Defining false equivalency

False equivalency is a logical fallacy that happens when someone wrongly claims that two or more objects are identical merely because they share such features, ignoring the fact that there are still substantial variations between them. For example, a False equivalency is that cats and dogs are the same breed, since they are all mammals and have a tail.

False equivalency, which typically exaggerates correlations and avoids essential distinctions, may be used to reconcile a broad variety of objects, including people, classes, acts or arguments, either indirectly or directly. Consequently, False equivalency is also used in discussions on different issues, particularly when it comes to implying that there is a moral equivalence between two or more objects that are being equal.

False equivalency is to be assumed because it is incorrect in any way, which means that there is a question of logic that is used to justify whether the objects under scrutiny are equal to one another.

Usually, there is some subjectivity involved in deciding whether or not the equivalent is false. For example, in a case where there is a difference in the order of magnitude, in terms of effect of two actions that are being equal, the individual presenting the False equivalency may assume that the difference is minor enough that the equivalence is fair, whereas someone else may contend that the difference makes the equivalence incorrect.

In such cases, it is up to each group in the debate to contend either for or against equivalence. Specifically, the duty of proof lies first on the person claiming equivalence, which means that they must have proper evidence for equivalence. Then their adversary has a presumption of evidence if they say that the equivalence is incorrect, which means that they must give proper support to their case against the equivalence.

False equivalency fallacy is frequently used in combination with other logical falsities and rhetorical tactics. For example, this could entail a false portrayal of the two sides in equivalence, with the use of cherry-picking, with the goal of making one side look more positive and the other more pessimistic than they actually are. If this occurs, you will usually benefit from fixing unique problems with these added flaws. If you do this depends on the falsity in question, since different falsities are countered in different ways. However one course of action that is useful in most situations is clearly to find out the logical error in the fallacious claim and to explain why it invalidates the argument.

In order to prevent using False equivalency, you can make sure that if you compare two or more objects to one another, you have adequate reasoning as to whether the things in question are equal, depending on the applicable parameters. If possible, you can clarify clearly why you conclude that the equivalence in question is rational. This will help you make sure that the equivalence is truly fair, and help you show the people you’re referring to.  Also, bear in mind that you should use the same methods that you would use if you believed someone else was using a False equivalency, to make sure you don’t use one yourself.

Finally, you can help resolve some of the possible problems with the suggested equivalences by being up front and using the relevant terms when describing the equivalences.

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