History Main / PerfectSolutionFallacy

19th Nov '17 12:18:48 AM garthvader
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* Common in environmentalism regarding fossil fuel industries and incineration: creation of new facilities is opposed because despite being cleaner, safer and more efficient, they do not perfectly solve the problem of pollution. The fact that the net result is antiquated, dangerous and more heavily polluting facilities being retained long past their service life is ignored.


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* Common in environmentalism regarding fossil fuel industries and incineration: creation of new facilities is opposed because despite being cleaner, safer and more efficient, they do not perfectly solve the problem of pollution. The fact that the net result is antiquated, dangerous and more heavily polluting facilities being retained long past their service life is ignored.
19th Nov '17 12:18:06 AM garthvader
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Added DiffLines:

* Common in environmentalism regarding fossil fuel industries and incineration: creation of new facilities is opposed because despite being cleaner, safer and more efficient, they do not perfectly solve the problem of pollution. The fact that the net result is antiquated, dangerous and more heavily polluting facilities being retained long past their service life is ignored.
17th Nov '17 8:42:33 PM garthvader
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This fallacy is the basis of the proverbial admonition, "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

to:

This fallacy is the basis of the proverbial admonition, "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."
" The inverse is to argue that something is a good course of action simply because it is "better than nothing," without explaining ''why'' it is better than nothing.
17th Nov '17 8:40:16 PM garthvader
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* The fringe argument that ''biological sex'' is a social construct (not just gender) is based around arguing that since the biological description of a sexually dimophic species doesn't apply to the entire human population, it doesn't matter that it describes a good 99% of it.
17th Nov '17 2:39:27 PM garthvader
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* Commonly used to refute the reliability of [[TheWikiRule wikis]], usually Wiki/TheOtherWiki. The fact that there's no way to permanently protect every single page from all [[WikiVandal vandalism]] or absolutely confirm that every last sentence added in good faith is absolutely true over all scenarios, becomes an excuse to claim the wiki is always wrong. When told [[Administrivia/RepairDontRespond You Could Always Edit It Yourself]], they claim disdain for cleaning up other people's messes.

to:

* Commonly used to refute the reliability of [[TheWikiRule wikis]], usually Wiki/TheOtherWiki. The fact that there's no way to permanently protect every single page from all [[WikiVandal vandalism]] or absolutely confirm that every last sentence added in good faith is absolutely true over all scenarios, becomes an excuse to claim the wiki is always wrong. When told [[Administrivia/RepairDontRespond You Could Always Edit It Yourself]], they claim disdain for cleaning up other people's messes.
17th Nov '17 2:33:33 PM garthvader
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* ''Assuming'' an opponent wants a perfect solution through use of a Slippery Slope / Hasty Generalisation Fallacy: for example, an opponent claims that minor things X, Y and Z in a videogame are unrealistic, and gets the response "well if it were really realistic you would only get to die once!"
17th Nov '17 2:23:44 PM garthvader
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* The UnpleasableFanbase phenomenon stems largely from this type of fallacy, as do Fan Dumb, Hatedom, Hate Dumb, etc. - basically, if the thing you like [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks changes even a slight bit]] and/or has so much as ''one'' flawed episode/book/issue/level/etc, it is RuinedForever, and [[FanHater nobody is permitted to like or enjoy things ever again]].
17th Nov '17 2:19:17 PM garthvader
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** BegingTheQuestion applies here heavily: your opponent must ''agree'' that the state in question is concrete and achievable for you to be able to use this as a premise.

to:

** BegingTheQuestion BeggingTheQuestion applies here heavily: your opponent must ''agree'' that the state in question is concrete and achievable for you to be able to use this as a premise.
17th Nov '17 2:18:52 PM garthvader
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A subcategory of FalseDichotomy, the '''Perfect Solution Fallacy''' is arguing that a course of action is no good because it isn't ''perfect''; in other words, a solution isn't worth doing because it won't completely solve the problem. This essentially assumes the opposite of the GoldenMeanFallacy; rather than assuming the extremes cannot exist and the middle is correct, it assumes the middle cannot exist and a solution is either absolutely perfect or entirely without worth. This is then used to argue that the hypothetical perfect solution must be used, or that a solution is useless because some part of the problem will remain after it has been implemented.

to:

A subcategory of FalseDichotomy, the '''Perfect Solution Fallacy''' is arguing that a course of action is no good because it isn't ''perfect''; in other words, a solution isn't worth doing because it won't completely solve the problem. is not ''perfect''. This essentially assumes the opposite of the GoldenMeanFallacy; rather than assuming the extremes cannot exist and the middle is correct, it assumes the middle cannot exist and a solution is either absolutely perfect or entirely without worth.undesirable. This is then used to argue that the hypothetical perfect solution must be used, or that a solution is useless because some part of the problem will remain after it has been implemented.



However, using them won't solve the problem completely.\\

to:

However, using them won't solve the problem completely.ideal solution would be for nobody to use bags at all.\\



Since outside of mathematics a perfect solution to ''anything'' is unlikely in the extreme, this fallacy is usually combined with BeggingTheQuestion; a debater will assume a "perfect" solution is one which fits his argument and views ideally, regardless of whether his opponent would view the result as perfect or even desirable. Alternatively, it can be used to defend the status quo by counting up the flaws in a proposed alternative without comparing it to the current solution, which has its own flaws.

This is often the basis of an AppealToIgnorance; the claim then is that because we don't ''perfectly'' understand something, our theories about it are necessarily false.

to:

Since outside of mathematics a perfect solution to ''anything'' is unlikely in the extreme, this fallacy is usually combined with BeggingTheQuestion; a debater will assume a "perfect" solution is one which fits his argument and views ideally, ideals, regardless of whether his opponent would view the result as perfect or even desirable. Alternatively, it can be used desirable.

A sneakier form is
to defend ''not'' state what the status quo by counting up the idealised solution actually is, and instead dismiss a position purely because it has flaws in a proposed alternative without comparing ''at all'':

-->Reusable bags require raw materials, manufacturing, fossil fuel consumption, shipping costs, (and so on).\\
These flaws clearly show
it to the current solution, is not a worthwhile solution.

This will often incorporate "flaws"
which has its own flaws.

are also flaws of the system that would remain if the solution were rejected. This is often the basis of an AppealToIgnorance; the claim then is that because we don't ''perfectly'' understand something, our theories about it are necessarily false.
false, no matter how good the models they generate are.



* Rejecting a solution due to comparison to a concrete and achievable state which is argued to be superior. Rejecting a proposal to eat cold food when you are in a room which has a stove and you have time to cook it is not a perfect solution fallacy. Rejecting a proposal to eat cold food when you are in an ice cave at the North Pole with no method of starting a fire, on the other hand, is.
**BegingTheQuestion applies here heavily: your opponent must ''agree'' that the state in question is concrete and achievable for you to be able to use this as a premise.



* Rejecting a solution based on a comparison to the status quo, such as a cost-to-benefit ratio. The fallacy is only committed when one side rejects a solution because it is inferior to an idealised one, not when they reject it because it is inferior to an existing one.



* Rejecting a solution because it has an unacceptable cost-to-benefit ratio.
** Rejecting a solution because of differing projected cost-benefit ratios, at least until the projections are agreed upon.
** Rejecting a solution because of different values to the costs and benefits, where one side values a particular cost or benefit more or less than the other.
** Asking if there is a solution with a better ratio.

to:

* Rejecting a solution because it has an unacceptable cost-to-benefit ratio.
** Rejecting a solution because of differing projected cost-benefit ratios, at least until the projections are agreed upon.
** Rejecting a solution because of different values to the costs and benefits, where one side values a particular cost or benefit more or less than the other.
** Asking if there is a solution with a better ratio.



* Several instances of TooAwesomeToUse are generated by this sort of thinking: ''Even though I'm out of Potions and I don't have a healing spell, I can't use my Elixir now! I may be low on Hit Points but I've still got most of my Mana.''
* Used against the theory of evolution. Some claim that evolution cannot be correct, because it doesn't explain how life began. While technically right, no-one has claimed it does; finding out how life began is an entirely different scientific branch. Sometimes followed by [[AppealToIgnorance God of the Gaps argument]], depending on what kind of person you're dealing with.

to:

* Several instances of TooAwesomeToUse are generated by this sort of thinking: ''Even though I'm out of Potions and I don't have a healing spell, I can't use my Elixir now! I may be low on Hit Points but I've still got most of my Mana.''
* Used against the theory of evolution. Some claim that evolution cannot be correct, because it doesn't explain how life began. While technically right, no-one has claimed it does; finding out how life began is an entirely different scientific branch. It is also used with the fossil record, where when transitional fossils are demonstrated to exist, the creationist will demand the transitions between ''those'' transitions until a fossil is not found, which is then used as grounds to dismiss the entire fossil record. Sometimes followed by [[AppealToIgnorance God of the Gaps argument]], depending on what kind of person you're dealing with.



* UsefulNotes/RichardNixon's proposed health care reform would have, arguably, gone farther than Obamacare. However, the reform failed to pass, as the Democrats of the time refused any health care reform that did not implement a single-payer system (i.e. they believed that Nixon's reforms wouldn't have gone far enough). Nixon's second attempt was not designed to happen due to the Watergate scandal and his resignation.
15th Nov '17 8:52:23 PM garthvader
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* Those opposed to gender equality in the workplace cite this, claiming that that laws about the subject are the perfect in opposition to a currently good system. This fails to account for the well-documented loopholes involving hiring discrimination, discrimination in promotions, and just the continued practice of women making less even when all factors other than gender are accounted for.
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