First, I’d like to know the technical term for this fallacy, and then I’d like at least one down-to-earth example that I can refer to in a section heading.
Background: Down Syndrome tends to feature some cognitive impairment, but this can range from mild to moderate etc. etc. A nasty guy is arguing that Student’s intellectual disability is moderate, rather than mild. However, as offensive as his insistence on that point is, it’s still irrelevant, because Student still has the right to a Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). (The nasty guy is suggesting that because Student’s impairment is moderate, Student’s IEP goals are wildly undoable. But IDEA 2004 guarantees Student the right to FAPE regardless. FAPE would still be guaranteed even if the impairment were profound. FAPE is FAPE, and IDEA is for everyone.)
I can explain it in the document I’m drafting, exactly as I explained it here, but I would also like to label it for the fallacious argument that it is. For example, another section of my draft is called
Individualization vs. Least Restrictive Environment: A False Dichotomy
That one is okay as is, because everybody and his cousin understands false dichotomy.
He’s making an Irrelevant Conclusion:
He seems to be arguing for what he wishes the state of the universe SHOULD BE, without dealing with the relevant practical argument you are making about what the legal state of the real universe ACTUALLY IS, and thus, what he is OBLIGATED to do.
He’s making an argument for an irrelevant conclusion: nobody cares if he thinks resources should be withheld from a category of differently able person based on some category criteria he wants the rest of us to follow.
We already have a system that provides a full measure of help, no matter the subjective degree of ability of the subject person, and so unless mister man has the power to force his will upon everyone else, he’s making an irrelevant argument for a possible political future he wants others to adopt, instead of coping with the pragmatic matter at hand: delivering whatever help that active, real law currently says is to be delivered to the subject.
Consider this part of this wiki article:
● Example 2: A and B are debating about the law.
A: Does the law allow me to do that?
B: The law should allow you to do that because this and that.
B missed the point. The question was not if the law should allow, but if it does or not.