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8 Examples of False Equivalence

 , updated on May 25, 2018
False equivalence is an argument that two things are much the same when in fact they are not. The following are illustrative examples.

False Balance

Presenting two sides of an issue as if they are balanced when in fact one side is an extreme point of view. For example, presenting a scientific theory as being contentious when more than 99% of scientists studying the topic accept it as being true and only a distant and non-authoritative few dispute it.

Wronger Than Wrong

Wronger than wrong is the suggestion that a minor wrong is equivalent to a major wrong. This was proposed by writer Isaac Asimov as follows "When people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."

Fallacy Fallacy

Assuming a conclusion is wrong because a particular argument for it is a fallacy. In other words, falsely equating the conclusion and the argument.

Fallacy of Composition

Falsely equating an entity and its parts. For example:
Computers don't make mistakes
Banks use computers for everything
Therefore, banks don't make mistakes

False Dichotomy

The false assertion that two things are opposites. For example, "either you agree with our ideology or you are against equality."

False Analogy

An analogy that is misleading. For example, "business is like war either you win or you lose". This neglects the fact that most business is based on value creation that is arguably win-win and non-destructive.

Apples & Oranges

Comparing two things using unfair criteria. For example, comparing humans and a smart phone by how many math problems they can solve in a second to suggest the phone is smarter when the human mind processes several million times more information in a second.

Whataboutism

Suggesting that two wrongs equal a right. For example, suggesting that a particular CEO can mislead shareholders because some other CEO mislead shareholders even more.
Overview: False Equivalence
Type
Definition
An argument that two things are much the same when in fact they are not.
Related Concepts

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Fallacies

A list of logical fallacies.

Fallacy Fallacy

The fallacy of being too worried about fallacy.

Cognitive Biases

A list of common cognitive biases explained.

Broken Window Fallacy

An overview of the broken window fallacy.

Overwhelming Exception

A common logical fallacy.

Prosecutor's Fallacy

An overview of the Prosecutor's Fallacy.

Whataboutism

The definition of whataboutism with examples.

Double Bind

The definition of a double bind with examples.

Logic

A few logic terms explained.

Law Of Excluded Middle

A classical law of logic first established by Aristotle.

Fuzzy Logic

Logic that allows for partial truths.

Logic vs Intelligence

The difference between logic and intelligence.

Causality

The definition of causality with examples.

Magical Thinking

The definition of magical thinking with examples.

Scientism

The definition of scientism with examples.

Mutually Exclusive

The definition of mutually exclusive with examples.

False Balance

The definition of false balance with examples.
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