Self-Righteousness Fallacy Summary

Description: Assuming that just because your intentions are good, you have the truth or facts on your side. Also see righteousness fallacy.

Logical Form:

You make claim X.

You have good intentions.

Therefore, X is true.

Example #1:

Ricki: Do you think aborted fetuses have feelings?

Jenni: Any honorable and kind person would have to say they do have feelings. So yes.

Explanation: Jenni might be the queen of honor with kindness oozing from her puppy-dog eyes, but these qualities are independent of one’s ability to know facts or come to an accurate conclusion based on available data.

Example #2:

Jenni: Is a fetus a human being?

Ricki: No, because I am not a monster and would never suggest killing an unwanted human being is okay.

Explanation: Ricki is making a claim about a fetus and using the fact that she is “not a monster” to support the claim, which is independent of her intentions.

Exception: This relates to facts, not subjective truth. We can use the idea of righteousness to conclude how we feel about something or someone. For example,

Jenni: Do you consider a fetus to be as valuable as a human being?

Ricki: No, because I am not a monster and would never suggest killing an unwanted human being is okay.

Fun Fact: Self-righteous is defined as having or characterized by a certainty, especially an unfounded one, that one is totally correct or morally superior. The self-righteousness fallacy follows a more generic definition of being correct because of “good intentions.”

References:

This a logical fallacy frequently used on the Internet. No academic sources could be found.