How do (many) philosophers respond to the logical fallacy "the enemy of my enemy must be my friend"?
It is not uncommon if I am having a conversation with someone about a public policy proposal, in which I criticize an idea advanced by one political party, for the other person to respond "how can you possibly favor the idea advanced by the OTHER political party?" when in fact I favor NEITHER party's idea?
I'm actually a bit surprised at how widespread this kind of fallacious thinking is. Many times neither "side" of a public policy debate has useful ideas (in my opinion) and I would prefer a third alternative very much over either "side's" position.
Any suggestions about how to escape this enforced box would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
PS does this fallacy have a formal name? if it does, then at least in on-line debates I can merely link to the Wikipedia article about the fallacy. Thanks again.
If two political parties A and B have competing public policy proposals, and you criticize party A's proposal, it is typically a fallacy for your listener to assume that you therefore favor B's proposal. (The only exceptions are those simplistic cases in which Party B is simply opposing A's proposal, as when one party on the town council proposes to put a traffic light on Main Street and another party opposes doing so.) The fallacy lies in the fact that there are typically possible policies different from both A's and B's. (Even in the case of the traffic light dispute, a third party might propose installing a stop sign.) Complicated and interesting public policy disputes might give rise to dozens of viable, competing proposals. This fallacy could be labeled 'false dichotomy' or 'false dilemma'. In the classic instances of this fallacy an arguer presents an either-or choice, and then concludes that one ought to believe or perform one of the disjuncts, when in fact there are more than the two...