False Dilemma Fallacy

Sometimes called the “either-or” fallacy, a false dilemma is a logical fallacy that presents only two options or sides when there are many options or sides. Essentially, a false dilemma presents a “black and white” kind of thinking when there are actually many shades of gray.

Person 1:

You’re either for the war or against the troops.

Person 2:

Actually, I do not want our troops sent into a dangerous war.

The comic below gives you a little insight into what this fallacy might look like. Observe as Captain Logic saves the day from faulty logic and the evil Dr. Fallacy!

False Dilemma logical fallacy comic with the evil Dr. Fallacy

False Dilemma logical fallacy comic with the OWL Superhero

In this comic, you’ll notice that Dr. Fallacy is presenting only two options, but the first person clearly has a middle position. You have to be really careful of this kind of fallacy, as it can really turn your audience away from your position. The world is complex, and the way people think is complex. If you dismiss that, you could lose the respect and interest of your audience.

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