Moving the Goalposts Fallacy Examples in Media, Real Life, Politics, News & Ads
Moving the Goalposts Fallacy
Moving the Goalposts Fallacy Definition
The goalposts fallacy is a logical fallacy that occurs when the person who made an argument or assertion changes the criteria for “winning” the argument, usually in order to avoid being proven wrong.
Moving the goalposts is a logical fallacy in which someone refuses to acknowledge an argument by changing the subject or refusing to address it, usually because they cannot refute it.
In this example, person A says that dogs are better than cats, and person B argues that cats are better than dogs. Person A then changes their argument from “dogs” to “animals” and continues arguing for animals being better than cats.
Another example; if someone says that they are better than you at something and you prove them wrong by showing evidence of your own abilities, they might say that you’re not as good because they were talking about how much money they make.
This is a very common type of reasoning, and it can be seen often in politics and debates.
Moving the Goalposts Fallacy Examples
Moving the Goalposts Fallacy example in Philosophy
Examples of Moving the Goalposts Fallacy in Philosophy:
Moving the goalposts fallacy is a term used in philosophy to describe how an argument can be made invalid by changing one or more of its premises.
- For example, if someone says that all humans are mortal and Socrates is human, then it would not be valid for someone else to say, “Socrates isn’t mortal because he’s a philosopher.” After all, they have changed the original premise that all humans are mortal.
- Another example of this fallacy could be when someone claims that their opinion on abortion should count as two votes instead of one.
Moving the Goalposts Fallacy Real-Life Examples
Moving the Goalposts Fallacy in Real Life:
Example: Before moving on to college, I made a list of goals that I wanted to achieve. Some of my goals included volunteering and buying my parents a house for Christmas. Unfortunately, all of these goals were not met.
The reason is that as time progressed longer and longer, I put off completing these tasks until it was too late. I, therefore, plan to buy a car for my parents a house in the next 2 years.
Moving the Goalposts Examples in Media
Examples of Moving the Goalposts Fallacy in Media:
- The media often shifts the goalposts for what constitutes a “good” president, such as when they criticized Obama for not being able to close Guantanamo Bay.
- They also shifted the goalposts by criticizing Trump’s lack of progress in his first 100 days and claiming that he had no accomplishments.
Moving the Goalposts Fallacy Examples in Commercial & Advertising
Moving the Goalposts Fallacy in Commercial & Advertising:
A company offers a product for $100 and claims that the product is worth the price.
The consumer buys the product, but they realize it’s not what they expected when they get home.
The company then says, “well, actually, if you want to be happy with your purchase, you should have bought our more expensive model.”
Moving the Goalposts Fallacy in Politics
Examples of Moving the Goalposts Fallacy in Politics:
The fallacy of moving the goalposts is when someone demands a higher standard for success after they have already failed to meet an easier, lower standard.
An example of this would be if someone were to say, “I will only vote for you if you get at least 50% of the votes,” and then, later on, change their mind and say, “I will only vote for you if you get at least 60% of the votes.”
This is because one person has now changed what they want from something that was more achievable to something that is harder to achieve.
Moving the Goalposts Fallacy examples in Movies
Examples of Moving the Goalposts Fallacy in Movies:
The protagonist is given a task to complete.
They complete the task but are then asked to do something more.
This happens multiple times until they refuse and/or give up
Moving the Goalposts Examples in Literature
Examples of Moving the Goalposts Fallacy in Literature:
Moving the Goalposts Examples in News
Examples of Moving the Goalposts Fallacy in News:
A company is trying to sell a product and does not want the public to know that it has already been recalled.
The company’s goalposts are moved when they say, “We’re just making sure our customers have the latest information.
.”They then create a new goalpost by saying, “The recall was only for one of our products, but we just wanted to make sure you knew about it.”