Talk:Begging the question

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This article and Beg the question should probably be merged.

Quick note to say that this has been done Scarlet A.pngpathetic 18:49, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Refs etc[edit]

Apparently it can be valid. In which case it is deductive reasoning. Or something. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 18:49, 15 August 2009 (UTC)


If we followed a coherentist or non-foundationalist epistemology, then begging the question may be OK, at least some of the time? Coherentism seems to suggest, that if only one makes the circle big enough and complicated enough (more a web than a circle), then one is fine. --(((Zack Martin))) 09:53, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't know, but mathematics accept recursion, which are circular reasoning with stop conditions that provably always are reached. Therefore some social science recursions might be perceived as begging the question. A thought structure must set axioms to achieve stop conditions in what would otherwise be infinite chains of proofs, and I wager that those axiom sets can always be doubted (realistically or not). Rursus dixit (yada³!) 10:07, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Objectivism (Ayn Rand)[edit]

Why is Objectivism (Ayn Rand) used before the intro? IMHO it is a deeply flawed pseudoscientific political philosophy (all political philosophies are flawed by trying to "perceive forth" a moral instead of feeling forth them), that tries to define away the biochemical perception by a logical leaps-to-conclusions, and thereby increases the risks for wishful thinking. Ayn-Randism is in the same process a way to dismiss feelings, while it describes humans contrafactually. I think using Ayn-Randic statements in the beginning of our articles degrades rationalwiki to pseudoscience, and shouldn't be used. Rursus dixit (yada³!) 09:45, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

I think it's meant to be some kind of subtle intellectual joke rather than an endorsement of objectivism. Though it is possible that the joke is too subtle in this case.--BobSpring is sprung! 10:17, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
@Rursus: Putting a quote about Objectivism at the top of an article about a logical fallacy is more of a condemnation, rather than an endorsement. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:04, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Conclusion not in premises[edit]

What if the conclusion is not used as a premise, but rather one of the premises is assumed to be true even though it isn't or it hasn't yet been proven as true? Isn't this also a BTQ fallacy?-- Pedja  (speak up, contributions) 09:44, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

What I mean is the form: A implies B and B is only valid because A is assumed.-- Pedja  (speak up, contributions) 09:51, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
Give an example. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:51, 16 February 2014 (UTC)
I think that Example 2 from the article is a perfect example. The conclusion is that abortion should be illegal and the premise which begs the question or which is purely assumed is that abortion is murder.-- Pedja  (speak up, contributions) 13:40, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Fighting against time[edit]

Aren't we rather fighting against time here.

I know the definition we use is historically correct and that we acknowledge that it is almost universally misused at the end of the article, but attempting to hold this particular linguistic line is futile.

Recently dictionaries decided that "literal" can mean "figurative" because that's how many people use the term. And the error in the way in which "literal" is used is far more obvious than the erroneous use of "begging the question" by almost the entire population.--Weirdstuff (talk) 11:46, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

I'm not really sure what you're suggesting we do. The phrase is still widely used to refer to the logical fallacy, as well for situations where a question is prompted or implied. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:54, 16 February 2014 (UTC)


Isn't the difference that a circular argument directly assumes the truth of its conclusion, while begging the question assumes the truth of a premise as least as debatable as the conclusion which is not the same as the conclusion? That's what I always thought. King Skeleton (talk) 10:40, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Incorrect Example[edit]

The second example under Example 4 does not appear to meet the definition of "begging the question." It reads:

  1. If the Bible were not true, logic would not be meaningful.
  2. Logic is meaningful.
  3. Therefore, the Bible is true.

As far as I can tell, the syllogism is valid. Given the premises, the conclusion follows. That doesn't make the conclusion TRUE. But it does mean the syllogism can't logically be dismissed as circular. Rather, one would have to argue against one or both of the stated premises. And someone arguing from the other side would need to adduce reasoning and facts in support of those premises.

I'll grant this much. Arguing for the truth of the above syllogism inevitably leads to the fallacy under discussion. You can't argue that "Logic is meaningful" without begging the question. This might be worth noting in the article. Billbaldwin2 (talk) 20:07, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

#1 is actually the "begging the question" fallacy from before reduced to a premise, at least that's how I parse our text. Probably could be improved by reworking. Ikanreed (talk) 20:29, 17 November 2014 (UTC)