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Friday, August 8, 2008

DisComforting Logic: Circular Reasoning

I have proposed a new Raytractors project over at our blog. The goal of this series is to educate people on various logical fallacies using some argument or statement by Ray Comfort as the example. I have chosen this one as it is one listed in Ray's new Atheist Starter Kit.

Logical Fallacy: Circular Reasoning aka Begging the Question
Type: Informal
Source: WDAY Interview
Definition:
Begging the question is an argument where a conclusion is based on a premise which needs as much to be proved as the conclusion itself. Moreover, in circular logic the proposition you are attempting to prove is assumed somewhere in the premises for the conclusion.
Ray's Statement/Argument
Click on the Source above to listen to the clip of this transcript.
You talked about there not being proof [for Intelligent Design creationism]. I think there is absolute scientific 100% evidence for Intelligent Design. Absolutely. And that is you cannot, it is impossible, to have a Creation without a Creator. And I've seen atheists and evolutionists backslide, change their beliefs with this one thought:

I say, "When you look at a painting, how do you know absolutely that there was a painter?" Well, you'll say, "The painting exists. Paintings don't happen by themselves."

When you look at a building, how do you know 100% that there was a builder? Well, the building is absolute proof there was a builder. You cannot have a building without a builder.

And Creation is 100% absolute proof that there was a Creator. You cannot have a Creation without a Creator.
Summary of Statement/Argument
Creation implies a Creator.
Suppose the universe was created.
Therefore there was a Creator.
At face value, there is no problem with his logic. Buildings imply builders; paintings imply painters; creations imply creators. However, the circular logic occurs when he tries to conclude that the universe was created.

He has defined the universe to be creation. Creation is "something that is or has been created." From this, he concludes God exists, because he created the universe... which he had just asserted to be created.

This is the essence of circular logic. His premise, that the universe was created, requires as much proof as proving there is a Creator. The conclusion that there is a Creator, in this argument, is contingent on the universe being created, which he simply asserted as a premise.

Q: "How do you know there is a God?"
A: "Because he created the universe."
Q: "How do you know he created the universe?"
A: "Because universe is creation [something that has been created]." "
Q: "How do you know the universe was created?"
A: "Because God created it. Creation requires a creator!"

Example of Similar Circular Reasoning
You talked about there not being proof for evolution. I think there is absolute scientific 100% evidence for evolution -- without even needing to crack open the volumes of science literature on it. Absolutely. And that is you cannot, it is impossible, to have evolved beings without an evolutionary process. And I've seen Christians and creationists backslide, change their beliefs with this one thought:

I say, "When you look at a painting, how do you know absolutely that there was a painting process?" Well, you'll say, "The painting exists. Paintings don't happen by themselves."

When you look at a building, how do you know 100% that there was a building process? Well, the building is absolute proof there was a building process. You cannot have a building without a building process.

And evolved beings are 100% absolute proof that there was an evolutionary process. You cannot have evolved beings without evolution.
Summary of Similar Logical Fallacy
Evolved beings imply a evolution.
Suppose the beings evolved.
Therefore there was evolution.
See Also
Ray Proved Evolution
Potential Law Skirt
An Eternal Farce

3 comments:

The Amiable Atheist said...

I think this is a really great idea and I look forward to reading more.

DisComforting Ignorance said...

Thanks. I'm enjoying these segments, especially now that he's given us the Atheist Starter Kit. I'm hoping to work these segments in from blog posts he makes as responses.

If I taught a class in logic or theory of knowledge, I would definitely take Ray as a walking textbook for my class.

Prakash J. Lakhapate said...

It is agreed that Creator has created this Universe.

Next question comes what is origin of Creator or who has created the Creator ?

P.J.LAKHAPATE
plakhapate@gmail.com