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Logical Fallacy of Question-Begging Epithet


Logical Fallacy of Question-Begging Epithet

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. Question-begging epithet, a form of circular reasoning, is one of these three unhappy possibilities.

The logical fallacy of the question-begging epithet occurs when biased, often emotional, language is used to persuade rather than logic. To be question-begging, it must presuppose the thing that it is trying to support or prove. Question-begging epithets are attempts to stir emotions in order to distract people's attention from the meat of the logic--especially when playing to the crowd. Question-begging epithets can include claims with no support for the claims, rhetoric, empty words, or any remarks without substance. The other part of the problem is that the entire communication is based on circular reasoning or question-begging.

Examples of the Fallacy of Question-Begging Epithet

Vulgarity, yelling, sarcasm, and name-calling are all examples of question-begging epithets. Note that there is no real information contained in these fallacies.

"Amazing! I gave you the actual paper of Mary Schwarzer. Add "logical fallacy" to the list of terms you don't understand."

Note that this is not only an example of the fallacy of question-begging epithet, but it is also an example of the logical fallacy of appeal to authority. This is in response to a statement that there was a logical fallacy in Mary Schwarzer's paper.

"You said, 'Revelation is the only solid basis for sound reasoning.' That is precious! And I have confirmation bias? WOW!"

This was brought as a refutation, but it doesn't refute anything. The statement that it was designed to supposedly refute was, "Revelation is the only solid basis for sound reasoning" However, the writer didn't bother to say why he thinks that this is invalid and just gives this hysterical remark. Note that this followed a previous example of confirmation bias that the same skeptic gave. Part of this response is the logical fallacy of Tu Quoque / You Too. But, getting back to the logical fallacy of question-begging epithet, in the statement, "Revelation is the only solid basis for sound reasoning," where is the confirmation bias?

"The University has been invaded by creationists."

"Christians are weak and stupid."

"Evolution vs. creationism"

"The Creation 'Museum' isn't about science at all, but is entirely about a peculiar, quirky, very specific interpretation of the Bible."

"You're committing a fallacy"

When you ask what the fallacy is, you get no answer, but they change the subject.

"Creationism is not science."

This is another example of using biased language instead of reason to persuade. The "ism" attached to creation is usually not equally attached to evolution-ism. In addition, just making a rule of naturalism/Atheism as the basis of science is begging the question. It is assuming, by definition of the word, science, the very issue at hand. That is circular reasoning with a bit of biased language added just for spin.

"Total lack of science...."

The very short remark was made in a comparison of revelation as opposed to made up stories like evolution. This begs the question by assuming that science, probably meaning science based on atheism/naturalism/materialism, is the best way to understand origins of the Heavens and the Earth. Since that is the very point of discussion, it is circular reasoning to use the assumption of the point one is trying to make as the premise. This short remark is packed with many fallacies, partly because it states nothing explicitly: the fallacy of question-begging epithet, the fallacy of the unsupported presupposition, the fallacy of appeal to ridicule, and the logical fallacy of equivocation on the word, science.

Last updated: Sep, 2014

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Toons & Vids



Logical Fallacy of Begging the Question/Circular Reasoning

Circular Generalization Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Begging the Question / Vicious Circle / Chicken And Egg Argument

Logical Fallacy of Circular Reference

Logical Fallacy of Question Begging Analogy

Logical Fallacy of Question-Begging Epithet

Logical Fallacy of Question-Begging Complex Question / Framing Fallacy / Loaded Question / Not Understanding the Problem / Defining the Problem Incorrectly / Trick Question / Multiple Question / Plurium Interrogationum / Fallacy of Many Questions:

Logical Fallacy of Circular Cause and Consequence

Logical Fallacy of Question-Begging Rejection of Faith

Self-Referential Fallacy

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