Either-or Fallacy

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Arguments are common in all everyday life. Children argue with their parents, siblings argue with each other, and politicians argue with their opponents. One of the most popular types of arguments is the either-or fallacy, also known as black-and-white thinking, a false dilemma, or a fallacy of false choice. In the either-or fallacy, one side argues that there are only two resolutions to an issue, despite there possibly being hundreds. Fallacy is a misleading or deceptive notion, so by its very definition it should be obvious that the either-or fallacy is a weak argumentative style. People who use the either-or fallacy usually don’t have much evidence to prove their point, and therefore instead try to almost bully their opponents. By only presenting two sides, the arguer is trying to make their opponent choose between two options that appeal to the arguer. For example, opponents of legalizing marijuana argue that “all drugs must be legalized, or all drugs must continue to be banned”. This writer ignores the many options and variations to this argument, like only legalizing marijuana, and keeping the more harmful drugs illegal. Another example would be that “all people are either cat or dog people”. People could just as easily prefer no pets at all, or maybe they prefer reptiles, or birds. When coming up with an argumentative essay, it is best to avoid the either-or fallacy, and instead build your argument on facts and relevant examples. By presenting that an argument only has two resolutions, a shadow is cast on the entire argument that perhaps the writer has something to hide. To present the best fight for a cause, be open and honest and reveal all of the evidence.
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