Fallacious Reasoning Part I: Either -Or Fallacy


The either-or fallacy is seen throughout American politics currently.  The way our political machine has been built is so that there are only two powerful parties (Democratic Party and Republican Party) that seem to be polar opposites on most issues.  Depending on the candidate, issues are used to gain political advantage.  An example of this is the assassination of Osama Bin Laden.  Immediately after the White House released that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in a raid by the United States military, members of the Republican Party began proclaiming the faults of President Obama in pushing the raid to occur.  The matter is that no matter who was president at the time, a Republican or a Democrat, either one would have gone through with the raid, if given the opportunity.

     The most reason attempt for an argument that exhibits the either-or fallacy is the gun control debate.  The Republican Party wants voters to believe that voting for gun restrictions will allow the government to take away all their guns.  They want voter to believe that there are only two options when it comes to gun control.  Since most Americans want at least the right to have a gun, this kind of thinking would push most people away from the “Liberal” stand point.  The fact is that there are many stances on the gun control debate.  There are some who believe that we should not have the right to obtain a gun and others who think there should not be any regulations, but this is a small percentage of the population.  A greater portion of voters believe that due to the violent crimes that have occurred over the last year, there should be psychological tests as well as stricter licenses to be a gun owner.  I posted a link above that give some of the arguments used in the gun debate.  Hopefully, by the end of this class, we will be well versed on the arguments of the current political issues.

The either-or fallacy is also used in advertising.  Coca Cola tells you that you should drink coke because it gives you a rich cola taste that Pepsi lacks.  The ad leaves out other cola products such as RC Cola or other similar products like Dr. Pepper.  Carl’s Jr. is famous for doing this in commercials comparing their Big Carl to the Big Mac.  They leave out products from Wendy’s, Burger King, or other reputable burger joints.  Be mindful when watching television ads and listening to politics.  There are other parts to the story or argument that are often left out.

https://i0.wp.com/www.adweek.com/files/stylus/102547-Carls.jpg (I do not own the rights to this photo.  The rights to this photo are owned by Carl Karcher Enterprises, Inc.)


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