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False Compromise

 

Disciplines Argument > Fallacies > False Compromise

Description | Discussion | Example | See also

 

Description

X and Y are opposite alternatives. So Z, a middle path, is the best choice.

Avoid extremes. Seek compromise through a moderate, middle way. Take averages. Assume that any polarized view is automatically wrong.

Example

Environmentalists want us to recycle everything. Capitalists want us to buy everything new. I think we should recycle some things.

The left wing want to help the poor. The right wing want to minimize taxation. We should have means-tested benefits so only the poorest people get help.

Jim wants to go North, Fred wants to go South. So lets go West.

Discussion

It is easy to assume that extreme views, by the very fact that they are extreme and so automatically wrong. The middle way is often a safe choice, and people who are risk-averse will often take this alternative. It is also a view taken by people who see that all views are valid and that a compromise is the best way of getting agreement. This may be true, but it does not make this middle choice correct.

Classification

Falsehood, Distraction

Also known as

Splitting the Difference

See also

Excluded Middle

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