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False alternatives

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DefinitionEdit

The arguer proposes a false either/or choice. The arguer claims that there are only two relevant choices when, in fact, there are more than two. False alternative fallacy, also called the "black or white fallacy, consists in

Pattern:
Either A or B.
Not A; therefore B.
(Other options, C, D, E . . . may exist)

ExampleEdit

This ad for Prop. 8, "California Proposition 8," commits the fallacy of false alternatives.

image from clip

More ExamplesEdit

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This ad supporting the War in Iraq commits the fallacy of false alternatives. The ad seems to claim, "If we pull out of Iraq now, The terrorists will attack us again." The two alternatives presented to us are A= Stay in Iraq. B= Terrorists win. This ad features John Kriesel who lost both his legs fighting in Iraq. He explains how he reenlisted in the Army after 9/11. He explains that he went to make sure that his sons can live in a safer country with less threat of attack. The ad ends with "No Time to Quit". He makes the claim that if we pull out of Iraq now, everything he has sacrificed will mean nothing and the terrorists will attack the United States again. These are not true alternatives because the people who attacked us were not from Afghanistan. Furthermore, there are likely many more effective strategies to combat terror than having American troops in Iraq.

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