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Fallacies of Comparison

 

 

Whenever a logical fallacy is committed, the fallacy has its roots in Agrippa's trilemma which is simply the fact that the foundation of all human thought (without Divine revelation) is one of three unhappy possibilities. These three possibilities are infinite regression, circular reasoning, or bare assertions without any evidence.

 

Fallacies of Comparison

  • Logical Fallacy of Faulty Comparison: occurs when two unrelated entities are compared, creating a false impression about one or both of the entities that were compared. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, arguing against Creation Science: "You can show the Earth is not flat. You Can show the Earth is not 10,000 years old." How do we know that the Earth is not flat? We can see that it constantly falls away to the horizon. We can calculate the way this happens and come pretty close to the circumference. We can go out in a spacecraft and look at it as we orbit it. That's how we know. What do we have to assume? We have to assume that we are observing what we are observing. That's it. But how does Bill Nye and his followers think that they know the age of the Earth? Can they go back in time and observe the age of the Earth? They have to assume whether or not there was a global flood. They have to assume a starting point for every so-called clock. They have to assume that nothing happened in between the beginning and the present for each clock. The clocks differ wildly when used with the same assumptions of no flood, and the vast majority of them give us a young age for the Earth. Since Bill Nye "and his followers" put only use the clocks that they can manipulate to give an old Earth, this is also the logical fallacy of cherry picking data. And then there is the fact that when dates using the favorite methods don't give the desired results, that data is thrown out, disregarded, and new tests are run until the desired results are obtained. This is an extreme example of the logical fallacy of stacking the deck.
  • Incomplete Comparison Fallacy: occurs when insufficient information is provided to make a complete comparison, yet a comparison is proposed. The fact that a comparison is proposed isn't necessarily a fallacy. The fallacy would be in being unable to explain the difference and finish making the comparison. While some things are easy to compare because they are very simple, with more complex things, giving the entire comparison on every level and regarding every facet may not be possible. Incomplete knowledge is not a fallacy unless you claim to have all knowledge. Sandy: "Evolution is more scientific." What are we comparing evolution to? Does evolution mean the entire Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story, just the Molecules-to-Man story, the changes from generation to generation in living things, the equivocation that mixes all of these into a single definition of the word, "evolution," or something else? What is the definition of the word, "scientific." Does it mean the scientific method? Does it mean naturalistic and materialistic assumptions? Does it mean the bandwagon approach of the majority who are in control of scientific funding? It may be an equivocation between all of these meanings. The statement is meaningless as it stands.
  • Inconsistent Comparison Fallacy: occurs when different methods of comparison are used, leaving one with a false impression of the whole comparison. Generally, different elements of two or more objects or phenomena are compared, but not consistently, in order to arrive at a statement about one of them. If phenomena A is the focus, one of its features is compared to a similar feature of B. Then another of its features is compared to a similar feature of C (not B). Then, a statement is made from this inconsistency. Sandra: "OK. Let's compare faith to science. Science has facts and evidence. Faith is just belief with no evidence." Sandra is ignoring the evidence part of God-given "faith" and ignoring the make-belief "faith" part of science. Science must be based on assumptions that are taken on faith (make believe) or else on Divine revelation that creates the faith (supernatural, imparted belief in reality) of God. God speaks. If we acknowledge Him, God's faith comes and causes us to believe whatever God just said. Faith gives access to grace, and grace acts on what God just said.
  • Package Deal Fallacy: occurs when things that are not necessarily connected are joined with a word such as “and” or a different technique of language. Sometimes these are totally different things or concepts, and sometimes these may be things or concepts that are often seen together but are not really associated with each other. They might even be opposites that are said to be the same thing, which is known as equating opposites. It can be a way of creating a halo effect fallacy, where one concept or thing reflects on another concept or thing. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, arguing against Creation Science: "We want the ability to predict.  And your assertion that there’s some difference between natural laws that I use to observe the world today and the natural laws that existed 4,000 years ago is extraordinary and unsettling." These two unrelated thoughts are joined by the word, “and.” The word, “and,” implies a relationship, but they are not related. Bill is trying to imply the outright lie that the Creation Model cannot predict and connect it to the straw man argument that Bill made up about the Creation Model demanding that natural laws changed.
  • Equating Opposites: occurs when an argument is made that two opposites are the same thing. One of the ways this is done is by substituting nonessential characteristics for their essential characteristics until all differences are obliterated. See the fallacy of false analogy. This fallacy can be committed in a metaphor, a simile, an allegory, an analogy, an innuendo, or by making a plain statement of equality.  EXAMPLE Sandy: "When you say Christ reveals things to you, that is the same as when I say I assume." What Sandy is saying is that the flesh (assumption) is the same as the Holy Spirit (Divine revelation. God reveals the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other. They are opposites. Of course, Sandy makes this unsupported assertion based on a worldview, a fake-reality that seems to Sandy to be more real than reality itself.
  • Logical Fallacy of Ignoring Differences / Denying Differences  / Overlooking Differences /  False Equivalence / Ignoring Differences / Greyness Fallacy / False Equivalence: occurs when differences are overlooked, ignored, or denied, resulting in faulty comparisons of various kinds. This can result in faulty analogy, equating opposites, or the package deal fallacy. EXAMPLE Bill Nye arguing against Creation science: "On CSI, there is no distinction made between historical science and observational science." CSI TV show isn't much of an appeal to authority. The main problem, though, is that Bill Nye is overlooking the differences between historical and observational science. The difference has to do with assumptions. Observational science is based on observations and that which can be logically inferred from those observations. Historical science (and some other kinds of science) rely on either assumptions and stories or Divine revelation. The result is that a Secular Humanist and a Christian are very likely to come to opposite historical conclusions from exactly the same observations. Observational science depends on observation. Historical science goes beyond observation using assumptions and stories. So, Bill’s conclusion is that there is no difference between observation and assumptions/stories. Is Bill right? If he is, then much of what Bill argues during the debate is valid. If assumptions of the majority are as valid as observation, then many of Bill’s claims that are based on assumptions are just as valid as observation. Of course, assumptions have exactly zero truth value. Agrippa's Trilemma takes its toll.
  • Logical Fallacy of False or Faulty Analogy / Weak Analogy / Bad Analogy / Apples and Oranges / Appeal to the Moon / Ad Lunam /Spurious Similarity: occurs when two things are said to be like each other in a way that they are not like each other or an analogy is made between two things that are not similar enough to reasonably make the analogy. EXAMPLE Evolutionism’s analogy between speciation and molecules-to-man evolution: “We can observe changes in the present. Therefore, those changes would have led to molecules-to-man evolution over millions of years.” EXAMPLE Mentioning evolution in a list of legitimate science that is testable and verifiable, while evolution is a mere story that can be morphed to fit any evidence that may appear. This is a failure to distinguish between operational science and big bang, evolution, attacks on the Bible, Atheism, Uniformitarianism, Naturalism, and Materialism, none of which can be tested in the present using scientific method. EXAMPLE "If we can put a man on the moon, then we can certainly fix the problems with society given enough money and power." Putting a man on the moon is not similar to fixing society, which would involve changing human nature. EXAMPLE Dawkins' "weasel computer program = microbiology experiment" debacle: The program makes decisions that are not available in nature and yet is presented as a model of nature. It is a model of the personification of natural selection into an intelligent agent that has a goal in mind and a constant eye on meeting that goal. In nature, we only see a natural elimination that happens when a mutation occurs that causes a weakness great enough to disallow reproduction. EXAMPLE “To believe in evolution is the same as believing in gravity." EXAMPLE Wikipedia: "In the context of biology, homology is the existence of shared ancestry between a pair of structures, or genes, in different species. A common example of homologous structures in evolutionary biology are [sic] the wings of bats and the arms of primates." Homology is not the existence of anything. Homology is a claim that similarity equals relationship, in this case, the relationship of shared ancestry. There are other fallacies in this statement beyond faulty analogy.
  • Logical Fallacy of Extended Analogy: occurs when two things that are similar to a third thing are said to be like each other without further proof of that fact. This is a type of faulty analogy.
  • Logical Fallacy of Projection: occurs when a person projects his/her own traits, thoughts, or actions onto another person or persons. EXAMPLE Sandy: "I'm a Christian, a great teacher of righteousness, but I don't have any desire to hear God's Voice, and I don't think it is possible. You just read the Bible and use your own reasoning. That's it. I don't hear His Voice, and I don't believe that anyone else does." Rocky: "I'm a follower of Christ. Jesus says that His sheep hear His Voice. That has been my experience. I'm sorry that you don't have this experience, and it isn't my role to try to guess why you don't, but I can just tell you that it's available to you, if you love Christ and want to commit your will to following Him, even putting your most precious theologies at the foot of the cross so that the Lord can correct you if necessary. However, projecting your lack of real experience with Christ on every person who follows Christ is not right." (Sandy is guilty of the fallacy of projection, so much so that he would be willing to say that no one who actually has a personal relationship with Christ is a "Real Christian.")
  • Logical Fallacy of Reductio Ad Hitlerum / Ad Nazium / Hitler Card: occurs when associating a position/person/concept with someone or something that is universally reviled is used as a faulty analogy in place of sound reasoning. This fallacy has been used politically to the point where it is quickly pointed out. At the same time, it is sometimes abused. Greg Laden: "Germany was a Christian nation long before the Nazi’s came along in the 1920s. When the Nazi’s [sic] took power in Germany, they were widely and generally supported. Even after the defeat of the Third Reich in 1945, a majority of the German People (in a survey conducted by the US military) remained sympathetic to the Nazis and wished for a return of surviving Nazi leaders. Most Germans were either active members of the Nazi party or were sympathetic, and most were Christians, mainly Catholic. (There were a lot of non-Christian Germans at the beginning of this period, but the Christian Germans killed or drove away most of them.) Most Germans were anti Semitic and many were directly involved in the slaughter of over six million Jews and other “undesirables.” The Holocaust was a perfectly logical extension of over a century of increasingly bitter and obsessive anti Semitism evolving hand and hand with German Catholic political ideology and white supremacist doctrine in Germany and elsewhere. There were no Atheists involved in any of this. None." This is an attempt to associate Christianity with the Nazis and to dissassociate Atheism with the same. The conclusion is not spoken, but, judging from the site, it would be about the same as the rest of the articles: therefore, there is no God and Atheism is fact. Racism cannot be said to be compatible with Scripture without extreme use of fallacies. Through the Scripture, God reveals to humanity that there is only one physical race, the human race. In the spirit realm, there are two families, those whose Father is God and those whose father is Satan. Racism is incompatible with Scripture and the revelation that God is giving us. However, racism is compatible with evolutionism and the rationalizations that spring from it. For these reasons, this is the Hitler card fallacy.
  • Logical Fallacy of Distinction Without a Difference / Phantom Distinction / Sham Distinctions: occurs when language is used to imply a difference between two things, and yet those two things are exactly the same. EXAMPLE  Bo Bennet: “We are comparing a method of knowledge (science) to a system of belief (faith), which is not known for revising itself based on new evidence.  Even when it does, the “wrongs” are blamed on human interpretation.  Science is all about improving ideas to get closer to the truth, and, in some cases, completely throwing out theories that have been proven wrong.  Furthermore, the claims of religion are virtually all unfalsifiable, thus cannot be proven wrong.  Therefore, comparing religion and science on the basis of falsifiability, is a faulty comparison.”
    Here, Bo is using this as an example of faulty comparison, saying that you can’t compare faith and science. He decides to define science as a method of knowledge and faith as a system of belief. However, faith is a method of knowledge, and science is a system of belief. In a recent, well-publicized debate, Bill Nye defined science as both a method of knowledge and a body of knowledge (system of belief). Faith, if we are talking about Christian faith, is a way to know. It works this way. God speaks. Faith comes as a free gift from God to believe what God just said. This is a method of knowledge. When human beings presume to fabricate knowledge (a function of Agrippa's Trilemma), then both science and faith fail.
    Bo contends that science is supposed to be a moving target but faith is not supposed to. He may have never read the Bible, because the God speaks through the Bible and reveals to us that we are to go from faith to faith and from glory to glory. We are supposed to be pressing toward the mark. He may have just seen the example of many lukewarm Christians who think that they are rich and increased of God and in need of nothing. There is no difference between faith and science. Both rest on Divine revelation if their reasoning is sound. There is no way to have sound reasoning if they do not. In fact, it is impossible to know anything scientifically without Divine revelation. God’s rain falls on the just and the unjust. God reveals through His Creation. He reveals much about Himself, and He says that those who refuse to acknowledge Him are without excuse.



Author/Compiler
Last updated: Sep, 2014
 
 


Logical Fallacy of Faulty Comparison

Incomplete Comparison Fallacy

Inconsistent Comparison Fallacy

Package Deal Fallacy

The Logical Fallacy of Equating Opposites

Ignoring Differences / Denying Differences / Overlooking Differences / False Equivalence / Ignoring Differences / Greyness Fallacy / False Equivalence

Equating Opposites / Ignoring Differences:

Logical Fallacy of False or Faulty Analogy / Weak Analogy / Bad Analogy / Appeal to the Moon

Logical Fallacy of Extended Analogy

Logical Fallacy of Projection

Logical Fallacy of Reductio Ad Hitlerum / Ad Nazium / Hitler Card

Logical Fallacy of Mistaken Identity

Logical Fallacy of Distinction Without a Difference / Phantom Distinction / Sham Distinctions



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