About a week ago as I write this, a pro-choicer tweeted to tell me that I grant women “fewer rights than a corpse.” Then the next day, another accused me in a tweet of “special pleading for embryos.” A few days after that another said, “Why do unborn people deserve special rights that no other human being has?” We get accused a lot of “special pleading,” or “special-rights pleading.”
Here I will give David Yim’s definition or description of the “special pleading fallacy” (and an example of a special-rights pleading fallacy would be a fallacious pleading for special rights). The bold was added by me:
One way to grasp the meaning of the special pleading fallacy is to focus on a general principle of fairness: We ought to treat individuals alike unless there is some relevant difference between them that merits the differential treatment. If there is no relevant difference between individuals, it would be unfair to treat them in dissimilar ways, especially if the differential treatment conferred a benefit on one, punished the other, or both.