What type of fallacy is this?

Scenario: Old woman wants a specific seat on a train that you are sitting in, meanwhile there are plenty of other seats for her to accomodate her rump. She asks you if you can give up the seat because she wants it, you say no because it's your seat. Someone hears that, and in disgust, asks you "What if that was your Grandmother?" as a retort to why you not giving up your seat was disrespectful.

Fallacy in question: the "What if that was your" argument, whereby trying to equate a member of your family to a person unrelated.


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What Girls Said 2

  • It's an appeal to yr sense of shame, where that emotional appeal (the attempt to shame you) is being substituted for actual logic.

    If this is, like, a school assignment and yr supposed to dump this into one of the formal categories, then, you'd probably throw it into the bucket of "appeal to authority" (argumentum ad verecundiam). Here, the "authority" is society's unwritten rules about how you should treat "elders", based on the grandmother.

    More generally, "appeal to emotion" is a pretty broad brush to paint with, but it definitely covers this one.

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  • Thats attacking you as a person not actually addressing the problem. Forget what it is called

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What Guys Said 1

  • I'm not sure that there is one, but it does sound like a false dichotomy. Their argument assumes incorrectly that there are only two options: You give her the seat. You don't give her the seat. When every other seat on the train should also be considered an option.

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