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False Equivalence: The Problem with Unreasonable Comparisons

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https://effectiviology.com/false-equivalence/

effectiviology.com

False Equivalence: The Problem with Unreasonable Comparisons
False equivalence is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone incorrectly asserts that two or more things are equivalent, simply because they share some characteristics, despite the fact that there are also notable differences between them. For example, a false equivalence is saying that cats and dogs are the same animal, since they're both mammals and have a tail.

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False equivalence

It is a logical fallacy and it occurs when someone incorrectly asserts that two or more things are equal because they share some characteristics, regardless of the notable differences...

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The problem with false equivalence

  • The equivalence exaggerates the degree of similarity. I.e, stating that two people share a specific personalit...

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Responding to a false equivalence

  • Show that the similarities between the things being equated are exaggerated, overemphasized, or oversimplified.
  • Highlight the differences between the things being ...

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Comparisons and equivalence

  • Not every comparison is an equivalence; it’s possible to compare things without suggesting that they are equal to one another.
  • Not every equivalence is false

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Avoiding false equivalences

If you’re unsure about whether an equivalence that you’re thinking about is reasonable or not, try to highlight the differences between the things that you’re equating, and ask yourself whet...

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False balance fallacy

It happens when there are two or more opposing positions on a certain topic, and you assume that the truth must rest somewhere in the middle. False balance can be a result of a false eq...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The argument from incredulity

Is a logical fallacy where someone concludes that since they can’t believe that a certain concept is true, then it must be false and vice versa.

Its 2 basic forms:

I c...

Basic structure of an argument from incredulity

Premise 1: I can’t explain or imagine how proposition X can be true.

Premise 2: if a certain proposition is true, then I must be able to explain or imagine how that can be.

Conclusions: proposition X is false.

It’s ok to be incredulous

... and to bring this up as part of an argument. The issue with doing so occurs when this incredulity isn’t justified or supported by concrete information, and when this lack of belief is used in order to assume that a preferred personal explanation must be the right one, despite the lack of proof.

At the same time, it’s also important to remember that it’s possible that the person using the argument from incredulity is right, despite the fact that their reasoning is flawed.

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Fallacies

A fallacy is the use of faulty reasoning in an argument.

There are formal and informal fallacies:

  • A formal fallacy describes a flaw in the construction of a deductive ar...

Appeal to privacy

In this fallacy, someone behaves in a way that negatively affects others but then gets upset when others criticize their behavior. They will reply with a "mind your own business."
For instance, someone who doesn't see a reason to bathe, but then boards a full 10-hour flight.

Sunk cost fallacy

It happens when someone continues in a course of action, even if evidence shows that it's a mistake.

Common phrase: "We've always done it this way, so we'll keep doing it this way." "I've already invested so much..."

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Cherry picking

It is a logical fallacy and it happens when we choose and focus only on evidence that supports our views and arguments while ignoring anything that may contradict us.

The problem with cherry picking

  • It fails to take into consideration all the available information
  • It presents information in a misleading way.
  • It might lead to improper analysis and might cause someone to paint a misleading picture of a certain outcome.

The principle of total evidence

Also referred to as Bernoulli’s maxim, it states that, when assessing the probability that a certain hypothesis is true, we must take into account all the available information.

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