I’d like to mention two forms of argument that I really, really dislike and in which I do not acknowledge any validity. I find them frustrating because they’re utterly nonsensical to me but for some reason they seem widely accepted as actually legitimate points. They are rather similar, although they are definitely essentially different.
Here’s the first: “A is often responded to with B, and even though A is good, B is more bad than A is good; therefore A is not a good choice.” I’ll actually provide an example: the first argument presented here.
If B isn’t a necessary result of A, but rather just a tendency of happening in response to A, then problems are the fault of those that bring about B, not the people doing A that causes some people to decide to do B. The fact that people tend to decide to bike more riskily if they’re told to wear helmets should not be a reason to stay away from prescribing helmet use. They have the ability to not decide to bike more riskily; if they make that choice, that’s their problem. Drivers of cars acting more riskily around bikers wearing helmets, on the other hand: that is a legitimate argument, because the drivers acting more riskily is not within the bikers’ control.
(I consider the later points valid, and I actually agree with the proposition being made, but due to the reason that I staunchly support the freedom to do anything risky to oneself that doesn’t causally harm others.)
But there’s a second form of argument I often find being presented that is somewhat related.
“It would be better if everyone did B than if everyone did A, but it would also be better if everyone did either than if some people did each. Therefore, with many more people doing A than doing B, people doing B should be convinced to do A.”
This form of argument outright angers me. If everyone doing B was truly better than everyone doing A, people doing A are the problem, not people doing B: they’re doing the worse thing, and it shouldn’t matter what the actual proportions of people doing each are. Proponents of getting people to switch from B to A are literally telling people doing a better thing to do a worse thing. This is the sort of mentality that impedes progress and helps to further solidify suboptimal status quos, which need lowering of activation energy to leave for better situations, not heightening. This makes society stall.