Social Question

YARNLADY's avatar

Why do people think that citing a worse offense somehow excuses their transgressions?

Asked by YARNLADY (42627points) February 10th, 2010

A question about pot use always brings out alcohol abuse or cigarette use, a speeding driver is not as bad as a drunk driver, a liar is not as bad as a cheater.

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14 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

I don’t think it’s an excuse so much an example of how much worse it could be.

ChaosCross's avatar

I would say with all honesty, considering of course we are talking about a situation in which someone is being accused. It is a person’s attempt to overshadow something worse to draw attention away from themselves. In other words, a part of human nature.

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

They don’t think it excuses their transgression so much as it distracts attention from it. If a man in cardiac arrest has a broken femur, you don’t splint his leg first.

trumi's avatar

Hey, at least I’m not like John Mayer!

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

and at least I’m not like that YARNLADY, asking all these busy-body questions…........... * wink *

borderline_blonde's avatar

I agree with @Dan_DeColumna – it’s a way to distract… a form of stigma management. Most people want to be viewed in a positive light, so they feel they can save face by putting their own issues in a new perspective for their audience.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I believe it’s a form of rationalization. It’s the mind’s way of assuaging itself or providing solace to itself.

davidbetterman's avatar

Because alcohol abuse or cigarette use is/are far more grievous than pot smoking.

susanc's avatar

Not that this tactic works. Its just the only thing some people can think of.
“Oh yeah? Well what about what YOU did last Thursday?” Displacement. Very crude.

galileogirl's avatar

It really is unacceptable beyond the age of 10 along with” I’m rubber and you’re glue” or “The dog did it”

YARNLADY's avatar

@galileogirl The dog did it – I love it

Cupcake's avatar

I thought you were talking about citing in a research paper and I was very confused.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Well, shoot. It’s not like I murdered someone, for gosh sakes. Citing a worse offense isn’t so bad, when you compare it to what I could have done.

Trillian's avatar

@YARNLADY I believe that only people with a certain mentality use this as a defense. To their limited way of thinking, they can justify pretty much anything they do because someone else has done worse. This same person has a victim mentality and generally cannot admit, ever to having done wrong. No matter the offense, it will have been; because they were provoked, that the other person deserved it, sigh, I can’t even get into the myriad self serving excuses that these people use. It is my opinion that people like this are not worth my time trying to reason with as they cannot get past the idea that nothing they do is wrong. Or if it is, it is somehow justified. This, to me, indicates a lack of honesty, and a dissociative state that is out of touch with reality. If dissociative state is too strong of a term, I here beg leave to apologize. My brain feels stuffed with cotton, and I’m not operating at full capacity. I’m sure that there is a more appropriate term, I just can’t think of it.

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