I want to know if there is a fallacy in this type of conversation.

CA=Country A and  HRA=Human Right Association


CA: it is now gonna be forbidden in CA for feminist to express their feminism and if we catch one she will pass 2 months in jail.

HRA: You can't do that because you are violating their human right of expressing themselves.

CA: The HRA is not the one leading our Country we got representative carrying about those types of question and in the name of what should feminist have the Right to express themselves ?

Note that in this context feminists are not a threat to the society or institution of Country A.

Thanks for your help 😉

  • I do not think there is any fallacy in the conversation, simply because I see the point of either party, and I do not see any error in reasoning or ad hominem. It is not even an argumentation (in the logical and philosophical sense). – SmootQ Mar 4 '19 at 9:19
  • 1
    This is less of a fallacy and more of a clash of values. HRA is talking about human rights (let's say, it comes with some justification, and not just a say-so), the challenge is not to the point made but rather to the source of its authority, along the lines of "who are you to tell us how to run our country". This could be an ad hominem, in a personal debate, if CA just uses it to deflect a point it knows to be valid. But it could equally be an objection to a question begging definition of human rights that appeals to a moral authority it does not recognize. – Conifold Mar 4 '19 at 10:39
  • There is a suppressed premise in the response of HRA that societies all subscribe to Enlightenment governmental principles. Non-signatories to international agreements are not bound by them, and not all basic approaches to government accept modern assumptions of democratic liberalism. This is one of the internal contradictions of these principles: imposing them requires violating the rights of people who never accepted them. Multicultural liberalism itself requires that if a people chooses another path explicitly enough, that is their right. – user9166 Mar 4 '19 at 20:15
  1. HRA says a new law violates women's right to freedom of expression.

  2. A public official replies that HRA isn't the head of state; there are politicians who handle those types of questions.

This does sound like a fallacy to me. Instead of either confirming or denying that the new law violates an essential right, the politician dodges the issue by claiming HRA isn't qualified to make such a judgment (or doesn't have the authority to complain about the new law?).

So, unless I'm missing something, I think this is a fallacy. I think it could be described as a combination of straw man fallacy and appeal to authority.

If it isn't a fallacy, then it's a classic example of dodging the question (or issue). ;)

  • It is not dodging if they reject the right as "essential" (or a right), and proceed to challenge the authority on its "essence". Replace HRA with KKK, and feminist expression with racist expression to see that the difference is in value judgments, not in arguments, and hence the "fallacy" label is misplaced. – Conifold Mar 4 '19 at 21:12
  • The country/government should state its case clearly. What I read in the question sounds awfully confusing. For example, "in the name of what should feminist have the Right to express themselves?" If we're talking about the U.S., then I would hope feminists DO have a right to express themselves. The OP also noted, "Note that in this context feminists are not a threat to the society or institution of Country A." The KKK and "racist expression" only confuse the issue. Who decides what constitutes "racist expression," and is the KKK any worse that the last three or four U.S. pResidents? – David Blomstrom Mar 5 '19 at 1:17
  • The first association that came to my mind was CA=Russia, which regularly makes statements like "who are you to tell us" to human rights organizations, and the 2012 case of Pussy Riot. The second was Egypt, and its objections to "blasphemous" expression. Spain also has laws against "offending religious feelings", and Germany against the Holocaust denial. Whether they are right to have them or not, the "right" does not come from arguments. And yes, KKK is much worse, not that it makes a difference for arguments. – Conifold Mar 5 '19 at 2:36
  • I don't support the KKK, BUT, it hasn't murdered thousands of innocent people in other countries and driven literally millions of others into exile. So, according to MY logical and philosophical standards, it is not worse than our recent pResidents. And your latest examples don't convince me, either. The fact is, the person representing CA in the question spoke very arrogantly and unclearly, not really addressing the subject. If it doesn't qualify as dodging the issue, then we might call it obfuscation. Either way, it sounds like just another lying politician to me. – David Blomstrom Mar 5 '19 at 2:45
  • You mean, your ethical standards, a.k.a. values. But KKK specifically, or the OP's way of expressing themselves, are beside the point. I do not mean to convince you, only to explain how people draw the line between arguments and values. Objections to warrants and their backing (ethical or otherwise) are viewed as legitimate, see e.g. Toulmin's argumentation theory. – Conifold Mar 5 '19 at 2:51

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