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Feature Article by Paul Rosenberg
Before we begin covering fallacies, we should be clear on what the word means. A fallacy is a deceptive statement. It is something that is false, but is made to appear true. In other words, it is a trick of words and emotions, used to make people believe something that isn't actually so.
But that does not mean that everyone using a fallacy is trying to hurt you. In most cases, they are doing it ignorantly, because they were deceived by the trick earlier. What they're really doing is passing along the mistake.
So, while we want to notice deceptions (fallacies) are thrown at us, we should remember that most of the people using them are not personally malicious; they're acting out a malicious script that was started by others. The damage to you is the same, but their personal guilt is less.
Now, let's move on to our first fallacy:
The either-or fallacy (also called the excluded middle, bifurcation, the false dilemma and even other names) operates like this:
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