An arguer commits the accident fallacy when she applies a general rule to a situation where this rule does not in fact apply.

Pattern: P is a general principle applicable to all X. A is an X therefore P is applicable when in fact certain characteristics of A make it inapplicable.


This advertisement is against Proposition 8.

The general rule that applies in this case is that, in a democracy, the vote of the majority should prevail. In this specfic situation in the vote regarding proposition 8, the four judges overruled the majority's vote. The rule, however, does not apply in this case because what the majority voted for was a restriction on the rights of a minority. The majority voted to exclude same-sex couples from the right to marry.

Other examplesEdit

This video is from the film Kung Fu Panda (2008). Po the Panda wants to see which of the Furious Five will be chosen as the mighty Dragon Warrior. Master Oogway is the one who is to decide who the Dragon Warrior will be. Po is anxious to get inside to see the tournament, but is unable to get in right away. He eventually succeeds in entering. Upon entering, Po unexpectedly lands inside right when Master Oogway has selected the Dragon Warrior. Po by chance is directly in the direction where Master Oogway is pointing to indicating Po as the new Dragon Warrior. Master Shifu is upset that Oogway chose Po and not one member of the Furious Five. However, Oogway says that it was fate that Po be the new Dragon Warrior. The accident occurs in the clip between 4:00-5:30. The general rule is that the Dragon Warrior was to be one of the Furious Five. However, the decision that Po be the next Dragon Warrior is the exception or the special situation in which the rule did not apply.

Generally it is an accepted rule that if a parent gives thier child permission to do something it is ok. In this commercial, a young boy does many outrageous things such as get a tattoo, drive a sports car, skydive, and bring a chainsaw to show and tell at school. His justification for all these acts is his mother said he could. This video commits the accident fallacy with all of these acts because regardless of whether the child has permission or not, it is not ok for them to get tattooes, drive a car, bring a chainsaw to school, or any of the other acts seen in this commercial.