The nirvana fallacy: An imperfect solution is often better than no solution

The Logic of Science

In this post, I want to briefly explain and discuss a logical blunder known commonly as the “nirvana fallacy.” This fallacy occurs when you suggest either that a solution should not be used because it is imperfect or that a solution should not be used because there is some underlying issue that is not being addressed, but you fail to provide a plausible alternative. That may seem a bit confusing at first, so I will use several examples that are commonly used by opponents of science.

Let’s start with one of the most basic and most obvious examples. Anti-vaccers often like to claim that we should not vaccinate because vaccines aren’t 100% effective. This is an extremely clear cut instance of the nirvana fallacy, because the fact that something isn’t 100% effective does not mean that we should not use it. Partial effectiveness is still better than no effectiveness. Indeed…

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