Thursday, August 9, 2012

Logical Fallacy of the Week, Week 38: Argument to Moderation


(false compromise, middle ground, fallacy of the mean) – assuming that the compromise between two positions is always correct   "Middle ground" redirects here. For other uses, see Middle Ground (disambiguation).

 Argument to moderation (Latin: argumentum ad temperantiam, also known as middle ground, false compromise, gray fallacy and the golden mean fallacy) is a logical fallacy which asserts that the truth can be found as a compromise between two opposite positions.

As Vladimir Bukovsky puts it, the middle ground between the Big Lie of Soviet propaganda and the truth is a lie, and one should not be looking for a middle ground between disinformation and information. According to him, people from the Western pluralistic civilization are more prone to this fallacy because they used to resolve problems by making compromises and accept alternative interpretations, unlike Russians who are looking for the absolute truth.

An individual demonstrating this false compromise fallacy implies that the positions being considered represent extremes of a continuum of opinions, and that such extremes are always wrong, and the middle ground is always correct.  This is not always the case. Sometimes only X or Y is acceptable, with no middle ground possible.

Additionally, the middle ground fallacy allows any position to be invalidated, even those that have been reached by previous applications of the same method; all one must do is present yet another, radically opposed position, and the middle-ground compromise will be forced closer to that position. In politics, this is part of the basis behind Overton window theory.

My Take - Please take the time to review the Overton Window Theory.  I find that this is a common thread among leaders in every industry, including pest control.  The view is that it isn't a matter of right or is a matter of being acceptable.  However, did it ever occur to anyone that the reason a certain 'window' of thought is acceptable is because society has been misled, or at the very least, they haven't had the correct information available. 

I constantly hear the 'voices of reason' compromising with the greenies.  The problem is that it isn't a compromise because we never really get anything in return, except a brief respite of peace; just before the next onslaught of demands.  As time goes by we will have given everything up and received nothing.  It occurs to me that when people talk about a 'third way' that must mean there are at a least two other ways.  One seemingly right and one seemingly wrong.  Why can't we just take the right way?  Because it's tough to row against the tide!  But truth cannot be marginalized and no matter how much suffering it takes that is the road that must be travelled if we are to prevail against these green misanthropes. 

Our battle isn't just about business.  We man the wall in the war for public health.  If we are unwilling to stand on the wall and say, 'no one will harm you on my watch', then society is doomed.  Doomed as badly as the greenies have doomed the poor of the third world to lives of dystopia!

One last point.  Can anyone tell me what insurmountable obstacle was overcome by being reasonable?

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