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SeekFind Logo            Home     >   Meaning     >   Christian Witness     >   Encyclopedia of Logical Fallacies     >   Answer to Critic
  

Answer to Critic


 
 

Recently, there was the following criticism of the SeekFind.net dictionary of logical fallacies.

SeekFind manages to use several fallacies in its explanations of fallacies.

Word Magic

For example, its "Logical Fallacy of Word Magic" page writes:

Events like the Big Bang, Molecules to Man, Abiogenesis, etc. are constantly spoken of as if they actually happened.

The author implies that the only reason people believe in these things is that there are words for them, ignoring the massive evidence for each.

Actually, the SeekFind.net author doesn’t imply that. The rationalwiki.org author is committing a strawman fallacy by making the claim. Many fallacies are used to support these unobserved speculations. However, SeekFind.net is discussing the word magic fallacy at this time.

When the rationalwiki.org author says, “ignoring the massive evidence for each,” the rationalwiki.org author is using the presupposition fallacy. The rationalwiki.org author presupposes that massive evidence exists for each of these stories but doesn’t present that evidence. In fact, the so-called “evidence” for each of these stories consists of made-up stuff. The word "evidence," in this case, is an example or word magic. In fact, the so-called "evidence" is phantom evidence.

Atheism is spoken of as if there are really people who don’t know that God exists; however, God reveals that they know but choose not to acknowledge Him as God. God speaks this through the first chapter of Romans.

This argument is essentially moving the goalposts: You say you don't believe in god, but you merely don't recognize him, so you're not truly an atheist.

The rationalwiki.org author avoided the real issue and tried to use summary dismissal in the form of a phantom moving-the-goalposts fallacy. Also, the rationalwiki.org author didn’t capitalize a proper name. The rationalwiki.org author probably knows that this is incorrect English but wanted to disrespect God. The real issue this: God says that ungodly people know. Everyone knows. By God’s revelation, we know that everyone knows. Divine revelation is the only way that anything can be known about anything. Ungodly people recognize God but refuse to acknowledge Him.

Many theists might base their belief on personal revelation; however, personal revelation of the theist is entirely irrelevant to the atheist.

The rationalwiki.org author commits a bare assertion fallacy. An atheist may think that divine revelation is irrelevant, but that doesn't make divine revelation irrelevant. Divine revelation is relevant to every person. Without divine revelation, there’s no hope of a true premise. The Münchausen Trilemma is the only option without divine revelation. Therefore, without divine revelation, it’s impossible to be rational. Therefore, without divine revelation, there's no point in thinking about anything. Every argument that isn't rooted in divine revelation is irrelevant.

 

The rationalwiki.org author’s statement, “personal revelation of the theist is entirely irrelevant to the atheist,” is a summary dismissal. Personal revelation is the only way that anything can be known about anything. God reveals through observation and God reveals logic. However, for those who refuse to acknowledge God’s revelation, they merely assume that observation and logic are valid. They have no way to prove that observation and logic are valid since they refuse to acknowledge God's divine revelation. Therefore, it’s irrational for them to depend on either observation or logic.

Further, many theists attempt to prove that God exists purely through logic, such as the Ontological argument.

This is a red herring fallacy. It has nothing to do with the issue. Also, nothing can be proved purely through logic since a true premise is required for logic to be sound. Trying to use logic to develop a true premise always results in infinite regression. Only divine revelation can provide a true premise.

Argument to the Future

SeekFind's "Argument to the Future" page writes: 

"We don't have any real evidence that molecules turned into people over time, but science will be able to show that in the futhure"

This will happen by making up better stories, no doubt.

SeekFind ignores both (a) that evidence exists in the present and that (b) the history of the science of evolution has shown only increasing support for it as a theory; for example, there is no reason to believe that fewer transitional fossils will be found. It also ignores that of course molecules turned into people—every person born is made of molecules and has been from conception (and even before that). Even Young-Earth Creationism would be hard-pressed to suggest that the mud that God turned into Adam didn't contain molecules.

The rationalwiki.org author claims:

Evidence [that molecules turned into people over time] exists in the present . . .

If “evidence” consists of observations interpreted by the filter of the presupposition of molecules-to-humanity evolutionism (circular reasoning), then evidence exists. However, if “evidence” doesn’t consist of circular reasoning of this sort, then no evidence exists. If the evidence is based on a fallacy, the evidence is irrelevant.

The word “support” is undefined. If the word “support” means political support, then this is an appeal to popularity fallacy. If the word “support” means evidence, then the problem outlined in the previous paragraph exists.

The rationalwiki.org author says, “. . . there is no reason to believe that fewer transitional fossils will be found.” This implies that someone has proved a transitional fossil exists. None have been proven to exist. Prophetically declaring that transitional fossils will be found in the future is irrational unless God has said this. The only source of true prophecy is God.

The rationalwiki.org author’s argument that “every person born is made of molecules and has been from conception” appears to be a deliberate attempt to misunderstand. The discussion is about lifeless molecules turning into humans over long periods of time by natural processes. That’s what the story of evolutionism is all about.

Insignificant

"In the last thirty years, we have increased CO2 by about one percent per year. We must stop man-made CO2 emissions."

The Earth began warming right after the Little Ice Age in the mid 1800s, and has increased 0.5 degrees C. in the last 100 years. It's impossible to tell whether this is a cyclical increase following the Genesis Flood or a continuing trend. Over the last decade and a half, the warming has been very close to zero. Over the last 150 years, there is very little correlation between temperature and human-generated CO2. There is no firm data that indicate the man-made CO2 is a factor at all. There are natural sources of CO2, but CO2 may be an insignificant cause. Climate-gate reduces the credibility of those pushing the agenda. Sun spots seem to be a greater factor than CO2. Natural CO2 is a greater factor if CO2 is a factor at all. Cloudiness has been largely overlooked in climate models.

While it does explain why anthropogenic global warming is supposedly not the most significant cause, it's incorrect in that the page is almost a gish-gallop of global warming denialist talking points, none of which are true.

That doesn’t answer the problem at all. The phrase “global warming denialist” is an appeal to emotion fallacy and name-calling. It also assumes global warming to prove global warming, which is circular reasoning. The reference to "gish-gallop" is a familiar fallacy of ungodly people. These fallacies certainly don’t prove global warming.

Over 31,000 scientists have declared global warming a hoax and have signed a petition to that effect. That doesn’t prove that global warming is a hoax, but it does show that the rationalwiki.org author’s bias toward global warming is unwarranted. President Obama used an appeal to popularity fallacy in stating that 97% of scientists agree that global warming is real. That lie has been debunked. There’s actually quite a diversity of opinion among scientists despite the coercion that takes place when anyone goes against this sacred cow story. Al Gore made predictions about global warming that have also proved false.

Circular Reasoning

Circular versus Non-Circular Reasoning

 

Instead of using the Bible to support God or God to support the Bible, SeekFind tells us to use personal knowledge that can't be verified to anyone else. Right.

The rationalwiki.org author uses an appeal to ridicule fallacy rather than addressing the issue. The rationalwiki.org author also asserts a universal negative in the statement: “personal knowledge that can't be verified to anyone else.” Asserting a universal negative is a fallacy unless one is all-knowing. Only God is all-knowing. What makes the rationalwiki.org author think no one can verify God? Anyone can verify God. The rationalwiki.org author failed to account for the fact that whoever seeks Christ in sincerity finds Christ. There are many insincere people, but there are no exceptions to the fact that whoever seeks Christ finds Christ. No one has to take another person's word. Anyone with an open mind can come to Christ and find Him. As with all true evidence, ignoring the evidence can keep the unbeliever from verifying reality. In this case, the evidence is in Jesus Christ Himself. Every person who seeks Christ in sincerity finds Christ. Those who don't want Christ to rule over them and who don't want to move in His love will refuse to seek Christ in sincerity.

SeekFind's "Appeal to Possibility" page utilizes two fallacious examples:

Sandy: "Evolution is scientific fact. Information is added to cells all the time through duplication, mutation and then natural selection"

Rocky: "Actually, the kind of new, innovative, universal information that would be required for even the smallest step in evolution has never been observed."

Sandy: "Well, it's still possible that it happens once in a while somewhere. You can't prove that it doesn't."

Rocky: "I think that you are trying to convince me that molecules-to-man evolution actually took place, not that it might be possible. If so, do you have any compelling evidence at all that it actually happened?"

Sandy: "If it is possible, then it must have happened."

Have you noticed that evolutionism evangelists never try to prove that the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story actually happened. They try, unsuccessfully, to prove that it's possible. The story is presupposed. The attitude is that if it's possible, then it happened. This is the logical fallacy of appeal to possibility.

rationalwiki.org author: “In this, SeekFind explicitly sets up a strawman of evolutionist positions. Very few evolutionists actually say what "Sandy" states; instead, most look towards the massive amounts of evidence in favor of Common descent. It is ridiculous to cast all of the research that evolutionary scientists have done for the past 150-odd years as nothing but an appeal to possibility. Hell, even the Lenski experiment provides almost enough evidence to believe that evolution by natural selection occurs.

In reality, SeekFind.net didn't commit a strawman fallacy regarding evolutionist positions but rather recorded a transcript of one evolutionist’s actual position to illustrate a fallacy. The rationalwiki.org author commits the fallacy of projection since the rationalwiki.org author sets up this strawman, saying that the SeekFind author said things that the SeekFind author never implied.

When the rationalwiki.org author says, “the massive amounts of evidence in favor of Common descent” the rationalwiki.org author is presupposing massive amounts of evidence in favor of common descent for all living things. Let’s repeat the earlier statement about the definition of “evidence.” If “evidence” consists of observations interpreted by the filter of the presupposition of molecules-to-humanity evolutionism (circular reasoning), then evidence exists. However, if “evidence” doesn’t consist of circular reasoning of this sort, then no evidence exists.

 

Sandy: "Your contention that God leads His people is ridiculous."

Rocky: "It's been my experience and the experience of millions of followers of Christ that He does indeed lead us."

Sandy: "Yeah, but did you ever consider that it is possible that you and millions of believers are not experiencing what you think you are experiencing?"

SeekFind appeals to popularity. Simply because many Christians say something, does not make it true! As counterexamples, consider that millions of Muslims or Hindus may believe that their respective gods had roles in their respective lives, rather than YHWH; and millions of atheists may argue that they feel the "absence" of YHWH in their lives. Furthermore, an appeal to popularity is fundamentally based on an appeal to probability (the exact fallacy that SeekFind is trying to explain) – ‘so many people believe X; it's unlikely that they're all wrong’.”

The rationalwiki.org author has built a straw man argument that this is an appeal to popularity fallacy. Noting that one’s personal experience is common to millions of others isn’t appeal to popularity unless this is used as proof for the conclusion. But it was never claimed as proof. It isn’t meant to be proof. It’s a testimony of Jesus Christ. When any Christian testifies of his or her experience with Christ, Christ is being proclaimed. That’s not the same as proclaiming information about Christ. The person of Christ is in the words that are being said. Anyone hearing those Christ-fillled words can either accept Christ or reject Christ. That’s not to say that there isn’t proof. The proof is in looking at the evidence. Those who are resistant to Christ won’t look at the evidence, which is, in itself, a fallacy. This goes back to the fact that anyone can test Christ. No one has to take anyone else’s word for it. In fact, each person must find Him personally. Therefore, the rationalwiki.org author’s point is a red herring fallacy.

Let's look at another example of the same fallacy the rationalwiki.org author just committed twice. We'll use gravity as an example, using the same logic as Rocky used and the graphic about Circular Reasoning and "Not Circular Reasoning" used. 

"It's been my experience and the experience of millions of others that gravity always works."

"Gravity exists" "Why believe in gravity?" "Because I experience gravity."

Now, let's use the rationalwiki,org author's logic to refute this logic about gravity.

"This is an appeal to poplularity. It's also an appeal to probability: so many people believe in gravity; it's unlikely that they're all wrong. You're telling us to use personal knowledge that can't be verified to anyone else. Right."

You can see that the rationalwiki.org author's logic isn't rational.

Note that this article started with this paragraph, which is riddled by fallacies:

SeekFind.net(link) is a YEC Christian evangelical webshite [sic], with terrible graphic design. It is most notable for its collection of fallacies, which are partly correct and partly strawmen of atheist positions. Luckily, the site is not very popular.

The rationalwiki.org article began with an appeal to popularity fallacy, and then it accuses the seekfind.net site of a phantom appeal to popularity fallacy. As has been explained, no such fallacy was committed. The fallacy was only imagined by the rationalwiki.org author.

In addition, there’s reference to the graphic design, as if graphic design proves logic to be sound. Graphic design can be used to deceive people. That’s true. It can’t be used to prove points using sound reasoning.

Every argument the rationalwiki.org author put forward was based on fallacy. That's not surprising since it's impossible to have a true premise by any means other than divine revelation. And without a true premise, sound reasoning is impossible.

 

 

 



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Last updated: Nov, 2016
 
 

Answer to Critic



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There are 22 sub-topics of "Encyclopedia of Logical Fallacies"

General Fallacies

Fallacies of Presumptions, Bare Assertions, and Lies (using no evidence at all)

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