This is a proposal where two antagonistic statements are presented as the only possible ones, when in fact there are other equally probable alternatives. False Dilemma
This type of inconsistent argument is part of the so-called logical fallacies and as the name says it is a false duality.
In our thoughts of everyday life we use this kind of false reasoning quite often. When I say that João did not go to work, it is because he was asleep or sick, this type of situation implies a false duality because there are other possible explanations that allow us to understand what happened (for example, João could have had a family problem, be in prison in traffic or any other event that justifies their absence).
It can be said that the false dilemma constitutes a simplification of a reality . On the other hand, those who resort to this form of exclusionary disjunction do not take into account that things are not always soft or obscure, but that there are a number of aspects that cannot be ignored.
Suppose a person says the following: either you study a university career or you will end up in the unemployment line. These two excluding statements do not constitute a real dilemma, as they are an apparent bifurcation in which other intermediate and perfectly valid options are not contemplated.
In the language of politics
In political discourse false dilemma is one of resources rhetorical most common and perverse. We all hear or read statements like the following: socialism or death; support my proposal or we will be doomed to chaos; vote for me or the country will definitely be ruined. False Dilemma
The perspective of only two sides or paths supposes a deformation or simplification of reality.
Although this form of argument can be analyzed in the context of formal logic, we must not forget that throughout history we have used a double standard for almost everything. In football we are Real Madrid or Barcelona, Corinthians or Palmeiras, Boca or River. In politics, you’re left or right. In the field of beliefs, we are either atheists or believers. In short, we are for or against something in a radical and absolute way, as if there were no broad spectrum in between or as if it were not possible to find a complement of opposites. False Dilemma
Some believe that it is possible to “break” the false dilemma in mindsets. An example to illustrate this synthesis of two antagonistic options is the case of a person who declares himself an atheist and a Catholic at the same time (atheist because he does not believe in God and a Catholic because the social and cultural reality that surrounds him is subject to Catholicism and, consequently , their mental schemes are necessarily Catholic).