Is there a term for this kind of reasoning?

Someone I know posted the following about the tornado in Oklahoma:

I swear I’ve seen this broken down before, something about how we shouldn’t diminish people’s small joys just because there are bigger tragedies in the world.

Anyway, isn’t there a proper term for this kind of thinking? I can’t seem to remember or google my way through it.

We’re human. We’re emotional. We like a good “human interest” story, because (well!) we’re human. Yes, to some degree it is irrational. But, then, it’s also irrational to feel grief at all: perfectly rational people would simply move on with their lives with no need for funerals, grief, closure, etc. And yes, it’s out of perspective. So, next time there’s a gigantic flood in Bangladesh, should we all stop going to our own local funerals? Should we all stop going to movies and dances, because our energy would be better spent ending war and famine?

“The perfect is the enemy of the good.” Since we can’t be perfect, let’s try to be good.

Thanks, but I thought there was a specific term for this kind of thinking. Isn’t there?

I mean, we could make jokey/sarcastics ones like “doucheybaggposting” or something, but isn’t there a real term for this kind of thought?

I’ve been seeing this a lot in the last few years: thinking that every kind of “wrong thinking” must have a name. I guess it all started with “logical fallacies,” then people assuming that everything must be called a logical fallacy. There are only a finite number of logical fallacies, and there’s even a larger number of errors that don’t have names.

Nope, this isn’t what I’m thinking of. And I shouldn’t have called it a kind of reasoning, more like a term for this kind of human behavior.

Around here we call it “threadshitting.”

The word you’re looking for is sanctimonious. You should respond: “Why are you kvetching on Facebook about people reading stories about a finding a dog? Don’t you realize six children are dead?!?” and start a sanctimony arms race.

In some respects, you could call this a false dilemma/excluded middle. In essence the complainer is saying we can’t be happy about a dog when there are dead kids to think about. However, we don’t have to choose one or the other. We can very well do both at the same time, without negating our feelings about either one.

Some people are more explicit about setting up the false dilemma than others; I would say that everyone making similar complaints is automatically committing a fallacy.

Thanks, folks. I actually was looking at the behavior and I think it’s some kind of projected-survivor-guilt behavior. Instead of feeling survivor-guilt, they feel upset at others celebrating minor victories while others suffer. I thought there was a term for this, but maybe there isn’t.

The fallacy of over-fallacizing

I would agree with every reply here, each is correct in its own way.

So certainly is this idea, in psychology, but I too can’t think of a word for it, if psychologists have even come up with one (so OP may be still open. :)). At the moment I’m not inclined to explore what you wrote, because it is not easy to describe, especially for a non-psych person, but it is out there, perhaps less widely known than the sources/terms mentioned upthread.

Agreed: the example in the OP is “Sanctimonious Reasoning” (or emoting.)

And in the time we’ve spent discussing this, how many donations could we have made to a survivors’ fund? Oh, for shame…