|Tactic of Argument by Question|
Tactic of Argument by Question
The Tactic of Argument by Question occurs when a question is asked that isn’t easily answered. It is an argument from ignorance. This tactic is often used in front of an audience, since the audience is able to understand the question but is sometimes not able to understand the answer. It usually takes longer to answer a question than to ask the question. There are several related fallacies, including tossing the elephant, failure to state, and argument from ignorance.
It is not a fallacy to ask probing questions without intimidation to find out the deep reasoning behind someone's convictions or beliefs. Sometimes, in the process, the person will realize that their beliefs are built on nothing at all.
Examples of the Tactic of Argument by Question
Bill Nye used this tactic, along with tossing the elephant, argument from ignorance, proof by repetition, and failure to acknowledge the answers, in a debate with Ken Ham in which Bill argued against Creation science, the Bible, and Jesus Christ. The tactic was used in a dishonest way in that the effort was to create an illusion that questions had not been answered when they had along with asking so many technical questions that time constraints prevented adequate answers. The entire video can be viewed online.
In particular, Bill Nye repeatedly demanded that Ken Ham provide examples of predictions that the Biblical account of Creation and the Flood would make. The first time Bill had demanded this was after Ken had provided several. When Ken provided more examples, Bill pretended that Ken had not presented any and continued to repeatedly assert that none had been provided while questioning why Ken had not provided any. It was very effective as Bill Nye is a very good actor.
Last updated: Sep, 2014
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