False dilemma arguments obscure the fact that alternative possibilities might exist that are different from either of the presented options. But each is to a product that we've researched and highly recommend. For example, a person may claim that you must believe either their view or an alternate absurd view. There is room for alternate possibilities in these scenarios. False dilemmas are informal fallacies so their deficiencies can’t be explained by their logical form alone. For example, somebody uses false dichotomy when they say, "Stacey spoke out against socialism, therefore she must be a fascist." There many sensible options possible in a situation like this. Given that false dichotomies are so prevalent in everyday discourse, knowing how to respond to them is important. Argument: “You can’t both believe in science and be religious. Counter: This is an extremely common argumentative pattern that even professional biologists fall into sometimes. Two choices are presented, when more might exist, and the claim is made that one is false and one is true-or one is acceptable and the other is not. The first is to go with him to that party, and the other one is to sit bored at home. In that sense, false dichotomies share many features with a straw man fallacy. A false dichotomy is typically used in an argument to force your opponent into an extreme position -- by making the assumption that there are only two positions. Child to parent: Either you buy me this new book, or you decide that reading is not important at all. A false dilemma is often used as an aggressive form of influencing such as propaganda.The following are illustrative examples. So, here, the only sensible alternative seems to be going to the party with the speaker, since who would want to sit bored at home? A false dilemma (sometimes called false dichotomy) is a type of informal, correlative-based fallacy in which a statement falsely claims or assumes an "either/or" situation, when in fact there is at least one additional logically valid option. There are two kinds of people in this world: those who like hot peppers and those who don’t. After all, several great scientists were fairly religious themselves. 9 Bandwagon Fallacy Examples to Prevent Poor Decisions, 5 Red Herring Fallacy Examples to Fight Irrelevant Information, 9 Middle Ground Fallacy Examples to Spot During an Argument, >> Click to Grab the FREE Book: The Morning Routine for Peak Performance<<. Here’s one that is relevant to contemporary events. A person’s environment and genetics interact in seamless and reciprocal ways, so it’s incorrect to say that any one particular trait is a strict result of a person’s DNA or of their environment. When you reason from an either-or position and you haven't considered all relevant possibilities you commit the fallacy of false dilemma. Here is an example you might have run into in your everyday life. False dichotomies make one or both of two very important assumptions about the starting premises of the argument. For instance, a person might claim that their opponent’s view commits them to believing either A or B, where A and B are absurd possibilities. Well, by doing so, authors are both limiting the readers’ options and their imagination. His claim has been rightfully presented as an example of a false dichotomy fallacy. Moreover, the two options presented are rigged to favour one answer. The choice between the two is not necessarily mutually exclusive. The range is false because there may be other, unstated choices which would only serve to undermine the original argument. All numbers are either rational or irrational and no number can be both. Obviously, extending social support to poor immigrants and extending social support to poor native-born Americans are compatible courses of action. 6 False Dichotomy Examples 1. If you believe in science, you must reject the claims of religion and religious experience.”. This example is pretty silly, but it illustrates an important point about how black-and-white thinking can cloud our judgment. The fact that the argument ignores a third possibility is precisely what makes it a false dichotomy. And that’s just what false dichotomy is, a failure of reasoning. People often encounter false dilemmas in the context of debates surrounding science and religion.