|Logical Fallacy of Begging the Question/Circular Reasoning|
Logical Fallacy of Begging the Question/Circular Reasoning
Whenever a logical fallacy is committed, the fallacy has its roots in Agrippa's Trilemma. All human thought (without Divine revelation) is based on one of three unhappy possibilities. These three possibilities are infinite regression, circular reasoning, or axiomatic thinking. This is known as Agrippa's trilemma. Some have claimed that only logic and math can be known; however, that's not true. Without Divine revelation, neither logic nor math can be known. Science is limited only to pragmatic thinking because of the weakness of human reasoning, which is known as Agrippa's trilemma. Circular reasoning is one of the three unhappy possibilities of Agrippa's trilemma.
The logical fallacy of begging the question / circular reasoning occurs when the conclusion, the very thing that is in question, is assumed in a premise. This is assuming the conclusion as a starting point, then working logic to arrive back at the conclusion. Begging the question usually uses valid logic in that the conclusion always follows from the premise, since the conclusion is simply the premise re-stated. The premise and conclusion are one and the same. That is why it's called circular reasoning. The rocks are used to date the fossils and the fossils are used to date the rocks.
Sometimes, the same word or phrase is used in the premise and in the conclusion, making the fallacy obvious. More often, different terminology is used or the assumption isn't even stated but is a prerequisite of one of the premises.
to assume as true the very point that is under discussion
It is not to try to evade answering a question.
It is not to bring a question to mind.
Examples of the Logical Fallacy of Begging the Question/Circular Reasoning
This comment presupposes what it's trying to prove. It's pure circular reasoning. If there were no Almighty God, it would make perfect sense to say that Almighty God couldn't do anything. However, if the Almighty God is the One Who's now enforcing all of what we call the laws of science and if He's indeed the source of all the laws of logic, wisdom, knowledge and understanding, then what? And, we know, by revelation that the Creator, God Almighty is the only reason for the laws of science. However, this Atheist is using circular reasoning and writing about logic. Yes. Believe it or not, this quote came from a website that is about logical fallacies. Not amazingly, this is typical of ungodly websites (and there are many) that are teaching logic.
Not only that, but this is also a straw man argument. The scientific evidence is on the side of creation and God. The Atheists push hard to control the message so that no one finds this out. Note also the special pleading by comparing evolution and creationISM. It is either evolutionism and creationism or evolution and creation.
This argument begins with the conclusion that the Earth is old and ends with the conclusion that the Earth is old. It argues in a circle.
This is circular reasoning in action.
This argument assumes evolution in the minor premise, but whether evolution created everything or God created everything is the question at issue. The person putting forth this logical argument is assuming what he or she is trying to prove. That is circular. The second premise could be stated as "Creation is the cause of this." which would also be circular reasoning. The second premise could avoid the circular reference by saying, "God says that He created everything in six days a few thousand years ago, so a common Creator would explain this nicely." Perhaps, it might be better to state it this way: "I know, by Divine revelation, that God and His revelation cannot lie. I also know, by Divine revelation, that a few thousand years ago, God created the Heavens and the Earth and everything in them in six days. Therefore, a few thousand years ago, God created the Heavens and the Earth and everything in them in six days."
Stating that Tiktaalik is an example of a transitional form between fish and terrestrial animals requires an assumption of evolution to begin with and evolution is what it is used to prove.
This bit of circular reasoning must be unpacked, since the logic isn't stated. As it is, it's an unsupported assertion. However, there's falacious logic behind it that gives the person saying this a false sense of rationality. Let's look at the seven steps of logic:
Many ungodly thinkers begin with an assumption or presupposition of naturalism or materialism, both of which are alternate views of hard ungodliness. Then, they begin to reason from this point to prove either that there's no God or that there's no reason to believe that God exists--which is their starting presupposition.
This is circular because the target is to prove the dates in the Bible wrong, but the Bible denies uniformitarianism, and asserting the catastrophic Genesis flood makes it irrational to extrapolate current rates of deposit any further than about 4,000 years.
Can you spot why this next set of statements is circular? The conclusion is actually true, but the logic is circular.
The unstated presupposition is, molecules-to-man evolution actually took place, and that's exactly what the conclusion is--circular reasoning. Without that presupposition, it's irrational to claim that no evidence against a thing proves that the thing is true.
This is circular and arbitrary. Don't worry. We can do science very well without naturalism. Most of the branches of science were founded by people who didn't believe the dogma of Naturalism. Naturalism offers no mechanism to enforce the scientific laws that we can observe. The Naturalist is forced to say something like, “That is just how it is.” However, the faithful Creator God does provide the mechanism for enforcing all the laws of science.
Notice the difference between circular and sound reasoning when making the same point in the following reasoning:
The examples to the right aren't circular reasoning. They're based on the only way that anything can be known: divine revelation. Someone may make the false claim that the reasoning on the right is trying to prove the existence of God by something that can't be verified by anyone else. The question was presented, "Why believe in God?" Another question was, "Why believe what the Bible says." These questions don't ask for proof of God. They ask the believer why the believer believes.
If the unbeliever wants proof, the unbeliever must look at the evidence. As with all true evidence about anything, ignoring the evidence can keep the unbeliever from verifying reality. Refusing to look at the evidence is a fallacy.
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. This isn't an intellectual problem. This is a spiritual problem of loving darkness rather than light.
Most of the so-called "evidence" for the stories of evolutionism aren't checkable by the ordinary person. That so-called "evidence" is just opinion about observation and not the observation itself. The way it's presented, we're just asked to believe without proof. The fact that the claim has been made is considered proof. Jesus isn't like that. Anyone can personally verify Him. No one has to take the word of any other person.
This is question-begging. It assumes evolution to prove evolution. If the same person were to assume creation, they could say, “The similarities between species is proof of creation and a common creator.”
This is never stated this clearly, but following the logic through its many contortions, this is how the dating methods actually work.
"We use the scientific method to judge the scientific method."
It isn't necessary to use circular reasoning. We know because God says so. How do we know that God is telling the truth? When we hear His Voice and acknowledge Him in submissive reverence, His faith comes to us and we believe. So, we believe God supernaturally because we hear Him and acknowledge Him. Then, we know that the Bible is God's word because God reveals this fact to us by Divine revelation. At a certain point, someone must be believed. Why do Christians believe? Because God has imparted His faith to them. Someone can shoehorn that into a logical fallacy, but doing so makes every observation of science a logical fallacy by the same definition. The choice is between Divine revelation and human fallacies, arbitrary assumptions, and stories. That isn't a false dichotomy. Another way is to say this is "You either believe God or you don't." Who will you believe? This is actually the root of arguments between those who follow Christ and other people, so it's a good conflict to understand. This is why God clearly states: "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of proclamation [literal] to save those who believe." God proclaims through His various methods. If we acknowledge, His faith comes as a free gift. This isn't circular reasoning, but it's a largely unrecognized law of how things work.
The problem is that this doesn't tell us anything. It is circular reasoning because the conclusion is the premise. If the conclusion had restated the premise using different words, it would still be circular reasoning.
The problem is that this doesn't tell us anything, because the proofs that are used for dating the fossils are all based on presuppositions of billions of years and no Genesis flood.
This is a circular argument, because scientists who don't enthusiastically embrace the Big-Bang-Billions-or-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story (and denounce the Creation-Flood account) are routinely discriminated against in academia, and also in industry. Schools coerce science students on this issue. And then the word, scientists, is defined to exclude anyone who doesn't kowtow to the sacred cow story.
Last updated: Nov, 2016
Toons & Vids
Logical Fallacy of Begging the Question/Circular Reasoning
Circular Generalization Fallacy
Logical Fallacy of Begging the Question / Vicious Circle / Chicken And Egg Argument
Logical Fallacy of Circular Reference
Logical Fallacy of Question Begging Analogy
Logical Fallacy of Question-Begging Epithet
Logical Fallacy of Question-Begging Complex Question / Framing Fallacy / Loaded Question / Not Understanding the Problem / Defining the Problem Incorrectly / Trick Question / Multiple Question / Plurium Interrogationum / Fallacy of Many Questions:
Logical Fallacy of Circular Cause and Consequence
Logical Fallacy of Question-Begging Rejection of Faith
"It Ought To Be True, So It Is" Fallacy
Answer to Critic
Appeal to Possibility
Argument to the Future
Love Between a Man and Woman
Righteousness & Holiness
Proof by Atheism
Scriptures About Marriage
The Reason for Rejecting Truth
Witness on the Internet
Flaky Human Reasoning
How Do You Know?
The Real Purpose of the Church
The Real Purpose of Life
From Glory to Glory
REAL Faith--What it IS & IS NOT
REAL Love--What it IS & IS NOT
How to be Led by God
How to Witness
Wisdom: Righteousness & Reality
Holiness & Mind/Soul
Redemption: Free From Sin
Stories Versus Revelation
Circular Reasoning-Who is Guilty?
How Can We Know Anything?
Mind Designed to Relate to God
Answers for the Confused
Fossil Record Says: "Creation"
Avoid These Pitfalls
Public School's Religion
Public School Failures