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Logical Fallacy of Distinction Without a Difference / Phantom Distinction / Sham Distinctions

 

Logical Fallacy of Distinction Without a Difference  / Phantom Distinction / Sham Distinctions

Distinction without a difference is one of the many smokescreens that are used to cover the fact that the reasoning is based on one of the three fallacies of Agrippa's trilemma. 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 regress, circular reasoning, or axiomatic thinking. This problem is known as Agrippa's trilemma. Some have claimed that only logic and math can be known without Divine revelation; however, that is not true. There is no reason to trust either logic or math without Divine revelation. Science is also limited to the pragmatic because of the weakness on human reasoning, which is known as Agrippa's trilemma.

The logical fallacy of distinction without a difference / / Phantom Distinction / Sham Distinctions occurs when language is used to imply a difference between two things, and yet those two things are exactly the same.

Examples of the Logical Fallacy of Distinction Without a Difference  / Phantom Distinction / Sham Distinctions

“I gave you my heart, but you wanted my soul.”

The heart, here is not speaking of the body’s heart that pumps blood. This is speaking about the innermost mind. It is a term that we have adapted into language influenced by King James English. The same word that is translated from the Greek as heart is also translated as soul. Some people think that the soul is the spirit, but the spirit is another part of our spirit, soul, and body being. So, heart and soul is a bit redundant most of the time. At the same time, it appears that there is an innermost mind and a reasoning mind, the soul meaning the entire mind and the heart being the innermost part of the mind, so there is some distinction.

“I said I’m a naturalist, not an atheist, you idiot!”

The problem here is that the word, naturalist, is simply a certain view of the atheist. Materialist is another view of the same atheistic concept.

Bo Bennet: “We are comparing a method of knowledge (science) to a system of belief (faith), which is not known for revising itself based on new evidence.  Even when it does, the “wrongs” are blamed on human interpretation.  Science is all about improving ideas to get closer to the truth, and, in some cases, completely throwing out theories that have been proven wrong.  Furthermore, the claims of religion are virtually all unfalsifiable, thus cannot be proven wrong.  Therefore, comparing religion and science on the basis of falsifiability, is a faulty comparison.”

Here, Bo is using this as an example of faulty comparison, saying that you can’t compare faith and science. He decides to define science as a method of knowledge and faith as a system of belief. However, faith is a method of knowledge, and science is a system of belief. In a recent, well-publicized debate, Bill Nye defined science as both a method of knowledge and a body of knowledge (system of belief). Faith, if we are talking about Christian faith, is a way to know. It works this way. God speaks. Faith comes as a free gift from God to believe what God just said. This is a method of knowledge. When human beings presume to fabricate knowledge (a function of Agrippa's Trilemma), then both science and faith fail.

Bo contends that science is supposed to be a moving target but faith is not supposed to. He may have never read the Bible, because the God speaks through the Bible and reveals to us that we are to go from faith to faith and from glory to glory. We are supposed to be pressing toward the mark. He may have just seen the example of many lukewarm Christians who think that they are rich and increased of God and in need of nothing. There is no difference between faith and science. Both rest on Divine revelation if their reasoning is sound. There is no way to have sound reasoning if they do not. In fact, it is impossible to know anything scientifically without Divine revelation. God’s rain falls on the just and the unjust. God reveals through His Creation. He reveals much about Himself, and He says that those who refuse to acknowledge Him are without excuse.

Fallacy Abuse

Sandy: "A radio preacher made this comment: “We must judge this issue by what the Bible says, not by what we think it says or by what some scholar or theologian thinks it says.” This is a clear case of the logical fallacy of distinction without a difference.  There is absolutely no difference here because the only possible way to read the Bible is through interpretation, in other words, what we think it says. Who is to say that one interpretation is better than another?"

Roxanne: "You must be unaware of what the walk with Christ really is. It is true that some people commit the logical fallacy of personalization, since the Bible doesn't speak. God speaks through the Bible. It is likely that the preacher you mention doesn’t mean to make the Bible appear to talk by itself—though some people actually worship the Bible rather than God. They trust the Bible rather than Christ.

Now, as far as what you What really happens whenever the Bible is read or quoted is that God speaks through the Bible. However, we don’t hear God perfectly. Our own thoughts get in that way. We end up interpreting by the natural human mind. Theologians and scholars have the same problem. The human mind is deceitful and desperately wicked and will always get it wrong if we lean on our own ability to understand rather than acknowledging God as He speaks to us. What we think the Bible says is not important. What God says through it is vitally important--a matter of life or death. What is important is that we allow God to speak to us and to correct us, including our understanding of what the Bible says, including all of our theologies, and all of the things that the Holy Spirit is trying to correct."

As with most fallacies, it is possible for us to become a bit judgmental and nit-picky, especially if we are full of pride because we just studied up on a little logic. This is an example of how a person with a lack of understanding may misuse logic to think of themselves in intellectually superior when they are not.



Author/Compiler
Last updated: Sep, 2014
 
 




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Logical Fallacy of Faulty Comparison

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Ignoring Differences / Denying Differences / Overlooking Differences / False Equivalence / Ignoring Differences / Greyness Fallacy / False Equivalence

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Logical Fallacy of Reductio Ad Hitlerum / Ad Nazium / Hitler Card

Logical Fallacy of Mistaken Identity

Logical Fallacy of Distinction Without a Difference / Phantom Distinction / Sham Distinctions


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