Author Topic: attempts to make circular reasoning valid by fundies  (Read 796 times)

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Offline wigglytuff

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attempts to make circular reasoning valid by fundies
« on: April 26, 2013, 10:58:33 PM »
Ive noticed something alot of fundies try to make circular reasoning valid, so what are some of the best ways to refute these dumb arguements other than just laughing your ass off? ::) like this http://www.frontlinemin.org/apolpresupp.asp? and what about when they claim using logic to prove logic is circular?

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: attempts to make circular reasoning valid by fundies
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2013, 11:45:44 PM »
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So, when we begin with the Bible to defend the Bible, this is done with the conviction that the Word of God is the ultimate criterion for truth. When an evidentialist begins with rationalism (and also sometimes empiricism), he is also arguing in a circle, except he doesn't even acknowledge this fact. You see, evidentialism is circular because it starts with rationality. However, the evidentialist does not even bother to prove rationality, he simply presupposes it! So, when the evidentialist begins with rationality to prove the Bible, he is demonstrating that he believes (even if unconsciously) that rationality is his ultimate criterion for truth.

Here, he's basically saying rationality does not exist, so there is no rational way to argue that the Bible is true.

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However, I am not saying that even a presuppositional apologetic is sufficient to lead one to Christ. The approach of presuppositionalism is to apply a presuppositional apologetic to the heart and mind of the postmodernist, shake him from his relativistic slumbers, and thereby press upon him the demand of God's holy Law and the glorious hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But without the accompanying regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, even the most powerful defense of the faith is unavailing.

Here, he step onto dangerous ground, almost saying that Christians have to be somehow different to atheists.


I think the mistake he's making, is assuming that all circular arguments are equal in strength. Rationality seems like a good thing to assume, because our whole viewpoint is based upon it, including the construction of the Bible. Some circular arguments have more holes in them than others.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 11:53:38 PM by Add Homonym »
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

Offline Hierophant

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Re: attempts to make circular reasoning valid by fundies
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2013, 02:11:23 AM »
Another wonderful example of the presup tactic I call Cutting Off One's Head.

Offline wigglytuff

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Re: attempts to make circular reasoning valid by fundies
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2013, 01:54:44 PM »
so this might be a bit of a dumb question by all circular arguements are invalid, unlike what these fundies said right?

Offline Hierophant

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Re: attempts to make circular reasoning valid by fundies
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2013, 11:14:55 PM »
Yes, all circular arguments are invalid because they assume what they seek to prove. For example:

1. The Bible is the Word of God.
2. God is trustworthy because the Bible says so.
3. Therefore the Bible is trustworthy.

Premise 2 assumes that the Bible is trustworthy in providing the evidence that God is trustworthy. It is a circular argument, therefore it is invalid.

Offline mango

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Re: attempts to make circular reasoning valid by fundies
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2013, 12:24:03 AM »
Totally wrong, actually. All circular arguments are necessarily valid. But they're very very bad arguments.

If you're making fun if people getting logic wrong, at least use the right terms.
Valid is a technical term in logic. There are some really technical details about being true in models and whatnot, but for everyday arguments,

An argument is valid if and only if its conclusion is logically entailed by its premises

But an argument is circular if and only if the conclusion is a premise in the argument. And of course any proposition entails itself.

The shortest circular argument is:
1. P
Therefore,
2. P

That argument is valid, but it is worthless.

Now that I've told the atheists how to correctly critique the fundies...

Offline mango

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Re: attempts to make circular reasoning valid by fundies
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2013, 12:35:13 AM »
Oh, and by the way, the article is hitting on the of the actual big issues in philosophy, commonly called the problem of the criterion (So named by Roderick Chisholm).

When we are trying to determine how to know anything, we can start one of two ways (Here I'm mostly copying fom Wikipedia due to laziness):

1. What do we know? or What is the extent of our knowledge?
2. How do we know? or What is the criterion of knowing?
An answer to either set of questions will allow us to devise a means of answering the other. A skeptic will proclaim that since one cannot have an answer to the first set of questions without first answering the second set, and one cannot hope to answer the second set of questions without first knowing the answers to the first set, we are, therefore, unable to answer either.

So, in order to know anything we have to engage in circular reasoning, or so the problem seems. Not to say this is unsurmountable, but this question is giving philosophers a big headache. So presuppositions lists just pick "The Bible" as an answer to question 1 in order to start somewhere.

Online Willie

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Re: attempts to make circular reasoning valid by fundies
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2013, 01:20:06 AM »
... and what about when they claim using logic to prove logic is circular?

Logic is a tool. We use tools to do things. Logic is a tool that we use to evaluate the truth or falsehood of claims. There is nothing circular about that state of affairs, and it is not an argument.

We prove ideas by showing how they follow from more basic ideas, often in several stages, ultimately coming to rest on a set of axioms. Axioms are ideas that are so basic that there isn't anything more basic to prove them with. So we cannot prove anything absolutely. All we can do is prove that a statement follows from the truth of one or more unproven axioms. But this does not mean that logical proof is equivalent to blind faith. Axioms are not accepted on a whim, or just because we want them to be true. We accept axioms because they are tautologies (a thing is equal to itself), or because they seem self evident (ex. two things that are equal remain equal no matter what you name them), or because their falsehood would produce a very different world from the one we observe.

Still, an axiom could turn out to be wrong. But it's the best system that anyone has come up with. It might even be the best that can possibly be done. And it works. That alone makes a sharp distinction to the method of just believing what you wish was true. That has a track record of working very poorly. Sometimes spectacularly so.

Offline Hierophant

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Re: attempts to make circular reasoning valid by fundies
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2013, 03:39:32 AM »
As an intuitionist, I deny that reasoning is ultimately circular. It starts from our epistemic intuitions, such as "trust the way things appear to you unless you find contrary appearances" and our intuition of the basic laws of logic. We are able to judge somewhat rationally because it was evolutionary advantageous for us to do so and the brain provided a good substrate to bring this into effect.

Offline mango

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Re: attempts to make circular reasoning valid by fundies
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2013, 02:48:35 PM »
As an intuitionist, I deny that reasoning is ultimately circular. It starts from our epistemic intuitions, such as "trust the way things appear to you unless you find contrary appearances" and our intuition of the basic laws of logic. We are able to judge somewhat rationally because it was evolutionary advantageous for us to do so and the brain provided a good substrate to bring this into effect.

Do you believe your intuitions because you already believe that evolution gave you good intuitions, or do you believe in evolution because our intuitions eventually led to good science that tells you it's true?

However you answer, you haven't avoided the issue.

Offline Hierophant

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Re: attempts to make circular reasoning valid by fundies
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2013, 04:13:09 PM »
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Do you believe your intuitions because you already believe that evolution gave you good intuitions,
No, no such reasoning is part of having intuitions. It is part of the nature of an intuition that it is unjustified, because it is the foundation of justification (e.g. intuitions about perception and empiricism in general).

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or do you believe in evolution because our intuitions eventually led to good science that tells you it's true?
In a causal manner, yes. Of course it's not a conscious process. No one started to look at evolution by reflecting on how one's intuitions leads one to good science.

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However you answer, you haven't avoided the issue.
How am I being circular?

Offline mango

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Re: attempts to make circular reasoning valid by fundies
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2013, 12:03:58 AM »
If intuitions are unjustified, how can you get from them to something justified then?

Offline Hierophant

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Re: attempts to make circular reasoning valid by fundies
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2013, 01:12:56 AM »
The same way you justify anything else... by using deduction or induction, or both.

Offline wigglytuff

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Re: attempts to make circular reasoning valid by fundies
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2013, 02:38:00 PM »

this reminds me of the chat i had with Jason Lisle , feel free you guys to join in...  :P its of course mindnumbing stupid and circular but i guess its worth a look just for a quick laugh.....http://www.jasonlisle.com/2013/03/27/its-not-human-reason-vs-gods-word/
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