Moral Equivalence Fallacy Examples in Media, Real Life, Politics, News & Ads
Moral Equivalence Fallacy
Moral Equivalence Fallacy Definition
Moral equivalence fallacy is a type of logical fallacy that pairs two morally unacceptable things together to make a point. It is a fallacy wherein an argument is made that two obviously different things are nevertheless equivalent.
It is also the act of asserting that two sides of an argument are equal when they are not. The fallacy is often committed by a person who has a commitment to emphasize the negatives of a certain course of action.
The fallacy is also committed in order to draw an analogy, such as the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Moral equivalence is different from moral relativism. The difference between them is that in moral relativism, the morality of an act is not determined by the act but by the context of the act
In moral equivalence, any type of wrongful conduct is equivalent – neither of the two actions is any worse or better than the other.
Moral Equivalence Fallacy Examples
Moral Equivalence example in Philosophy
Examples of Moral Equivalence Fallacy in Philosophy:
Moral equivalence fallacy is the idea that one person’s morally good act is equivalent to the same moral act performed by another person, even if they are in different circumstances or have different motivations for performing it.
For example, someone might say, “It’s not fair that you get an A on your paper when I only got a B.”
Moral Equivalence Fallacy Real-Life Examples
Moral Equivalence Fallacy in Real Life:
The Moral Equivalence Fallacy is when someone uses phrases like “both sides” or “there is good on both sides” to excuse or justify unacceptable actions.
For example, “The KKK is just as bad as Black Lives Matter.” The Moral Equivalence fallacy applies to all situations. For example, when people speak out against sexual violence, the Moral Equivalence Fallacy claims that because sexual violence happens on both sides, it is morally acceptable.
Moral Equivalence Fallacy Examples in Media
Examples of Moral Equivalence Fallacy in Media:
The media will often report on shooting in the United States and then mention that there was also a shooting in another country.
This is an example of moral equivalence fallacy because it implies that shootings are equally bad across all countries, which isn’t true.
The media should be reporting on how many people were killed by guns in each country, not mentioning shootings happening outside of the US.
Moral Equivalence Fallacy Examples in Advertising
Moral Equivalence Fallacy in Advertising:
Advertisers often use moral equivalence to make their product seem more desirable.
For example, a car company might advertise that they are environmentally friendly because they recycle parts from old cars.
Moral Equivalence Fallacy in Politics
Examples of Moral Equivalence Fallacy in Politics:
The moral equivalence fallacy is the idea that two things are morally equivalent when they are not.
For example, some people might say that a politician’s use of racist language and a terrorist attack both have the same severity level, which is false because one is an act of violence and the other is just words.
Moral Equivalence Fallacy examples in Movies
Examples of Moral Equivalence Fallacy in Movies:
Moral equivalence is a logical fallacy that asserts that since two things are morally equivalent, to claim that one is better than the other is to commit the logical fallacy of either/or.
Moral equivalence has been used by groups such as Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge, who have tried to justify violence by comparing it to their opponents’ violence. Moral equivalence can also take the form of a “false compromise.”
Moral Equivalence Fallacy Examples in Literature
Examples of Moral Equivalence Fallacy in Literature:
The protagonist’s actions in “The Great Gatsby” are morally equivalent to the antagonist’s actions.
In “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Atticus Finch is morally equivalent to Bob Ewell, even though he was portrayed as being more virtuous than him.
In Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet is morally equivalent to Claudius because they both killed their fathers.
Moral Equivalence Fallacy Examples in News
Examples of Moral Equivalence Fallacy in News:
The moral equivalence fallacy is when two things are considered equal even though they’re not.
One example of the moral equivalence fallacy in the news is when a journalist compares Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler because they both have an authoritarian personality.
Another example of the moral equivalence fallacy in the news is when journalists compare President Obama’s use of drones to kill terrorists with terrorist groups like ISIS, who also use drones.