Circular Reasoning and the Bible

It really pains me to see people using blatant logical fallacies to provide evidence for God or the Bible. One is begging the question, also known as circular reasons. A very obvious example would be:

Ben: “God exists.”
Jane: “How can you be sure?”
Ben: “The bible says so!”
Jane: “Why should I believe the bible?”
Ben: “It was written by God!”

One can see how this is circular reasoning, the conclusion was assumed to be true in his premise.

When chatting with a catholic guy a few weeks ago about varying differences in our beliefs, I was accused of using circular reasoning. My reasoning was circular, however I believe it wasn’t invalid in this situation because of one caveat: he already trusted the authority of the Bible. So for example, if you use the Bible to show that it’s the highest authority for matters, and people or other sources shouldn’t be put on the same level as the Bible, you are committing a circular reasoning. However this reasoning is still valid if the person already accepts the Bible as an authority, which in my case was true. If someone accepts many things to be an authority on the same level, the Bible being one of them, and you can use the Bible to show that you shouldn’t be accepting of other sources as true on the same authority of the Bible, then you have shown their view to be inconsistent. To someone who doesn’t already accept the Bible as an authority, you’re using a logical fallacy, however it’s not the case if the person is already accepting of the Bible as an authority, and instead you are demonstrating their view is inconsistent.

I’ve met with many Catholics in my time (being pro-life and pro-family, that tends to happen) and most of them I firmly believe do have it right. I do have some problems with the official Catholic teachings, however I by no means judge Catholics on this. If I rejected their views solely because they’re not the same as mine, I’d be falling into another logical fallacy trap. I’m sure most Christian’s are wrong on something (that includes myself,) so I’m certainly not going to say because our views don’t match 100% then you’re 100% wrong and I’m 100% right.

The Book of Jezebel

Mainstream feminist website Jezebel recently released a book a couple of years back, called the book of Jezebel. I often get accused of misrepresenting what true feminism is, but Jezebel is one of the bigger feminist blogs. If it’s not true feminism, then I don’t know what is. Thus, having a look at some of their published content would, in theory, give a gimps at the thought process of feminism.

So this book is basically a satire encyclopaedia, but one can’t use satire to hide absolutely disgraceful, appalling and hateful remarks about children. Let’s take a look at some of the entries.

  • condom: a must-have accessory for protection against two potentially life-threatening conditions: AIDS (among other STIs) and babies.
  • children: side effect of sex.
  • nephew, niece: child of a sibling, a partner’s sibling, or a dear friend. They work well as both practice kids and as reminders to use birth control.

Feeling a little queezy yet? If not, you should be. This is what feminism is. And I’m not misrepresenting it (as I’m accused of doing all too often.) I’m quoting directly from an established mainstream feminist publication!

Let’s not forget that the writers were once children. The world wouldn’t function without them! Hateful comments shouldn’t ever be tolerated.

Of course, there are certainly many feminists who aren’t like this, and claim that this isn’t “true” feminism, however I’d argue that their version of feminism isn’t true feminism. In fact, if you call yourself a feminist and truly believe feminism is about true equality, I’d strongly suggest you find another name. No, seriously. “Equalism” I think is a great name. It’s a label I would be happy to give myself.

Best Windows Phone Apps To Date

For all of 2015, I used a Lumia 930 as my main phone. Why would I do such a thing to myself? I simply wanted to give Windows Phone a chance. One thing I know for sure is that it’s a very nice OS, and Windows Phone 8.1 felt a lot more polished than the Android phone I was using before it.

One of the big problems is the lack of apps, which I was prepared for. However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well it has been supported, given I was bracing myself for not having any. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite apps.



Spotify do infact have a Windows Phone app, and it works quite well. The first time I installed it, it didn’t work that well, but after a few months, I got an update which was a complete refactor. In 2015, they were still supporting the Windows Phone app extremely well – kudos to Spotify! It still feels a little clunky, however I’ve since had a shot at using the Android and iPhone apps, and they also feel clunky, so maybe it’s a Spotify quirk.


The very simple music matching app, and does what you want it to do. It isn’t quite as feature complete as the companions from other platforms, but if you want to know what song is playing, it just works.

True Caller

This app lets you know information about an incoming caller, say, if the caller is a known spam caller or not. It does this one task, but it does it really well.

Facebook and Messenger

Facebook have quite the nice app for Windows Phone (likely with some help from Microsoft). Not much can be said about it, other than I’ve never had a problem with it. The messenger app doesn’t offer chat heads, but they felt tacky anyway.


I’m ever impressed how much love Fitbit has given Windows. So much so that in the second half of 2015, they revamped their app using the universal platform, and it works really well. You need to have Windows Mobile 10 to get their universal app on your phone, but I’m incredibly impressed how much support it gets. It’s what convinced me to get a Fitbit in the end, I wouldn’t have done that without the phone support.


It’s a shame that Windows Phone is a dying platform, unfortunately it’s not getting the support from Microsoft or developers it needs. It’s a great OS to use, and does have a lot of the apps you know and love, but ultimately, Android and iOS have all of the apps you know and love. But if you do use Windows Phone, or are even contemplating giving it a shot like me, definitely check out these apps.

Society Hasn’t Cared about Marriage for Ages

Recently watching late night commercial TV, my attention was caught by an ad for what was either an adult hook-up site or an escort site (I haven’t visited it to find out and the ad was unclear.) It started with a man singing “I want someone other than my wife,” progressively building up to a chorus with other men.

I’m certainly not naïve enough to think that these services didn’t exist, I was immediately struck by how casual this commercial was making such a service seem. It wasn’t portraying it as some shady service that you’d find in the back alley a dodgy suburb, but almost flaunting the want and desire as something that’s acceptable and natural. I was appalled at how casual this company was treating adultery.

Our society is starting to devalue marriage even more. As people push for the definition of marriage to be broadened, they are inadvertently making it less meaningful than what it once was. This can be changing the definition that society uses, such as TV advertisements pushing for people to treat marriage not as a monotonous life-long commitment, or people pushing to change the definition to include any mixture of genders and number of people, society doesn’t seem to care that much about marriage.

This is a real shame – marriage plays a fundamental role for our society. In its traditional form, it’s designed to provide a safe environment to rear and raise children. This may not always happen. Not all marriages produce children (and not all end up being a safe environment) but that doesn’t deter away from the fact this is what they are designed to be able to provide and in most cases do. We need to push to protect marriage. Not just from obvious organised ways to change the legal definition, but from the way society is changing to treat marriage. Marriage can, and to an extent has been, destroyed by means other than law changes. We need to fight to defend marriage from all fronts.

Bullies and Censorship

Philip Jensen has published a great article on his blog entitled “Bullies and Censorship.” I encourage anyone reading this to go and check it out.

Mozilla: Not as Open and Free as we First Thought


The recent resignation of Mozilla CEO over recent “controversy” shows that gay marriage activists are indeed themselves the intolerant.

The story so far. About four years ago, Brendan Eich, the then CTO of Mozilla, made a donation to a pro-marriage organisaton. This was a private donation coming from his own funds. Recently, Eich was appointed as CEO of Mozilla, and someone obviously decided they’d do a bit of digging into some old records, and found the aforementioned donation.

Should this be a problem? Absolutely not, just as it shouldn’t be a problem if he made a donation to a pro-gay marriage organisation. Why should a company care where its employees donate their personal funds to (bar illegal and hate group organisations)? It was his money. He can do with it what he likes. Yet still, many Mozilla employees took to social media to express their dismay at Eich’s appointment as CEO. But so what? The CEO of my workplace isn’t going to resign because his personal views conflict with mine. Why should he? What right do I have to try and force him out? In fact, in a standard workplace, it’d be basically impossible to have the personal views of the CEO align with the personal views of all the employees. Why does one group get special treatment?

It basically comes down to the mentality of “I’m right, you’re wrong, and I don’t agree with your view.”

There is some good to come out of this. This will backfire for the gay marriage activist community. They have shown that they aren’t ready for real political dialogue. They have shown that that they themselves are intolerant, bigoted and bullies. They have becomes the hypocrites they claimed to hate.

This has been happening for some time – we’ve always known that there are many people who fight for gay marriage who are intolerant, bigoted and bullies (there are also many who aren’t) – but it’s finally starting to come into the spotlight who they really are. You can judge people more by their actions than their words.

I have in the past donated to Mozilla. In the future I intend to be directing donations to my local pro-family group. I would encourage anyone else who supports preserving marriage for our future generations to do the same.

Create equal spaced columns/cells in a table by only altering margins

This is a hard thing to write a title for, and a hard problem to explain. I had a situation where I wanted to put some space between columns in a table, but I couldn’t alter the left margin of the left most column, or the right margin of the right most column, as that would stuff up some alignment. In addition, I wanted to have the exact same amount of margin taken away from each column, as to not stuff up the sizing. See the following illustration to help visualise the problem… numbers in the illustration are to follow with the example I give.


So, how is this done?

Firstly, let’s imagine we had 5 columns. That means that there are 4 gaps (one between the 1st and 2nd, 2nd and 3rd, 3rd and 4th, and 4th and 5th.) We need to times the gap we want in each space by the number of spaces.

a = gap we want (let’s say 10)
b = number of cells (lets say 5)
c = number of gaps = b-1 (in this example, 4)
d = total space in gaps = a * c (in this example, 40)

We know that we need a total of d (in this example, 40 pixels) to be removed from all the cells all in all. In addition, we want to make sure that each cell has the same amount removed. Thus, we divide the total amount of space by the total number of cells

e = d/b (in this example, 40/5 = 8)

So we want to make the left and right margins of each cell total the value of e – that is, we want to subtract exactly e from each cell.

For the left most cell (cell 0), we can’t alter the left margin, so we have no choice but to add e in it’s entirety to the right margin of the left most cell. For the second cell (cell 1), we want the gap to total a. So therefore, we need to make the left margin of cell 1 equal to a minus the right margin of cell 0. In this case, it will equal 2. When we get to the right margin of cell 1, we want to make it such that the total margins of the cell equals e, so we work out the right margin to be e minus the left margin of cell 0.

If we proceed with this pattern, we’ll keep removing exactly e from each cell. When we get to the final cell, it will be at a stage such that you will only need to add e to the left margin (and not to the right margin,) and, if done correctly, all the spaces will be of equal size.


A nice recursive python script can work this out for you:

#remember, first cell is cell 0, and last cell is total-1.
# for example, if there were 5 cells, first one would be 0, last one would be 4.
def leftMargin(item, total, gap):
if (item == 0):
return 0.0
return gap - rightMargin(item - 1, total, gap)

def rightMargin(item, total, gap):
if (item == 0):
return (gap * (total - 1.0)) / total
if (item == total-1):
return 0.0
return ((gap * (total - 1.0)) / total) - rightMargin (item - 1, total, gap)

# here is some dummy data.
# how many cells do we have??
total = 5.0

# how many units is the gap supposed to be?
gap = 10

for i in range(0, int(total)):
print str(i) + ": " + str(leftMargin(i, total, gap)) + " " + str(rightMargin(i, total, gap))


Deductive argument against abortion

There is quite a simple deductive argument against abortion, and is something I always point to when discussing the ethics of abortion. It goes like this:

  1. Killing a human being without just cause is morally wrong
  2. Abortion has the intention of killing a developing child in the womb
  3. Abortion rarely has a just cause
  4. A developing child is biologically a human being
  5. Therefore, abortion in principle is morally wrong

Most of the pro-choice reasoning is simply attacking one of the premises, including premise 1 (which is somewhat surprising.) However I believe all these premises hold up even under attack from pro-choice reasoning. Let’s have a look at each of these premises individually.

Premise 1

Many people would say that killing a human being isn’t morally wrong providing that human being is not a person. However the definition of a person proposed by pro-choice advocates is neither consistent nor logical, but they are all absurd due to poor reasoning as to why that definition is the right definition, or their definition is so broad that it includes many many born and sometimes mature human beings (which is also absurd.) For example, it’s hard to justify that someone is a person because they’re outside of the womb. Why does their location make a difference? Certainly, some things have changed – they’re outside of the womb now, but all the justifications I’ve heard for this don’t make sense. This is partly because there isn’t really any justification as to why someone outside a womb is a person and someone inside a womb isn’t a person. Another example would be consciousness or self-awareness – one needs to have these characteristics in order to be a person. However, in addition to being absurd (no proper justification as to this reasoning,) it is so broad it would include many humans, including all infants, many elderly, anyone in a coma, and everyone when they fall asleep. If they’re using the reasoning “only people have the right to life” to justify abortion, it also justifies killing anyone who isn’t a person by the defintion given. If they alter their defintion to only include those who are born, we go back to the first scenario we had in where there isn’t any reasonable justification as to why a baby is suddenly a person based on it’s location.

Of course, all this is if someone changes the first premise to person, but that doesn’t really make sense because there’s no logical reasoning to it and it’s ambiguous, unlike human being.

Premise 2

One might say that abortion is simply “expelling” a foetus from the womb, however there is always the underlying intention that the foetus won’t live. This is demonstrated in part by late-term abortions, where it’s plausible to deliver the child early and it has a fighting chance at living. The intention of abortion is to ensure that there is no living baby inside or outside of the womb afterwards. The intention of “expelling” a foetus from the womb can’t be separated from the intention of wanting to kill the child.

Premise 3

What is a just cause? I think the only just cause can be found by using the principle of double effect, and abortion is justified if the effect of not performing an abortion is morally worse than performing it. This happens very rarely, if at all. For example, I would argue that the life of the mother is more important than the life of the foetus solely because the life of the foetus is dependent on the life of the mother rather than one human having a greater claim to the right to life than another. I can’t stress this enough. Both the foetus and the mother have the same right to life by virtue of being human. However the foetus’ life depends on the mother’s life. As such, we aim to save the greatest number of lives as possible. If the mother dies (typically) the child she is carrying will also die. Such that, if the pregnancy is severely endangering the life of the mother, then saving the greatest number of lives is to save the mothers life. However, we also need to make sure that there isn’t any other option that can be taken, such as attempting to deliver the child by C-section and at least give the child a fighting chance at life (see above.) I don’t consider this to be an abortion as much as it is a tragic loss of a wanted child. Most common case scenario is ectopic pregnancies.

Many people will try and argue that there are other just causes. However, the right to life shared by all human beings has to be applied universally and equally. No one’s has greater or lesser basic human rights than another human. When someone tries to say that foetuses are been given greater human rights, they are using a flawed comparison. This is because they aren’t comparing the same human right. They are comparing the right to life with the right to bodily autonomy. If bodily autonomy is a right, it’s certainly not greater than the right to life. The foetus’ right to life trumps the right to bodily autonomy not because the foetus has greater rights in general than the mother, but because that particular right is greater. For example, the mother’s right to life trumps the foetus’ right to bodily autonomy (however as a human being that hasn’t yet developed the ability to communicate with language, I am yet to find a case of a foetus invoking that right.)

It’s scary that apart from bodily autonomy (which isn’t sufficient cause,) all the proposed just causes can also be used to justify infanticide. One needs to provide sufficient reasoning and justification as to why something is a just cause.

Premise 4

Biologically, a foetus is a human being. There’s no way around it. It’s as much a clump of cells as every other human being. It’s as much of tissue as every other human being. It’s not a parasite, because a parasite has to be of a different species to the host body (that logic that a foetus starts off as something that’s biologically not human and then suddenly becomes human at birth doesn’t have any biological justification.) The biggest objection to this is actually by modifying premise 1 to say “person” instead of human being. As such, premise 1 would say “killing a person without just cause is morally wrong.” (let’s call this premise 1b) This is true, killing a person without just cause is morally wrong, and if this premise was swapped with the replacement, the argument wouldn’t logically make sense. However, just because this new premise is true doesn’t mean the old premise isn’t also true. This is demonstrated because the entire set of persons is a subset of the entire set of human beings (such that all persons are human beings.) So this doesn’t help the cause at all, because this new premise could simply be a logical step from the old premise that “killing a human being without just cause is morally wrong”. Premise 1b being true doesn’t make premise 1 false. In addition, persons being a subset of human beings means that all persons are human beings, but does not mean instantly that all human beings aren’t persons (it would have to be a proper subset for this to be the case.)

One of the biggest problems here is that people will change the definition of “person” to fit their political agenda. Let’s stick with human being, because there’s no reason as to why we should be replacing premise 1 with premise 1b. Just because premise 1b is true doesn’t make premise 1 false.


If all these premises presented are true, which I have aimed to demonstrate, then one would rightly conclude that abortion, in principle, is morally wrong. In principle is there to allow for if there is ever a just cause (as per premises 2 and 3.) Where there there is a just cause (which is very rare) then it wouldn’t be morally wrong in that case, but as exceptions don’t define a rule, we can’t use that case to say it’s not morally wrong all the time.

Of course, we’ll see many of these premises being attacked as described above, but I’m confident that all the attacks will fail. The attacks are solely an attempt to justify the unjustifiable, either for political gain or because of the consequences otherwise faced. For women who have had an abortion, they don’t want to believe that they killed their own child. That’s an absolutely tragic thing to feel, and I can sympathise with wanting to hold to the belief that this wasn’t the case. However, the truth shouldn’t be prevented for this reason alone; especially as we should be aiming to prevent this happening to even more women. As for post-abortive mothers, as they were following what the law allowed and what society approved of, I would not hold them morally responsible for the death of their child (the abortionist in many cases would be held morally responsible however.)

We need to be sympathetic and caring for post-abortive mothers, women in crisis pregnancies and mother’s doing it tough. It’s easy to logically show something is wrong, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy in practice, and that is quite often an argument made in favour of abortion. However, we should be doing what is right… even if it’s the harder option.

“High Court strikes down ACT gay marriage law”

Finally, some good news to come out of the courts. The state government which passed this law would have known that it was unconstitutional, but they still pushed forward with it. Thankfully the Australian Federal government challenged it, and won. The federal government has jurisdiction on any marriage related laws.

Read the news article at the Australian.

Faith amidst the flames

Burning cross

This is an article I wrote for my University student newspaper. It is short and for a broad audience, and thus I’m not able to say as much as I’d like to say. If it was to a specific audience (e.g. Christians only) and I was afforded a large word count, there’s a lot more I would cover.

Last Thursday started off like any other. On my way to uni I passed a couple of fire trucks screaming up the road, but I didn’t really think much of it. Not having checked the news while at uni, I had no idea how bad the fires had become. To my surprise, one of my friends raced home to see what state his house was in. Sadly he lost his house.

And now – what devastation we’ve seen! There have been over 200 houses, people’s homes, lost to this blazing inferno.

Of course, amidst all this devastation, many people are asking “Why?” It’s not long before they add “Why God?” For if, as Christians claim, God is an all-powerful and all-good creator, then why does he allow such suffering?

When asking this question, there are some important claims to consider: that God has graciously given us free will, that he’s experienced suffering personally, and that he knows the big picture. All these things help us to understand why God allows suffering.

Firstly, we live in a broken world consumed by evil. But it wasn’t always so. When God created this world it was perfect, free from pain. But God allowed us humans to rebel against him. In doing so, evil entered the scene, and with it, all kinds of suffering. But the freedom to choose also means that we can relate to God in a genuine way, not as mere puppets on a string.

Furthermore, God gets pain – he knows it through Jesus. Betrayed by one friend, denied by another, mocked by the crowds, crucified by the authorities – Jesus really knew what suffering meant. How much it must have hurt God to see his son treated like that!

Lastly, one of the great things about God is that he can see the big picture – so much more than we can ever see. Can devastation and tragedy be used to bring about a greater good? I think so. Will we ever know what this greater good is? Maybe, maybe not. But if God is good – as the Bible shows time and again – then we can trust that there is a greater good at work.

For those going through suffering of any kind, words on a page are often little comfort. Material loss on this scale is devastating – precious items are irreplaceable, one’s sense of security is destroyed and the prospect of re-building is exhausting. Healing obviously takes time. But God is ever-present – we can always turn to him. He offers something greater and more valuable than material goods; something that can never be taken away. He offers you his love and peace.

After telling his followers some parables, Jesus said: “I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33)

If you are looking to turn to God but don’t know where to start, a Christian friend or a local church are good places to go. On campus, CBM runs regular bible studies you are welcome to join – don’t hesitate to come along to ask these questions.