False dilemma

The Logical Place

A false dilemma, or false dichotomy, is a logical fallacy that involves presenting two opposing views, options or outcomes in such a way that they seem to be the only possibilities: that is, if one is true, the other must be false, or, more typically, if you do not accept one then the other must be accepted. The reality in most cases is that there are many in-between or other alternative options, not just two mutually exclusive ones.

The logical form of this fallacy is as follows:

Premise 1: Either Claim X is true or Claim Y is true (when claims X and Y could both be false).

Premise 2: Claim Y is false.

Conclusion: Therefore Claim X is true.

This line of reasoning is fallacious because if both claims could be false, then it cannot be inferred that one is true because the other is false. This is…

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