Special pleading is when you state the rule and give an exception without giving any valid justification for the exception. It is a double-standard.  Consistency is needed and it is only fair.

Religion uses special pleading a lot. For example, Jesus comes along and you are told he heals all who ask. He heals nobody in your town though many beg. His disciples will then ad hoc. Special pleading only happens after a criticism or disproof emerges. So dishonest is it that it waits until after the unwanted embarrassing fact shows its face. Back to the expected cures. They will say that if nothing happened it may be because the inhabitants are evil or have no faith. It's an excuse for making the unwary immune to the truth. They are asking you to take their word for it that it is an exception. It's arrogant to say that the rule that applies to all people does not apply just because they say so. They are asking you to give them too much trust. They are cheating. They want their view to get special consideration that they will deny you and keep from you if you disagree with them.

Another example, they say, "Jesus rose bodily from the dead on the Third Day after he was crucified." You go in a time machine and into the tomb that morning and catch Peter and John trying to get the body out and see a cousin of Jesus' dressed up as him. You go back and tell the Christians. They say, "Satan stacked the deck so that you went back to the wrong time. Maybe they were practicing for a fraud but that does not mean Jesus didn't rise as we say and when we say."

Another example, "If you ask why the universe exists when there might not have been anything the answer is God created it from nothing." This says all things need a reason to exist but God is exempted. There is nothing wrong with the idea that there might have been absolutely nothing not even a God. If God depends on lies to be accepted then that makes atheism a better option in its own right and for your own protection from manipulators.

If God exists then God created the idea of God. The whole creation is about him and depends on him. So he has to implant the idea of a relationship with him in you.  This amounts to, "God gave me the idea of him and it is correct for he gave it to me." Bottom line, you are really saying you know this because you know this. It is about you pretending to be infallible in this thing not God.  You reject circles like that in most things and perhaps in everything else.  A circular argument is combined then with special pleading.

Special pleading leads to bigger examples of special pleading.  It needs to fool and suck others in to succeed.  It is dangerous. 

Cherry picking is often called the fallacy of exclusion or the fallacy of incomplete evidence. It is about picking out the evidence that suits what you want others to believe or what you want you to believe as if the contrary evidence is not there. It is not letting the evidence, that includes the person who is pointing you to it, that does not suit you speak and thus amounts to lying and bullying.  The person engaging in special pleading will use it for a when they could use it for b so they are cherry-pickers. Call them out.

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