Special pleading:

Definition Example
When a proponent of a position attempts to introduce an exemption to a generally accepted rule or principle without justifying the exemption. Prayer works in spite of appearances that it doesn’t because you can’t subject it to the tools of science.
  Notes
In the example, why would claims of material effects from spiritual causes be off-limits to scientific scrutiny when the effects of all other causes can be assessed by science?

Case Study One

Some communities have proposed that police officers and their families be exempt from citations for traffic offenses. But it would seem that the reasons given for establishing speed limits would hold also for the families of police officers.


Case Study Two

Many religions hold that forgiveness should be granted without bloodshed or payment of any sort, yet exempt their own god by offering irrelevant ad hoc excuses such as “God is holy” or “God’s ways are not our ways.”


Case Study Three

Sometimes, after claims of supernatural activity are shown by rigorous scientific testing to be unsubstantiated, it is claimed that the existence of skeptics in the vacinity were the reason for the failure of the supernatual activities to manifest, a claim not applied to any other arena of inquiry.


Keep in mind that a fallacious argument does not entail an erroneous position.


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