False dichotomies

Trying to come up with commonly used false dichotomies

Evolution OR Creation

These two are so common that they have sayings: “You’re either for us or against us.” “The friend of my enemy is my friend.”

Another more along the lines you offered is pro-life/pro-choice, or even Rebublican/Democrat or liberal/conservative.

The last one that pops into my head is “right-handed”/left-handed."

“Mac person” or “PC person.”
“Dog person” or “cat person.”

Actually, most of the “-persons.”

Stupidest: “America: Love it or leave it.” Imagine all the Founding Fathers just upping and moving to Russia.

Red State/Blue State

The states are all shades of purple.

Not to hijack but I don’t think Evolution or Creation is a false on though.

The disconsonance arises if God could have created the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago. Creation then includes Evolution.

That’s fair enough, but it’s misleading to suggest a ‘compromise’ between Creation and evolution, like Intelligent Design, as if ID and evolution are equally valid scientific theories.

Of course it’s misleading. Good thing no one (except you) did that in this thread, yet.

Morning person vs. night owl - some of us aren’t great at either end of the day! And some are very adaptable and perform well any time.

Introvert vs. extrovert - interesting idea in theory, but I find most of us are somewhere in the middle, with incidents at each extreme.

Gay vs. straight - this one makes my head hurt. Very, very few people rate either a 0 or a 6 on the Kinsey scale our entire lives. Plus, y’know…hello, bisexuals!

Happy vs. sad - some of the best moments of my life have involved laughter in the depths of despair.

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

It’s not you, it’s me. Can’t it be a little of both?

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Team Edward or Team Jacob. (Thankfully, there exists the choice to hate them both)
eta: beaten to one by h. sapiens

People’s skin color being either white or black

Everyone I know is some shade of brown.

No-one except the OP, you mean? The aptly named scamartistry implies there should be compromise by stating that Creation/evolution is a false dichotomy.

Oil or cream

It is a false dichotomy, as you already admitted. If god/dess/es Created the Big Bang, or even if they created each planet and star by hand, and then breathed their magic pixie dust over the primordial ooze to Create life, and then stepped back and let Evolution be the mechanism by which that life changed to what we see today, then there’s no problem having both Creation by a higher power and Evolution.

The falsehood comes in when people deny that evolution has happened, or posit that God made the world as it is today thousands of years ago. That’s not a false dichotomy, it isn’t any kind of dichotomy. It’s just stupidity.

False dichotomy doesn’t mean there’s some middle ground, it means that both of what are (falsely) presented as polar opposites could theoretically exist simultaneously.

Black and White is a dichotomy. The existence of grey doesn’t mean that an object can be black and white at the same time. If it’s grey, it’s neither black nor white, so has not disproved our proposed dichotomy. (The existence of a checkerboard would force one to defend the term “object”, however. :wink: )

Fruit or vegetable.

The false dichotomy argument is often used. The first step is to presume that evolution and creationism are the only two possibilities. The second step is to offer some evidence that questions evolution. The summation is that anything that discredits evolution must support creationism.

And this is false because even if you completely disproved evolution, you’ve done nothing to prove creationism. Creationism would still need its own evidence of being true.

“Love it or leave it” is a classic

Eek! Remind me to never let you lead an army!

That’s not an either/or choice, though. It’s damned if you do AND damned if you don’t. Both conditionals are true at the same time. Not a dichotomy, false or otherwise.

That’s not what it means. A dichotomy means that there are two options and only two options. A false dichotomy means that there are two options presented but at least a third exists. “With us or against us” isn’t an F.D. because you can be both…it’s because you can be neither. Black vs. White isn’t a FD because you can be grey, it’s because you can be blue or red or whatever else.

Evolution vs. Creation is a false dichotomy because there are more options, only one of which is that they can coexist.

From one of my favorite blogs:

“I’d rather have three true friends, instead of tons of shallow friends.”

“I think it’s more important to worry about other people’s happiness, instead of thinking only about myself and my own happiness.”

“I believe it’s more important to be authentic and honest than it is to be positive and enthusiastic.”

“Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.”

People often talk about the choice between using logic and our emotions, as if one can follow only one or the other. In fact, it’s almost always logical to consider one’s emotions in decision making and people often arrive at illogical conclusions even when there’s no emotion involved.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or sleazy male stripper.