't them.

Wow, you really need to stop reading whatever news you're reading.  The fact is that in virtually ALL cases voluntary and involuntary boarding decisions are made before boarding, Mainly because of this exact situation.  To say that it's 'common practice' is just flat out wrong.

Neither is it a lottery.  Saying it's a lottery implies randomness, and there isn't any randomness in it.  All airlines use a specific formula.

I've seen it done after boarding several times, but never before boarding.
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Re: Logical Fallacy - Blaming the Victim
« Reply #54 on: April 21, 2017, 09:29:44 PM »
Neither is it a lottery.  Saying it's a lottery implies randomness, and there isn't any randomness in it.  All airlines use a specific formula.
I suggested that it was a rigged lottery. Is that also not the case?

Offline Belgarath

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Re: Logical Fallacy - Blaming the Victim
« Reply #55 on: April 21, 2017, 10:31:07 PM »
Define 'lottery' as you're using it.

  The common practice among many airlines to wait until you are seated to ask you to leave was a fight waiting to happen.  Possession is nine tenths as they say.  How hard would it be to have all the seating arranged before boarding?  Once you set down and fart in the cushion you might think you have the right to the seat.  If you are chosen in the lottery then no one else will defend you because they are glad it wasn't them.

Wow, you really need to stop reading whatever news you're reading.  The fact is that in virtually ALL cases voluntary and involuntary boarding decisions are made before boarding, Mainly because of this exact situation.  To say that it's 'common practice' is just flat out wrong.

Neither is it a lottery.  Saying it's a lottery implies randomness, and there isn't any randomness in it.  All airlines use a specific formula.

I've seen it done after boarding several times, but never before boarding.

Ahh, personal anecdote.  Lets see here, I've done around  7500 airline flights, of those 7500, maybe I've seen denied boarding happen 50 times, and involuntary denied boarding happen maybe 10.  Of those 10, only 1 happened after boarding.

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Re: Logical Fallacy - Blaming the Victim
« Reply #56 on: April 21, 2017, 10:42:42 PM »
Define 'lottery' as you're using it.

Well, like I said before, it's a lottery, but it's rigged so that the king's daughter never has to be thrown to the dragon.

Someone was talking earlier about the process being semirandom, depending on cost and a few other factors. If two people are in the same section, paid the same price, etc, is the process to determine between them random?

Offline gmalivuk

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Re: Logical Fallacy - Blaming the Victim
« Reply #57 on: April 22, 2017, 08:14:45 AM »
Define 'lottery' as you're using it.

  The common practice among many airlines to wait until you are seated to ask you to leave was a fight waiting to happen.  Possession is nine tenths as they say.  How hard would it be to have all the seating arranged before boarding?  Once you set down and fart in the cushion you might think you have the right to the seat.  If you are chosen in the lottery then no one else will defend you because they are glad it wasn't them.

Wow, you really need to stop reading whatever news you're reading.  The fact is that in virtually ALL cases voluntary and involuntary boarding decisions are made before boarding, Mainly because of this exact situation.  To say that it's 'common practice' is just flat out wrong.

Neither is it a lottery.  Saying it's a lottery implies randomness, and there isn't any randomness in it.  All airlines use a specific formula.

I've seen it done after boarding several times, but never before boarding.

Ahh, personal anecdote.  Lets see here, I've done around  7500 airline flights, of those 7500, maybe I've seen denied boarding happen 50 times, and involuntary denied boarding happen maybe 10.  Of those 10, only 1 happened after boarding.
Surely vague approximations of your own personal anecdotes will convince everyone!

I agree that waiting until someone has boarded is not the norm, and it's simply a matter of those incidents being more noticeable and noteworthy, but I'm not sure how, "Well I remember differently!" is supposed to be compelling evidence.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 08:23:42 AM by gmalivuk »
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Logical Fallacy - Blaming the Victim
« Reply #58 on: April 22, 2017, 09:12:47 AM »
Even if the victim is a fault, partially or wholely, victim blaming, per se, is still a logical fallacy when it's used to support a claim.

Not if the claim being made is that the victim is partially or wholly at fault or is a claim that would be logically supported by the victim's responsibility.  You are essentially saying, "victim blaming is a logical fallacy when it is a non-sequitur."  In that case, its fallacious nature lies in that fact that it is a non-sequitur, not in the fact that it is victim blaming; there is no additional explanatory power to be found in the fact that it is blaming the victim.
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Re: Logical Fallacy - Blaming the Victim
« Reply #59 on: April 22, 2017, 12:47:42 PM »
Even if the victim is a fault, partially or wholely, victim blaming, per se, is still a logical fallacy when it's used to support a claim.

Not if the claim being made is that the victim is partially or wholly at fault or is a claim that would be logically supported by the victim's responsibility.  You are essentially saying, "victim blaming is a logical fallacy when it is a non-sequitur."  In that case, its fallacious nature lies in that fact that it is a non-sequitur, not in the fact that it is victim blaming; there is no additional explanatory power to be found in the fact that it is blaming the victim.

That's like saying an ad hominem is only a fallacy when the source is actually not reliable. (It's still a fallacy). Or that an argument from authority is only a fallacy if the authority is wrong. (It's still a fallacy.)

Victim blaming, whenever used proof or an assumption without specific proof is a fallacy. A claim is not a fallacy. You can claim someone is a liar, but, unless you're suggesting that makes his argument false, it's not a fallacy. You can claim that someone is an authority, but unless you argue that makes his claim true, it's not a fallacy.

Logical fallacies are associated with what proves an argument to be true or false. If some form of argument (victim blaming, ad hominem, argument from authority, hasty generalization) is not being used to proves something, it's not a fallacy.

Victim blaming does not prove an argument about responsibility for an event, so it is always fallacious. It is not proof that the victim was responsible, no matter what responsibility the victim has, but one can make an argument that a victim in a specific situation has some responsibility without using the victim blaming fallacy.

I only jumped into this conversation because I don't like the way so many things are called logical fallacies when, they are just claims or arguments.

Logic is used to show proof of a claim being true or false. A fallacy is a logical argument that does not constitute proof. In this case, victim blaming, in an of itself, applied to a specific case, a class of cases or a group of cases does not constitute any proof at all, and thus is a fallacy if used to prove blame. But arguing that, for specific reasons, a victim bears some responsibility is not a logical fallacy.

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