Recently, I saw a “tweet” suggesting that one should __________ rather than ___________. (So as not to identify the author, blanks have been used in place of the actual words.)
When presented with these two choices, most people would instinctively think just the opposite, as did I.
At first, anyway. But, then I thought perhaps the tweeter was correct after all. Or, was he? I kept going back and forth. And, then I realized where I was off the mark.
As usual, the “False Dilemma” (the unnecessary use of the word, “or”) was in play. It wasn’t an “either/or” but rather an “and.” Both were important and both were possible.
What I did was allow myself to be drawn into the frame that is so easy to be drawn into: when given a choice between two correct responses…believing those choices are the only two choices and that they are exclusive.
Suggestion: Regardless of whether the context is a philosophical tweet or a present conversation or situation in which you’d rather not have to make a choice, ask yourself:
“Are these actually the only two choices I have? Really? Could there be another one that the person does not want me to know? Or, perhaps one that simply doesn’t readily present itself?
Whatever the case…to the degree you can think — not outside the box but — “outside the False Dilemma” that you’ve intentionally or unintentionally been given, you can accomplish much greater results.
Question: what are some False Dilemmas you see being promoted either intentionally or unintentionally, and/or what false dilemmas have you overcome? This could prove to be insightful and save us all a lot of time in the future. 🙂
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