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Logical Fallacy of Hypothesis Contrary to Fact / Argumentum Ad Speculum / speculative fallacy /


Logical Fallacy of Hypothesis Contrary to Fact / Argumentum Ad Speculum / Speculative Fallacy / "What If" Fallacy / Wouldchuck:

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 is 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. Hypothesis contrary to fact, a form of axiomatic thinking, is one of these three unhappy possibilities.

The logical fallacy of hypothesis contrary to fact occurs when a hypothesis is put forward but the hypothesis cannot be true. This is often connected with a meaningless question about an impossible hypothetical situation. 

Examples of the Logical Fallacy of Hypothesis Contrary to Fact / Argumentum Ad Speculum / Speculative Fallacy / "What If" Fallacy / Wouldchuck:

Question posted by a self-declared Atheist: "What if you died and found out that there was no afterlife, then what would you do?"

What? Did you really ask that question?

Question submitted to Ken Ham during the debate with Bill Nye: "Hypothetically, if evidence existed that caused you to have to admit that the Earth was older than 10,000 years and creation did not occur over 6 days, would you still believe in God and the historical Jesus of Nazareth and that Jesus was the son of God."

Ken Ham: "You cannot ever prove, using the scientific method in the present, you can't prove the age of the Earth. You can never prove it's old. So there is no hypothetical because you can't do that. Now, we can certainly use methods in the present, and, making assumptions. I mean, creationists use methods that change over time. As I said, there's hundreds of physical processes that you can use, but they set limits on the age of the Universe, but you can't ultimately prove the age of the Earth, not using the scientific method. You can't ultimately prove the age of the Universe. Now, you can look at methods, and you can see that there are many methods that contradict billions of years, many methods that seem to support thousands of years, as Dr. Faulkner said in the little video clip I showed, there's nothing in observational astronomy that contradicts a young Universe. Now, I've said to you before, and I admit again, that the reason I believe in a young Universe is because of the Bible's account of origins. I believe that God, Who has always been there, the Infinite Creator God, revealed in His Word what He did for us. And when we add up those dates, we get thousands of years, but there's nothing in observational science that contradicts that. But as far as the age of the Earth, the age of the Universe, even when it comes to the fossil record, that's why I even challenge Christians, if you're going to believe in millions of years for the fossil record, you've got a problem with the Bible. And that is the then you have to have death and disease and suffering before sin, so there is not hypothetical . . . you can't prove, scientifically, the age of the Earth or the Universe--bottom line."

Ken Ham rightly recognizes the fallacy of this question. The question represents the logical fallacy of hypothesis contrary to fact. It's like asking, hypothetically, how would you feel if you didn't exist? This is a hypothesis contrary to fact. It doesn't make any sense. Ken gets more real about the difference between himself and Bill at this point more than ever before. He points out the real problem. It is a comparison between the validity of assumptions versus the validity of Divine revelation--Ken spoke Divine revelation when he said, "the Infinite Creator God, revealed in His Word". When Ken says things gently, we ought to know that there is depth there that is not expressed. God didn't go off somewhere far away after creation. Nor did He do so after Christ ascended. Some might say, "the Infinite Creator God, reveals in His Word, to anyone who reads His Word who is willing to acknowledge Him speaking through, and the Creator God has made the Universe in such a way that no one can make up a conflicting rational story (the big-bang-billions-of-years-molecules-to-man story) without committing both the Logical Fallacy of Limited Scope and the Logical Fallacy of Limited Depth. The truth is that God speaks to us in many ways. The Bible says that He speaks through the Bible, through other Christians, through various ways of leading us, through creation, and through many other ways. The question is never whether God speaks. Did we listen? Did we acknowledge Him and glorify Him for the revelation? Did we add to His words of leave anything out that He said? When we read about the Word in Scripture, this is a translation from another word that literally means Utterance. When it says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, the Greek word, rhema, means utterance--the utterance of God. It is very possible to read the Bible and only listen to the ramblings and reasonings of one's own mind without ever acknowledging that God is speaking to you. An ungodly person could twist what Ken is saying and say that they have read the Bible six times and God has not revealed anything to them. Of course, Ken did use the word, "revealed," which is what is happening. But someone may think that Ken is simply using a euphemism, that he means that God gave us the Bible and then went off someplace else. Rather, the Scripture is so infused with the Holy Spirit that anyone who reads it or hears it read cannot do so without being in the presence of God. If someone stands in the presence of God and still continues to resist and still refuses to acknowledge His holy Presence, that person's condemnation is even greater. Keep in mind that Bill Nye is trying to either prove that we can absolutely know that the creation model is impossible (that a possible model cannot even be constructed) or else absolutely prove that the big-bang-billions-of-years-molecules-to-man story actually happened (which would eliminate the creation model). It is very difficult to prove anything to the extent that no other possibilities should be allowed or investigated and it is impossible to prove something that is not true. We know, by revelation, that the big-bang-billions-of-years-molecules-to-man story is an outright lie.

Last updated: Sep, 2014
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