LESSONS IN LOGIC: ‘If You Don’t Vote A, You Vote For B’ Is A Fallacy

So, once again, we are going to hear people telling us that, “unless you vote for my candidate, you are voting for the other candidate.”  But this is a fallacy; a mistake in logic; a flaw in thinking.  In fact, it even has its own name.  It is called false dilemma.

False Dilemma

A reasoner who unfairly presents too few choices and then implies that a choice must be made among this short menu of choices is using the False Dilemma Fallacy, as does the person who accepts this faulty reasoning.


A pollster asks you this question about your job: “Would you say your employer is drunk on the job about (a) once a week, (b) twice a week, or (c) more times per week?

The pollster is committing the fallacy by limiting you to only those choices. What about the choice of “no times per week”? Think of the unpleasant choices as being the horns of a bull that is charging toward you. By demanding other choices beyond those on the unfairly limited menu, you thereby “go between the horns” of the dilemma, and are not gored. The fallacy is called the “False Dichotomy Fallacy” or the “Black-or-White” Fallacy when the unfair menu contains only two choices, and thus two horns.

In truth, even if I do not vote for person A, I have not voted for person B unless I actually vote for person B.  This is the truth — plain and simple.

Now, I understand that the immediate objection will be that, ‘in the real world,’ voting not voting for A may have the same effect as voting for B because it splits the vote, but this line of arguing is still fallacious.  Now, a person might believe they are justified to make such an argument, but, if they do, they cannot claim to be principled.  And if a person is not principled, then they do not have a set ideal guiding their lives — at least, not a set ideal outside themselves.

So we have to decide: will we hold to Natural Law by holding to an ideal and set principle existing outside ourselves  (such as the Declaration of Independence and Constitution)?  Or will we abandon Natural Law by accepting a fallacy to justify the pursuit of whatever desire we have at any given moment?

[NOTE: I no longer think of my voice as anything special.  There was a time when I believed I had something important to say, but not so much these days.  I write now because I feel driven to do so.  Something inside me will not let me rest until I post the pages you just read.  I’d just as soon not bother anymore.  It all seems like no one is listening and I do more harm than good.  So I have come to trust that whatever it is driving me has all this under control.  Personally, I believe it is God, but others may not.  All I ask is that, if anything I write helps you, or you think it might help others in any way, please, share this page.  Re-blog it, share it on FB or send the link to your friends.  So long as you feel it will do more good than harm, then please, use this page however you wish.  Thank you.]


3 thoughts on “LESSONS IN LOGIC: ‘If You Don’t Vote A, You Vote For B’ Is A Fallacy

  1. The other part of the false dilemma is only having two or three candidates to vote for when there could be other possible solutions. So, you could argue that the way the voting system is set up now is a false dilemma, which is why I don’t vote. Also for those who say “Just get out and vote,” no that’s not enough. Then they want to push their personal agenda on you and practically bully or guilt trip you into who to vote for. Pass!

    1. All true, save one thing. This time, the choice IS binary, and that choice is to vote for some semblance of liberty (or hope thereof) or certain tyranny. I’d venture to say that, this time, staying home is close to treason — at least, treason in the case of anyone who still embraces the principles and ideals of the Declaration, anyway.

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