Sunday, May 6, 2012

Logical Fallacy of the Week, Week 31: Fallacy of the False Dilemma

“No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.” H.L. Mencken, September 19, 1926 - “Notes on Journalism”

False dilemma -  A false dilemma (also called false dichotomy, the either-or fallacy, fallacy of false choice, black-and-white thinking, or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses) is a type of logical fallacy that involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option. The options may be a position that is between the two extremes (such as when there are shades of grey) or may be a completely different alternative….

A number of examples are listed here, but my choice would be the rationale used by greenies and their ilk for all of their actions regarding pesticides, synthetic chemicals, fertilizers, vaccinations, energy production, etc.  RK

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