Tuesday, 5 May 2020

The False Choice

How often have you heard that if you don't support one extreme position then you must support another extreme position?

Probably more than you can remember. Today it is the preferred way to present an argument and it hardly ever changes.

Support Climate change or destroy the Earth!

Support Trans people or you want them dead!

Support women or your a misogynist!

On and on the list goes, every position is extreme and you are expected to support one. For most people this argument wins because most people do not want to argue with a nutter. They rightly fear the nutter and that is why we see this argument used, because it works!

The first thing that we need to do is to understand that this is a false choice. It is not a real position, it is not really a choice between extremes. All nuance has been removed, on purpose. The idea is to present people with two extreme positions. 

Secondly these choices are always presented as moral and immoral choices. Again as two extreme positions. Either you support this or your immoral. 

This is used to force people into supporting choices that they would never choose by themselves. When you watch the news you will be presented with false choices. When you read a newspaper, even in discussions you will be presented with a false choices, with choosing between two extremes and only between two extremes. 

In all of these false choices you find that there is in fact a great deal of middle ground. A great deal of nuance. That you do not need to make that false choice at all.

Beware of the false choice!

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  1. Good point!

  2. I see it all the time! Even more so with all this virus nonsense!

  3. The law of excluded middle.

  4. I see you have been reading the Zman. If not, you should be. http://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=20282