A False Dilemma is a fallacy in which a person uses the following pattern of "reasoning":
- Either claim X is true or claim Y is true (when X and Y could both be false).
- Claim Y is false.
- Therefore claim X is true.
- Either 1+1=4 or 1+1=12.
- It is not the case that 1+1=4.
- Therefore 1+1=12.
- Bill is dead or he is alive.
- Bill is not dead.
- Therefore Bill is alive.
- Senator Jill: "We'll have to cut education funding this year."
Senator Bill: "Why?"
Senator Jill: "Well, either we cut the social programs or we live with a huge deficit and we can't live with the deficit."
- Bill: "Jill and I both support having prayer in public schools."
Jill: "Hey, I never said that!"
Bill: "You're not an atheist are you Jill?"
- "Look, you are going to have to make up your mind. Either you decide that you can afford this stereo, or you decide you are going to do without music for a while."