Perfect Solution Fallacy

AKA: Perfectionist Fallacy

The fallacy of rejecting a solution to a problem on the grounds that it isn't 100% perfect. It ignores the possibility that while the solution may not be completely perfect, it may still be better than the alternatives, and may even pave the way for a better solution in the future. Those who commit this fallacy also tend to assume that a perfect solution does exist, when if anything, empirical evidence has shown us time and time again that there is almost never any such thing as a perfect solution to a problem.

For example, Chaya develops a compound that will reduce certain types of pain by up to 50%. Her partner David scoffs, saying that the patients will still be in pain anyway, so why bother giving people this compound at all? This overlooks the fact that even partial pain reduction can vastly improve one's quality of life, and it could even mean the difference between being able to go to work and earn a living or not being able to. So while partial pain reduction may not be the optimal solution, it's still preferable to no solution at all.

Or, Arthur designs a new piece of safety equipment that will protect 15% of a person's body while performing certain dangerous work. Anne objects, stating that there are still a million ways people could still get hurt doing this, so why bother? Of course, the answer's simple - it's that many fewer injuries that a person might have to be treated for and recover from, which means more time to be productive and do enjoyable things, less time suffering, and fewer medical resources being used on those particular injuries, which means more medical resources for other injuries that can't be so easily avoided yet.

This fallacy is closely related to the Nirvana Fallacy.

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