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I heard someone use a phrase that I thought perfectly captures this but can't remember it. It was used in a situation where what someone did was clearly wrong, but they pointed out that everyone else was doing the same thing.

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    Might the phrase have involved either lemmings or a bandwagon? Jun 24, 2020 at 15:14
  • The standard parent's response is "Just because everyone does it doesn't mean you should."
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 24, 2020 at 15:31
  • "Caving to peer pressure"? Jun 24, 2020 at 15:39
  • 'If the enemy is an ass and a fool and a prating coxcomb, is it meet, think you, that we should also, look you, be an ass and a fool and a prating coxcomb, in your own conscience, now?' Jun 24, 2020 at 16:24

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The bandwagon fallacy assumes something is true (or right, or good) because other people agree with it.

That's the last one of 15 Logical Fallacies You Should Know Before Getting Into a Debate.


And from Bandwagon Fallacy Examples on yourdictionary.com...

The bandwagon fallacy~ describes believing something is true or acceptable only because it is popular. The fallacy is also known as "jumping on the bandwagon" or argumentum ad populum ("appeal to the people").


In the common vernacular, people often mock this particular fallacy with variations on...

Eat shit, millions of flies can't be wrong!

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If the behavior is specifically self-destructive, there’s the expression “if everyone jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?”. This can often be found with slightly different wording, such as “your friends” instead of “everyone” and “a bridge” as the medium to jump off of.

For example:

“If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you jump too”? is parents’ way to tell their children that stupid and dangerous behavior should not be copied thoughtlessly. —Medium

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    It seems to be Argumentum ad populum - "a fallacious argument that concludes that a proposition must be true because many or most people believe it, often concisely encapsulated as: "If many believe so, it is so".en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum
    – Greybeard
    Jun 24, 2020 at 21:15
  • @Greybeard, You are correct, and I believe argumentum ad populum would merit a separate answer.
    – rajah9
    Jun 25, 2020 at 13:28
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This logical fallacy is also called

Appeal to popularity

Kid: Why won't you drive me to school? All the other parents drive their kids to school. ...

Parent: That was an Aristotelian enthymeme, dear! ...

Meantime, if you feel especially obnoxious, name the fallacy: the appeal to popularity, which legitimizes your choice by claiming that others have chosen it. My children would rather suffer an old-fashioned caning than hear me label their fallacies.

(Source: Heinrichs, Jay, Thank you for arguing, pp. 140-141)

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It seems to be Argumentum ad populum - "a fallacious argument that concludes that a proposition must be true because many or most people believe it, often concisely encapsulated as: "If many believe so, it is so". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum

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