A common argument raised against many good ideas is some variation of "if everyone thought that way, X would happen". For example, when I was young and indoctrinated with conservatism, I was taught to think, "it might not seem like my vote makes a difference, but if no one voted, the system would fall apart, therefore I should vote". This is just a blatant non-sequitur.

My decision is causally independent of everyone else's. Whether I vote doesn't affect whether everyone else does, so if it really is true that my vote is not an efficient way for me to create change, then I shouldn't vote, no matter what would happen if no one voted.



Dear Wikipedia admins, look I understand (from making RTTP) the frustration of being a volunteer and not getting paid, but that's blatantly false. $2.75 will make no discernible difference. A truthful version of this would say "if a whole bunch of people donated just $2.75, Wikipedia could keep thriving".

Obviously, if one Y happens for each X, you can say that one X causes one Y, or you can say that a thousand Xs causes a thousand Ys. What you can't say is that one X causes a thousand Ys.

Yet that's exactly the argument I've heard many people make for the current COVID-19 lockdowns, outlawing most economic activity and grossly violating the rights of innocents. I've heard it from alt-righted former Ancaps like Stefan Molyneux. I've even heard it from from someone I previously deeply admired: Rechelon.

But I dunno, maybe your personal entitlement to Baskin Robbins is worth killing millions.

There are so many other mistakes involved there, like picking out only the least important casualty of the lockdowns and portraying the protests as about just that, grossly exaggerating the death toll, and of course dismissing silently the thought that the lockdown is killing more people than it's saving.