I have added another paragraph to this fallacy.
A common argument against counter-terrorism measures is that more people are killed each year by road accidents than by terrorists. Whilst this statistic may be true, it is a false analogy and a red herring argument against counter-terrorism. It also ignores the fact that counter-terrorism deters and prevents more terrorist attacks than those that are eventually carried out.
This fallacious argument can be generalised as follows: ‘More people are killed by (fill-in-the-blank) than by terrorists, so why do we worry so much about terrorism?’ In recent media debates, the ‘blank’ has included not only road accidents, but also deaths from falling fridges and bathtub drownings. However, for current purposes let us assume that more people do die from road accidents than would have died from either prevented or successful terrorist attacks.
Whenever we travel in a car, most people are aware that there is a small but finite risk of…
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