Continuum fallacy

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Hello,

How are you doing?

Today, let’s learn about the Continuum fallacy.

What is it?

The fallacy causes one to erroneously reject a vague claim simply because it is not as precise as one would like it to be.

Vagueness alone does not necessarily imply invalidity.

Examples -

Fred can never grow a beard
Fred is clean-shaven now. If a person has no beard, one more day of growth will not cause them to have a beard. Therefore Fred can never grow a beard.

Where does it occur?

The form of the argument is as follows:
P1: X is one extreme and Y is the opposite extreme.
P2: There is no definable point where X becomes Y.
C: Therefore, there is no difference between X and Y.

Why do I need to know?

In general, the fallacy takes situations where no clear cut-off point between X and Y exists, and either a) denies that any distinction really exists and commits an equivocation between both or b) takes advantage of the lack of distinction by arbitrarily shifting the distinction to unrealistic positions.

It is fallacious because, vague, "in-between" or unclear scenarios do not make them necessarily untrue.

References & Studies: -

  1. https://infogalactic.com/info/Continuum_fallacy

  2. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Continuum_fallacy


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