False Equivalence Fallacy Examples, Meaning and How To Maintain

False Equivalence Fallacy Examples: A fallacy is a sort of inaccuracy in judgment. False equivalence is undoubtedly the most prevalent of the numerous types of fallacies.

False equivalency is a common phenomenon in our daily talks, as well as in a multitude of other different professions. False equivalence synonym can be found in politics and, more specifically and explicitly, the media.

If one argument is backed by facts while the other is largely based on rumors and speculation in a false equivalence or equivalency, they are not of equivalent importance, and therefore we should completely avoid using such direct comparisons to gain a competitive edge in our debates and discussions.

When two sides of an issue are quoted as if they are equal in value, newspaper articles might well be culpable of false equivalency. As a consequence, we must be able to distinguish between different false equivalence examples in media before rushing to judgment arbitrarily.

False Equivalence Fallacy

What is a fallacy?

A fallacy is a broad component of an argument or assertion that appears to be sound reasoning but is not particularly compelling. To look at it another way, a fallacy is a logical and reasonable inaccuracy.

Erroneous perceptions predicated on illogical arguments are known as fallacies. They inevitably arise from fundamentally flawed thinking, compromising the legitimacy of an actual argument.

The term “fallacy” can also be used in a broader context to allude to any delusional notion or root of a misguided idea.

What is a false equivalence fallacy?

False equivalency is a logical error whereby someone claims to support that two or even more entities are directly analogous precisely because they have certain traits, despite the reality that they have substantial variation.

It comprises the following justification:

  • A and B are standard features of X.
  • B and C are attributes of Y.
  • In conclusion, X and Y are identical (because they both possess B as a trait).

For instance, claiming that lizards and snakes are one and the same since they both have the innate ability to slither.

The apparent analogy is made only on the grounds of one or two parallels between the creatures, all without putting into account any one of the fundamental disparities, such as that of the physical differences and the addition to the fact that snakes lack legs, whereas lizards possess.

False equivalences are a classic rhetorical trick used to render two opposing viewpoints appear to be perfectly logical and rational when one is demonstrably missing.

False equivalencies are typically deployed in unison with some other fallacies. For instance, they typically adopt strawman fallacies to establish an incorrect parallel by deliberately misrepresenting their opponent’s stance on the issue.

Why is the false equivalence fallacy used in arguments?

False equivalency generally favors the worst of the two components being contrasted while potentially undermining the superior thing.

This is attributed to the reason that the poorer item is represented as being quite wonderful as the finer item, while the greater item is portrayed as being as unpleasant as, the worse things.

As a consequence, it’s not completely unpredictable that the worse of the two things, or their supporters or sympathizers, routinely adopt false equivalences.

Examples of false equivalence fallacy

  • It doesn’t matter if you have a dog or a cat as a pet; they’re both animals.
  • Because both ice cream and milkshakes are produced from milk, they must have an identical flavor and aroma.
  • Veganism isn’t preferable to meat-eating lifestyles since plants are living entities, very much like animals.
  • A knife and dynamite are both weapons that may be used as threats. Therefore they’re pretty much identical with no room for doubt, and if individuals can acquire kitchen knives at the supermarket, they should be free to purchase explosives as well.
  • She is Asian, and he is Asian as well; therefore, they must both be Indian.
  • Rahul once stole a piece of candy from a classmate. Raghav is a serial killer with a long list of victims. Both are criminals who should be arrested and imprisoned.
  • I found it hilarious that he drew a parallel between the computer and himself when it came to tackling mathematical calculations.
  • Apples and oranges should have a matching natural flavor. They are, after all, both fruits with a spherical form.

How to maintain a strategic distance from false equivalences?

Why are we particularly prone to false equivalence? Because it actually makes our cognition simpler and easier. When we perceive two things as comparable instead of inherently opposite, we need less analytical reasoning aptitudes.

  • To minimize establishing false equivalences, help ensure that wherever and whenever you compare and contrast two or more elements, you have sufficient logical reasoning for why the two or more independent variables are completely equal, predicated on appropriate parameters.
  • You should particularly clarify why you believe the comparability in question is perfectly appropriate if appropriate.
  • Furthermore, by being transparent about any conceivable considerations with your recommended equivalences as well as using appropriate vocabulary while expressing the equivalences, you may potentially mitigate a few of the drawbacks.

What should you do if you are confronted with a false equivalence?

Even if the assumptions about two entities are legitimate, the reasonable inference could completely collapse for a multitude of reasons. One would be that, while the two objects have common characteristics, these attributes are independent of their being analogous in the particular sense that is envisioned.

  • To challenge this false argumentation, the most viable tactic is to highlight the flaw in the equivalency that is being claimed.
  • Establish that the resemblance between the associated elements has been massively overstated, made explicit, or misrepresented.
  • Clarify why the fundamental differences between the elements being compared are much more important and relevant than the corresponding parallels.
  • If the similarities between the elements being contrasted are inaccurate owing to a considerable order-of-magnitude discrepancy, point it out and explain why it’s a problem.
  • Request that your opponent describe why they feel their equivalency is true and then reveal the shortcomings in their approach.

Furthermore, there are many major determinants to consider when commenting on a false equivalence:

  • It’s not like every comparison is an equivalence; it’s reasonable to contrast two things without actually implying that they’re identical.
  • An equivalence is not necessarily a false equivalence; in several scenarios, an equivalency is perfectly appropriate.

In a disagreement concerning the justification of animal experiments, for example, drawing comparisons between animal and human distress could be entirely appropriate. The backdrop influences whether or not a certain comparative is justified.

  • False equivalency may not always be clearly deliberate; in many contexts, individuals utilize false equivalence without actually recognizing there is a fundamental problem.
  • Equivalence is a subjective statement; sometimes, it’s not easy to identify if equivalence is genuine or misleading.


False equivalency is a variety of cognitive distortion or poor logic. False equivalence happens when you assume (or are convinced) that two components ought to have equivalent priority when faced with a decision.

If one viewpoint is supported by the evidence and the other is predicated on rampant speculation, the two opinions are not of comparable significance.

Trying to compare things might just be an important line of thinking, but it can also result in inaccurate, false conclusions.

Human psychology is a unique thing and has a natural inclination to compress controversial subjects, and that is why false equivalency fallacies are just so common these days.

You can sidestep making a false equivalency, though, by just being judicious with your fundamental reasons. You should evaluate if you’re combining two things with the acceptable rationale.

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