A Classic Example of Use of the Fallacy of Division

I decided to post this here because it contains arguments from a commenter from TheFunnyFeminist’s blog about Rush Limbaugh’s verbal attack of Sandra Fluke. It was such a classic example of some amazing use of fallacy that I wanted to keep it close for posterity’s sake.The comments in question were done on January 10th, 2013 by commenter Pheonixjeff and are fairly representative of the kind of noise you get from commenters around the internet.

The following are excerpts from our comments on TheFunnyFeminist’s blog:

Me: Pheonixjeff is pulling a tu quoque fallacy here (in part). The rest;

A. The attack was made against women. Not white women, much as some would like to portray it.

B. Just because others suffer apparently worse discrimination doesn’t mean you can’t comment on an inequality or discriminatory act.

In that case let’s stop discussing all rights issues in America because the Iraqi citizens have had it so badly due to the last ten years of war inflicted on them, shall we? That certainly outweighs any Western suffering!

See how invalid my statement was?  Pheonixjeff is doing the same.

Pheonixjeff : “I’m tired of seeing privileged white women talk about their issues as if they’re the most victimized individuals in America when they clearly aren’t.”

Me: And I’m tired of whiny men on the internet bitching about how they’re mistreated and downtrodden by evil women because they can’t be bothered to learn social niceties, proper grooming habits, and how to get a date with a woman as if it’s discrimination but you don’t see me going on about it, do you?

I also recognize that isn’t the summation of the MRA position. Unlike you Pheonixjeff, I don’t do fallacious generalizations.

Pheonixjeff:  “When white women have an unemployment rate DOUBLE the national average even for their college and graduate grads, then they can complain about wage discrimination.”

Me: Non sequitur.

Pheonixjeff: ” Sorry.. also, feminism is SOCIAL SCIENCE not fact. ”

Me: Excuse me? Are you doing an attack on social sciences now? Are you saying that psychology, sociology, etc aren’t legitimate sciences boyo?

Because social sciences do in fact present fact.

You clearly don’t understand what science is and what facts are if you can make such an ignorant statement as that. If you find errors in one area of a science it doesn’t invalidate the whole field. That’s called a fallacy of division and it makes you no better than a creationist.

My advice is stop parroting talking points of all types and start thinking. You tossed in a few valid points amongst all the drek and drivel you tossed out but the latter is so horrifyingly wrong I couldn’t even begin to focus on the valid points.


3 thoughts on “A Classic Example of Use of the Fallacy of Division

  1. actually, he committed the fallacy of composition, not division. The fallacy of composition is the one where the arguer states that because a part has some property that the whole also has this property. The fallacy of division is when the arguer assumes because the whole has a particular property that a part must then have the same property.

    • He’s not saying all social sciences are wrong because feminism is wrong. he’s saying science is fact with the exception of social sciences.

      The first would be a compositional fallacy. The second is one of division. 🙂

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