Friday, May 11, 2012

The "so is everything else" variant of "tu quoque" fallacy

A case of Tu quoque: "By Jove, what extra...
A case of Tu quoque: "By Jove, what extraordinary headgear you women do wear!"—ironic reference in Punch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the general "defense" used MLMers to defend their opportunity is the "tu quoque", or "You too!" fallacy. I call it "so is everything else" argument. This is best illustrated by an example.
A: BizX is a ponzi because of ____, _____, and _____. 
B: But so is Social Security! Insurance! Banking System! Federal Reserve! (Everything else!)
Really, that's a COMMON defense. Here's one actual example:
[Defending Zeekrewards which may be a Ponzi scheme] B. For those who think that money is coming from the investors….. it is!! So does money you borrow from the bank. You deposit your money into bank, bank holds federal minimum in bank vault and/or the fed… the rest well they make money by giving it to someone else for more money… sound familiar?? 
This is bogus because it doesn't deny that Zeekrewards may be a Ponzi. Instead, it is trying to argue that Ponzi scheme is all around us (and thus, not really a big deal). It is arguing something completely irrelevant. It's considered a "red herring".

Here is another example also from a Zeekrewards defender:
[Responding to how Zeekrewards rewards people to post ads which could amount to spam]  Do you know how Real Estate agents get paid? How about insurance agents? How about other sales people? Do you know how all MLM’s pay out their peopel?
Instead of debating what constitutes spam, or how Zeekrewards is rewarding something else, this defender basically goes "but everybody else does it too!" (This is actually also a bad analogy, as none of these careers require posting free classified online ads)
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