Fallacy of moderation
The fallacy of moderation is a logical fallacy which occurs when one assumes that the truth must lie approximately midway between two opposing opinions. It is also known as False Compromise and The Golden Mean Fallacy.
Common phrases that imply this argument include:
- "There are two sides to every argument." (implication: both sides are equally valid)
- "Where there's smoke, there's fire." (implication: someone wouldn't make an argument if there wasn't some merit to it)
- "Everyone's entitled to their opinion." (implication: this disagreement is a matter of opinion, and not one that can be settled objectively)
- Wikipedia (False compromise)
- RationalWiki (Balance fallacy)
- The Nizkor Project:
- 2009-10-12 [Talk|Index] CNN Leaves It There § Stewart highlights CNN's tendency to juxtapose a reasonable viewpoint with an unreasonable one and then "leave it there", leaving the viewer with the impression that both viewpoints are equally valid.
- 2006-12-10 [Talk|Index] The Modesty Argument § “The Modesty Argument states that when two or more human beings have common knowledge that they disagree about a question of simple fact, they should each adjust their probability estimates in the direction of the others'. ... I've always been suspicious of the Modesty Argument.”
- 2007-08-15 I Drew This: being a "sensible centrist" -- sometimes a "compromise" position is barely distinguishable from an extreme one in its effects
- 2004-08-25 Both Sides
|Dr. Kevin Barrett said:|
In court, for example, psychopaths can tell extreme bald-faced lies in a plausible manner, while their sane opponents are handicapped by an emotional predisposition to remain within hailing distance of the truth. Too often, the judge or jury imagines that the truth must be somewhere in the middle, and then issues decisions that benefit the psychopath.