Presentation on theme: "Session 2 - Logic in Apologetics In this session we will examine one of the main areas of philosophy, logic. We will look at identifying logical fallacies."— Presentation transcript:
Session 2 - Logic in Apologetics In this session we will examine one of the main areas of philosophy, logic. We will look at identifying logical fallacies inside statements (with examples from apologetic questions) We will also look at different ways to prove things true
The purpose of logic is the examine the claims made in epistemology, to see if they are true or false Many of these logical fallacies and laws will be very familiar to you, and easy to identify… But others will not be Let’s look at these fallacies and how to identify them
Ad Hominem Argument Also, "personal attack," "poisoning the well." The fallacy of attempting to refute an argument by attacking the opposition’s personal character or reputation Example: You are so stupid your argument couldn't possibly be true. Example: I figured that you couldn't possibly get it right, so I ignored your comment.
In Apologetics My opponent went to an unaccredited college, therefore his argument is wrong These arguments are fairly easy to spot, when one side of the debates decides to attack his opponent instead of the arguments he presented Happens all the time in Creation vs. Evolution debates
This is a conclusion based on the premise that if A happens, then eventually through a series of small steps, through B, C,..., X, Y, Z will happen, too, basically equating A and Z. So, if we don't want Z to occur, A must not be allowed to occur either. Slippery Slope This is easy to fall into! Christians do it just as often
Direct TV had a great example 1. When your cable company puts you on hold, you get angry. 2. When you get angry, you go blow-off steam. 3. When you go blow-off steam, accidents happen. 4. When accidents happen, you get an eye-patch. 5. When you get an eye-patch, people think you’re tough. 6. When people think you’re tough, people want to see how tough. 7. And when people want to see how tough, you wake-up in a roadside ditch. 8. Don’t wake-up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of cable.
If we ban Hummers because they are bad for the environment eventually the government will ban all cars, so we should not ban Hummers. Things non-Christians tag as slippery slopes: If we legalize homosexual marriage that means we will eventually let people marry their mom or dad or brother or sister
Slippery Slopes they end up in If we allow creationism to be taught in public schools as an alternative to evolution, the next thing you know they’ll teach a flat earth and a solid sky as an alternative to modern cosmology. If they restrict pornography today, tomorrow they will take away all of your freedom of speech.
This is a conclusion based on insufficient or biased evidence. In other words, you are rushing to a conclusion before you have all the relevant facts. Example: Hasty Generalization Even though it's only the first day, I can tell this is going to be a boring course. Another easy one to fall into
Some of the Christians I met are hypocritical. Therefore, all Christians are hypocrites. An atheist I met made some very irrational arguments. Therefore, most atheists are irrational. Popular examples that come up Don’t be hasty to generalize
Cause and Effect Fallacy I drank bottled water and now I am sick, so the water must have made me sick. This is a conclusion that assumes that if 'A' occurred after 'B' then 'B' must have caused 'A.' Example:
Apologetic example: 1. One of the Protestant movement's most important doctrines is Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone). 2. The Protestant denominations have since fragmented. Therefore, Sola Scriptura causes denominational splitting. You can’t actually show a cause and effect relationship, it is possible, but not provable
Genetic Fallacy Attempting to endorse or disqualify a claim because of the origin or irrelevant history of the claim The Nazi regime developed the Volkswagen Beetle. Therefore, you should not buy a VW Beetle because of who started it. Example:
In Apologetics Something that is often told to Christians is: “Most Christians are believers because their parents were.” Often the point is to disprove Christianity… How does that do it? Just because your parents were believers and you were raised believing it doesn’t make it wrong? That’s not a valid argument against anything
Begging the Claim The conclusion that the writer should prove is validated within the claim. Filthy and polluting coal should be banned. Example: You can’t just assert your position that coal is filthy and polluting… that’s the debate
Example: The Pope is the head of the true church on earth because he is the head of the Roman Catholic Church. The scientific theory of evolution should be taught in public schools and not the religious views of creation Whether you believe that or not, just saying it doesn’t prove it
Circular Argument George Bush is a good communicator because he speaks effectively. This restates the argument rather than actually proving it Example: These can be hard to catch at times, here’s an example in apologetics
1. The Gospels contain several prophecies of the Fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. 2. Any supposed prophecy of an event that actually occurred was probably written in hindsight. 3. The Romans attacked and destroyed Jerusalem (including the Temple) in 70 A.D. (i.e. Mat 23:37, 38; Mark 13:1-3). Therefore, the Gospels were probably written after 70 A.D.
Disjunctive Syllogism This fallacy is assuming that two (or more) propositions are mutually exclusive, that is, at most one of them is true; but that has yet to be demonstrated. 1. It is either raining, or it is not. 2. It is raining. Therefore, "It is not raining" is untrue. Good example:
Example in Apologetics 1. Either God is sovereign or man has free will 2. God is sovereign. Therefore, free will doesn't exist. The conclusion would only follow from premise 2 if the two propositions in premise 1 were shown to be truly mutually exclusive.
Either/or This is a conclusion that oversimplifies the argument by reducing it to only two sides or choices. We can either stop using coal fire plants or destroy the earth. Example: Is it possible there’s another option?
Red Herring This is a diversionary tactic that avoids the key issues, often by avoiding opposing arguments rather than addressing them I know your car isn't working right. But, if you had gone to the store one day earlier, you'd not be having problems. Example:
I would support the President with the War in Iraq, but I don't like his policy on the economy. If we teach creationism in public schools our technological advancements will fall behind compared to other countries, isn’t technology important to our economy? Examples in Apologetics Red herrings are everywhere in debate
Straw Man This move oversimplifies an opponent's viewpoint and then attacks that hollow argument. Mom: The doctor says that these exercises will help you recover more quickly. Son: Aw, Mom! Do I have to look like Arnold Schwarzsengger?
Special Pleading (double standard) Applying a standard to another that is different from a standard applied to oneself. Example: You can't possibly understand menopause because you are a man. Those rules don't apply to me since I am older than you.
Example in apologetics: Often times when someone brings something up that you can’t answer as a Christian, they say that means you are wrong (after all, you can’t explain something) However, when you bring up to an atheist that they can’t explain the origin of life, they say they’re still studying it
Poisoning the Well (form of Ad Hominem) Presenting negative information about a person before he/she speaks so as to discredit the person's argument. Example: Frank is pompous, arrogant, and thinks he knows everything. So, let's hear what Frank has to say about the subject
Appeal to Popularity/Majority Urging the hearer to accept a position because a majority of people hold to it. Example: Everyone else is doing it. Why shouldn't you? Just because the majority do or believe something doesn’t have any bearing on the truth of the statement
Example in Apologetics The majority of scientists believe in evolution, therefore you should too This also happens on the flip side though The majority of the world population believe in God or gods (theism) therefore God (or gods) must exist The majority doesn’t prove it
Many other fallacies do exist Loaded Question "Why is George W. Bush so blood thirsty?" Appeal to Authority “Scholars say…” Therefore it must be true? Appeal to Tradition It’s the way we’ve been doing it for years
Two types of reasoning Deductive reasoning (Sherlock) In the process of deduction, you begin with some statements, called 'premises', that are assumed to be true, you then determine what else would have to be true if the premises are true. Deductive reasoning leads to truth with certainty
All men are mortal. Joe is a man. Therefore Joe is mortal. If the first two statements are true, then the conclusion must be true. Example of deductive reasoning Bachelor's are unmarried men. Bill is unmarried. Therefore, Bill is a bachelor. Both these things are true if the premises are correct
Inductive reasoning (Psych) In the process of induction, you begin with some data, and then determine what general conclusion(s) can logically be derived from those data In other words, you determine what theory or theories could explain the data. With inductive reasoning you get truth to a degree of probability
Examples: This marble from the bag is black. That marble from the bag is black. A third (all the way to one hundred) marbles from the bag are all black. Therefore all the marbles in the bag black. While from the data that we have it sure seems unlikely that a red marble is in there, we don’t know for sure
Some apologetic examples: An argument to prove atheists can’t exist by deductive reason 1) To be an atheist is to claim that there is absolutely, positively NO God (to claim ignorance is agnosticism) 2) To know absolutely, positively that there is no God, then one has to have all information about ALL things
3) To have such knowledge would make one God. (being omniscience) Therefore the only one who could be a true atheist would be God. Is it a good argument? Are any of the premises wrong? If none of the premises are incorrect, than the conclusion is correct
When you come across an argument, your goal is to look at the premises and see if any of them are false Premise 1: God is all loving Premise 2: God is all Powerful Premise 3: An all loving being would stop suffering whenever they could Conclusion: Therefore God is either not all loving or not all powerful Any problems?
We will look at other examples throughout this class of deductive (and inductive) reasoning that supports God and Christianity Do your best to familiarize yourself with the different logical fallacies and keep your eye open for them in conversations. They happen all the time! Most people just don’t know how to identify them.
Memory Verse Isaiah 1:18A: "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD”