Fair world fallacy

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About

The fair world fallacy (also known as the just world hypothesis or the just world fallacy) is a logical fallacy in which it is assumed that actions always (or nearly always) yield morally fair consequences.

This belief is an integral part of the moralitarian worldview, which seeks to control people through inflexible moral codes. A belief in the inevitable benefits of following such rules is used as a way of preventing followers from questioning why the rules must be followed.

It is also frequently used by the privileged to justify the continuation of their privilege, and to negate the need for extending their privileges to others.

Examples

The following beliefs are common consequences of the fairness fallacy:

  • If someone works hard, they will succeed -- regardless of any other factors.
  • If someone is not successful, it must be because they have not worked hard.
  • If someone suffers a bad accident, it must have been because they are careless.
  • If someone experiences unusually good health, it must be because they have lived a virtuous life.

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