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Logic and rhetoric

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General logic
Bad logic is a YEC Christian evangelical webshite,[1] with terrible graphic design. It is most notable for its collection of fallacies, which are partly correct and partly strawmen of atheist positions. Luckily, the site is not very popular.[2]


[edit] Fallacious explanations of fallacies

SeekFind manages to use several fallacies in its explanations of fallacies.

[edit] Word Magic

For example, its "Logical Fallacy of Word Magic" page writes:[3]

Events like the Big Bang, Molecules to Man, Abiogenesis, etc. are constantly spoken of as if they actually happened.

The author implies that the only reason people believe in these things is that there are words for them, ignoring the massive evidence for each. The author continues:

Atheism is spoken of as if there are really people who don’t know that God exists; however, God reveals that they know but choose not to acknowledge Him as God. God speaks this through the first chapter of Romans.

This argument is essentially moving the goalposts: You say you don't believe in god, but you merely don't recognize him, so you're not truly an atheist. The author continues:

A person who refuses to acknowledge God may say that reference to God is word magic; however, that claim is based on a presupposition. That presupposition is based on an assertion contrary to fact. Those who follow Jesus Christ know He exists because they know Him and are led by Him moment by moment.

Many theists might base their belief on personal revelation; however, personal revelation of the theist is entirely irrelevant to the atheist. Further, many theists attempt to prove that God exists purely through logic, such as the Ontological argument.

[edit] Argument to the Future

SeekFind's "Argument to the Future" page writes:[4]

"We don't have any real evidence that molecules turned into people over time, but science will be able to show that in the futhure [sic]."

This will happen by making up better stories, no doubt.

SeekFind ignores both (a) that evidence exists in the present and that (b) the history of the science of evolution has shown only increasing support for it as a theory; for example, there is no reason to believe that fewer transitional fossils will be found. It also ignores that of course molecules turned into people—every person born is made of molecules and has been from conception (and even before that). Even Young-Earth Creationism would be hard-pressed to suggest that the mud that God turned into Adam didn't contain molecules.

[edit] Appeal to probability

SeekFind's "Appeal to Possibility" page utilizes two fallacious examples:[5]

Sandy: "Evolution is scientific fact. Information is added to cells all the time through duplication, mutation and then natural selection"
Rocky: "Actually, the kind of new, innovative, universal information that would be required for even the smallest step in evolution has never been observed."
Sandy: "Well, it's still possible that it happens once in a while somewhere. You can't prove that it doesn't."
Rocky: "I think that you are trying to convince me that molecules-to-man evolution actually took place, not that it might be possible. If so, do you have any compelling evidence at all that it actually happened?"
Sandy: "If it is possible, then it must have happened."

Have you noticed that evolutionism evangelists never try to prove that the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story actually happened. The[y] try, unsuccessfully, to prove that it is possible. The story is presupposed. The attitude is that if it is possible, then it happened. This is the logical fallacy of appeal to possibility.

In this, SeekFind explicitly sets up a strawman of evolutionist positions. Very few evolutionists actually say what "Sandy" states; instead, most look towards the massive amounts of evidence in favor of Common descent. It is ridiculous to cast all of the research that evolutionary scientists have done for the past 150-odd years as nothing but an appeal to possibility. Hell, even the Lenski experiment by itself provides almost enough evidence to believe that evolution by natural selection occurs.

SeekFind continues:

Sandy: "Your contention that God leads His people is ridiculous."
Rocky: "It's been my experience and the experience of millions of followers of Christ that He does indeed lead us."
Sandy: "Yeah, but did you ever consider that it is possible that you and millions of believers are not experiencing what you think you are experiencing?"

You can't blame Bill [sic]. He is grasping for straws, since his worldview isn't defensible. To have one's worldview challenged is very difficult. So, Bill [sic; maybe they mean Rocky?] appeals to possibility.

SeekFind appeals to popularity. Simply because many Christians say something or believe something does not make it true! As counterexamples, consider that millions of Muslims or Hindus may believe that their respective gods had roles in their respective lives, rather than YHWH, and millions of atheists may argue that they feel the "absence" of YHWH in their lives, though Christianity will argue that all of those worldviews are wrong. If Christianity can use an argumentum ad populum but the others can't, then that's a case of special pleading. Furthermore, an appeal to popularity is fundamentally based on an appeal to probability (the exact fallacy that SeekFind is trying to explain) -- "so many people believe X; it's unlikely that they're all wrong".

[edit] Insignificant

SeekFind's "Insignificant" page writes:[6]

"In the last thirty years, we have increased CO2 by about one percent per year. We must stop man-made CO2 emissions."

The Earth began warming right after the Little Ice Age in the mid 1800s, and has increased 0.5 degrees C. in the last 100 years. It's impossible to tell whether this is a cyclical increase following the Genesis Flood or a continuing trend. Over the last decade and a half, the warming has been very close to zero. Over the last 150 years, there is very little correlation between temperature and human-generated CO2. There is no firm data that indicate the man-made CO2 is a factor at all. There are natural sources of CO2, but CO2 may be an insignificant cause. Climate-gate reduces the credibility of those pushing the agenda. Sun spots seem to be a greater factor than CO2. Natural CO2 is a greater factor if CO2 is a factor at all. Cloudiness has been largely overlooked in climate models.

While it does explain why anthropogenic global warming is supposedly not the most significant cause, it's incorrect in that the page is almost a gish-gallop of global warming denialist talking points, none of which are true.

[edit] Circular reasoning

Circular Reasoning.jpg

Instead of using the Bible to support God or God to support the Bible, SeekFind tells us to use personal knowledge that can't be verified to anyone else. Right.

[edit] Stopped clock moment

SeekFind's "Appeal to Pragmatism Fallacy" page writes (emphasis added):[7]

Sandy: “Christianity is true because it preaches love and caring for other people. Virtually all the hospitals, universities, and organizations that help people were founded as Christian organizations. Therefore, Christ exists.”

Sandy gave us a lot of true information, but the information doesn’t prove that Christianity is true or that Christ exists. Sandy is taking the pragmatic approach. Those who actually follow Christ know that He exists and the He is all that He says that He is. They know this because they know Him, not because of a theory that He is good for society (even though He is good for society).

[edit] See also

[edit] References

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