Definitions

package expresses

Package-deal fallacy

The logical fallacy of the package deal consists of assuming that things often grouped together by tradition or culture must always be grouped that way.

It is particularly common in political arguments: "My opponent is a conservative who voted against higher taxes and welfare, therefore he will also oppose gun control and abortion." While those four positions are often grouped together as "conservative" in American politics, there is really no reason that one cannot believe in one "conservative" idea but not another.

The package deal fallacy refers to misuse of the and operator. For misuse of the or operator, see false dilemma.

Additional examples

  • "John likes surprises, so he'll enjoy finding a snake in his sleeping bag."
    • Assumes a surprise is inherently a good thing, does not consider actual context of event
  • "Droughts are common during summers in Country X. So water is hard to find there in August."
    • It hasn't rained in Country X for a while, but there may well be plenty of water reserves available

When it is Not a Fallacy

The Package-Deal argument need not be a fallacy when used to argue that things grouped by culture and tradition are likely to be grouped in a given way.

Examples

  • "John enjoys science fiction films, so chances are he'll enjoy Star Wars"
    • While it is not guaranteed that John will like Star Wars, we can tell from information about him that he probably will.
  • "There has been a serious drought in Country X for a while, and it is not very developed, so many of its inhabitants are probably starving".
    • Most developing countries do face famine when drought occurs, so it is likely that this is the case in Country X, even if it is not guaranteed.

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