Description: As a rhetorical tactic, A few of My Finest Pals Are is to try to refute an accusation of bigotry or prejudice in opposition to a gaggle by claiming to have a constructive relationship with a member of that group. As a fallacy of reasoning, the error is to deduce that such an alleged relationship proves that an individual is just not bigoted or biased in opposition to that group. The generic type of the fallacy is as follows:
Premise 1: Particular person A says or does X, which appears to be bigoted or prejudiced in opposition to Group G.
Premise 2: Particular person A claims they’ve a constructive relationship with a member of Group G.
Conclusion: Particular person A (or X) is just not bigoted or prejudiced in opposition to Group G.
That is fallacious as a result of even when an individual does have a constructive relationship with a member of a gaggle, it doesn’t comply with that they, what they mentioned or what they did is just not prejudiced or bigoted.
In all probability the best-known use of this fallacy is when somebody responds to an accusation of racism in opposition to Black individuals by asserting that a few of their finest mates are Black. This fallacy can be utilized in instances of sexism, similar to when a person claims that they, what they mentioned or what they did can’t be sexist as a result of they’ve a daughter, a spouse, or a mom that they love. Naturally, it could even be a fallacy if a lady asserted that they, what they mentioned or what they did can’t be sexist as a result of they’ve a son, a husband, or a father that they love.
Since this reasoning lacks logical pressure, it depends on psychological pressure. This fallacy can simply happen in good religion when an individual truthfully believes that their constructive relationship with a member of a gaggle signifies that they aren’t prejudiced in opposition to that group. In such instances, an individual would possibly do or say one thing that’s bigoted out of ignorance. Whereas checking out the ethics of such ignorant and unintentional bigotry is definitely worthwhile, it’s nonetheless bigotry. As such, the fallacy would nonetheless happen in such instances.
This fallacy can be utilized in dangerous religion in various levels. Persons are difficult and an individual can sincerely have a constructive relationship with a member of a gaggle whereas additionally being prejudiced in opposition to that group. Slave house owners typically claimed to like or care for his or her slaves, and a few of them may need been honest whereas additionally seeing the slaves as property. A sexist can love their partner whereas additionally considering of them as inferior. Folks can, after all, additionally lie about such relationship being constructive and thus interact in a number of acts of dangerous religion when utilizing this fallacy. However whether or not the declare of a constructive relationship is honest or a calculated lie, the reasoning continues to be flawed.
Protection: To keep away from inflicting this fallacy on your self, the principle protection is to bear in mind that even for those who do have a constructive relationship with a member of a gaggle, this doesn’t entail that you just can’t be or do or say one thing bigoted. On this case, sincere evaluation is the perfect protection. To keep away from falling for the fallacy when it’s used in opposition to you, the principle protection is preserving in thoughts that even when an individual does have a constructive relationship with a member of a gaggle, this doesn’t entail that they can’t be a bigot or that what they mentioned or did is thus not prejudiced.
As all the time, checking out whether or not the individual utilizing the fallacy is performing in dangerous religion could be helpful is lowering its psychological pressure. This entails assessing whether or not they do have such a constructive relationship and whether or not or not they’re knowingly utilizing this tactic.
Governor: “I do know these school images of me in blackface look dangerous, however I guarantee you I’m not a racist. I grew up in a various city and had black mates as a child. Once I went to school, I had black mates. I’ve black mates now and plenty of of my fellow Democrats are black.”
Reporter: “Senator, there are critics who say that your invoice is sexist and can damage ladies in some ways.”
Senator: “Title a method this invoice will damage ladies.”
Reporter: “Properly, the critics say it cuts funding for applications like WIC and redefines sexual harassment so narrowly that…”
Senator: “Properly, I say to my critics that I really like my spouse and two daughters. How might a person who loves his daughters a lot be a sexist? Or do something to harm ladies?”
Reporter: “Properly, your critics say you possibly can try this by passing this invoice.”
Senator: “You lame stream media are the true downside.”
Diocletian: “We have to take away the Christians from the military as a part of my Make Rome Nice Once more plan. Plus, I’ve many concepts, similar to coping with these Manicheans.”
Dionysus: “That appears a bit prejudiced.”
Diocletian: “Nonsense! A few of my finest mates are Christians. In truth, my favourite slave is a Christian.”
Dionysus: “So why take away them from the military?”
Diocletian: “All a part of restoring the glory of the empire.”