Dilemmas: Morton’s Fork

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Morton’s Fork is a choice between two equally unpleasant alternatives, or two lines of reasoning that lead to the same unpleasant conclusion. It is analogous to the expressions “between the devil and the deep blue sea,” “between a rock and a hard place,” or the Spanish phrase “between a sword and a wall.”

The phrase originated with the Archbishop of Canterbury John Morton,  in the late 15th century, who, in regards to collecting taxes said: “If the subject is seen to live frugally, tell him because he is clearly a money saver of great ability, he can afford to give generously to the King. If, however, the subject lives a life of great extravagance, tell him he, too, can afford to give largely, the proof of his opulence being evident in his expenditure.” (wiki)