Fallacious Arguments Series -False Dilemma

Common logical fallacies and how to counter them.

The False Dilemma


The False Dilemma sets up two mutually exclusive conclusions between which there can be no middle ground, thereby fallaciously rendering complex or nuanced issues binary.

On the subject of binary, example:
Albert: Gender and biological sex are relatively aligned for many people, but not for everyone. They are culturally related, but don’t define each other.

Gloria: If men can be women, then biological sex doesn’t exist.
So, that’s a False Dilemma, from Gloria, that gender and biological sex are the same thing and the existence of one proves or disproves the existence of the of the other.

Albert: Gender and biological sex are distinct, and most of us never know whether we’re XX, XY or one of the many other variations.

Gloria: Your genes decide the gender you are born. Otherwise, we could all identify as Black or Asian. How offensive would that be?

Another False Dilemma from Gloria. She’s pitting biological determinism, as the only logical conclusion, against something as outlandish as identifying as a different race. Her two possible conclusions are, again, irreconcilable.

Compiled and authored by Gabriel Morse, founder of #iamhereAustralia