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Logical Fallacy of Argumentum Ad Fidentia


Logical Fallacy of Argumentum Ad Fidentia

The logical fallacy of argumentum ad fidentia occurs when a person’s self-confidence is attacked in place of a sound argument. Note, that there is nothing fallacious in pointing out that someone’s stand is not logical or based in fact. Sometimes, that is actually merciful as in the case where someone presents an argument that there is no spiritual realm and no God. Pointing out the fact that there is no evidence to support such a claim is not fallacious.

Examples of the Logical Fallacy of Argumentum Ad Fidentia

Roxy: "I know that God exists in the same way that I know that my dad exists. I talk to Him and He talks to me. Actually, God often leads me in miraculous ways. It’s an ongoing, moment-by-moment experience with Jesus Christ."

Sandra: "How do you know that it’s God speaking to you. Perhaps it’s just your own minds Neurons firing. Everything is random and there is no God, and I would say that you’re crazy and you ought to be hauled you away for saying such things. In fact, you are dangerous to yourself and to others!!!!"

Sandra is basically asking whether or not Roxy is sure that she isn't crazy. The logical fallacy here is that Roxy is talking about first-hand experience while Sandra is trying to attack Roxy’s confidence using the logical fallacy of argumentum ad fidentia. What makes this an even more serious fallacy is that the arguments brought forward by Sandra can be easily answered, but they take the conversation off course into what usually ends in needless bickering. It is a fact that a follower of Christ can sometimes by deceived by his or her own mind, thinking that it is the leading of God. We are all learning to hear His Voice clearly and to respond in submission and obedience. It’s an upward walk. The claims that everything is random and that there is no God are statements that are completely void of any evidence – they are the logical fallacy of the universal negative.  Then, Sandra ends with the fallacy of appeal to ridicule. None of these address the issue at hand. How might the conversation continue?

Roxy: "Without Christ, anyone would have the potential to become dangerous to themselves or others. However, the serious answer is that we, who follow Christ, are learning to discern His Voice from other voices, and we are only learning to respond to His Voice in submission. Every person's mind is so evil that no one can possible understand just how evil and deceptive it is. The work of the Holy Spirit is to transfigure the corrupted mind into that which is holy. May I ask, what is the process by which you think you can deduce that saying that God speaks to me and to millions of other Christ-followers is not actually happening?"

Sandra: "Well, then, if God speaks to you, just tell me my grandmothers birth date."

This irrational response by Sandra is an attempt at argumentum ad fidenia. She ignored the question, since she was merely blowing smoke, and came with another silly request. Think of how foolish it is to believe that just because God is giving guidance and instruction in some partial truth, that we would become omniscient.

Last updated: Aug, 2014
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