Perfectionism straw-man

From Issuepedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


A perfectionism straw-man is any argument of the general form "we can never do X perfectly, therefore there is no point in trying to do X at all", i.e. replacing a possibly-realistic goal with a straw-man goal of perfection. It can also be seen as a form of moving the goalposts, where the goalposts are moved infinitely far away, and as an example of all-or-nothing thinking.

This argument is generally used to maintain the status quo by discussing change in terms suggesting that anything short of perfection would be unsatisfactory.



A reasonable goal of reducing evil, or reducing the harm done by evil, or reducing evil in a certain specified context, is dismissed as being equivalent to the impossible goal of eliminating all evil.


This term was first proposed on Google+ on 2013-05-22.