False Dichotomy

 

The fallacy of false dichotomy is committed when the arguer claims that his conclusion is one of only two options, when in fact there are other possibilities. The arguer then goes on to show that the 'only other option' is clearly outrageous, and so his preferred conclusion must be embraced.

 

Either you let me go to the Family Values Tour, or I'll be miserable for the rest of my life. I know you don't want me to be miserable for the rest of my life, so you should let me go to the concert.

Either you use Speed Stick deodorant, or you will stink to high heaven. You don't want to stink, so you better by Speed Stick.

 

Either I keep smoking, or I'll get fat. I don't want to get fat, so I better keep smoking.

 

Either we keep Charles Manson in jail, or we release him, thus risking murder, carnage, and mayhem. We don't want murder, carnage, or mayhem, so we had better keep him in jail.