A #fallacy is an argument that appears logical or reasonable on the surface but with a little nudging, crumbles like a losing Jenga game.

There are many fallacies but the one I want to discuss today is the "appeal to culture" / "appeal to tradition” fallacy.

An appeal to culture/tradition is when we use culture/tradition to justify a certain action. For example, "a Cambodian bride must change into 10 outfits on her wedding day because it’s tradition" or in recent events, the push for the new modesty law that will dictate what a woman can or cannot wear because "wearing too-short a skirt or too-see-through a fabric deviates from traditional Cambodian values & from what it means to be a Cambodian woman".

It's understandable why one would want to appeal to culture/tradition. Humans are emotional beings and we are attached to a lot of sentiments in our culture & tradition—our culture is our identity; without our culture, who are we?

For the 1st example, there is no harm in wanting to change into 10 outfits during your wedding day. It doesn't hurt anybody and so if you have the means, go for it!

BUT For the 2nd example, there is harm in the push for a law that dictates what a woman can or can't wear. The harm lies in the fact that we fail to recognise the root cause of the problem—a patriachal society that seeks to control women instead of teaching men accountability.

There are 2 reasons for action: explanation & justification.

People like to use culture/tradition as a justification for an action—that because we have always done something a certain way (appealing to culture/tradition), it must be right (morally justifiable). But culture is never a strong claim for anything. It can explain a certain behavior (why we do something) but never never justify a behavior.

Humanity has committed some atrocious crimes in our cultural history like enslaving an entire race, enslaving animals, violence against women (honor killing) etc.

Culture has proven to be a poor argument time & time again—hence, a fallacy. & Fallacy is dangerous for this reason, it is a "bad” argument mistaken for "good"—a wolf 🐺 in sheep's 🐑 clothing. & It's time we recognise this.