Time for another #FallacyFriday! Every week, Oliver Diaz Neda will post a logical fallacy and an example to help you all become better debaters, persuaders and rational thinkers. What is a logical fallacy? It is defined as – a flaw in the structure of an argument which renders the argument invalid.
This week’s fallacy is going to be instantly familiar with anyone who has debated someone holding a radical or absolutist position. It’s the bane of my personal existence, and highly relevant in the current political climate.
False Dilemma (Black or White)
False dilemma fallacies, as their more common nickname alludes, are formed when a debater presents an issue as a very narrow choice between two opposing options. This fallacy presents itself as an either/or choice between two positions, completely discounting the multiple variables, contexts or possibilities that could rationally exist between the presented options. This tactic shuts down reasonable debate.
Did you see the President’s announcement about his executive orders regarding guns last night? What do you think?
No. Why would I? This President wants to take our guns away and shred the 2nd amendment! Would you support a President who is ready to ban, confiscate and abolish our right to own guns, wouldn’t you rather support a President who actually believes in the constitution and appreciates our rights?
That is not what he proposed. There is nothing in his proposal that would stop you from legally purchasing a gun… nothing that takes away the individual right to bear arms.
Yeah, sure. First he is going to make laws himself like he did with this executive order, then he is going to come for our guns. I’m shocked you would support that too.
Did you catch that?
In his two statements, Stan utilized two logical fallacies – slippery slope and false dilemma.
Stan, not caring to understand the particular issue at hand while debating about a specific policy, attempts to make his case by presenting a false choice that has no bearing in facts or reasoning. Don’t be a Stan.