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Logical Fallacy of Argument from Hearsay / Telephone Game / Chinese Whispers / Anecdotal Evidence / Volvo Fallacy


Logical Fallacy of Argument from Hearsay / Telephone Game / Chinese Whispers / Anecdotal Evidence / Volvo Fallacy

Argument from hearsay 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 regression, 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. Without Divine revelation, neither logic nor math can be known. 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 argument from hearsay occurs when someone presents testimony other than eye-witness account, that is, personal testimony. The closer to the original observer, the more likely something is to be accurate. The more times it is re-told, the more likely it might be distorted. The more witnesses there are to give testimony, the more likely that the testimony will be accurate. If a personal testimony is written down, it is more likely to be accurate. On the other hand, if a testimony has been retold, that doesn't guarantee its inaccuracy.

If certain controls are in place, it is possible to preserve an oral or written testimony accurately for thousands of years. There have been cultures that preserved exacting information using oral tradition that was faithfully repeated from generation to generation. This skill was encouraged and developed from a young age in the people of those cultures. There may be no example of that on the Earth at this time. The way that the various books of the Bible were copied had very tight quality controls, and the effectiveness of this method has been confirmed by the Dead Sea Scrolls. There likely was divine providence involved as well. The Almighty God is going to preserve His written Word.

The most valid evidence that you can receive is if you experience it yourself. The second is to hear or read the testimony of someone who has experienced it for themselves (which has much more credibility if more people have had the experience. The word, empirical, means, by experience. With written testimony, there is value in that the testimony is preserved. History is understood mostly by testimony of someone who was either there or talked to someone who was there. It may be argued that this is not perfect, but we cannot get into a time machine and go back to see for ourselves, so it is pretty good compared to making up stories—which is what is often done.

Interestingly, an Atheist site makes this same point about first-hand experience as opposed to the experiences of others in order to refute claims of life after death, then it turns around and states that personal experience that does not fit into a naturalistic worldview presupposes, or assumes, that the non-naturalism is already true. He is saying that actual experience presupposes. And, naturalism is nothing more than an arbitrary assumption, an unsupported statement. It’s hard to imagine how that author came to that conclusion, but it seems to be a case of special pleading—different rules/assumptions for Atheism/Naturalism than for anything that is not Atheistic/Naturalistic.

It is very common when talking to a zealous Naturalist/Atheist that, if a personal experience no matter how obvious it is that a miracle took place, the truly zealous Naturalist/Atheist will use summary dismissal. This is also true of many Christians who have been brainwashed into the Naturalist/Atheist paradigm. They have an inconsistent worldview that conflicts on the Atheistic inner world and whatever theology they may have learned. Of course, the work of the Holy Spirit is to destroy every lie and teach us Jesus Christ, the actual, living Person and Savior.

Examples of the Logical Fallacy of Argument from Hearsay / Telephone Game / Chinese Whispers / Anecdotal Evidence / Volvo Fallacy

“Of course science has proved that there is no God. My science teacher told me so.”

Someone told this to the science teacher. Does the science teacher know that source? Does the science teacher know what was observed to make this claim? What were the steps to the experiment? Can it be repeated and personally observed?

“Scientists have determined that the Earth is 4.6 Billions of years old. We have their testimonies in the scientific journals.”

However, if you look well into the matter, these claims are based on many arbitrary assumptions and just-so stories that quickly discredit the testimonies. On the other hand, we know by experience that the God of the Bible exists. And He personally tells us that the Bible is His Word, without error. He speaks through His Word and tells us that He created the Heavens and the Earth and everything in them in just six days. He tells us the number of generations between Adam and Christ. We are not dogmatically claiming to know that the Earth is 6,000 years old. We know that God created the Heavens and the Earth in six days and we know the number of generations between Adam and Christ. That's about it. Even though a plain reading of Scripture seems to indicate a young Earth; even though there is zero observed evidence and only circular reasoning and speculations that support old Earth stories, we can't even deny the possibility that God could have done something that Scripture doesn't hint at and that has left no scientific evidence. It is possible. It just is not worth the time to think about it. This is personal experience, and it is ongoing. Not only that, but any person can check it out. All they have to do is seek their Savior, Jesus Christ, with a desire to leave all sin behind and to follow His Holy will, and to continue seeking Him in sincerity, humility, and submission.

Fallacy Abuse

There is a common attack against truth that involves hearsay versus personal testimony coupled with evidence versus personal testimony. If a follower of Christ gives personal testimony of his or her ongoing experience, a skeptic will say that this is a subjective experience. (All experiences are subjective. People can't get outside of themselves to look at life objectively.) So, the strongest possible evidence, that of personal testimony, is excluded (Strongest evidence other than the person who is hearing the testimony actually looking at the evidence, Jesus Christ, directly). Yet the same skeptic will accept testimony that has been handed down from one person to another, telephone game style, without question. The skeptic will demand that they personally see the evidence of Christ. Then, they will accept stories about evidence that are written in scientific journals without personally seeing the evidence, and usually without even reading the articles in the scientific journals. If they do go so far as to read the scientific journals, they never seem to notice the logical errors and the waffle words in the articles. They are gullible concerning claims for evolution, but skeptical concerning claims for Christ. The interesting thing is that, though they can't go out and examine every piece of so-called evidence for billions of years or for evolutionistic thinking, they can directly examine the evidence for Christ. The evidence for Christ is Christ Himself. Everyone who seeks Christ, is led by Christ. As Christ says, "My sheep hear My Voice." He says, "Whoever is on the side of truth listens to Me." All the skeptic would need to do would be to simply turn to Christ and acknowledge Him, to sincerely seek Him in humility, repentance, respect, and submission, with a will to do His will rather than their own will. Everyone who does this finds Him and the argument is over.

Last updated: Sep, 2014
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Toons & Vids



Logical Fallacy of Proof by Fallacy

Proof Surrogate / Evidence Surrogate

Error in Observation

Misrepresenting the Facts Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Distorted Evidence

Logical Fallacy of Unverified Evidence

Logical Fallacy of Hysteron Proteron

The Logical Fallacy of Unsubstantiated Inference

Assuming Facts Not In Evidence

Logical Fallacy of Wishful Thinking

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Worldview / Appeal to Fake-Reality / Appeal to Paradigm / Appeal to Confirmation Bias

Logical Fallacy of Slippery Slope

Logical Fallacy of Limited Scope

Logical Fallacy of Mind Reading

Logical Fallacy of Shoehorning

Logical Fallacy of Confirmation Bias

Sacred Cow Fallacy

Fantasy Projection / Worldview Projection / Fake-Reality Projection / Paradigm Projection / Context Projection

Group Think Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Context Imposition

Psychologist's Fallacy

The Logical Fallacy ofAmazing Familiarity

Stolen Concept Fallacy / Smuggled Concept Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Weak Inference

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Theoretical Stories

The Logical Fallacy of Anecdotal Evidence Presented as Scientific Evidence / Personal Testimony Presented as Scientific Evidence

Logical Fallacy of Dismissing All Personal Testimony

Logical Fallacy of Rewriting History / Have it Your Way

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Model

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Assumption

Logical Fallacy of Argument from Personal Incredulity / Personal Belief / Personal Conviction

Logical Fallacy of Argument by Lack of Imagination

Logical Fallacy of Argument by Imagination

The Logical Fallacy of Capturing the Naive / Argumentum ad Captandum / Argumentum ad Captandum Vulgus

Logical Fallacy of Argument from Personal Astonishment

Logical Fallacy of Special Pleading

Logical Fallacy of Variant Imagization

Logical Fallacy of Self-Exclusion

Logical Fallacy of Unintended Self-Inclusion

Ad Personam Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Assertion / Proof by Repeated Assertion

Logical Fallacy of Cherishing the Zombie

Logical Fallacy of Argumentum Ad Lapidem

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Understatement / Misunderstanding by Understatement

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Logical Tautology

Logical Fallacy of Proof by False Declaration of Victory

Logical Fallacy of Assumption Correction Assumption

False Criteria Fallacy / Fallacy of Questionable Criteria

Logical Fallacy of Cutting Off Discussion / Summary Dismissal

Logical Fallacy of Thought-Terminating Cliche / ClicheThinking

Logical Fallacy of Truism

Logical Fallacy of the Perfect Solution / Nirvana Fallacy / Perfect Solution Fallacy / Perfectionist Fallacy

Just In Case Fallacy / Worst Case Scenario Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Unwarranted Extrapolation

Logical Fallacy of Untestability

Logical Fallacy of Subjectivity / Relativist Fallacy / Subjectivist Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Bizarre Hypothesis/Theory / Far-Fetched Hypothesis/Theory

Logical Fallacy of Least Plausible Hypothesis

Logical Fallacy of Extravagant Hypothesis / Complex Hypothesis Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Privileging the Hypothesis

Logical Fallacy of Canceling Hypotheses

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to False Faith

Logical Fallacy of False Appeal to Heaven / Appeal to Heaven / Gott Mit Uns / Manfest Destiny / Special Covenant

Logical Fallacy of Inaccurate Models

Logical Fallacy of Hedging / Having Your Cake / Failure to Assert / Diminished Claim / Failure to Choose Sides / Talking out of Both Sides of Your Mouth / If by Whiskey

Preacher's "We" / Salesman's "We" / Politician's "We" Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Nature

Logical Fallacy of Experimenter Bias

Fallacy of the Crucial Experiment

Logical Fallacy of Argument from Hearsay / Telephone Game / Chinese Whispers / Anecdotal Evidence / Volvo Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Ad Hoc Rescue / Ad Hoc Hypothesis

The Logical Fallacy of Hindsight Bias / Knew-it-all-Along Effect / Creeping Determinism

Logical Fallacy of Continuum / Argument of the Beard / Fallacy of the Beard / Heap Fallacy / Heap Paradox Fallacy / Bald Man Fallacy / Continuum Fallacy / Line Drawing Fallacy / Sorites Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Argument from Fallacy / Argumentum Ad Logicam

Logical Fallacy of Inflation of Conflict

Logical Fallacy of Infinite Regress / Homunculus Argument

The Logical Fallacy of Reification / Anti-Conceptual Mentality Fallacy / Attributing Concreteness to the Abstract / Concretism / Hypostatization Fallacy / Objectification

Logical Fallacy of Reification / Personification

Logical Fallacy Slothful Induction

Logical Fallacy of Superstitious Thinking / Magical Thinking

Logical Fallacy of Meaningless Question

Logical Fallacy of Proving Non-Existence

Argumentum ad Imaginibus

Statement of Conversion Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Outdated Information

Logical Fallacy of Argument by Laziness

Alien Fallacy

Quantum Physics Fallacy

Fallacious Abstraction Fallacy

Appeal to the Untested / Appeal to the Unknown Fallacy

Grasping at Straws

Appeal to Pragmatism Fallacy / Pragmatic Fallacy / Appeal to Convenience / Pragmatism / Appeal to Utility / Argumentum Ad Convenientiam

Appeal to Fake Hope

Appeal to Intuition Fallacy

Appeal to Mystery Fallacy

Argument from Design Fallacy

Untestability Fallacy

Fallacy of Imaginary Evidence

Monopolizing the Question / Hypophora

Fallacy of Antecedent / Fallacy of Time

Faulty Sign / Faulty Predictor Fallacy

Pretentious Antecedent

Logical Fallacy of Pretentious Premise



Answer to Critic

Appeal to Possibility

Circular Reasoning

Argument to the Future

Insignificant Cause

Word Magic

Love Between a Man and Woman


Colossians 2

Righteousness & Holiness

Don't Compromise


Proof by Atheism

Scriptures About Marriage

Genuine Authority

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

Real Reality

Stories Versus Revelation

Understanding Logic

Logical Fallacies

Circular Reasoning-Who is Guilty?

How Can We Know Anything?

God's Word

God's Process

God's Pattern

Mind Designed to Relate to God

Answers for the Confused

Fossil Record Says: "Creation"

Avoid These Pitfalls

Public School's Religion

Twisting Science


Public School Failures

Twisting History

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