A False Dichotomy: Be Patsies, or Be Like Them

 

I’m pretty much a broken record on the theme of speaking out, arguing that conservatives have to express conservative ideas boldly, and as clearly and with as much grace as we can muster. One common response to this is the claim that we’ve tried that and it hasn’t worked, and that now we have to adopt the techniques of our opponents.

I ran into this just today, when I suggested on another thread that the woke practice of “doxxing” (publishing personal information about private citizens) and getting people fired for the things they say or do on their own time was something we conservatives should not embrace. I’ve tried to make the same point on other occasions about such things as violating people’s first amendment rights, electoral cheating, and lying to further the conservative agenda. These are all things our opponents do. I don’t think that we should do them.

A lot of people seem to be of the opinion that we really have tried boldly speaking out, and that that’s now been proven to be inadequate. I don’t believe that. I think that the majority of conservatives are “normal” Americans (which Old Bathos very competently described in this comment), and normal Americans are reluctant to counter the prevailing media/academic/entertainment narrative that ever-faster seeps like a miasma into every facet of our lives.

Most of us don’t want to be the cranky relative at the family gathering arguing that mask mandates probably do more harm than good. Most of us don’t want to be the one who points out that BLM is a fraud. Most of us don’t want to be the insensitive so-and-so who argues that the “trans” movement is a dangerous fad, that America is as far from a racist country as one is likely to get, and that what torments our black communities is bad policies and broken culture, not anti-black bigotry.

So most of us don’t speak out. Many aren’t equipped — with information, temperament, or opportunity — to express those views. Others are worried about the professional or social blowback. There are lots of reasons why conservatives tend to be quiet, but the reality is that we do.

Pay attention to how free progressives are to give vent to their opinions. People who parrot the conventional leftist narrative clearly feel safe repeating what they hear on the radio and television, read in the paper, learn in school. It’s the air they breathe — that we all breathe. It takes no boldness or real conviction to go along with what looks like the majority view — even if it isn’t really the majority view.

Those of us who can speak up without endangering our livelihoods have to do so, and do so in ways that other normal people find persuasive and inspiring. We have to be reasonably well informed, well self-controlled, and understand that others need our example so that they, too, feel more free to stand up and be heard.

We have the advantage that we make sense and they do not. Most Americans still believe the things we believe. They just don’t realize that they’re in the majority, and that, if they speak out, they’ll be joined by others.

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  1. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Follow RushBabe49.com for incendiary language, no punches pulled, except one.  I have always spoken my mind on my blog, since inception in 2010.  Because of it, I have been essentially expelled from what family I have, and I have lost friends.  But it’s their loss, not mine.  And my blog is not just political, either.  I do photography posts each weekend (Lens-artists Photo Challenge), and write-ups on our various travels in and away from our home in Western Washington.  If you register, you can comment on my posts, and “like” them.

    • #1
  2. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    Henry Racette:

    <edit>

    Most of us don’t want to be the cranky relative at the family gathering arguing that mask mandates probably do more harm than good. Most of us don’t want to be the one who points out that BLM is a fraud. Most of us don’t want to be the insensitive so-and-so who argues that the “trans” movement is a dangerous fad, that America is as far from a racist country as one is likely to get, and that what torments our black communities is bad policies and broken culture, not anti-black bigotry.

    So most of us don’t speak out. Many aren’t equipped — with information, temperament, or opportunity — to express those views. Others are worried about the professional or social blow-back. There are lots of reasons why conservatives tend to be quiet, but the reality is that we do.

    <edit>

    I did speak out, gently, since I know well that I hold minority opinions in my workplace, back something like October.  Last month, I got an ambush call from HR and was accused of pretty much every -ism in the book.  We have a “speak up culture” in my workplace, I was told, and people who felt offended–even by the truth–could report those who hurt their tender little feelings.  No repercussions to the reporter, regardless of the truthfulness (what was true was absolutely minimal) of their claim.  The action was dropped when I pushed back and spoke with a prominent civil rights attorney, but I have no idea who my accusers were and am not permitted to know.  They get protection; I get a hostile workplace, since I actually have no idea who out there complained (and lied!).  Funny, it turned out said attorney had a conflict of interest, as others in his firm had business with my employer, and couldn’t represent me.  Too bad; it would have been fun to expose their utter moral bankruptcy.  So, instead I keep my head down and count the days (unfortunately years are involved) to retirement.  

     

    • #2
  3. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    This is the first apology I have seen in a long time for our position on the fundamental issue dividing Ricochet. 

    Thanks, well said.

    • #3
  4. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    There should only be one set of rules.  If it is okay for me to be doxxed, then it is perfectly fine for me to doxx people.  I refuse to accept a standard that says it’s only okay if they do it.  If  Antifa can riot, the Proud Boys can show up to stop them.  If people get fired for conservative political positions, then it is okay for people to be fired for liberal political positions.

    One standard.

    • #4
  5. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    False dilemma.

    A false dichotomy means we’re being asked to choose between only one of two options when we can actually have both.

    A false dilemma is when we’re being asked to choose one of two options when we can actually reject both.

    • #5
  6. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    There should only be one set of rules. If it is okay for me to be doxxed, then it is perfectly fine for me to doxx people. I refuse to accept a standard that says it’s only okay if they do it. If Antifa can riot, the Proud Boys can show up to stop them. If people get fired for conservative political positions, then it is okay for people to be fired for liberal political positions.

    One standard.

    And that one standard changes when your little sister (the enemy) knocks over your (the good guy’s) lego building. The standard of that one act is now the standard that applies to you. You can throw her doll in the toilet. 

     You have perfectly described the ethical system of a society of small children. 

    In even the most primitive societies, instilling a replacement ethical system for the inborn set of rules of children is the job of parents and teachers.

    • #6
  7. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    There should only be one set of rules. If it is okay for me to be doxxed, then it is perfectly fine for me to doxx people. I refuse to accept a standard that says it’s only okay if they do it. If Antifa can riot, the Proud Boys can show up to stop them. If people get fired for conservative political positions, then it is okay for people to be fired for liberal political positions.

    One standard.

    And that one standard changes when your little sister (the enemy) knocks over your (the good guy’s) lego building. The standard of that one act is now the standard that applies to you. You can throw her doll in the toilet.

    You have perfectly described the ethical system of a society of small children.

    In even the most primitive societies, instilling a replacement ethical system for the inborn set of rules of children is the job of parents and teachers.

    Mark, the standard that you dismiss as the ethical system of a society of small children is the precise standard that our country used to justify its involvement in WWII.  It is the same standard that we use to justify executing a murderer.  It is the same standard that we use to justify imprisoning a criminal.

     

    • #7
  8. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    False dilemma.

    A false dichotomy means we’re being asked to choose between only one of two options when we can actually have both.

    A false dilemma is when we’re being asked to choose one of two options when we can actually reject both.

    SA, you could be correct; indeed, I’d be crazy to doubt you, since you’re an academic sort.

    But I wonder if you’re making a distinction that isn’t made in common usage. In their book Critical Thinking: A Concise Guide, authors Tracy Bowell and Gary Kemp offer this definition:

    false dichotomy:

    The false dichotomy is a logical fallacy in which only a limited number of options are considered in a situation when, in fact, there may very well be more options left unconsidered. Frequently, the person making the argument might express an assumption that there are only two options to choose from. This fallacy is often present in making false assumptions that if a person does not agree with X, they must necessarily be anti-X, when in reality they may hold some intermediate position or be undecided.

    As that was precisely the meaning I intended, and since I haven’t encountered a compelling reference that clearly distinguishes between the terms or confirms the definitions as you’ve offered them, I’m going to refrain from changing my title.

    I can, of course, be persuaded that I’m in error. I’m a rational man, after all.

    • #8
  9. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Henry Racette:

    So most of us don’t speak out. Many aren’t equipped — with information, temperament, or opportunity — to express those views. Others are worried about the professional or social blow-back. There are lots of reasons why conservatives tend to be quiet, but the reality is that we do.

    Pay attention to how free progressives are to give vent to their opinions. People who parrot the conventional leftist narrative clearly feel safe repeating what they hear on the radio and television, read in the paper, learn in school. It’s the air they breathe — that we all breathe. It takes no boldness or real conviction to go along with what looks like the majority view — even if it isn’t really the majority view.

    The other day at the gym I was among several folks milling around and chatting in the few minutes before a class started. I am cordial with all these people but don’t know them well. Someone mentioned a trip to Florida and one of the women said, “Oh, I hope you’re careful, they’ve had a really high covid case rate.” And then the instructor appeared and we all started the class.

    Now I happen to know that Florida is in the middle of the pack as far as sheer numbers, and among the high performers for most other pandemic metrics. But it’s not easy (or friendly, or interesting, or persuasive) to correct an acquaintance in front of other people about this. 

    And this is just one teeny example in the life of a nondescript middle aged lady in suburban northern Virginia. What are you envisioning in these types of scenarios? I must have ten of these per day.

    • #9
  10. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Electoral fraud will continue, will even get worse, until the Conservatives get better at it than the Progressives.  Then all will agree to put an end to it.  

    • #10
  11. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    There should only be one set of rules. If it is okay for me to be doxxed, then it is perfectly fine for me to doxx people. I refuse to accept a standard that says it’s only okay if they do it. If Antifa can riot, the Proud Boys can show up to stop them. If people get fired for conservative political positions, then it is okay for people to be fired for liberal political positions.

    One standard.

    I find this comment challenging for a few reasons. Let’s take it appart.

    There should only be one set of rules.

    There should only be one set of laws, certainly, under which we’re all treated the same, and that’s the case. But your meaning, I think, is that there should be one moral code of conduct, one set of rules by which decent people would choose to live. That invites the question: who gets to make that code of conduct? I suggest that we each have to choose that for ourselves, and then attempt to live within it. How we deal with people who don’t conform to our own moral code is broadly, within the law, up to us.

    If it is okay for me to be doxxed, then it is perfectly fine for me to doxx people.

    Okay by whose code of conduct? It isn’t okay by my code of conduct, even if other people think it’s okay. I’m unwilling to say that something is morally okay just because other people think it’s morally okay. If you are saying that you are comfortable with that, I think you’re placing yourself in a precarious moral position.

    I refuse to accept a standard that says it’s only okay if they do it.

    Perfectly sensible. One possibility, then, would be to say that it’s not okay if they do it, even if they think it’s okay. Another would be to say that it must be okay if they do it, even if you would have otherwise thought it wasn’t okay. That doesn’t make any sense to me, but it sounds like what you’re saying.

    One standard.

    The only way you’ll achieve that is to embrace the standards others embrace for themselves. I’m not willing to let others tell me what I should consider morally correct. I’ll decide for myself, and have my own standard.

     

    • #11
  12. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio&hellip; (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    There should only be one set of rules. If it is okay for me to be doxxed, then it is perfectly fine for me to doxx people. I refuse to accept a standard that says it’s only okay if they do it. If Antifa can riot, the Proud Boys can show up to stop them. If people get fired for conservative political positions, then it is okay for people to be fired for liberal political positions.

    One standard.

    And that one standard changes when your little sister (the enemy) knocks over your (the good guy’s) lego building. The standard of that one act is now the standard that applies to you. You can throw her doll in the toilet.

    You have perfectly described the ethical system of a society of small children.

    In even the most primitive societies, instilling a replacement ethical system for the inborn set of rules of children is the job of parents and teachers.

    Mark, the standard that you dismiss as the ethical system of a society of small children is the precise standard that our country used to justify its involvement in WWII. It is the same standard that we use to justify executing a murderer. It is the same standard that we use to justify imprisoning a criminal.

     

    I don’t think that’s fair, Jerry. There’s a difference between defining punitive responses to criminal acts, on the one hand, and deciding to embrace the moral position of an adversary, on the other.

    A murderer deprives the victim of due process. The execution of a murder follows the application of due process. Those are profoundly different things. What Mr. Paladin is arguing for is the rejection of standards of conduct in favor of retaliation: in essence, “it’s okay to murder murderers, without regard to due process.”

    • #12
  13. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    False dilemma.

    A false dichotomy means we’re being asked to choose between only one of two options when we can actually have both.

    A false dilemma is when we’re being asked to choose one of two options when we can actually reject both.

    SA, you could be correct; indeed, I’d be crazy to doubt you, since you’re an academic sort.

    But I wonder if you’re making a distinction that isn’t made in common usage. In their book Critical Thinking: A Concise Guide, authors Tracy Bowell and Gary Kemp offer this definition:

    [Sigh.]  Looks like a flawed textbook.

    Not that I haven’t made the mistake of merging the two myself.  But it’s a rookie mistake, and I was a rookie, and I’ve moved on.

    false dichotomy:

    The false dichotomy is a logical fallacy in which only a limited number of options are considered in a situation when, in fact, there may very well be more options left unconsidered. Frequently, the person making the argument might express an assumption that there are only two options to choose from.

    That’s one pattern of argument (false dilemma pattern).

    This fallacy is often present in making false assumptions that if a person does not agree with X, they must necessarily be anti-X, when in reality they may hold some intermediate position or be undecided.

    That’s one another pattern (false dichotomy pattern).

    Not that the patterns don’t both occur in the same argument sometimes.  But they’re still different patterns.

    “You must be a Christian or an atheist!” is a false dilemma because you can be a Muslim or a Hindu, etc.

    “You must criticize either Trump’s bad behavior, or else Biden’s; make up your mind!” is a false dichotomy because I can criticize both.

    “You must love BLM or love Q-Anon; choose now!” is both kinds of fallacy because it’s possible to love both, and it’s also possible to love neither.

    As that was precisely the meaning I intended, and since I haven’t encountered a compelling reference that clearly distinguishes between the terms or confirms the definitions as you’ve offered them, I’m going to refrain from changing my title.

    I can, of course, be persuaded that I’m in error. I’m a rational man, after all.

    You don’t need me.  Use the dictionary.  (And if the leftists change it because they hate language and logic, find an old-fashioned hard copy!)

    dichotomy is a separation, a division.  A dilemma is a choice.  So a fallacious dichotomy is a fallacious separation of two options that need not be separated, and a fallacious dilemma is a fallacious choice between two options that we need not choose between.

    • #13
  14. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Henry Racette:

    So most of us don’t speak out. Many aren’t equipped — with information, temperament, or opportunity — to express those views. Others are worried about the professional or social blow-back. There are lots of reasons why conservatives tend to be quiet, but the reality is that we do.

    Pay attention to how free progressives are to give vent to their opinions. People who parrot the conventional leftist narrative clearly feel safe repeating what they hear on the radio and television, read in the paper, learn in school. It’s the air they breathe — that we all breathe. It takes no boldness or real conviction to go along with what looks like the majority view — even if it isn’t really the majority view.

    The other day at the gym I was among several folks milling around and chatting in the few minutes before a class started. I am cordial with all these people but don’t know them well. Someone mentioned a trip to Florida and one of the women said, “Oh, I hope you’re careful, they’ve had a really high covid case rate.” And then the instructor appeared and we all started the class.

    Now I happen to know that Florida is in the middle of the pack as far as sheer numbers, and among the high performers for most other pandemic metrics. But it’s not easy (or friendly, or interesting, or persuasive) to correct an acquaintance in front of other people about this.

    And this is just one teeny example in the life of a nondescript middle aged lady in suburban northern Virginia. What are you envisioning in these types of scenarios? I must have ten of these per day.

    Charlotte, it isn’t always possible or appropriate to get into a discussion: if you’re about to start an aerobics class (or similar), it probably isn’t a good opportunity to try to hold anyone’s interest.

    But, when time permits, it’s perfectly possible to say “actually, the last time I looked, Florida was doing at least as well as the states that locked down, and their economy is far better. I was reading a piece by Charles Cooke at National Review just today that talked about how normal things have been in Florida — and yet the state has done pretty well on the death rate and very well economically,” etc.

    That’s how I try to do it. There are some common sense rules I try to follow (not always successfully):

    1. Always be polite and never lose your temper. Avoid seeming like a bully.
    2. Never argue with a person on the left unless there’s an audience that might be persuaded. Otherwise it’s just a frustrating waste of time and energy. Always remember that you’re speaking to the audience; they’re the ones you want to win over.
    3. Always be truthful in your arguments.
    4. Be reasonably well informed, and keep it simple and focused on things the audience values.
    5. Never argue with an intoxicated person.

    Sometimes there are opportunities to do that. Sometimes it just isn’t the right time. It isn’t always easy. But I think more of us have to do it, and more often.

    • #14
  15. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio&hellip; (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    There should only be one set of rules. If it is okay for me to be doxxed, then it is perfectly fine for me to doxx people. I refuse to accept a standard that says it’s only okay if they do it. If Antifa can riot, the Proud Boys can show up to stop them. If people get fired for conservative political positions, then it is okay for people to be fired for liberal political positions.

    One standard.

    And that one standard changes when your little sister (the enemy) knocks over your (the good guy’s) lego building. The standard of that one act is now the standard that applies to you. You can throw her doll in the toilet.

    You have perfectly described the ethical system of a society of small children.

    In even the most primitive societies, instilling a replacement ethical system for the inborn set of rules of children is the job of parents and teachers.

    Mark, the standard that you dismiss as the ethical system of a society of small children is the precise standard that our country used to justify its involvement in WWII. It is the same standard that we use to justify executing a murderer. It is the same standard that we use to justify imprisoning a criminal.

     

    I don’t think that’s fair, Jerry. There’s a difference between defining punitive responses to criminal acts, on the one hand, and deciding to embrace the moral position of an adversary, on the other.

    A murderer deprives the victim of due process. The execution of a murder follows the application of due process. Those are profoundly different things. What Mr. Paladin is arguing for is the rejection of standards of conduct in favor of retaliation: in essence, “it’s okay to murder murderers, without regard to due process.”

    I was making a broader point, Hank, that retaliation is generally accepted as a principle of moral action.

    I agree with you about due process, when it comes to punishment for crime, but this is not actually a moral question for me.  It is a practical system for avoiding error.

    I don’t think that you’re accurately characterizing OmegaPaladin’s position.  First of all, he’s not talking about killing anyone.  He’s talking about having the same set of rules for everybody.  I think that he has a good point.

    There are obvious cliches about this.  Turnabout is fair play.  What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    I don’t think that the correct answer is obvious, in these circumstances.

    • #15
  16. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Hank, about the OP:  I’m not so optimistic that the majority of Americans agree with us.  They certainly aren’t voting like they agree with us.

    I do hope that we’ll reach a breaking point soon.  I’m surprised that it’s taken this long.  I thought that Obama’s election in 2008 would lead to a serious repudiation.  There was the whole Tea Party thing in 2010, but then it fizzled.  The radical Leftist agenda just marched on.

    I’m old enough to remember that, in 2008, the voters of California rejected same-sex marriage in a statewide referendum.  This seems to have made no difference at all.  Obama ran on a traditional marriage platform.  He was lying, of course — in my opinion — but that was his official position.

    I’m also frustrated enough to view the suggestion in the OP as an invitation to unilateral disarmament.  It’s troubling, because I don’t really want to start doxxing people.

    • #16
  17. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    You don’t need me.  Use the dictionary.  (And if the leftists change it because they hate language and logic, find an old-fashioned hard copy!)

    dichotomy is a separation, a division.

    But, as I understand it, “dichotomy” derives from the Greek dichotomía, which means, literally, “dividing in two.” The “di-” prefix means “two,” as in two choices.

    The false dichotomy is false because it isn’t in fact a dichotomy at all: there are more than two choices.

    Consistent with that, and per Webster, the first definition reads:

     a division into two especially mutually exclusive or contradictory groups or entities

     

     

    • #17
  18. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    false dichotomy:

    The false dichotomy is a logical fallacy in which only a limited number of options are considered in a situation when, in fact, there may very well be more options left unconsidered. Frequently, the person making the argument might express an assumption that there are only two options to choose from. This fallacy is often present in making false assumptions that if a person does not agree with X, they must necessarily be anti-X, when in reality they may hold some intermediate position or be undecided.

    That’s what I had thought it meant, except that in my reality, rather than an intermediate position, I hold a position that is more extreme than either of the two choices that were offered. 

    • #18
  19. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    false dichotomy:

    The false dichotomy is a logical fallacy in which only a limited number of options are considered in a situation when, in fact, there may very well be more options left unconsidered. Frequently, the person making the argument might express an assumption that there are only two options to choose from. This fallacy is often present in making false assumptions that if a person does not agree with X, they must necessarily be anti-X, when in reality they may hold some intermediate position or be undecided.

    That’s what I had thought it meant, except that in my reality, rather than an intermediate position, I hold a position that is more extreme than either of the two choices that were offered.

    IOW, you (or your dictionary) offered a false dichotomy of alternatives to the false dichotomy.

    • #19
  20. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    false dichotomy:

    The false dichotomy is a logical fallacy in which only a limited number of options are considered in a situation when, in fact, there may very well be more options left unconsidered. Frequently, the person making the argument might express an assumption that there are only two options to choose from. This fallacy is often present in making false assumptions that if a person does not agree with X, they must necessarily be anti-X, when in reality they may hold some intermediate position or be undecided.

    That’s what I had thought it meant, except that in my reality, rather than an intermediate position, I hold a position that is more extreme than either of the two choices that were offered.

    IOW, you (or your dictionary) offered a false dichotomy of alternatives to the false dichotomy.

    I can either ignore you, or I can praise you as a god.


    Or I can say: Ret, you nut! One extreme is fold and let them walk all over us, the other is become like them and break the rules however you like so long as you win. Pick something between those two extremes. Make a bold but principled stand. Put the gun down and engage the enemy like the civilized human being and/or mess of crisscrossed lines you are.

    • #20
  21. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    You don’t need me. Use the dictionary. (And if the leftists change it because they hate language and logic, find an old-fashioned hard copy!)

    A dichotomy is a separation, a division.

    But, as I understand it, “dichotomy” derives from the Greek dichotomía, which means, literally, “dividing in two.” The “di-” prefix means “two,” as in two choices.

    The false dichotomy is false because it isn’t in fact a dichotomy at all: there are more than two choices.

    Consistent with that, and per Webster, the first definition reads:

    a division into two especially mutually exclusive or contradictory groups or entities

    Yes, it means division. That’s the point. That’s why a false dichotomy is different from a false dilemma.  A false dichotomy is a false division between two options, and a false trichotomy is a false division between three options.

    A false dichotomy is a fallacious division of choices–a fallacious view that you can’t choose both.

    If you respond to a fallacy like that by saying “I can choose a third option!” you’re not even pointing out the mistaken division; you may even be implicitly accepting it.

    • #21
  22. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    A false dichotomy is a fallacious division of choices–a fallacious view that you can’t choose both.

    Or a fallacious assertion that there are only two.

    Change my mind.

    • #22
  23. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    A false dichotomy is a fallacious division of choices–a fallacious view that you can’t choose both.

    Or a fallacious assertion that there are only two.

    Change my mind.

    You don’t see any point in using different words differently–dilemma and dichotomy?  One denotes propositions, and the other denotes division.

    • #23
  24. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio&hellip; (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    There should only be one set of rules. If it is okay for me to be doxxed, then it is perfectly fine for me to doxx people. I refuse to accept a standard that says it’s only okay if they do it. If Antifa can riot, the Proud Boys can show up to stop them. If people get fired for conservative political positions, then it is okay for people to be fired for liberal political positions.

    One standard.

    And that one standard changes when your little sister (the enemy) knocks over your (the good guy’s) lego building. The standard of that one act is now the standard that applies to you. You can throw her doll in the toilet.

    You have perfectly described the ethical system of a society of small children.

    In even the most primitive societies, instilling a replacement ethical system for the inborn set of rules of children is the job of parents and teachers.

    Mark, the standard that you dismiss as the ethical system of a society of small children is the precise standard that our country used to justify its involvement in WWII. It is the same standard that we use to justify executing a murderer. It is the same standard that we use to justify imprisoning a criminal.

     

    In my view, the standard used by adults is the opposite of the inherited standard of children.  Otherwise, mothers and fathers would not need to guide children and violence-prone young males to develop their moral character.

    Opposite how? In these ways:

    The former, at least when the society is not under military attack that threatens the Good itself,

    • is unchanging
    • applies to everyone equally
    • punishes only offense against an impersonal law

    The latter

    • changes to justify whatever revenge is demanded by the latest offense
    • applies only to the enemy, not to “us”
    • punishes personal/tribal offense, not offense against an impersonal law

    Fully socialized adults do compromise their ethical system when their peaceful, ethical society, and thus the Good itself,  is under military attack. They still don’t fully adopt a child’s ethical system.

    • #24
  25. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    You don’t need me. Use the dictionary. (And if the leftists change it because they hate language and logic, find an old-fashioned hard copy!)

    A dichotomy is a separation, a division.

    But, as I understand it, “dichotomy” derives from the Greek dichotomía, which means, literally, “dividing in two.” The “di-” prefix means “two,” as in two choices.

    The false dichotomy is false because it isn’t in fact a dichotomy at all: there are more than two choices.

    Consistent with that, and per Webster, the first definition reads:

    a division into two especially mutually exclusive or contradictory groups or entities

    Yes, it means division. That’s the point. That’s why a false dichotomy is different from a false dilemma. A false dichotomy is a false division between two options, and a false trichotomy is a false division between three options.

    A false dichotomy is a fallacious division of choices–a fallacious view that you can’t choose both.

    If you respond to a fallacy like that by saying “I can choose a third option!” you’re not even pointing out the mistaken division; you may even be implicitly accepting it.

    Now I get it, I think. Whether I will remember it is another question. 

    • #25
  26. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    A false dichotomy is a fallacious division of choices–a fallacious view that you can’t choose both.

    Or a fallacious assertion that there are only two.

    Change my mind.

    You don’t see any point in using different words differently–dilemma and dichotomy? One denotes propositions, and the other denotes division.

    Division into two, SA. And that’s the whole point: what is false about a false dichotomy is that it attempts to divide into two — to create a dichotomy — rather than recognize that there are other choices, more than the two choices implied by the word dichotomy.

    • #26
  27. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    A false dichotomy is a fallacious division of choices–a fallacious view that you can’t choose both.

    Or a fallacious assertion that there are only two.

    Change my mind.

    You don’t see any point in using different words differently–dilemma and dichotomy? One denotes propositions, and the other denotes division.

    Division into two, SA. And that’s the whole point: what is false about a false dichotomy is that it attempts to divide into two — to create a dichotomy — rather than recognize that there are other choices, more than the two choices implied by the word dichotomy.

    So you don’t see the point in using these different words differently.

    The problem with a false dilemma is that it incorrectly reduces the available options to two. The problem with a false dichotomy is that it takes two options and incorrectly divides them.

    • #27
  28. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    false dichotomy:

    The false dichotomy is a logical fallacy in which only a limited number of options are considered in a situation when, in fact, there may very well be more options left unconsidered. Frequently, the person making the argument might express an assumption that there are only two options to choose from. This fallacy is often present in making false assumptions that if a person does not agree with X, they must necessarily be anti-X, when in reality they may hold some intermediate position or be undecided.

    That’s what I had thought it meant, except that in my reality, rather than an intermediate position, I hold a position that is more extreme than either of the two choices that were offered.

    IOW, you (or your dictionary) offered a false dichotomy of alternatives to the false dichotomy.

    I can either ignore you, or I can praise you as a god.


    Or I can say: Ret, you nut! One extreme is fold and let them walk all over us, the other is become like them and break the rules however you like so long as you win. Pick something between those two extremes. Make a bold but principled stand. Put the gun down and engage the enemy like the civilized human being and/or mess of crisscrossed lines you are.

    I had in mind the abstract meaning, not the specific choices you offered. In the specific case you mentioned, I may not choose either extreme but I’d like friend and foe to think I’m unbalanced enough that I might.  Keeps ’em on their toes.  

    • #28
  29. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    The problem with a false dichotomy is that it takes two options and incorrectly divides them.

    You are stating one of the possible aspects of falseness to a false dichotomy. I’ve found nothing to suggest to me that the incorrect partitioning into two, and only two, choices isn’t also a false dichotomy. I think you are perhaps using a term of art, as opposed to the common meaning of the phrase “false dichotomy.”

    If you can point me to a resource that makes clear the distinction you’re making, and that suggests that it’s a feature of general use, and not a term of art within some arcane jargon-laden ivy-covered tower of philosophical speculation and navel-gazing that rejects the commonly understood meaning in favor of some obsessively nit-picking specificity, I’ll graciously concede.

    ;)

     

    • #29
  30. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    false dichotomy:

    The false dichotomy is a logical fallacy in which only a limited number of options are considered in a situation when, in fact, there may very well be more options left unconsidered. Frequently, the person making the argument might express an assumption that there are only two options to choose from. This fallacy is often present in making false assumptions that if a person does not agree with X, they must necessarily be anti-X, when in reality they may hold some intermediate position or be undecided.

    That’s what I had thought it meant, except that in my reality, rather than an intermediate position, I hold a position that is more extreme than either of the two choices that were offered.

    IOW, you (or your dictionary) offered a false dichotomy of alternatives to the false dichotomy.

    I can either ignore you, or I can praise you as a god.


    Or I can say: Ret, you nut! One extreme is fold and let them walk all over us, the other is become like them and break the rules however you like so long as you win. Pick something between those two extremes. Make a bold but principled stand. Put the gun down and engage the enemy like the civilized human being and/or mess of crisscrossed lines you are.

    I had in mind the abstract meaning, not the specific choices you offered. In the specific case you mentioned, I may not choose either extreme but I’d like friend and foe to think I’m unbalanced enough that I might. Keeps ’em on their toes.

    Nuke the moon, baby.

    Have you read that charming essay?

     

    • #30