Effective Pirating: Winning Discussions – tu quoque

Effective Pirating: Winning Discussions – tu quoque

Logical fallacies are techniques that people use to make an argument appear convincing, even when it is wrong. Learning how to identify and refute logical fallacies is one of the best ways to win in a discussion. Catching an opponent committing a fallacy will force him to retract his error or he will appear foolish or manipulative to his audience. There is a dark side to this. Once you learn to identify logical fallacies you will also be able to use it. Do not deliberately use them against fellow Pirates; it is extreme bad manners and you will most probably be caught out.

The Logical Fallacy – tu quoque

The tu quoque (latin for “you too”) logical fallacy is to dismiss the argument of  someone because they fail themselves to act in accordance with the argument. This is usually presented as hypocrisy. However, a person who says that smoking cigarettes is bad for health is no less correct even if he smokes.


The Canadian Pirate Party has put its main website under copyright protection. In contrast its Policy Development Center is under a creative commons license

This is an official campaign site of the Pirate Party of Canada. All work is released under a creative commons licence, we only ask that you provide attribution if you use it.

In the Policy Development Center there is the following statement

Achieve Significant Copyright Reform

A fair and balanced copyright regime that is suitable for the 21st century is an absolute necessity for Canada to remain competitive in a global economy that is built upon ideas and innovation. Copyright should give artists and innovators the chance to make money from their work; however, that needs to be balanced with the rights of society as a whole.

This inconsistency does not invalidate the call from the Pirate Party in Canada for comprehensive copyright reform. They may have a very good reason but is does not make it easy for fellow Pirates to share their digital resources.


This article is a part of a series called Effective Pirating:

Winning Discussions: The Fallacy Fallacy (Effective Pirating) 09/01/15
Winning Discussions: The Gambler’s Fallacy (Effective Pirating)
Winning Discussions: argumentum ad ignorantiam (Effective Pirating)
Winning Discussions: post hoc, ergo propter hoc (Effective Pirating)
Winning Discussions: Ad Hominem (Effective Pirating)
Winning Discussions: Appeal to Fear (Effective Pirating) 21/10/14
Winning Discussions: Begging the Question (Effective Pirating) 17/8/14
Winning Discussions – The Bandwagon Fallacy (Effective Pirating) 11/8/14
Effective Pirating: Winning Discussions – Tu Quoque 24/7/14
Effective Pirating: Winning Discussions – The Straw Man 17/7/14
Effective Pirating: Choose your Opponents Carefully 7/7/14

Featured image: CC BY-NC Alper Çuğun