posted on Oct, 13 2013 @ 08:54 AM
Tu quoque /tuːˈkwoʊkwiː/, (Latin for "you, too" or "you, also") or the appeal to hypocrisy, is a logical fallacy that attempts to
discredit the opponent's position by asserting the opponent's failure to act consistently in accordance with that position; it attempts to show that
a criticism or objection applies equally to the person making it. This dismisses someone's point of view based on criticism of the person's
inconsistency, and not the position presented, whereas a person's inconsistency should not discredit their position. Thus, it is a form of the ad
hominem argument. To clarify, although the person being attacked might indeed be acting inconsistently or hypocritically, this does not invalidate
This phenomenon is widespread in everyday life as well as on these boards. I don't think many people use this technique intentionally, but in our
"hang the hypocrite!" culture it is hard not to. We are all guilty at times of utilising this technique in an effort to silence our opponents and
end debate quickly. It takes far more effort to analyse the argument in isolation of the person making it. This is similar to the "shoot the
messenger" technique - where opposition will attempt to discredit the person based on the source of the claim rather than the validity of the actual
While it is important to note that people are being inconsistent or hypocritical in their stance on a certain issue, it does not diminish the
accuracy of or truth behind their stance.
A simple example of this in effect is as follows:
A father tells his daughter not to smoke because it is bad for her health. She continues to smoke and replies that 'you smoke too!'
Notice that although the daughter is correct in pointing out the father's hypocrisy on the issue, this does not invalidate his argument that smoking
is in fact bad for her health.
Apparently some folks don't understand the basic logic.
It is not the idea of anything other than the fact that smoking is bad for you that is in question here. It is absolutely valid that someone in this
situation might very well be giving a bit of wisdom by saying listen, I have smoked longer than you, and I'm telling you now, yes I smoke, but you
will have the life I DIDN'T have by quitting as soon as you can. Perhaps in the above scenario, this is the appropriate response from the father.
As to "you do it to" coming from a family child....well, just as I would have gotten the crap smacked out of me...
Today is much different. Teeth do not go flying the way they once did. However, my daughter would absolutely have no illusions as to the fact that
she had just been put in her place as is appropriate for a child.