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Logically Fallacious

After my last post on a specific logical fallacy I was challenged to present a list of them which are often used in arguments. I thought it might be fun to produce an argument based on these fallacies and see how many can be identified.

I have found no area of debate where logical fallacies are more apparent than in the old creationism versus evolution discussion. So I made up an argument a creationist might use to support his religion. Note that this is entirely created by me but it is based on real arguments I have heard from believers…

Thank you for letting me tell you why creationism is undoubtedly the best explanation for the origin of this world and life on it. Creationism is the only belief supported by the true word of God as written in the Bible and is the most commonly accepted theory in the world today. Please read through the rest of this material and you will see that creationism is undoubtedly true.

Before you listen to an evolutionist you should know that science rejects God as the cause of life, so their opinion is hardly worth listening to. And remember that if we believe that evolution is true the next thing will be that we have to reject God and start worshipping Satan instead. Is that what we want as moral Christians?

As well as being immoral, evolution makes no sense. The Darwinists say that we evolved from monkeys by pure chance. How can they believe that? If we evolved from monkeys why are there still monkeys? Plus it has been mathematically shown that the complexity of modern life cannot have arisen by chance.

If you look at the theory of evolution (and it is just a theory) you will see that it is far from perfect and scientists are still debating it. So we cannot use it as a reasonable explanation of the origin of life. Yet despite all the problems with evolution Darwinists still criticise the Bible for errors they imagine are there.

You will notice that very few evolutionists – even their high priest Richard Dawkins – try to debate against creationists which shows that they know that evolution can’t stand up to a fair comparison with creation.

When I went to a debate between a well known creationist and an evolutionist the evolutionist didn’t have many good answers to the creationists questions. He used a fallacy to defend his position which is obviously wrong.

But many well known scientific figures such as Isaac Newton have been Christians and their theories were shown to be true science. And even Einstein said that “God doesn’t play dice” so he obviously believes in a god who personally controls the universe. Why don’t other scientists accept what this great person said?

I just cannot believe that this whole beautiful universe works the way scientists say. It makes so much more sense just to accept the fact that a god is responsible for all of this. Nothing else makes sense.

So evolution makes no sense. What about Christianity? As you will see from my points below it is undeniably a better worldview…

Believing in a god is just a natural part of human nature and every culture in the world has a god belief. If there is no god where does this belief come from? And more people believe Christianity than any other religion. Why would they do that if it wasn’t real?

The Bible is the word of God so how can it possibly be untrue? It’s illogical to reject it. The Bible is either true or it isn’t and many parts of the Bible have been shown to be true by archaeologists and historians so it’s obviously a book of fact, not fiction.

Some people say that every religion has some element of truth and others say that they are all wrong. The reality is between those extremes: one religion is right and the rest are wrong. But Christianity isn’t just another religion and it needs to be treated differently because its teaching is from a higher plain of truth.

Christianity gives us eternal life which is better than a final death like the atheists believe in. You should be a Christian because you do want to be a good person, don’t you? Because they have no basis for their morality, the people who reject Christianity are immoral and their opinion cannot be trusted.

How can morality be good or even real if it comes from a species who evolved from monkeys? Morality can only make sense if it was created by God.

Some people criticise Christianity because they think Christians have been responsible for atrocities in the past, but the people who burned witches, killed the Jews and Muslims in the Crusades, and started holy wars weren’t true Christians.

If you join Christianity you will have great friendship and happiness by participating in the church’s inspirational worship.

We all know that God exists, so it’s up to atheists to show he doesn’t. They just don’t seem to be able to do this.

If you’re still doubtful then explain these real events…

How is it that the Earth has just the right temperature, gravity, and many other things for human life to exist? This seems to show that God created it that way.

In the last week three friends I know have had their children accepted for prestigious universities, but I heard that an atheist in the neighbourhood has been sent to prison.

Finally, my neighbour had cancer and our church prayed for him and now he’s feeling better. The doctor’s can’t explain how this happened.

So there is the case against science and for the Christian God. And it sounds fairly convincing, at least in places. But look for all the logical fallacies (I found over 40 of them) and it might not be quite so good. Remember that finding fallacies in an argument doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not true (that would be the fallacy fallacy) but it should at least be a good reason to question the quality of the person’s argument.

  1. May 17, 2012 at 4:33 am

    1) Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy.
    2) Confirmation Bias.
    3) Ad Ignorantium.

    And overall, wow, just wow!

    Have fun.

  2. ojb42
    May 17, 2012 at 4:37 am

    Yes, nice. Didn’t know if anyone would get the “Texas sharpshooter”. And the others are also true, of course.

  3. ojb42
    May 17, 2012 at 4:39 am

    And one more thing “wow, just wow” is a common response to real creationist arguments so my simulated one must be close to being realistic!

  4. May 17, 2012 at 5:00 am

    I thought you did an excellent job. Some responses aren’t about refuting the argument, which is when “wow just wow” pops up. I suppose it’s more of a punctuation mark that goes with giving up on dialogue altogether.

    Anyway, this does look fun.

    • ojb42
      May 17, 2012 at 5:09 am

      Yes, I have used the “Wow” response on some occasions when I realised that there was zero chance of my opponent ever forming a cogent argument on the topic under discussion!

      And my post is sort of a mega form of games like “name that logical fallacy” which various skeptical podcasts like “Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe” like to play! I’ll put the full answers up tomorrow!

  5. May 17, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    I think I just lost at least 5 IQ points. It continues to amaze me how tightly people clutch their ignorance. Good post.

  6. ojb42
    May 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    OK, I do need to emphasise that this is not a real argument from a creationist. It is one I created to illustrate fallacious arguments in general. I do need to say though, that all of these points have been made by creationists I have debated, just not all together in one place!

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