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Spiritual Fallacy / Spiritual Excuse


Spiritual Fallacy / Spiritual Excuse

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. Spiritual excuse, a form of axiomatic thinking, is one of these three unhappy possibilities.

Spiritual Fallacy / Spiritual Excuse occurs when any fallacy is committed that relates to the spiritual realm. Note that the truth of a proposition is not dependent on understanding every aspect of it or even being fully aware of one's own experiences. In both the spiritual realm and the natural realm, human knowledge is very limited. So, many spiritual fallacies consist of arguments from ignorance in which it is implied that not knowing all about an experience with Christ is proof that Christ supposedly doesn't exist. When faith comes, it comes because God leads. God speaks. God teaches. Just as it is with communication between two people, there are varying degrees of awareness, engagement, and other factors that may cause someone to be unaware of some parts of what is going on. Sometimes, it is possible to hear from God but to fail to acknowlege Him or to give Him the glory.

Examples of the Spiritual Fallacy / Spiritual Excuse

Sandra: “There is no spiritual realm.”

Roxanne: “What makes you think that’s a true statement?”

Sandra: “Science proves it.”

Roxanne: “Can you explain the steps to the repeatable experiment by which I can prove that there is no spiritual realm?”

In denying the spiritual realm without evidence, Sandra commits that spiritual fallacy.

Sandy: "There is no good and evil. There is no right and wrong. There is no truth and error. All of these are relative and each person must decide these for himself or herself.”

This statement implies that Sandy knows all about the spiritual realm, that he is all-knowing. He may even be claiming that there is no spiritual realm, which is a claim that he is omniscient.

"We cannot define 'a spiritual truth,' anything can be a spiritual truth."

This is a spiritual fallacy. It is actually an example of several fallacies concerning spiritual things. The use of the word, "we," creates the problem of the unidentified actor. Who is "we?" Is it the writer and his wife? We don't know. It would normally be taken as no one anywhere, no human. Then, the question is, "How do you know about every person's personal spiritual experience? One of the most common spiritual fallacies is the claim to know every person's inner spiritual experience, or at least one other person's spiritual status and experience. The word, "truth," is problematic. Truth indicates that there is actual truth and falsehood. Yet, the writer of this statement is saying that "we cannot define 'a spiritual truth.'" That would imply that the writer has arbitrarily dismissed all Divine revelation, or any spiritual source as a basis for logic. That being the case, the Münchhausen Trilemma is in play. The Münchhausen Trilemma has never been solved. In a Naturalistic paradigm, it is impossible to know any truth. Everything is relative. There are only three alternatives as a basis for thought: infinite regression, circular reasoning, or axiomatic thinking. In this case, not only can there be no definition of spiritual truth but there can be no definition of any truth. There can only be winners and losers. Life becomes a useless game.

Harold Camping has made several predictions of the end of the World or the coming "rapture." When the prediction of a rapture didn't come true, Harold said that it did come but it was a spiritual rapture.

Saying something that would be impossible to prove is not a fallacy, though. If you hurt your toe, but it doesn't bleed or turn red, it is not a fallacy for you to say, "My toe hurts." If Harold Camping is lying or fooling himself, then this is a spiritual fallacy. Most followers of Christ would put this into the category of a spiritual fallacy and a false prophecy.

Every mistaken interpretation of Scripture is a spiritual fallacy.

When someone says that the Bible says such and such, but when you look up the passage to which they were referring, you find that the person was interpreting, adding assumptions, to the Bible, this is a spiritual fallacy. If a person allows himself/herself one assumption, that person can make a case for anything, at least in his or her own mind. If they have good communication skills, they can probably get some other people to follow.

When spiritism is mistaken for spirituality, this is a spiritual fallacy.

When arbitrary assumptions are claimed to trump Divine revelation as a basis for science or logical thought, this is a spiritual fallacy.

This assumes no spiritual authority exists and it assumes supernatural knowledge in certain selected humans who agree with the person making the claim.

Other examples of the spiritual fallacy / spiritual excuse would include claiming that Divine revelation doesn’t happen, creating special rules of logic that only apply to spiritual entities, experiences, concepts, etc.



Rocky: “I put my faith in the Bible.”

Sandy: “What makes you think the Bible is true?”

Rocky: “I have researched it thoroughly, and the Bible is a wonderful book. No one has ever found an error in it. Every so-called error has been proven invalid. It is accurate wherever it deals with science. I have read about the way that it was preserved through the centuries. There are more copies of the textus receptus than of any other ancient text of any kind. It can be trusted.”

Rocky is a Christian. He is committing a spiritual fallacy.


Last updated: Sep, 2014
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Toons & Vids



Logical Fallacy of Ipse dixit /Just Because Fallacy / Trust Me / Mother Knows Best Fallacy / Because I Said So / You'll See

Logical Fallacy of Unsupported Assertion / Alleged Certainty / Appeal to Common Sense / Bare Assertion Fallacy / Unprovable Statement / Groundless Claim

Secret Knowledge Fallacy

Allness Fallacy

Autistic Certainty Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Assertion Contrary to Fact / Counterfactual Fallacy / Lie / Untruth

Big Lie Technique / Staying on Message

Logical Fallacy of the Outright Lie / Total Lie

Logical Fallacy of the Bold-Faced Lie / Bald-Faced Lie

Appeal to Confidence

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

Logical Fallacy of False Prophecy

Argument to the Future / Escape to the Future

Escape Via Ignorance

Logical Fallacy of Argumentum Ex Culo

Logical Fallacy of Blind Obedience / Blind Authority / Team Player

Logical Fallacy of False Accusation / Finding a Fault Where None Exists / False Conflict / False Error

Argument from Omniscience

Logical Fallacy of Universal Negative

As Far As Anyone Knows Fallacy

Proving a Negative Fallacy / Negative Proof Fallacy

Claim of Unknowables Fallacy

The Logical Fallacy of Presupposition/Assumptive Thinking

Irrelevant Purpose Fallacy

Propositional Fallacy

Thompson Invisibility Syndrome

Logical Fallacy of Presumption

Grammatical Presupposition / Assumptive Language

Arbitrary Thinking

Reversible Logic

Floating Abstraction Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Implied Unsupported Assertion / Implied Lie

Spiritual Fallacy / Spiritual Excuse

I Wish I Had a Magic Wand Fallacy / Feigned Powerlessness

Pious Fraud

Logical Fallacy of False Open-Mindedness



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