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Fallacies of Limiting Presuppositions

 
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 based on one of three unhappy possibilities. These three possibilities are infinite regression, circular reasoning, or bare assertions without any evidence.

Fallacies of Limiting Presuppositions (Worldviews or presupposed assumptions severely limit the ability to perceive reality or to discern between reality and the presuppositions/worldview.)

  • Flat Earth Navigation Syndrome: occurs when a false concept is still used as the presupposition for future solutions. In these cases, a lot of time and energy can be wasted trying to solve problems that don't exist.  With this fallacy, the false concept must be actually proven false. Often, the "flat Earth" claim is merely a smear that is used by people who don't want to admit that the stories (evolutionism, big-bangism, no-floodism, Biblical-errorism, Atheism, etc.) they are promoting are nonsense. It takes the form of an appeal to ridicule fallacy. Yet, there is a real fallacy here when the facts are actually proven and not just stories based on arbitrary assumptions. EXAMPLE Sandy: “NASA computers, in calculating the positions of planets, found a missing day and 40 minutes, proving Joshua’s ‘long day’ and Hezekiah’s sundial movement of Joshua 10 and 2 Kings 20.” Rocky: “Actually, that kind of thing can't be calculated using scientific observation and rational thought, just as the age of the Earth or of the Universe cannot be calculated in this way. The reason that we know that Joshua 10 and 2 Kings 20 are true is by Divine revelation. God speaks the truth into our innermost minds about the accuracy of the Bible.” Sandy committed the flat Earth fallacy. Rather than discerning Christ, he was trying to rationalize from a story that he had heard, and that story was a hoax. FALLACY ABUSE Sandy: “God doesn’t exist. Belief in God is an archaic belief that is from the stone age.” Rocky: “You would need to show some evidence that there was a stone age and that God doesn’t exist if you are going to support your claim. I personally know Jesus Christ. He leads me and teaches me moment by moment. I’m learning to discern His Voice, to be attentive to Him, and to respond in obedience.” Sandy: “You flat-Earther!” The "flat Earth" idea is just an analogy taken from a flat Earth hoax that was perpetrated in anti-God books and people. At various times, there were a few people who believed in a flat Earth. Very few of that small subset of society have been Christians, Yet, people who don't want to acknowledge God like to use the flat-Earth myth as an appeal to ridicule when they realize that they have no rational reasons to believe in the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story. A person who refuses to acknowledge God will bring many pieces of so-called “evidence” to prove that God doesn’t exist. They will insist that belief in God is a flat-Earth claim. None of that so-called “evidence” can hold up to scrutiny, however. Christians will insist that Atheism is a flat-Earth claim. Christians will claim that they know that Atheism is a false concept by Divine revelation. They know that God exists because they know God in the Person of Jesus Christ Who leads them moment by moment. A person who refuses to acknowledge God will claim that this isn’t true because of their assumptions, fallacies, and worldview, which they call “evidence.”
  • Jingoism: occurs when something is to be believed because not believing it would be unpatriotic. The term, "Jingoism," was coined by British Secularist George Holyoake (1817-1906) as a political label against those who favor a foreign policy that protects the rights of a nation. More recently, the term has been used in the U.S. press against conservatives. Now, the term has morphed into a fallacy in some sources. EXAMPLE "If you don't believe in universal healthcare, you are not patriotic. It is, after all, the law of the land." EXAMPLE "If you don't support abortion, you are not patriotic. It is, after all, the law of the land." EXAMPLE "If you keep violating the U.S. Constitution, you are not patriotic." For all of these examples, if there is any validity to the desired belief, there would need to give a better reason for it.
  • Chronological Snobbery: occurs when it is thought that current technology, knowledge, understanding, etc., is better than that from the past. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, when he was arguing against Creation science, made his case that Noah could not have been able to build the Ark, since some recent wooden boat builders were not able to figure out how to do it.
  • Retrospective Determinism: occurs when it is argued that because some event has occurred (or is claimed to have occurred), its occurrence must have been inevitable beforehand. EXAMPLE Stephen Hawking: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist,” It is inevitable that the Universe can and will create itself from nothing because there is a Law of Gravity. Really?
  • Essentializing Fallacy: occurs when it is assumed that whatever is always was this way and will always be this way. EXAMPLE The philosophy (used in Secular Humanist science) of Uniformitarianism EXAMPLE “The Second Law of Thermodynamics had to be in place as we see in now in the Garden of Eden or nothing would have worked.” There is no way to test a statement like that. We have no clue. God has not revealed it, unless the person saying this is claiming to have had a vision of some sort. Will the spiritual bodies we will receive in the Kingdom of Heaven need the Second Law of Thermodynamics to function? If so, how can we know such thing?
  • Presentism / Historian's Fallacy / Hindsight / 20-20 Hindsight: occurs when it is assumed that elements of the present-day worldview were the same in the past; when it is assumed that decision-makers of the past held the same worldview as those decision-makers who followed. Presentism is uncritical adherence to present-day situations, technology, trends, or attitudes. If we interpret past events in terms of modern values and concepts, we commit the fallacy of presentism. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, arguing against Creation Science: "If you visit the national zoo in Washington D.C.--it's a hundred and sixty-three acres--and they have 400 species--by the way, this picture that you're seeing was taken by spacecraft in space orbiting the Earth. If you told my grandfather, let alone my father, that we had that capability they would have been amazed. That capability comes from our fundamental understanding of gravity, of material science, of physics, and life-science where you go looking. This place, as any zoo, is often criticized for how it treats its animals. They have 400 species on 163 acres, 66 hectares. Is it reasonable that Noah and his colleagues, his family, were able to maintain 14,000 animals and themselves and feed them aboard a ship that was bigger than anyone's ever been able to build?" Bill Nye is using the fallacy of presentism, projecting the knowledge and worldviews of the present into the past. We know almost nothing about the pre-flood culture and technology. However, there are many things that people did thousands of years ago that we aren't able to do today. The pyramids come to mind. And, there were ship-building techniques in the past, we have archeological evidence of this, that made stronger ships than the best wooden ships of the last two centuries. Ken Ham, of course, mentioned this. Through Scripture, God speaks to us of the design of the ark only at a high level. We don't have the details of the plan. There are design-features that could have been built in, some of which have been discussed in various articles that deal with the ark. And Bill Nye ought to keep in mind that the almighty, all-knowing, all-wise God knows more than present-day humans do, and may have incorporated design features that have been lost to human knowledge over the last 4,000 years. This is also the fallacy of  reasoning. Bill Nye is assuming that on one, not even Noah, has ever built a ship this large. Then, Bill uses his assumption to prove what he is assuming, that Noah didn't build the ark. That is circular reasoning.
  • Logical Fallacy of Proof by Appeal to Naturalism: occurs when naturalism, the unfounded assumption that there is no spiritual realm, is used as a base assumption or axiom and treated as if it were a known fact. Appeal to naturalism is not to be confused with the naturalistic fallacy or the appeal to nature. This is a type of hysteron proteron. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, debating against Creation Science: “You can try this yourself, everybody. I mean, I don’t mean to be mean to trees, but get a sapling and put it under water for a year. It will not survive in general, nor will its seeds. They just won’t make it." Bill is assuming naturalism without stating the assumption. The assumption of naturalism is a hidden assumption upon which the rest of his argument rests. There are other problems with his proposition to be sure, but this is the most basic problem.
  • Logical Fallacy of Proof by Appeal to Materialism: occurs when materialism, the unfounded assumption that there is no spiritual realm, is used as a base assumption or axiom and treated as if it were a known fact. This is a type of hysteron proteron.
  • Logical Fallacy of Proof by Uniformitarianism: occurs when uniformitarianism, the unfounded assumption that there was not catastrophic, worldwide, Genesis flood and that all processes have continued from the beginning as they are now, is used as a base assumption or axiom and treated as if it were a known fact. This is a type of hysteron proteron.
  • Logical Fallacy of Proof by Agnosticism: occurs when agnosticism, the unfounded belief that no one has or can know anything about the spiritual realm, is used as a base assumption or axiom and treated as if it were a known fact. This is a type of hysteron proteron.
  • Logical Fallacy of Proof by Atheism: occurs when atheism, the unfounded belief that there is no God, is used as a base assumption or axiom and treated as if it were a known fact. This is a type of hysteron proteron.
  • Logical Fallacy of Proof by Relativism / Escape to Relativism: occurs when relativism is assumed and used to defend a conclusion. EXAMPLE "Post modernism proves that there is no right or wrong or truth or error. There are only winners and losers. One conclusion is as good as another, but it's a matter of who wins. Our side is winning. We have control of the media. We have control of the schools. We have control of the scientific journals. We have control of the courts to a large extent. Therefore, we can enforce our viewpoint, and that's alright because there is no right or wrong, only winners and losers."
  • Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Rationalism: occurs when it is assumed that the human mind (particularly the minds of those who agree with the person using this fallacy) is capable of generating information and knowledge without the benefit of either observation or divine revelation. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, debating against Creation Science: "This is to say, when people make assumptions based on radiometric dating, when they make assumptions about the expanding Universe, when they make assumptions about the rate at which genes change in populations of bacterial in laboratory growth media, they’re making assumptions based on previous experience." Bill Nye is using the logical fallacy of false cause and effect by saying that assumptions come from previous experience. If there is a previous experience, that is empirical. Empirical observation, that is experience of reality, is not assumption, nor can it generate assumptionsAssumptions come from the imagination, from the worldview/paradigm/fake-reality that is built in the human mind. They may be rationalized, but they cannot be proved. They are always arbitrary. On the other hand, Divine revelation has a source other than the human mind. It is not arbitrary. However, the human mind is very skilled at adding assumptions to Divine revelation or using assumptions to take some parts out of Divine revelation, and this is extremely deceptive. We see this at work in many of the interpretations of what can be plainly read in Scripture or plainly seen in creation around us.
  • If God Exists Fallacy: occurs when logic similar to this is used, "If the all-powerful and benevolent God defined in the Bible exists, then (such and such condition) wouldn't exist. However, (such and such condition) exists. Therefore, God does not exist. The form of this argument is valid, but the two premises are not. A simple question will test both the major and minor premises and show that they are not known. "How do you know that this conditional statement is true?" "How do you know what God would do?" The answer is, "I made it up."
  • Scientism: occurs when it is claimed that science is the best way to know anything. To claim that the scientific method is the best way to know anything is known as scientism, and it is self-refuting. It can’t be known using scientific method. It is also an unsupported assertion.
  • Finish the Job Fallacy: occurs when work continues on a project because of duty to finish rather than for the purpose of the project.
  • Concorde Fallacy / Sunk Cost: occurs when there is a temptation to continue defending or favoring a project, a line of research, a theory, an idea, an action or any other thing rather than admitting the error and dropping it. No matter how much time, money, or ego has been spent, this has no bearing on reality. EXAMPLE Rocky: “And what makes you think that is true?” Sandy: “I guess I’m making the whole thing up. . . . Wait! You have to convince me that Jesus Christ exists.” Rocky: “Why would you listen to me when He speaks to you all the time and you won’t listen to Him?” This is the end of an actual conversation where someone we will call Rocky was doing some active listening with a person who refuses to acknowledge God, whom we will call Sandy. Rocky just kept listening and drawing out Sandy to understand his reasoning as the two ate lunch at a local restaurant. Sandy ran out of gas about 60 minutes later and made this statement. However, the result was for Sandy to become a much more dedicated to his own rationalized belief system.
  • Political Correctness Fallacy: occurs when political correctness is presented as proof for a conclusion. This would include trying to change the nature of a thing or situation by changing its name (euphemism) or thinking that a conclusion is true if it is political correct or false because it is not politically correct. There is a part of political correctness that is simply having good manners and not using words as weapons. It is not a fallacy to be considerate, kind, gentle, respectful, or civil. It is possible to tell the truth in love, with gentleness and respect.
  • Just-World Hypothesis: occurs when an assumption is made that the world is just and what happens to us is justice--according to our own definitions of "just" and "justice." This is a statistical fallacy of looking at a small sample of the eternal continuum. Ultimately, there is justice. We know that by Divine revelation. However, there is much injustice along the way, so someone who does good may have some very bad experiences. EXAMPLE "Jim must not be walking right. God is judging him. See! He lost his job. Last week, he was swindled out of his business." There are many other reasons that God allows problems to come into our lives. One is to test us and prepare us of coming responsibility.


Author/Compiler
Last updated: Sep, 2014
 
 


Flat Earth Navigation Syndrome

Jingoism

Logical Fallacy of Chronological Snobbery

Logical Fallacy of Retrospective Determinism

Essentializing Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Presentism

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Appeal to Naturalism

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Appeal to Materialism

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Uniformitarianism

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Agnosticism

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Atheism

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Relativism / Escape to Relativism

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Rationalism

"If God Exists" Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Scientism

Finish the Job Fallacy

Concorde Fallacy / Sunk Cost Fallacy

Political Correctness Fallacy

Just World Hypothesis



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