Special Pleading Examples

Special Pleading

When you base an argument on reasoning that is not logical, you have committed a fallacy. One type of fallacy is special pleading. Special pleading involves a person applying rules and standards to others while exempting him- or herself. In addition, with special pleading, the person does not provide a logical reason for why he/she should be exempt from the rules or standards.

Examples of Special Pleading:

1. Students who break the rules should be suspended from school. I broke a rule, but I shouldn't be suspended because I would be in a lot of trouble with my parents.

2. Katie and Mark are siblings. Their cat, Rusty, has made a mess in the bathroom by clawing the toilet paper and strewing it all over the floor. When they both return home after school, Mark tells Katie that she needs to clean it up because he is too tired to do it after school.

3. Yes, teacher, I think that lying is wrong, but she is my daughter, and she is normally such a good kid!

4. Of course those who aren't productive at work shouldn't get a raise. But, Mr. Boss, I have a family to feed.

5. Everyone should clean up their own messes, but my messy room doesn't bother me. If it bothers you, then you should clean it up.

6. Everyone should be patient and wait his or her turn in line. However, I need to go to the front because I have some place to be.

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