The Golden Mean Falacy, or, let’s compromise

As I have said before, logic is one of the most missing of skills in this world.  Below is an excerpt from a great site that deals with logical issues.  I have reprinted just enough to give you a teaser.  Once your interest is piqued, follow the link to the site and the rest of the story.

Golden Mean Fallacy

Most people know that there are two sides to every issue: their side, and the wrong side. Authors (and people in general) who subscribe to the Golden Mean Fallacy have another outlook. They believe that there are in fact three sides: the side of the complete morons to the left of them, the side of the complete morons to the right of them, and their own side, which combines the good points of each in sublime harmony while avoiding all the bad. If one position is argued to be superior solely because it is in the middle, then this is the logical fallacy of Argument to Moderation. The fallacy comes about by assuming that not only are extreme solutions never reasonable or correct, but the correct solution can always be found in the middle, e.g.: Bob wants to exterminate all the termites in the house. Alice doesn’t want to exterminate them at all. Therefore, the correct course of action is to kill exactly half of the termites. The Golden Mean Fallacy is turning both sides of an argument into Strawman Politicals and declaring that the only sensible approach is to take the middle road. There is a number of benefits to this – you avoid offending either side too much since they can each take comfort in the fact that their enemies get just as ridiculed as them, you get to come off as a sensible person who thinks for oneself and doesn’t blindly follow any one party line, and you get twice as many people to insult and make fun of.

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