If every hypocrite's argument could be dismissed on the grounds of his hypocrisy, there would never be an argument that was not dismissed...
Here’s what the argument looks like when broken down into premises:
P1) Pro-lifers are hypocrites.
P2) Hypocrites don’t have moral integrity.
P3) People without moral integrity cannot provide valid recommendations regarding morality.
- C) Pro-lifers cannot provide valid recommendations regarding morality.
In this argument, the conclusion and a couple of the premises are implicit. The entire paragraph is a lengthy list of examples that all illustrate premise 1.
This argument is valid but suffers from several fatal logical fallacies.
First, the first premise and the entire argument is an example of the AD HOMINEM logical fallacy. An ad hominem attack is a fallacy of relevance because it attacks a person’s view on the basis of personal or group characteristics, such as religion, background, political affiliation, etc. While the ad hominem attack might be accurate, it does nothing to disprove a person’s argument. You can say that Ted Bundy never made a coherent argument because he was a serial killer and he was morally compromised. It’s absolutely true that Bundy was a serial killer and was morally compromised. However, that says nothing about the validity or truth of his argument. Likewise, pro-lifers might very well be hypocritical religious zealots. But, that does nothing to defeat their argument.
Second, the argument suffers from the TU QUOQUE, which is Latin for “you too,” logical fallacy. It’s an appeal to hypocrisy. When a parent has a child out of wedlock and then, when their child is grown, lectures the grown child on the dangers of unprotected sex outside of marriage, the grown child might say something like, “you had unprotected sex before marriage – why can’t I?” The parent’s hypocrisy has nothing to do with the strength of their argument. Likewise, the pro-lifers’ hypocrisy has nothing to do with the strength of their arguments.