by David King

False Alternative
(also known as False Dichotomy)

Assuming that only one alternative exists in a given situation, when in fact, other and usually more fundamental alternatives also exist.

This is frequently expressed by statements such as: "What other explanation could there be?" "I just can't imagine how any other theory could account for that." "If there had been no other strategies possible, would you have voted against Hitler?"

This postulates a fantasy world which cancels out one of the basic realities of existence: the continued presence of alternatives. In essence, the question becomes "if the fabric of reality were rewoven into a different pattern, would you still take the same moral stand against voting?" Since my morals are derived from the nature of man and reality, it is not possible for me to answer this question. In essence, these sorts of dilemmas are perplexing not because they constitute moral problems, but because they constitute metaphysical ones. The "dilemma" being suggested would exist only in another universe that ran by rules inapplicable to our own.

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