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Archives for : March2016

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.