Denial of the epistemic gradient:

Definition Example
When semantic resolution is decreased by invoking artificially binary or granular epistemic categories. Either you believe in space aliens or you don’t. You need to make up your mind.
  Notes
Evidence most commonly arrives in degrees. If belief is to be rational, it must map to the degree of the evidence. Therefore, rational belief is necessarily non-discrete.


Sometime, binary belief is confused with binary decisions. While you must make a binary decision to cross an old bridge, it does not follow that your belief that the bridge is safe must also be binary.


This is closely related to the semantic pixelization fallacy.

Case Study One

Both theists and atheists often over-categorize the position of others by suggesting one must either believe or disbelieve in a god. However, the evidence invoked for belief/disbelief in the god in question is rarely non-incremental, and therefore rational belief in that god will fall somewhere on a continuum.


Case Study Two

Some articles/books on financial/business success suggest you must believe with 100% certainty you will succeed to succeed. While this delusion may result in decisions that make success more likely, it does not make success certain, and the belief is therefore irrational.
[Example: “But if you don’t in fact have it then you don’t in fact want it.“]


Keep in mind that a fallacious argument does not entail an erroneous position.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: