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Old 09-26-2007, 07:43 PM   #41
May The Force Serve You.
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,236
Silent, You seem to have been thinking too much about my specific example. My point was that it is reasonable for Joe to make Bill pay for the damages. Similarly, it would be reasonable to argue for one side in religious arguments, particularly if the options allow no real middle-road view. If someone said a (pure) rock was made out of granite, and another said it was made out of limestone, would it be correct to say that it is a grimestone rock? Somehow, I don't think so. The rock is either limestone or granite. God either exists or it doesn't. What people say doesn't necessarily correspond to reality. I don't think it's extremist to pick one side to argue for.
Neither do I believe that it is extermist to align yourself with one side or another, but there is also no evidence that the two answers are in fact correct (that God exist or that God does not exist). It is possible that both people are wrong, that the rock is neither limestone nor granite, but rather alien rock or something else enteirly. After all, how smart are those people? Are they really intelligent enough to decide what the rock is? Or it is possible that both people who claim God exist and God does not exist are wrong: God may exist but is so weak that he supposed to be laughed upon.

There is no logical reason why it has to either be "x" or "y". Presenting a false delimma is itself a logical fallacy. That doesn't mean that a combination of x and y must be right, it is probraly stupid to think that way. But it could. Or prehaps z might be correct.

Since I might was well throw links, here's a webcomic series that illustrates this point. The main guy, "TQ" is a person who comes up with ideas that showcase that the two prevailing choices aren't the only choices. He's not for "moderatism" at all, in fact his choices are pretty radical.

The phrase "tertium quid" (or "third option" in Latin) refers to something that exposes a dichotomy as false. A tertium quid is not somewhere between the two options (grey is not a tertium quid to the dichotomy of black vs. white), but rather something entirely new, something that escapes the one-dimensional line between two options.
Due to the fact that the site doesn't collect all the TQ in one easy place, please forgive me for spamming direct links, but eh.

Global Warming
In a car I
In a car II
Gay Marriage

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