On Logical Fallacies, Part 4

"You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace."
-Frank McCourt
 Today will conclude our series on logical fallacies. While there are more logical fallacies than just what's been covered in this month, my hope is that this basic overview will cause your analysis to be easier and more effective. So let's begin this final post in the series.

The first of today's fallacies will be the black or white fallacy, also commonly known as false dilemma or false dichotomy. A simple fallacy, this assumes that there are only two possibilities, when in reality, more possibilities exist. For the sake of example, you could claim that either one God exists, the God of the Bible, or else Darwinian evolution is true. While these seem to be the most popular opinions, there are other opinions such as pantheism, deism, etc. While I don't believe those opinions to be accurate, they still exist.

On the flip side, we have the middle ground fallacy. This fallacy assumes that the middle ground between two points of view must be the truth. This could involve a compromise, or combining the two points of view. For example, with the previous example of Darwinian evolution vs. the God of the Bible, the middle ground would be theistic evolution- the belief that God used evolution to create the universe. While the middle ground can sometimes be the truth, that doesn't make it necessary. Sometimes the truth is black or white. Sometimes the truth is the middle ground. But to assume either of these is a fallacy.

Finally, let's look at the loaded question fallacy. This fallacy involves asking a question with a presumption built into it, so that no matter what the person answers, they seem guilty. A common example of this is the question, "Have you stopped beating your wife?" If you say yes, you're admitting that you once beat your wife. On the other hand, if you say no, you're implying that you currently beat your wife. If you're prepared for this, you can get around it. "No, I haven't stopped, because I never started, and therefore don't have the ability to stop." Of course, if the question is even asked, it's already planted seeds in the minds of whoever's listening. But even worse is when you aren't expecting the question. You start to backpedal, and it puts you on the defensive. You look like you're trying to cover something up, when in reality, you're being attacked with fallacies.

With that, we'll conclude this series on logical fallacies. Hopefully, this will make recognizing and avoiding logical fallacies easier and more effective. If you'd like to learn more about logical fallacies, you can Google "list of logical fallacies," and you should get multiple results. Some of them are more complex than others. The site that I used when I was first learning about logical fallacies was https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ , and I still use it when I'm looking for more detail about a logical fallacy. Next week, posts should return to various types of logical analysis.
"You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant."
-Harlan Ellison

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