Argument to moderation
Argument to moderation (Latin: argumentum ad temperantiam, also known as middle ground, false compromise, gray fallacy and the golden mean fallacy) is a logical fallacy which asserts that given two positions there exists a compromise between them which must be correct.
An individual demonstrating the false compromise fallacy implies that the positions being considered represent extremes of a continuum of opinions, and that such extremes are always wrong, and the middle ground is always correct. This is not always the case. Sometimes only X or Y is acceptable, with no middle ground possible. Additionally, the middle ground fallacy allows any position to be invalidated, even those that have been reached by previous applications of the same method; all one must do is present yet another, radically opposed position, and the middle-ground compromise will be forced closer to that position. In politics, this is part of the basis behind Overton Window Theory.
- "Some would say that hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet, but others claim it is a toxic and dangerous substance. The truth must therefore be somewhere in between."
- "Bob says we should buy a computer. Sue says we shouldn't. Therefore, the best solution is to compromise and buy half a computer."
- "Should array indices start at 0 or 1? My compromise of 0.5 was rejected without, I thought, proper consideration." - Stan Kelly-Bootle
- The choice of 48 bytes as the ATM cell payload size, as a compromise between the 64 bytes proposed by parties from the United States and the 32 bytes proposed by European parties; the compromise was made for entirely political reasons, since it did not technically favor either of the parties.
- ^ http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/middle-ground.html
- ^ D. Stevenson, "Electropolitical Correctness and High-Speed Networking, or, Why ATM is like a Nose", Proceedings of TriCom '93, April 1993.
- I Drew This, Wednesday, August 15, 2007. (An example of the middle ground fallacy.)
- Daylight Atheism - The Golden Mean
Fallacies of relevance GeneralAbsurdity · Accident · Ad nauseam · Argument from ignorance · Argument from silence · Argument to moderation · Argumentum ad populum · Base rate · Compound question · Evidence of absence · Invincible ignorance · Loaded question · Moralistic · Naturalistic · Non sequitur · Proof by assertion · Irrelevant conclusion · Special pleading · Straw man · Two wrongs make a right Appeals to emotion Genetic fallaciesAd feminam · Ad hominem (Ad hominem tu quoque) · Appeal to accomplishment · Appeal to authority · Appeal to etymology · Appeal to motive · Appeal to novelty · Appeal to poverty · Appeals to psychology · Appeal to the stone · Appeal to tradition · Appeal to wealth · Association · Bulverism · Chronological snobbery · Ipse dixit (Ipse-dixitism) · Poisoning the well · Pro hominem · Reductio ad Hitlerum Appeals to consequences Informal fallacies Absence paradox · Begging the question · Blind men and an elephant · Cherry picking · Complex question · False analogy · Fallacy of distribution (Composition · Division) · Furtive fallacy · Hasty generalization · I'm entitled to my opinion · Loaded question · McNamara fallacy · Name calling · Nirvana fallacy · Rationalization (making excuses) · Red herring fallacy · Special pleading · Slothful induction Correlative-based fallacies Deductive fallacies Inductive fallacies Vagueness and ambiguity Equivocation Questionable cause List of fallacies · Other types of fallacy
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