Sep 15, 2011

Posted by in Fallacy of the Week | 0 Comments

Fallacy of the Week – Bifurcation

Bifurcation _ the supposition that there are only two mutually exclusive outcomes, when there may, in fact, be several. Also known as the “black and white” fallacy, the false dilemma fallacy and “either-or” fallacy.

Example:

“You either have faith, or you have reason. Which is it?”

There are many more outcomes; you could have faith and reason, no faith and no reason or variations of these. They place faith and reason at two opposite ends and suppose them to be mutually exclusive.

The person committing this fallacy assigns their definition to the words faith and reason. They assume that the argument is limited to these two false absolutes.

Bifurcation – “The stoplight is either red or green, it can’t be both!” No in fact, it may be yellow.

 

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