Often "dilemma" is used to describe a situation of choosing between two undesirable alternatives, or two unpleasant choices. I am interested in a situation where there are sharply conflicting two answers for a (scientific) question, there are good reasons to doubt each of the two answers, but otherwise, each answer, if correct, will be fruitful and "good." Is using "dilemma" to describe such a situation appropriate (and not confusing)? Is there an alternative word?
"quandary" is not exactly the same as "dilemma" but their meanings sometimes overlap.
"quandary" - a state of perplexity or doubt, a situation in which you are confused about what to do. MW
The unexpected results of the test have created a quandary for researchers.
I'm in a quandary about whether I should try to repair my stereo or buy a new one, even though I don't have the money to do either.
- Williams's quandary is not unlike that faced by other urban executives who have had to wrestle with a deeply rooted power structure.
If you’re uncertain what to do because all of your options seem unpleasant, you’re probably in a quandary. Some voters find themselves in a quandary when they dislike all of the candidates. A more common quandary is when you plan two events at the same time and can’t decide which one to attend. Some synonyms are predicament, dilemma, plight, and pickle — and choosing which word to use is a quandary in itself. vocabulary.com