Samantha Down Also known as the “black and white fallacy” or “false dilemma” An either/or fallacy is when a speaker makes a claim that presents an artificial range of choices. For instance, he may suggest that there are only two choices possible, when three or more really exist. Those who use an either/or fallacy try to force their audience to accept a conclusion by presenting only two possible options, one of which is clearly more desirable. These tactics are mean to persuade those who are not well informed on a topic. A clever writer or speaker may use the either/or fallacy to make his idea look better when compared to an even worse one. Either-Or can still be used in a few situations; “Either she’s pregnant or she’s not”. But many times it is used to oversimplify a situation in attempt to prove a point. "We either have to fight them over there, or we have to fight them over here.“ • This is not a valid argument because there are many other possibilities as well. There could be no fight at all, or resources can be shifted to keeping them out rather than letting them in. Either-or arguments such as these make the speaker seem uninformed on their topic “You’re either with us or your against us.” “Either you’re a leader or you’re a follower.” “Either you’re a part of the problem or you’re a part of the solution.” Also known as a “weak analogy” In an analogy, two objects (or events), A and B are shown to be similar. Then it is argued that since A has property P, so also B must have property P. An analogy fails when the two objects, A and B, are different in a way which affects whether they both have property P. Example: Employees are like nails. Just as nails must be hit in the head in order to make them work, so must employees. • Comparing employees to nails as a valid argument is weak and off-topic. “Love is like a rubber band - stretch it too far and it will snap, just like your relationship.” “People are like dogs. They respond best to clear discipline.” “A school is not so different from a business. It needs a clear competitive strategy that will lead to profitable growth.” An analogy compares two things point by point. A false analogy finds one similarity then claims they are similar because of it. “Bill Clinton has no experience of serving in the military. To have Bill Clinton become president, and thus commander in chief of the armed forces of the United States, is like electing some passer-by on the street to fly the space shuttle.” • This argument is clearly not valid, there is a huge difference between a random person flying a shuttle and Bill Clinton becoming President. Change the Following sentences to make then valid arguments. • “I'm not pro-choice; I'm pro-life.” • “Clogged arteries require surgery to clear them; our clogged highways require equally drastic measures.” • “I’m not a doctor, but your runny nose and cough tell me that you either have a cold or the flu.” "The Bush "There or Here" Fallacy and the War in Iraq by Carson Day." SearchWarp Writers' Community for Do It Yourself and Current Events Commentary. 04 Apr. 2009 <http://searchwarp.com/swa10864.htm>. "Either/Or." KsuWeb Home Page. 04 Apr. 2009 <http://ksumail.kennesaw.edu/~shagin/logfal-pbc-eitheror.htm>. "Fallacies." The Center for Learning Technologies at Arkansas State University. 04 Apr. 2009 <http://www.clt.astate.edu/composition/fallacies.htm>. "False Analogy." KsuWeb Home Page. 04 Apr. 2009 <http://ksuweb.kennesaw.edu/~shagin/logfal-analysisfalseanalogy.htm>. "The Logical Fallacies: False Analogy." Onegoodmove. 04 Apr. 2009 <http://www.onegoodmove.org/fallacy/falsean.htm>.