Two wrongs make a right


Two wrongs make a right

Two wrongs make a right is a logical fallacy that occurs when it is assumed that if one wrong is committed, another wrong will cancel it out. Like many fallacies, it typically appears as the hidden major premise in an enthymeme—an unstated assumption which must be true for the premises to lead to the conclusion. This is an example of an informal fallacy.

It is often used as a red herring, or an attempt to change or distract from the issue. For example:
*Speaker A: President Williams lied in his testimony to Congress. He should not do that.
*Speaker B: But you are ignoring the fact that President Roberts lied in his Congressional testimony!

If President Roberts lied in his Congressional testimony, that does not make it acceptable for President Williams to do so as well.

The "tu quoque" fallacy is a specific type of "two wrongs make a right". Accusing another person of not practicing what they preach, while appropriate in some situations, does not in itself invalidate an action or statement that is perceived as contradictory.

ee also

*An eye for an eye
*Tit for tat
*Punishment

External links

* [http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/two-wrongs-make-a-right.html Nizkor: two wrongs make a right]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • two wrongs don't make a right — two wrongs don’t make a right phrase used for saying that you should not react to someone’s wrong behaviour by doing something wrong yourself Thesaurus: revengesynonym Main entry: two * * * proverb the fact that someone has done something unjust… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right — is a bluesy styled ballad written by Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson and recorded by Motown star Mary Wells as the b side to Wells popular single, Laughing Boy .ong informationThis song has the narrator pleading to her lover not to repeat the… …   Wikipedia

  • two wrongs don't make a right — ► two wrongs don t make a right proverb the fact that someone has done something unjust or dishonest is no justification for acting in a similar way. Main Entry: ↑wrong …   English terms dictionary

  • two wrongs don’t make a right — Similar to two blacks don’t make a white. 1783 B. RUSH Letter 2 Aug. (1951) I. 308 Three wrongs will not make one right. 1814 J. KERR Several Trials of David Barclay 249 Two wrongs don’t make one right. 1905 S. WEYMAN Starvecrow Farm xxiv. He… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • two wrongs don't make a right — used for saying that you should not react to someone s wrong behaviour by doing something wrong yourself …   English dictionary

  • two — [ tu ] number *** the number 2 put two and two together to guess what is happening or what something means based on what you have seen or heard that makes two of us INFORMAL used for telling someone that you are in the same situation they are: I… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • right — 1 /raIt/ adjective 1 TRUE/CORRECT based on true facts; correct: Is that the right time? | Yes. $6.47 is the right answer. | New research has proved their theories right. | be right about: You were right about the party it was awful. | half right… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • right — I [[t]ra͟ɪt[/t]] CORRECT, APPROPRIATE, OR ACCEPTABLE ♦ rights, righting, righted (Please look at category 17 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.) 1) ADJ If something is right, it is correct and agrees… …   English dictionary

  • two blacks don’t make a white — Similar to two wrongs don’t make a right. 1721 J. KELLY Scottish Proverbs 321 Two Blacks make no White. An Answer to them who, being blam’d, say others have done as ill or worse. 1822 SCOTT Letter 14 Mar (1934) VII. 96 To try whether I cannot… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • two — see two blacks don’t make a white while two dogs are fighting for a bone, a third runs away with it two heads are better than one two is company, but three is none two of a trade never agree if two ride on a …   Proverbs new dictionary


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