What's the name of this fallacy?

I’m just assuming it is a fallacy, and there’s a name for it; the basic idea is when you remind someone who’s complaining about their lot in life (or just a bad day) of people going through much worse circumstances (war refugees, cancer victims, etc.), thereby implying they should get some perspective and have no real right to complain. Anyone? It’s been a hugely stressful day and my brain is mush right now, so my example probably sucks, but hopefully you get the gist.

Fallacy of relative privation? I’d also call it the “first world problems” fallacy. It’s an informal fallacy, which means sometimes people who bring up worse suffering have a point, but it’s generally used to be unnecessarily dismissive.

Got it in one! Excellent. Thanks. That seems to be exactly the answer I was looking for.

Such a selfish question, have you considered that children in Antarctica don’t even know what a fallacy is?

I’ve learned an awesome new word from that link - “Whataboutery”

A couple of years ago I asked pretty much the same question. Then most people said it wasn’t a fallacy. What a difference a couple of years makes.

The same argument can be used in different ways, and whether or not it’s a fallacy would depend on how it’s used.

The OP’s example was telling someone that they “should get some perspective and have no real right to complain”. The Wiki example was about logical arguments in which relative privation is used “to suggest that the opponent’s argument should be ignored because there are more important problems in the world”.

These are fundamentally different.


“Did you hear about the brutal murders happening recently? I hope they catch that guy”
“Why’s everyone banging on about that when dozens of people die every day in Syria?”

It’s not one of the standard logical fallacies that people learn in Philosophy 101 classes. Doesn’t mean it’s not a fallacy.

That being said . . . some people believe that any untruth must be a named fallacy. Not true.

Not really - as I said, my wording was probably poor, but that’s pretty much the argument I was looking for.

Easy, cheif. You’re post #6. “It’s not a fallacy.” There. Happy?

Informal fallacies are a name given to things that aren’t fallacies but which ignorant people try to ham-fist into being fallacies anyway.