False Equivalence

false equivalence - race hounds

Describing a situation where there is a logical and apparent equivalence, but when in fact there is none.

A common way for this fallacy to be perpetuated is one shared trait between two subjects is assumed to show equivalence, especially the order of magnitude, when equivalence is not necessarily the logical result.

Gang bangers cover there heads with hoodies.
Nuns cover their heads with habits.

Nuns are no better than gang bangers.

Just because both cover their heads does not necessarily mean they are equally as likely to rob a gas station at gunpoint. A single shared trait does not entitle one to assume all other traits are shared as well. The above example also portrays a hasty generalization fallacy as well, seeing as not all gang bangers wear hoodies, nor do all nuns wear habits.

Put simply, this fallacy claims apples and oranges are the same fruit simply because they both have seeds.

Creationism and Evolution both explain how we got here, so teach both sides.

A myth which just won’t die, this assertion is often used at school board meetings in order to push mythology as science. In reality, evolution explains all of the evidence found regarding the diversity of life on Earth, where creationism explains none of it, instead replacing an explanation with ‘God did false equivalence - jesus and hitlerit’, a decidedly non-explanation.

Hitler, Stalin and Mao were atheists and they were horrible people, therefore all atheists are horrible people.

A common claim by religious apologists attempting to assert atheism is the equivalent of being immoral, as those men decidedly were. Even if we assumed all three men were indeed atheists, if being atheistic were the same as being evil, then all atheistic countries would be horrible places to live, when in reality the countries which top the lists of happiest people, best healthcare, best educated, least inequality and lowest crime are almost entirely atheistic countries. If religion were such an equalizing, moral foundation, these lists would be topped by theocracies such as Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt and Morocco, countries with nearly no atheist population.false equivalence

This fallacy is also a false cause fallacy, as they blame atheism, merely not believing god claims, as the direct cause of their deeds, instead of the ideologies of the men.

Killing a person is murder, so all  people who kill should be imprisoned

This argument oversimplifies the circumstances leading to the death. What about self-defense? Should killing someone who is trying to kill you also lead to prison? Obviously not all killing is punished the same way, if at all.

false equivalence - racist to hate a turban


Feeling apprehensive when in close proximity to someone who chooses to follow a religion which promotes martyrdom and the murder of others is rational. Feeling the same fear based on the skin pigment of a person is not.

The irony of this Twitter response, although superficial satisfying, is the respondent assumes anyone wearing a turban is of a certain race, a decidedly racist assumption.

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