Intolerance and the Zero Tolerance Fallacy

In Gabrijela Kišiček (ed.), What Do We Know About the World? Centre for Research on Reasoning, Argumentation, and Rhetoric. pp. 132-144 (2013)
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Abstract
When an activity is unwanted, administrators often adopt a zero tolerance policy towards that activity. The background assumption is that, by adopting a zero tolerance policy, one is doing everything that one can to reduce or eliminate the activity in question. Yet which policy best serves to reduce an unwanted behavior is always an empirical question. Thus, those who adopt a zero tolerance policy towards some behavior without first investigating and finding that they are in a set of circumstances where that policy is the most cost-effective way of reducing or eliminating the undesirable behavior are committing the zero tolerance fallacy.
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