Package-Deal Fallacy

(also known as: false conjunction)

Description: Assuming things that are often grouped together must always be grouped together, or the assumption that the ungrouping will have significantly more severe effects than anticipated.

Logical Form:

X and Y usually go together.

Therefore, X or Y cannot be separated.

Example #1:

Michael is part of the Jackson Five.  Without Tito and company, he will never make it.

Explanation: Michael Jackson was sure great in the Jackson Five, but as history proves, he was legendary on his own.  Assuming he would not make it on his own is a judgment call not founded on evidence or reason.

Example #2:

If indoor smoking laws are passed for bars, the bars will go out of business since people who drink, smoke while they drink.

Explanation: This was a common argument against the banning of indoor smoking for bars and other drinking establishments.  The fear of separating smoking and drinking arose from the fear of going out of business, not from statistical data or any other evidence that would normally be deemed reasonable.  Many years later, it appears that the smoking ban had no significant impact on these kinds of establishments.[1]

Exception: An exception can be made for personal tastes.

I can’t even imagine eating just a peanut-butter sandwich without jelly (or Fluff).

Tip: Never underestimate the human ability to adapt and prosper.


This a logical fallacy frequently used on the Internet. No academic sources could be found.

[1] Mark Engelen, Matthew Farrelly & Andrew Hyland: The Health and Economic Impact of New York's Clean Indoor Air Act. July 2006, p. 21

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