FACTOID # 18: Alaska spends more money per capita on elementary and secondary education than any other state.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > False dichotomy

The logical fallacy of false dilemma, also known as fallacy of the excluded middle, false dichotomy, either/or dilemma or bifurcation, is to set up two alternative points of view as if they were the only options, when they are not.


Examples:

Either creationism must be true or Darwin's theory of evolution must be true. Therefore, if it is shown that Darwin's theory is false, then creationism must be true.

This argument is fallacious because its premise fails to recognize that there are many other possibilities than just Darwin's views and creationism. (If it were somehow proven that there were no other possibilities, then the logic would be sound. Until then, the argument is fallacious.)


False dilemmas are also common in politics. They are often hidden in (rhetorical) questions, and then become akin to the fallacy of many questions, as in:

Will you re-elect Lyndon Johnson, or face nuclear holocaust?
Are you with us, or with the terrorists?

A common use of the false dilemma is by parents trying to control the life-choices of teenagers:

Either you go to college, or you will wind up flipping hamburgers for a living.

The false dilemma fallacy refers to misuse of the or operator. For another misuse of "or", see the false choice fallacy. For misuse of the and operator, see package deal fallacy.


A false dilemma may involve three possibilities (in which case it is known as a trifurcation) or more presented as if they are the only options.


A term coined by Arthur Glasser, the founder of modern missiology, referring to the common Western practice of believing in ethical moral practices and a great God above, but with no interaction between the two levels on a regular basis- i.e. no miracles. Hence there is an "excluded middle" to the spirituality.


See also:


  Results from FactBites:
 
False dilemma - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (280 words)
The logical fallacy of false dilemma, which is also known as fallacy of the excluded middle, false dichotomy, either/or dilemma or bifurcation, involves a situation in which two alternative points of view are held to be the only options, when in reality there exist one or more alternate options which have not been considered.
The false dilemma fallacy refers to misuse of the or operator.
A false dilemma may not necessarily be limited to two choices; it may involve three possibilities, in which case it is known as a trifurcation, or more, in which case the dilemma may be more the result of accidental omission than deliberate intent.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m